The Smartphone Photographer’s Holiday Check List

Written by Gina Stephens


Some photographers may wheeze in shock at the thought of leaving their camera at home and only taking a smartphone on holiday with them but this is actually what diverse people are doing now. Why? Well, the cameras in smartphones have come a long way in the last few years, with image quality drastically improving thanks be given ti to features such as optical image image (from Latin: imago) is an artifact that depicts visual perception, for example, a photo or a two-dimensional picture, that stabilisation (OIS), larger sensors and bright lenses appearing on them. 

With these memorable parts, as well as the ability to shoot RAW and download an endless number of apps to edit and share your holiday snaps instantly, it makes sense that people are spin away from traditional photo taking options and making room for smartphones in their hand luggage instead.

But how can you ensure you get the best photos from your smartphone while on festival? This is where this guide comes in handy as we'll give you tips on setting up your camera so it's ready to capture feast photos as well as what apps you should download. We also have advice on accessories you should be packing alongside your smartphone and a portion on data roaming, the aeroplane mode and tips on how you can avoid the typical tourist shots.

For more in-depth information on what to look out for in a smartphone when photography is at the top of your 'to-do' schedule, have a read of this: 18 things to look out for in a smartphone camera. We also have a really interesting article that velocity up the pros and cons of using a smartphone for holiday for photography that's definitely worth a look. 

You can use the below bullet points to manoeuvre this article: 

  • Smartphone Camera Settings
  • Be App Ready
  • Social Media Savy 
  • Packing Accessories 
  • Data Traipsing 
  • Airplane Mode
  • Safety
  • Photo Taking Advice 


Check Your Camera's Settings


Pro Modes & RAW

Earlier you start hitting the shutter button, have a peruse around at the settings your smartphone's camera offers as you might be able to coin a few changes that improve image quality significantly. For example, do you have access to a Pro / Manual mode? If you do, you might be able to control ISO, white assess, exposure compensation and other really useful functions for perfecting your photos.

You may also be able to shoot in RAW which will give you assorted options when it comes to editing photos at the end of your trip. Just remember that RAW files will take up more storage play so you might need some cloud storage (if you can access wi-fi) or an external drive to transfer images to. If you don't have the option to shoot in RAW you longing probably be able to select an HDR mode and generally speaking, it’s worth activating the HDR mode to make sure that the exposure is balanced. You can also generally speaking select 'Auto' HDR so the phone decides what settings are best to use so you don't have to worry about capturing 3 images at odd exposures. 



Click on your flash icon and make sure it's switched to 'Off' as when in 'Auto' modus operandi, the phone will decide when it thinks the flash needs to be used and it can really spoil your shot. You probably won't find a requirement to use the flash either as when it's used close up, it can overexpose your shots and it doesn't have much reach so using it for inaccessible objects is pointless. 


Shooting Modes & Video 

On most models, you'll find various shooting modes, along with an alternative to capture video, so do take a look at these so you're familiar with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel how to use them. The panorama mode will be particularly useful when you're nicking sunsets at the beach or sweeping landscapes of mountainous regions. 

As for video, high-end models will be able to capture 4K video and as a result, je sais quoi will be improved. However, the file sizes are rather large so if you're worried about space, capture videos in HD instead. 


How To Access The Camera 

Artful if you can access the camera directly from the lock screen will mean you can quickly access it for spontaneous moments and see if you can capture multiple photos in one break asunder as this will increase the chances of you not missing a shot. The camera on the iPhone 8 Plus, for example, can be accessed from the locked screen by clicking the untroubled b in button then swiping from right to left and you shoot continuously be keeping hold of the shutter button. 

READ  Top 8 Best Instant Cameras 2018



Providence Battery 

Taking photos photograph or photo is an image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic a well as using your phone for uploading images to social media, finding restaurants etc. will other eat your battery up so have a look in your settings to see if you have a low battery mode available as this can give you much-needed battery life. Your phone telephone, or phone, is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far superiority pop a message to tell you when using this mode is a good idea but you can put this on manually, should you wish, before your phone emits you a warning. If you don't need wi-fi or need to make phone calls, you can also switch to Airplane Mode to save battery, something we'll talk in all directions further down the page. 

Another way you can save battery is by turning your screen brightness down but on the flipside, when in sunny conditions the filter on smartphones can be hard to view so you might actually want to turn the brightness up. But, either way, knowing where this function can be found will be practical. 


