“Hey, how’d you do that?”
I get asked this question a lot from friends, family and travelers who want to know more about the camera apps and processing tricks I use to capture, edit and share iPhone photographs.
I’m enamored with every aspect of mobile photography - the creative apps, the shoot-and-share convenience, the pocket size ease - and it’s changing the way I shoot, edit and deliver images, both personally and professionally, on a daily basis.
WANTED: A versatile daypack to keep camera gear and other daily essentials secure, accessible and protected while I’m out actively exploring the world.
FOUND: Lowepro Photo Hatchback AW.
I’ve been scaling back lately on the amount of stuff I lug around. But whether I’m headed off for a day of adventure at home or an extended trip, there are certain items I carry with me: camera gear, a jacket, water bottle, small notebook, sunglasses and a mobile phone, for example.
Here’s the truth. Anyone can take a beautiful photograph. The advanced technology in today’s cameras, even the most basic point-and-shoot, makes it easier than ever. And with a few artsy apps and a creative eye, even an iPhone can deliver gallery worthy images. Seriously.
But what if you want to do more than make a pretty picture? What if you want to slow down the experience of preserving a moment, a place? Or distill the creative process of photography down to its essence?
Enter the Leica M9.
As a journalist specializing in travel, I pack and unpack for dozens of trips a year. As a result, I’ve learned a thing or two about packing smarter, packing less, and traveling with travel technology.
Clothes are easy: Two pants. Two shoes. Four shirts. Something dressy. Fleece for cold. Layers for hot. Outerwear for wet. Quick-dry everything. A wrap for the airplane.
Toiletries, too, are a no-brainer: Travel-sized liquids refilled or still packed from the last trip. Nothing over 3-ounces. Nothing sharp. Done.
But when it comes to gadgets, things get more complicated. Cords. Cables. Batteries. Back-ups. Hard drives. iPod. Smartphone. Laptop. Memory cards. More memory cards. It’s too easy, and so frustrating, to head off without the essential bits that make the gizmos go.
Thanks to an ever-evolving selection of innovative iPhone photo applications, creative mobile photography is only an app away. That’s good news for iPhone packing travelers.
Once-upon-a-time I thought mobile photography was only good enough for documenting and sharing my life on the run. Until I discovered iPhone photo apps.
Now I’m addicted to the creative spontaneity and visual experimentation that mobile photo apps offer. I love how seamlessly iPhoneography fits into my traveler’s toolkit, providing a convenient, mobile method of creating and sharing experiences and images as I move about the world.
Nearly every traveling photographer I know lusts after the ‘perfect’ camera bag. I am, perhaps, the biggest romantic of them all. No matter how many alternatives fill my closets and clutter my office shelves, the dream of finding that ‘perfect’ multi-purpose bag remains alluring.
Problem is, I ask a lot of a camera bag, especially for air travel. It needs to provide travel-tough protection, be carry-on sized and not only transport a full arsenal of camera bodies, lenses and digital accessories, but a laptop too.
Enter the Lowepro Stealth Reporter D650 AW.
WANTED: Gadget girl seeks go-anywhere, do-anything travel partner. Must love adventure, water and winter sports, and global exploration. Fragile sissies need not reply.
Leave the clunky SLR and clumsy waterproof housings at home – you won’t be needing them once you add this rugged travel essential to your adventure packing list.
I know I’m a total gadget-geek, but I get a thrill each and every time I dive into a salt water ocean, or plunge headlong into whitewater rapids, with this puppy strapped to my wrist, sans waterproof casing. Even more so, when I rinse it off under a stream of water in the kitchen sink. And who cares how many times I fall snowboarding (it happens a lot!), this freezeproof, crushproof, dropproof beast can handle it. It doesn’t take a gadget girl to appreciate that.
Just because you’re a Gadget Girl, doesn’t mean you lack sophistication. Being stylish and techie are not mutually exclusive. If only more manufacturers understood that.
Well, thanks to jill-e designs, a company both owned and operated by women, I no longer have to show up for a shoot schlepping a bag built for boys.
Fellow photog Christie Parker turned me onto these bags and it was love at first sight. There’s just something not right about strolling down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées or the streets of Manhattan with a clunky, chunky camera bag. Until jill-e, there wasn’t much to do about it.
I’m headed to Madrid next week and you can bet my weatherproof medium chocolate suede camera bag jill-e is going with me.
While a jill-e may look pretty, it’s built to play rough. And it’s no powder puff as a camera bag either. All the essentials a pro expects are there - padded protection, adjustable Velcro dividers, netted pockets for memory cards, batteries and business cards, and plenty of exterior pockets for convenient access to the tools of the trade - notepad, model releases, cleaning cloth, etc.
Favorite feature: The innovative top zip allows me to access a flash, a second camera body and other equipment (see photo below) quickly and easily. Also, the tethered interior pouch is handy for storing hotel key cards and other small personal items.
Not-so-favorite feature: The nylon detachable shoulder strap is kinda cheesy looking compared to the elegance of the bag. I hope they’ll improve that oversight in the future.
Bottom line: Perfect for stylish gadget girls who value fashion and flair in addition to function.
Wow. When they say plug-and-play, they mean it. From box to streaming in under 10 minutes.
Even had my hometown weather forecast broadcasting sunny skies by entering my zip code with a quick tap, tap, tap on the screen.
Easy. Fast. Wi-Fi. Fun!
This is my kinda gadget.
