Turn your smartphone camera into a pro camera

7 Ways to turn your smartphone camera into a professional camera

With the release this year of many new smart phones including Samsung and Apple models we are seeing the first appearance of truly powerful cameras in these mobile devices. Historically almost all of us have taken our serious photos with, if not a DSLR or SLR, a point-and-click digital camera. Mobile phone cameras usually were taken out when we were just having some fun or caught unprepared for picture taking. Well…not anymore.

Now that we know we can use our mobile phones for serious photo taking we thought we might do well to look at what we might need to equip it with. And, given the relatively small sizes of these devices, we believed there would be a good chance that the accessories we might want to equip ourselves with would be smaller than and easier to transport about than those we’re used to using with our DSLR and related cameras.

We have been keeping our eyes open for recommended accessories and even before the recent release of the iPhone 7 came across this article that directed us to what we think are quality tools. Here are a few photos of the equipment followed by a link to the article they appear in.

Note that we’re not promoting the specific accessories shown here, but you can get an idea of some of the tools available and extend your search from there. Oh, I won’t be investing in the drone.

Here’s a good sized tripod


And an all-in-one lens


You can see the recommended accessories in this article and then look around for yourself. When we come across other models and types we’ll let you know.


Walter Krieg

Taking pictures changes your experience

How taking pictures of what you are doing changes your experience of it

Almost everywhere I go outside of work and no matter what I’m doing I find many folks with cell phones in hand and snapping photos. Simply walking down the street or sitting in a restaurant reveals a significant number of people engrossed in their cell phones and often taking photos with no conversation taking place. I’ve become somewhat judgmental about this because I think it distracts the person and keeps them from participating in whatever their group is up to…unless they’re all snapping away or playing pokemon go. And, for all you parents out there, I’m not even talking about having the phones out while doing homework.

Lately though I’ve begun to question my thinking. Given how many people are into this can it be that it’s always a bad idea to be disengaged, or at least appear that way? Might there be times when snapping away might even add to the experience?

I began to look for what people involved in social research thought about this picture taking and, sure enough it isn’t as clear cut as I thought.

Here’s what a few researchers from well known universities have to say after conducting tests. Kristin Diehl, PhD (University of Southern California), Gal Zauberman, PhD (Yale University), and Alixandra Barasch, PhD (University of Pennsylvania), conducted studies with over 2,000 participants and the results led them to believe that in certain cases taking photographs can enhance the experience.

While this article doesn’t include photos taken in the study you may get an idea of what they sometimes mean from this photo which is included in the article and decide to read more about how taking photos during an activity affects our experience.


The researchers conducted nine different experiments. Read about their work here:

and here,


Walter Krieg

Cameras highlight the new iPhone 7s

The most talked about features of the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are the brand new camera systems

Here at dotPhoto we focus much of our attention on mobile devices and how our dotPhoto website supports them. As an example you may be aware of our newly released dotPhoto iPhone app which you can learn about here (http://support.dotphoto.com/support/solutions/articles/4000086457-how-does-the-dotphoto-iphone-app-work-). So you shouldn’t be surprised that we are closely watching the release of the new iPhone 7s to learn what they can do that we might be excited about.

As it turns out our waiting is not in vain. One of the most talked about new features, if not THE most talked about new features, are the cameras on both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus.

The Internet has been inundated with articles about the new iPhones. Given the sheer volume we thought we could support our dotPhoto community by finding articles representative of the opinions of the iPhone 7 camera reviewers. Our reading led us to a number of articles that we felt expressed the majority views of the new cameras. These positive articles will help you get a good feel for the new cameras and, hopefully, help you decide if one of these new iPhones is right for you.

First we see what three Pros have to say about the cameras in general followed by an article that gets deeper under the hood to tell us how they are able to perform their new and improved functions. Our third article focuses on one of the most talked about features, the ability of the cameras to perform in low levels of light seen here at the U.S. Open tennis tournament. And our final article is an in-depth overall review from the respected Wired Magazine publication.

Here’s a photo from the low light article that I hope will give you an idea of what our author means. After that find links to the articles.


Article 1: http://time.com/4481849/iphone-7-photography/
Article 2: http://petapixel.com/2016/09/07/iphone-7-7-plus-announced-dual-cameras-zoom-bokeh/
Article 3: http://www.idownloadblog.com/2016/09/12/iphone-7s-much-improved-low-light-photography-comes-into-focus-at-u-s-open/
Article 4: https://www.wired.com/2016/09/review-apple-iphone-7-7-plus/?mbid=nl_91316_p3&CNDID=30574892

Walter Krieg

Aerial photography – why shoot aerials?

The good, the bad and the ugly of aerial photography

A few years ago my young daughter and I flew out to visit my sister in Colorado. While planning the trip I picked up an inexpensive camera for my daughter so she could take pictures of anything she might want to. She practiced a little at home and got comfortable using the camera. I thought that once we arrived in Colorado she’d get a kick out of photographing our family, as well as the mountains and other landscape that is so much different from the area around our New Jersey home.

When we got to the airport she started to take pictures in the terminal. She said that she liked seeing all the people racing about trying to make their flights. Once we boarded the plane she put the camera down and settled in to her window seat. After we were in the air a while I noticed she had taken out the camera again and was looking out the window. As we got out past the plains and she began to see mountains she began to snap away. We were sitting close to the wing so the photos all had the plane in them but they did get the idea of the height and the breadth of the aerial view across to those who she showed the photos to.

