There’s no getting away from it. That freakin phone of yours is a pretty powerful piece of photographic technology. It’s also small, easy-to-use and you’d be lying if you said you one on the water without it. So, might as well make the most of it out there. Especially when you’re flying solo.

Sure, they still don’t much like water (that’s why you have insurance, bru), but new housings and things like the AxisGo are rapidly changing all of that anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I come from old school film photography (and still have a great love for Fuji Velvia 50 film even) so (just like I don’t think print will ever die), I don’t think smartphones will ever fully replace ‘real’ cameras. And, if I’m honest, all I’d like to be carrying at the moment is a high-end mirrorless model from one of the main protagonist brands.

For selfies: Camera+2 (iOS, free)
I’ve used various actual camera apps over the years and have always gone back to this one. For hero-shot selfies, it offers a front camera countdown timer which you can custom set (mine is on 30 seconds) as well multiple frame shots. This allows you to keep the fish in the water right up until just before the shot.

It lets you shoot in RAW and also offers a manual controls as well as a range of post processing tools, including the things such as shadows/highlight detail, contrast and saturation. It also has a whole host of filter presets (as you’d expect), I particularly like the depth of field filter.

D.O.P

*To shoot the actual hero selfies, I have two rigs. The first is a ball magnet (this one is from Midas) the type that you would use for your phone on your car’s dashboard. It is attached to the side of my line basket, with a (removable) suction magnet on the back of the phone. Because it’s round you’ll never foal your line and it allows you to easily tweak the angle. You can easily plonk the line basket on any surface (sandbar, rocks, mud, estuary saltmarsh grass) to act as base. Then, I have the mount form a China shop selfie stick, jury rigged to the top of a gorilla pod joby tripod. It works well but the setup takes a bit longer, so is situation dependent.

For trickery: Enlighten Pixaloop (iOS and Android, In-App Purchases)
Pixaloop gives you animation power. It can look ‘cheap’ and has been overdone (especially in the surf market) but for some trickery once-in-a-while I guess it’s pretty cool. Worth the purchase, perhaps. The animation features are pretty simple to operate – simply place arrows to determine movement within the picture.

 

For ultimate control: Lightroom Mobile (iOS and Android, free with in-app purchases or subscription)
Adobe Lightroom is my desktop raw converter and photo processing software of choice. I’ve been using it since 2006 and have never looked back. The mobile version also allows you to shoot in RAW, however, be warned you either need a phone with a huge capacity or very good file and workflow management. The editing power is unrivalled, to my mind, but maybe I’m biased.

For video: Adobe Premier Rush (iOS and Android, free In-App purchases)
While I am a big fan of Apple’s proprietary editor (and am not really much of a video guy) I’ve read that Premier Rush is a simplified version of the much touted Adobe Premier edit suite, which means it can only be good. easy to use. Review say the panels are well-designed for touchscreen use and things like adding multiple clips and background music, is intuitive and easy. I’m downloading it today and have vowed to start shooting release shots ala Andre van Wyk.

For transferring files: Telegram Messenger (iOS and Android, free)
I guess best described as ‘WhatsApp on steroids’ it doesn’t compress images or videos and is lightening fast. We make use it on big pro event jobs for brands to run a very streamlined workflow between photographers and real-time media output. It synch’s seamlessly with desktop too. I have a group of which I am the only member where I drop files back n forth. Neat..

Oh and Instagram… Yeah I guess that is an App too. Follow Feathers and Fluoro here