After all, there it sits on their coffee table, when suddenly a picture of my sister and me hiking in the south of France, for example, flashes onto the screen. E-mailed from my global BlackBerry straight to the frame. Or, a photo of my brother, who lives in Salt Lake City, pops up as he swishes down the slopes of Park City. How cool is THAT? The enjoyment and connection the picture frame provides is amazing. No wonder it was one of the most popular items in my 2009 Holiday Gift Guide for Traveling Photographers.
A Gadget Girl’s list is never short, but gift-giving for your favorite traveling shutterbug just got easier.
Many of these gift recommendations are items I already use and am crazy about, a few are from my own wish list (Santa are you listening?) and the rest, well, I never was good at restraint, are already in the mail.
About Ellen Barone: Consumer travel expert Ellen Barone is the founder and publisher of EllenBarone.com and YourLifeIsATrip.com. Learn more here and connect on Twitter at,Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
If you have only … a minute. Print your cell phone photos, travel pics or latest masterpiece using one of these pocket-sized printers to whip up hard copies in no time. Fun, compact and cool, cool, cool. Get those photo faves off your hard drive and into the hands of your new BFF.
Canon Selphy CP780
Gorgeous Prints – In Under One Minute
Enjoy photo lab quality with 4” x 6” images produced in approx. 47 seconds.
Easily view, select and edit your images for simple computer-free printing. No downloading needed, just pick your pic and print!
As mobile as you are
Pocket-size, sleek, stylish design.
Camera Phone Wirelessly transfer images from a Bluetooth-enabled camera phone to the Mobile Printer and print instantly. Using the built-in OBEX (object exchange profile) Bluetooth in the phone and the printer, connecting and printing becomes instant.
Digital Camera Instantly printing images from a digital camera is as easy as connecting the USB cable to the PictBridge-enabled camera and printer. Once connected, follow the PictBridge screen on the camera display. Simply select what image to send to the printer and within 60 seconds, the print is ready to be shared.
I’ve taken this little dynamo skiing in Utah, snorkeling in Baja and mountain biking in New Mexico. I even dropped it onto my ceramic tile floor - and it’s still shooting like the little pro that it is. Shockproof, waterproof (to 10-feet underwater), freeze-proof (to -14°F) and basically life-proof, if I can take it, so, it appears, can the palm-sized Olympus Stylus 1050SW.
The folks at Olympus seem to have thought of everything any adventurous shutterbug could ask for – rain or shine, underwater, on the slopes or on the run. Boasting 10.1 megapixel high-quality photography, image stabilized video, scene specific shooting modes, quick-access buttons for flash and exposure control, this svelte little number screams Yes You Can!
Favorite Feature: Topping my list is it’s pocket-sized convenience assuring that I’m never without a camera. Better yet, at 10.1 megapixels, if I do happen to snap the shot-of-the-century, it’s publication-quality. Did I mention it shoots YouTube ready video, too? Very fun.
Not-so-favorite Feature: No viewfinder means that I have to compose my shot in the LCD screen. But every shutterbug under the age of 30 that I voice this complaint to tells me to “get over it!” Okay, okay, I get it, viewfinders are sooo middle-age, but I still don’t like it.
Bottom-line: I wouldn’t even think of adventuring without it.
$299.00 suggested retail price: www.olympus.com
Also available at The Travel Store at EllenBarone.com powered by Amazon.
My new Seattle Sling waterproof camera bag just arrived. I can’t wait to try it out!
Boasting proven dry bag technology, I’m thinking it should be perfect for any adventure near water: sea kayaking, skiff rides, wet landings, hiking in the rainforest, or even a trip to Seattle in the rainy season. Ingenious!
More to come soon, as I head off to Baja’s Sea of Cortez to put it to the test!
Lugging a bulky, rigid tripod has never been a practical alternative for the type of on-the-go shooting that traveling photographers like me encounter. Thanks to the cleverly designed pocket-sized Joby Gorillapod, I’ll never have to choose between sharp shots or carrying a tripod again. The cleverly designed pocket-sized gorillapod - a bendable tripod that secures to any surface, has legs that bend and rotate 360 degrees, and rubber feet for extra gripping power – is all I pack these days. Slip it into a pocket, purse or day pack and capture those artsy low-light shots of Paris at night, dimly lit tango clubs in Buenos Aires or the final glory of a tropical sunset and impress em’ at home with your postcard-perfect vacation snaps. Available in 4 sizes; www.joby.com
In the pre-9/11 pre-digital photography days, I could carry my photography equipment in a Lowepro shoulder bag that fit under the seat in front of me. I’d sling it over a carry-on sized roll aboard packed with clothing and I was good to go.
Not any more.
Today, I could find myself forced to check all baggage without warning due to a terrorist threat. No way would I put thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment in a canvas bag through checked baggage. Nor can my kit fit into a shoulder bag any longer, thanks mainly to the power cords, electronic adapters, battery chargers, cables, back-up hard drives and laptop computer, and the various other accessories digital photography requires.
Enter the Pelican 1510, a hard-sided, fully padded, waterproof case that could (and has) survived checked baggage when security personnel leave me no other choice. In addition, when push comes to shove, I can even fit my laptop (snuggly protected in its Built cargo sleeve) in the Pelican for extra protection. It’s the perfect travel solution for transporting and protecting my equipment when flying commercially.
And, so that the case doesn’t catch the eye of an unscrupulous baggage attendant who might recognize it as something valuable, I shove it into an ordinary looking large Eagle Creek duffle bag I carry for just such an occasion (or overflow shopping) and hope its mistaken for the luggage of any shoestring traveler.