Disney photos are important. Especially if you are an instagram addict like me. But more importantly, you want to be able to document your day there and have some great memories to keep and share. Today I’m sharing some tips, apps, and equipment that I use when I am taking photos with my cell phone in the Disney parks. Lets start with a few basic tips.
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Make Sure the Lens is Clean
Seems really simple but it’s something that is worth mentioning. I keep a soft cloth with me so I can clean off my camera lens at the parks. I also use lens cleaner a few times during my trip. It’s a terrible feeling to finally get a great shot only to realize it’s blurry because there was a smudge on your phone’s lens.
Don’t use the zoom feature on your phone. Your shots will always turn out grainy. Instead get closer to your subject or use an app later to edit the photo.
Put the Flash Away
This is just a good rule whether you are using your phone or a pop up on your camera. Stop flashing people. It never, ever, ever looks good. Ever. Learn to use the light you have. Take the time to really learn how to use the equipment you have and you’ll be able to take good shots in all kinds of lighting.
Take Several Shots
Less is not always best. I try to take several shots because sometimes what looks good on my phone in the moment looks horrible when I get inside.
Use the Basic Rules of Photography
The basic rules still apply even if you are just using your phone. It’s amazing how much better your photos will look if you learn a few basics and then practice. The Rule of Thirds is a good place to start. You can use the grid on your phones camera or in a camera app to help. This article from techradar is a good place to start with the basics. Once I started paying attention to things like lighting and composition my photos improved. Also it helps that Drew (my husband) is a photography nerd and I’ve learned a lot from him.
I have two things that I always bring with me on Disney trips, my olloclip and a small tripod. The olloclip is a 4 in 1 lens that includes a wide-angle, fisheye, 10x macro, and 15x macro lens that just clips onto the top of your phone.
I haven’t used the macro lenses much yet but I love using the wide-angle and fisheye on Disney trips. I’m able to get creative and capture so much more. The only thing I don’t like is that I have to take my phone’s case off to use it. I’m thinking about investing in their quick-flip case since I use the lens so often.
I don’t use the tripod as often but it’s small and fits into Drew’s camera bag so I have it if I want it. It really is a must if you want to take fireworks photos. I also tried out the Camera+ apps AirSnap feature on our last trip. It allows to to sync and use your iPad as a remote for your iPhone. This made taking fireworks shots easier since the phone stayed steady on the tripod. It’s not something I would probably do in the parks but I got some nice shots from our balcony at Bay Lake Tower.
When it comes to apps for editing your photos what you choose to use to depends on the type of editing you want to do. Some people only want to make simple ones, others like to use filters, add flares and bokeh. I fall somewhere in the middle. Sometimes I try to let my photos speak for themselves and I don’t do anything more than cropping or maybe a slight color and lighting adjustment. But sometimes I like to add filters and flares to see what I can come up with. The best rule is to just have fun and create photos that you love. Below are some of the apps that I use. I use an iPhone but most are also available for Android phones.
If you use instagram and don’t want to download any other apps the edit function in the app is great. You can adjust the brightness, color saturation, and more.
If you only download one app make it Snapseed. It’s great for everything cropping, straightening, and minor adjustments. You can also add a little HDR if you want.
This is my new favorite app. I love all of the filters and bright colors. It’s also nice that you can apply multiple filters to get the look you want.
Afterlight has a lot of fun filters and some don’t really change your photo too much. You can also make adjustments, crop, and add frames to your photo.
Vintique was one of the first apps I started using on instagram. I really like the filter options and that you can crop your photo before you start editing.
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop ~ Rolling with the Magic – Cell Phone Photography Tips & Apps – You are here!
2nd Stop ~ Disney Babies Blog – Memory Maker 101
3rd Stop ~ Home is Where the Mouse Is – DOs and DON’TS of Theme Park Photography
4th Stop ~ Dad for Disney – Getting The Most Out of Your Kilimanjaro Safari Photos
Final Stop ~ For the Love of Disney – Recommended Gear to Take Good Photos and Still Enjoy your Vacation