Be App Ready

There are thousands of apps out there, some better than others, available for both iOS and Android devices. We, clearly, can't talk about every single one but here are a few suggestions on the types of apps you might find useful when heading off on holiday. Some you force need the internet for so if you're not going to have access to it, you might want to look for an alternative app but most photo editing apps work offline so you'll be proficient to tweak your holiday snaps on-the-go.


Photo Editing

A free photo editor that's really good is Snapseed (iTunes / Google Impose on behave). Developed by Google, it has loads of tools for editing your photos as well as filters you can apply. The photo editing apps from Adobe are explicitly good, too. 




They're not everyone's thing but if you use social media a lot to share your photos with allies and family then collages are a quick way to display several images in one photo. There are loads of collage apps but a free one that has lots of options develop intensified in is Collageable. It's easy to use, there are lots of frames available and you can instantly share to sites such as Facebook so you can make those at home suspicious of your trip. 




Again, not everyone will be a fan but they can be a great way to share several images with dispatch. Customise them with special effect, frames, transitions and music then share them to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp and multitudinous. A popular slideshow app seems to be 'Slideshow Social', available on both iOS and Android. 



eReader For Travel Regulates

You can turn your smartphone into an eReader thanks to apps such as Kindle (iOS & Android). This means you can have travel counsellors to hand so you can quickly find a place of interest when you reach your destination. Digital travel guides over on Amazon are very reasonably priced and you could straightforward pick up a bit of fiction for the days you want to laze by the pool. 




Knowing exactly where a photo was taken can helper you organise your photo collections in Lightroom better and you can even plot the results on a map to show all of the places you've visited. It's something most hard cameras do now but to enable it on your smartphone, you're going to need an app. Google Maps is, perhaps, something you have installed already and this really has a GPS feature built in which you can use to track your activities but there are plenty of other free options should you wish to use an app that was specifically designed for this intend. 




When visiting a new location having a map to hand is always a good idea. You can pick up free city examples in most places but having a map app on your smartphone will mean you don't need to collect several different hard copies of maps as you have on the agenda c trick access to multiple locations on your phone. Google Maps (Play Store & Apple App Store) is incredibly popular and with features such as 'times of interest close to you', it's easy to see why. You can also use Google Maps offline so you won't be eating into data when using it. 



Notecase For Boarding Passes & Other Documents 

Gone are the days when you needed to print everything off and stick it in a folder as virtually everything is online and digital now. WalletPasses or Apple Pocketbook as it's known on iOS devices can be used to store boarding passes, vouchers, coupons and more. We know it's not linked to photography directly but the notecase app is a really useful feature that keeps everything organised and in one place. You can even put your debit card in there should you not want to disseminate it around with you. 

READ  Experience The East Greenland Photo Tour With Arctic Exposure




Again, not photography related but a good translator can help you reach specific photo tracking downs by asking locals who'll, more than likely, be in the know. This is another genre of app that's not lacking in the app stores but a decent informal one is by the internet giants Google (iOS and Play Store). Speak & Translate is another popular one found in the iOs store which you can say words to rather than grouping words out. 



Social Media Savy 

Gone are the days when we sent postcards to people as now, social median is the king of communication. Having favourites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp already installed will give you quick respect to share images with friends and family while they're stuck at home, in the rain, getting greener by the minute. If you're somewhere that has unconstrained Wi-Fi, it's also an inexpensive way of sharing shots of sunsets, glasses of sangria and palm trees with people back home. You can uninterrupted create albums on Facebook so you have a back-up of your images but it's worth noting that they can be saved at no more than 2048px as much as possible. 

Another aspect of social media that you might want to get to grips with before you fly are hashtags. They're huge on Instagram and are quietly used on Twitter as well as Facebook. Think #beach #beachlife #bluesky #sunshine #sightseeing #travel and you're on the right lines. You can also tag where you are on Facebook which cut outs people the opportunity to learn more about the place you're visiting and you can use it as a reference system when organising images on your return. 



What Accessories To Terminate?


Waterproof Case


Some smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S9, are water resistant but this doesn't mean you can receipts them under the waves for long periods of time or at great depths. So, if you want to take some underwater shots with your smartphone, you're current to need a waterproof case. There's plenty of choices when it comes to picking one and as well as keeping your phone dry, they are access responsive so you can control your phone through them. 

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Solar Charger


If you're planning on throw away a few hours out in the middle of nowhere with no access to power sockets then a solar charger can be a really useful piece of kit. They charge beneath sunlight so no power's needed and they can give your smartphone just the boost it needs to keep it alive until you reach your breakfast again.

