Speaking of Photography


So as I sat here this morning posting for the first time in many months, I mentioned I had been out galavanting around the country practicing my photography skills at various in season baseball games, then at various post season tournaments like the SEC Baseball Tournament, an NCAA Regional Tournament, then the first four days of the NCAA College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, I realized I should probably take a moment to share or remind all you photographers out there about some of the tools I use, and that you might find helpful as well.

Photography is not just limited anymore to those who happen to have a high end DSLR camera.  Most recent cell phones, and by that, I mean a cell phone manufactured within the past 4 years, should have a high enough quality camera built in that you can capture some nice photos.  BIG TIP…DO NOT USE the DIGITAL zoom on your camera.  It does not physically magnify the subject, it simply ZOOMS IN ON THE DIGITAL PIXELS.  It causes the photo to be fuzzy and lost.  Remember, on a camera with a 10 million pixel or more, you can always crop down the image and give the illusion of being close to the subject while maintaining the quality of the image.  But enough of the tech talk.  Back to the show!

First, after taking your photos,  you will want to get Snapseed.  This is a free app that allows you to do a lot of processing and doctoring on your photos while they are still on the mobile device.  This is helpful, because when you save the image, it does not overwrite the original, but saves it to a separate Snapseed folder on your device.  This is good, because you can not only back up the original shots, but you can also upload the processed images as well.  Which makes it especially nice later on if you want to go back and recrop or re-process the image.

Now that you have taken your photos and processed them, you have a lot of photos you want to do something with.  Let’s start by archiving the images somewhere.  Like maybe Google Photos.  Download the Google Photos app to your mobile device (phone or tablet) and connect it to your Google account.  If you don’t have one, get one!  Once you have connected to your account, you can then begin to upload all your images from your phone to your Google Photo account.  Why?  Well, you can access your account from anywhere, so sharing images is a breeze, they have an unlimited storage capability which is nice, and it saves space on your device, as you can delete the images after they are uploaded.

And finally, since my name is not Warren Buffett or Bill Gates or Daddy Warbucks, I like to save money whenever possible, but I also like to share prints with folks from time to time.  Mind you, not the massive 8×10 or larger images, but your basic 4×6 photos.  Most processors like Walmart or Walgreen’s or the like charge anywhere from 19 cents per print and up.  Now 20 cents a pop may not sound like a lot, but if you do a run of 250 shots like I just did, that will cost you anywhere from $50.00 up.  Yes, some places give you discounts if you process over 100 photos, but even at 15 cents a pop, you are still looking at $37.50 plus tax.  That’s where Shutterfly comes in.  This photo processing site comes complete with a mobile app that gives you unlimited, that’s right, UNLIMITED 4×6 prints as long as you are ordering them from the app.  So all of a sudden, that $37.50 plus tax order has come to $25.89 tax and shipping included.  The drawback, you may have to wait a week to get them.  Is that worth 12 bucks?  It is to me.  Shutterfly also has a lot of special offers and freebies that will get you going back to them for more.

Here are some shots from my Motorola Play cell phone taken at the 11 megapixel setting, edited in Snapseed, then uploaded to Google Photos and also sent to Shutterfly for hard copies.

So to wrap things up for this afternoon, if you like to take photos when you are out doing things, and you want to keep the originals around forever, process them to make them look even better, then print some out to share around, here are the sites and apps you seriously need to consider.

  1.  Snapseed
    1. For Android
    2. For Apple
  2. Google Photos
    1. For Android
    2. For Apple
  3. Shutterfly
    1. For Android
    2. For Apple

So there it is all bundled up for you.  At least, these are the Craig tried, used, and approved photo apps to help you with all your photographic needs.  Hope you find this helpful.  And if you already use these tools, maybe it will nudge you to go back and use them again, if for no other reason than to get some photo specials from Shutterfly.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments on these or other apps you find useful.

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