This got me thinking about the potential beauty of aerial photos, something my family and I don’t really get a chance to take. Recently I came across an article about taking aerial photos and I was truly able to see how grand these photos could be.

The photographer is a professional by the name of Erez Marom who, by his own account, became a serious aerial photographer about 3 years ago. Here’s some of what Erez has to say and a few of the photos from the two articles in this series:

“Man has always had the dream of flight – but so has the photographer…My experiences have mostly been amazing but admittedly not always so, and I’ve come to wonder what makes photography flights in different settings so… well, different.”


“Aerial photography can be wonderful and exhilarating, but it can also be disappointing if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.”

Take a look at a photo from each of the two articles and then visit Erez’s articles linked to below.


And from the second


If you find these photographs interesting and even a bit exhilarating visit Mr. Marom’s posts at the following links:



Walter Krieg

Music Lovers: See Photos and Music Blend

Music Lovers: See Photos and Music Blend as Celtic Thunder kicks off their US Tour

As photo lovers who also appreciate good music (Glenn sings in a number of a capella groups) we were pleased to see the announcement of the opening of the Irish group Celtic Thunder’s American tour. In addition to their world renowned music their shows are known for the use of dramatic effects of lighting and choreography as well as a stage set designed to remind the audience of Celtic lore. (An ancient stone pathway as the article we reference here describes it). Celtic Thunder presents photographers with a fine opportunity to explore their musical appreciation visually.

Celtic Thunder has been hailed as BILLBOARD’s “Top World Music Artist,” along with “Top World Music Imprint” and “Top World Album” in 2008, 2009 and again in 2011. Their new live show, that celebrates the influence of Irish and Celtic music around the world and the imprint that such music has made, recently kicked off their US Tour at The Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ with a show that is lively, fast paced and upbeat as well as nostalgic and romantic.

Broadwayworld.com was there throughout to completely cover the opening of “Legacy” Celtic Thunder’s exciting new live show and to share the experience photographically.

As reported by Broadwayworld, Legacy offers music lovers a wide variety of solo selections and fan favorites. With access to the performers and the supporting cast the photographers of Broadwayworld.com were able to capture the feelings of the show. Here are a few photos from the event that we hope will tempt you to visit the entire article at the link below.




Needless to say, we were tempted and then impressed by the photos that accompanied this story and think you will appreciate them too. Feel free to let us know what you think. See the story and the entire set of photos here: http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwmusic/article/Photo-Coverage-Celtic-Thunder-from-Soundcheck-to-Post-Show-20160820

Walter Krieg

take pictures like an underwater wizard


How to take pictures like photography’s underwater wizards

We spent a day at the New Jersey shore recently and that Atlantic surf was rough. I got tumbled a few times and had to hold onto my bathing trunks. Watching the surf got us thinking and talking about taking photos in the water. What was clear to us was that the water we were swimming in, especially with the churning surf, wasn’t clear. Even if we wanted to use our waterproof mobile phone to take some photos the photos would most likely be poor.

The discussion got us thinking about a marine biology site we’d visited in the Pacific where they were tending dolphins and working to preserve the local reefs. One thing we recalled was how clear the water was and how nice it might have been to see some underwater photos taken in the area. We know nothing about underwater photography but got interested enough to look into what it might involve and what the results were for photographers who did know underwater photography.

Our online research led us to an article that appeared on CNN and features three photographers who are considered experts in the underwater photography world. They are Brian Skerry, Adriana Basques, and David Fleetham.

Here’s a bit of what CNN had to say. “When it comes to underwater photography, though, few people have what it takes… We asked some of the planet’s best underwater shooters for tips on the technique and equipment they use to make superlative marine photography. They shared their secrets and some of their best shots.”

If you enjoy underwater photography take a look at these photos to get started and then follow the link after the photos to see the CNN article and over 20 excellent photos.








I don’t know what you will think of these photos, but we were impressed. See the entire set of photos along with the advice and observations of these three experts here: http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/25/travel/qa-diving-photographers/

Walter Krieg

Are you one of the many folks posting photos of food?

Do you take photos of Food?

We here at dotPhoto work to keep up with what’s happening in different areas of photography. Recently, we began to hear more and more about folks taking many photos of food and getting them up on the Internet. As we dug deeper we learned that over the past few years there are literally millions of photos of food that have been posted on the web! People have found new ways of sharing a meal, including a huge numbers of photos in chain restaurants. It turns out that many of these photos are considered bland and could, if folks knew a little more about food photography, represent the food a bit better and look more tempting and mouth watering. If you’re like us you’re a bit surprised by these food photo facts and opinions. It appears that we all have lots we can learn about food photography.

Given our need to learn, we thought we’d seek out and then share an expert food photographer’s outlook on what’s happening in the food photography field. You might also be interested to know how she got interested in it, and how she takes her attractive photos. Our photographer is California-based food photographer Liza Gershman.

One of the things Lisa says is, “Culturally, there is a bit of a return to the idea that we are connected to food, that it’s important to know what’s in it and where it’s coming from.” Possibly this is a part of the reason why taking food photos has become popular. Here are a few of Lisa’s photos and you can see more of her photos and what she has to say about food photography by clicking the link at the end of this blog. Let’s get started…

Liza Gershman wants to know if your food photos are bland? If they are she explains how to add some sizzle.

Here’s a clear shot of some “raw materials”.


















And, if you like chicken, a tempting photo of a ready-to-serve dish


















See more of Lisa’s food photos and her ideas on how we can also take shots that will call us to the table here: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/food-photos-bland-liza-gershman-163927158.html

Walter Krieg