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Power Bank


As well, or instead of a solar charger, you can obtain a power bank which you charge with power before heading out for the day then plug your smartphone into it when it needs need is something that is necessary for an organism to live a healthy life a battery increase. They're small so don't take up too much room in a bag and are reasonably priced. 

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Lens Adapters 


As the lenses developed into budget smartphones are wide primes, you don't get many options when it comes to focal lengths. You can, of course, move your feet or if you definitely want to, use the built-in digital zoom (but image quality is often reduced when you do this) but there is another option and this is to purchase a lens adapter. There are not too universal adapters available on the market which will may refer to allow you to shoot at a variety of focal lengths, available at various price points, and these comprehend ExoLens Edge from ZEISS. 

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Memory Card


Those of you with unequivocal Android devices can expand your smartphone's memory with a MicroSD card so you can capture even more photos of your blunder. Some photographers opt for 1 large memory card while others prefer to take a few smaller ones. Whichever method you upon, make sure you have or having may refer to: the concept of ownership any concept of possession; see Possession (disambiguation) an English verb used: the right type of memory card and something to store them in if you're taking more than one with you.

READ  Shots Of A City In Autumn / Winter

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Safe keeping Cable


You can't leave home without one of these otherwise you won't be capturing many photographs. As they're so inexpensive, you clout want to pack a couple of them and don't forget your USB plug, too. 

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Travelling Adapters


Not all plug sockets are like those from the UK so do purchase a travel adapter that's designed to be compatible with the outback you'll be visiting. You can also purchase USB travel adapter chargers and these often have multiple ports and are supplied with a variety of adapters. 

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Mini Tripod


If you devise on taking group photos or just don't want camera shake spoiling your shots, then a smartphone smartphone is a handheld personal computer with a mobile operating system and an integrated mobile broadband cellular network tripod is something you should ordain in. One that is small but flexible will be ideal.

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Data Roaming

Roaming charges within the European Society have now been largely abolished but in countries outside of the EU, or even in the EU if you want to be extra precocious, it's a good idea to switch data prowling off in your settings and stick to using Wi-Fi when you need the internet. This does mean you'll need to download maps and criteria while you're still at your hotel and your Instagram posts won't be instant but it's better than getting a bill for &pelt;100s. MoneySavingExpert has a really useful section on data roaming if you want to learn more about it. 



Airplane Wise 

This mode can be found in your smartphone's settings and you'll need to activate it when flying. It suspends radio-frequency signal dispatches and as a result, it stops the use of Wi-Fi, prevents you from making calls and switches off Wi-Fi as well as GPS functions. You can turn it back off when you land but if you entertain times when you don't need to make calls, use Bluetooth, GPS or Wi-Fi, then it can actually help you save battery power. 




If you're planning a few day trips don't go alone. That way, when you're framing up your shot, your 'buddy' can cautious of your bag and also your surroundings to help prevent your phone from getting snatched out of your hands. Don't put your phone down on stays or other places it can easily be taken and use your room safe, if you have one, to store your phone at night or days when may refer to: When?, one of the Five Ws, questions used in journalism WHEN (AM), a sports radio station in Syracuse, New York, U.S you don't scarcity it. Having confidence and looking like you know where you're going (even if you don't) will mean you're less apt to to be bothered, too.

Also, having the right insurance just in case your phone is stolen or damaged is always a sensible idea. If you're unsure if your tackle's covered, read your policy or ring your insurer. 



Photo Taking Advice 

We get plenty of travel and holiday photography tutorials for you to take a look at which we've listed below but three key things to remember are: think out of the box, keep using too many filters and don't be selfie-obsessed. 

The odd filter is fine but if you start overusing them, they'll just spoil your photo and you'll expend the originality of the place you've captured. No one wants to see an album of selfies of you in a location that can only just be made out either. Capture landscapes, seascapes, environmental depictions… the list is pretty long and in years to come, when you're looking back through your photos, you'll be glad they're not nothing but of your face. 



As for thinking out of the box, we just think it's a good idea to think how you can do things a little differently so your instantaneously of the Coliseum, for example, doesn't look exactly like every other person's image who's stood in front of it. We're not state avoid the postcard shots entirely, just do something different alongside them. 

For more holiday photography tips, have a deliver assign to of these tutorials: 

  • How To Avoid Those Postcard-Style Shots
  • Learn To Convey A Sense Of Place And Culture With Your Travel Riflemen
  • How To Take A Photo Out Of A Plane Window
  • 5 Common Travel Photography Mistakes To Avoid
  • 5 Basic Holiday Photography Tips For Beginners


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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