Summer tips for taking photos

©Peter Bennett

©Peter Bennett

How many photos will you have in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Kinda scary right? And what about videos? Yikes!

Aside from the holidays, summer is the time of year we take a lot of pictures. Taking lot of pictures is great, but taking so many that you don’t even want to look at them, let alone edit them, is not OK. Also ballooning the storage on your phone is not fun, so let’s focus on quality not quantity this summer. Here are a few ways to do that.

Burst Mode
Burst mode is one of the biggest culprits for taking too many pictures. It’s a powerful tool on iPhones and great for making sure that you capture some great actions shots of your kids playing sports or jumping on a trampoline.

In Burst mode when you keep your finger pressed on the shutter release button, your phone’s camera will take 10 images per second, so you are going to get an awful lot of very similar shots unless there is a significant difference between each frame. Good for sports, bad for portraits!

When taking a casual photo, just do it one shot at a time. No need to take dozens of shots of what is basically the same picture. It will also be a lot easier to go through them later when you want to pick out a few good ones. You’re not going to lose anything, you will save some editing time, and you may even get better at capturing the moment and improving your picture taking in the process.

Live Photos
Some people love it, others hate it! What it does is record a video 1.5 seconds before you take the picture and 1.5 seconds after you take the picture (how does it know when I’m going to take the picture, hhmmm?). The effect is cool and you can choose any of the 3 second video as the final still photo capture, but it adds a considerable about of storage to your phone.

iPhones 6s and later have Live Photos turned on by default. To turn it off:

1.    Open the Camera app on your device.
2.    Go to Photo Mode
3.    Tap the yellow Live Photo icon (looks sort of like a bullseye) so it is white and crossed out.
4.    Go to Settings.
5.    Tap the Camera tab.
6.    Tap Preserve Settings.

Delete the parking spaces
Here’s a great way to cut down on the clutter of photos we take. We all use our phone’s camera to record things that we want to remember or quickly send to someone – things like parking spaces or shopping items. We now use our camera for things we used to write down, which is great, but do you really want to see a picture of a loaf of bread next to your kid’s graduation photos?

Get rid of those pictures! They are easy to identify and easy to delete. Next time you are waiting on line or in a doctors’ office, go back over the last few weeks and delete those photos. It will make you happy!

Pick out the good ones
Editing photos is something we are all constantly trying to catch up on. We tend to think of it as a chore and yet one more thing we need to do to catch up with our lives. Gee that sounds like fun!

But editing is really story-telling. You are picking the photos that tell you and your family’s life story. What could be more important? Many people think of editing as getting rid of photos, which is a chore. I think of it as the opposite, it’s about which ones to keep - picking out the good ones and the great ones. It’s easier, it’s fun, and I have found that once you pick out those good ones, it becomes a lot simpler to get rid of the rest because you know you have it covered.

Here’s a good way to get started. As you take photos on your iPhone, or shortly afterwards, give those good and great ones a Heart which automatically identifies them as a Favorite and moves a virtual copy to an album in Apple Photos.

If you are not on an iPhone or are using a good old-fashioned camera, make sure you identify and indicate your favorites as soon as you can. Many apps and photo catalogs let you give a photo 5 stars, mark it with whatever method is available to you.

The important thing is to mark them as soon as you can, you want to do it while the memory is still fresh in your mind, and the ability to pick out the good ones will be a lot easier as a result. It will feel really good to know you have those selects picked out, and it will begin to make editing your pictures a good practice for the future.

Very cool tip: You can use the ear buds that come with your iPhone as a remote shutter release to take photos and videos. Simply press on the volume control button (either higher or lower) on the ear bud’s chord and it will take the picture. It is a very cool way to take candid shots of your family or friends, or simply when you see something on the street you want to photograph, but don’t want to be too obvious about it.

Some ear buds by other manufacturers work too, but many don’t, so try to stick with the Apple ear buds that your iPhone came with.

I hope some or all of these summertime tips are helpful. Have a wonderful summer, take a lot of great shots, and shoot smart.