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Smartphone Photography Workshop - Better Mobile Photography

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by JMBowen (subscribe)
Glutard foodie and adventure seeker.
Published September 9th 2016
Happy Snaps turned WOW
A Better Mobile Photography workshop with Mike is an eye-opening experience. You will discover just what you can do with your mobile phone, and probably, be amazed at the kinds of images that can be produced, just by using your phone.



Going into this workshop, I wasn't sure what I wanted to get out of it, other than a vague hope that I could take better photos with my mobile phone camera, even though I wasn't really sure it was possible. Surely they're lousy photos, because it's a lousy camera, right?

Not even a little. You can take fantastic shots with your camera phone. It's all about setting up a shot, thinking about photographic principles, then having the right apps to touch it up afterwards (though you can skip the last step!).

In two hours, Mike takes us through the whole process of getting a WOW shot, using the camera we carry with us everywhere.



We start off with tips about photographic principles, like the rule of thirds, and how to use leading lines, and ideas about composition and framing. Don't worry, if it sounds like a lot of information, he makes sure we have it all in a document he's already provided.

Once we've talked about some principles, we go for a walk. Mike reminds us to look for the beautiful images around us, and to remember to look backwards sometimes, to see where we came from, to see a different perspective. One of the major things I took from this, in terms of principles, is to remember perspectives. Get low, or high, or looking through something – finding different ways to see, and considering how you can capture that in your lens. It's a great general life principle.

I thoroughly enjoyed walking around a pocket of Melbourne, down near Flinders Street station and the Yarra. Mike shows us some great places to take pictures. He knows the best spots, places to get different perspectives on the beautiful scenes all around.



Perhaps the biggest thing I took out of this is that I can take amazing shots with the camera I carry every day. And that's pretty exciting, actually, knowing that there's nothing stopping me from recording memories and creating great shots, using the device I have at hand.

Mike is an expert with using mobile apps to achieve the shot you want to get, and he can get as detailed and as technical as you like, or he can start at the entry level for those casual users who didn't realise their camera phone actually had settings. He tailors every session to the level of his participants, and his real passion is in mentoring. Coming from a photographic background, he moved from using DSLRs, the 'professional' gear, to exclusively using mobile devices. He was intrigued by how mobile photography could achieve everything that traditional cameras can, and is committed to this cause. He also loves being able to help others learn what they can do photographically, and encouraging people to take photos regularly, and not be afraid to get in front of the camera, to make memories.

Once we've taken some photos, Mike takes us through the process of editing them on our phones. I thought the screen would be too small, but I was amazed at how easy it is to edit photos on the phone, and how great the results can be, using a free app we downloaded. It was very fun, editing our shots and making them the best they could be. Mike makes suggestions and gets us thinking about ways we can improve a shot. Some of the techniques he shows us are things I would have never thought of, or noticed before. I was delighted with the results.



To encourage us to keep practising our skills, Mike invites all participants to join his Facebook group, to share their work and to take part in projects. It's a place we can ask questions and find out more.

I highly recommend this workshop for anyone who regularly uses their camera phone, or who wants to start taking more photos, and wants to start immediately, with the equipment they have. You have everything you need at your fingertips to start taking WOW photos. You just have to learn how. It doesn't take long to learn, and the process of doing so is great fun.
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*JMBowen was invited as a guest
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Why? To learn to take great pics, with your phone
When: Different dates
Where: Melbourne and Geelong
Cost: $65-$70
Your Comment
What a good review. I had wondered if it was really possible to take good photos with the phone and you have me thinking about the class now. It's on my wish list. So often I see something I want to photograph and only have my phone camera with me.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|6160) 859 days ago
Thank you so much for the review Jo. It was a pleasure to have you along. Elaine, you are some distance away, however you can check out my Facebook page and Instagram account for tips and tutorials to help you out @bettermobilephotos
by Mike James (score: 0|4) 857 days ago
What a fantastic workshop, JM - wish they had them on the Sunshine Coast, I would definitely attend!
by Elaine (score: 3|5810) 859 days ago
Gayle, I only tend to use my phone, I find it takes better shots than my camera, camera!
by Elaine (score: 3|5810) 859 days ago
I think your photos say it all!
by Janice Heath (score: 2|357) 859 days ago
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