I’ve been talking about doing this for a long time. So, here it is. I’m sharing what I know and use in my daily mobile photography misadventures. All my related posts will be found in the category of ‘mobile photography’. I definitely don’t know it all but will certainly share what I’ve learned and continue to learn along the way. That said, let’s get started.

When it comes to hardware used for mobile photography, the list for me is pretty short. My shooter, the iPhone 5. When I had the iPhone 4S, I didn’t use a case as I really enjoyed  the slim form factor but quickly realized that holding onto the phone securely while shooting can be a challenge. The iPhone 5, being even slimmer than the 4S, was like holding onto a stick of butter. I broke down and started the search for the ‘perfect case’. Those that know my OCD tendencies will understand how difficult a task this was.

Case

After an exhaustive search, complete with multiple purchases and returns, I settled on the Belkin Grip Candy Case (Blacktop/Gravel). The case, while not perfect in my eyes, is pretty close. It’s relatively slim, made from Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). It’s grippy but does not attract lint and won’t stretch like silicone. The phone no longer feels slippery and I’ve been able to shoot more confidently, while holding the phone in potentially ‘dangerous’ situations. Think ‘lowdownground’ shot less than an inch from the water.

Tripod

While most shots happen handheld, there are times where a tripod stabilized shot is irreplaceable. When I started using Average Camera Pro (I’ll cover apps in another post), I used rocks, fence posts and my shoe to prop up my phone to take the shot. Taking off my shoe and placing the phone into it was brilliant, I thought, until the weather got cold and wet.

I decided to purchase the Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand.

griptight

Without going into a full-on review of the GripTight GorillaPod, I found it well made and  simple to use. Most importantly, I no longer had to use my shoe as a stand. The GorillaPod offered so much flexibility in taking long exposure shots, whether using Average Camera Pro or Slow Shutter Cam.

One surprising benefit of using the GripTight portion of the Joby kit was that it can be mounted via ¼-20″ screw to any full size tripod mount plate.

tripod

I’m now able to securely hold the phone in either landscape or portrait orientation and at a wide range of height.

Currently, this is the extent of my mobile photography gear. I’ve been looking at the Olloclip lens systemto shoot macro images but just came across what looks like a budget priced alternative: Red 180° Fish Eye Lens+Wide Angle Lens+Macro Lens.

I’m sure there are other hardware pieces that mobile photographers use that I’m not aware of. Please share if you know of any.

What mobile photography gear do you use?

5 Comments

  1. Jorge
    March 18, 2013

    Hey Dan,
    You really pretty much mentioned the essentials of what is needed for any mobile photographer. Anything else, is just not necessary. I have the grip tight, I have the case, and I have the tripod. If I would add anything, my tripod has these leg connectors, which helps it from moving. But at times it still moves when it is really windy so I am going to get some ziplock bags filled with sand to weigh it down. One thing I am also thinking about getting is a portable battery pack to charge my phone while I am out shooting, since slow shutter and avgcampro really drains battery life. Just need to find the right one for the right price – college student here. Haha..

    Anyways, I have REALLY wanted to do something like what you are doing here. I just never thought anybody would be interested and plus I do not have the following to really help out many people. BUT… if there is any way i can help you with this project, I am here for anything you may need. Don’t know everything, but I a little bit of something. haha

    Reply
    • dan lum
      March 18, 2013

      Awesome input and information, Jorge! The tripod I use is reminiscent of the type I used for videography. The sticks have two settings, standard and wide, to give a more stable stance. Sand bags are a must for windy conditions.

      I’ve been thinking about a portable battery pack or mophie case to provide more juice but haven’t run into a situation where I couldn’t get back to the truck to top up. I think ebay has chinese knockoff mophie cases.

      That’s cool that you’ve thought about offering your experiences for others to learn. We should chat about possible opportunities to share knowledge.

      Reply
      • Jorge
        March 18, 2013

        Thank you very much, Dan! For the most part, my tripod is pretty stable and it has worked wonders for me, but I will definitely need to get some sand bags for those really windy days, when not even leaving it as wide as i can will stop it from moving.

        I will definitely have to look into these ebay knockoff mophie cases. I need one because the car charger thing broke in my car, so I can only rely on the charge I have from home.

        I really have thought about it, because at times I get people that ask me things about my light trail shots and avgcampro shots. I am more than happy to tell them, but I feel like there are people that are hesitant about asking, mainly because they maybe feel like I will ignore or not want to share what I have experienced and learned. Then again, maybe there are people that are not interested.

        I am all for that, let me know what would be the best way to get into contact with you.

        Reply
        • dan lum
          March 20, 2013

          Dude, are you on Twitter? Find me there so we can direct message

          Reply
          • Jorge
            March 20, 2013

            I am sorry Dan, I do not have a twitter account. I have kik, which is the same name as my iG account. If you have one you can send me a message there. If not, I’ll make a twitter account so we can chat.

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