Tag Archives: Tablets

Using tablets in photography

[Todays article comes from contributing author, Honest Blossom]

Photo of a camera taken with a tablet as a light source.

Taking shots in soft light is so easy with a soft light source. A tablet can provide just that.
{Image by Damon Guy}

Mobile devices give us new tools

Mobile photography is on the rise. Yet despite high usage of smart phones and tablets many believe nothing beats photos produced on a DSLR.

Mobile devices do have a place in the photogs bag. Many pros use mobiles Tablets in photography | External link - opens new tab/page effectively. Photographer-author Anne Hamersky used her iPhone 5 to take photos for her book, “Farm Together Now Tablets in photography: Link to Amazon | External link - opens new tab/page (jointly authored with Amy Franceschini and Daniel Tucker)”.

Apart from being used as cameras, smart phones and tablets in photography have huge potential. They can assist with simple lighting, easy viewing of images, and controlling cameras.

1. Simple Lighting

You don’t need professional lighting equipment to create a soft light. Your tablet can create shadow graduations on your subject. How? Use a bright-white image on your screen (Download white-screen image here). Point the display toward your subject. It will create soft light and shadows. You can also use your smart phone to light smaller objects. The screen illumination produces white light. It’s a source of localized soft light in your image.

Table-top studio photo showing how to use a tablet as a soft light source.

The camera image at the top of this article was taken using the table-top studio set up in this image. Simple to do and simple to set up.

Use tablets in photography to create direct light too. Devices with built-in flash can be used as a photographic light. Use a flashlight (torch) app. There are also some LED light apps. that you can use on your tablet to create coloured light sources.

2. Camera Controller

Want to control your camera functions via your tablet? Try the Chainfire app for Android devices. You can use your tablet as a Canon EOS camera controller. Here is how to do it:

  1. Install the Chainfire app Tablets in photography: Chainfire app. | External link - opens new tab/page.
  2. Connect your DSLR to the tablet via a USB OTG connector line and a mini USB cable for the camera. {Tip: It’s best to get a longer USB cable}.
  3. Turn on the camera and the app to view the subject.

Navigating through the app is easy, as it uses the controls of your camera. Photos taken using the camera can also be saved to the memory card of the tablet. I suggest downloading photos to your computer later. Photos take a lot of space and are safer on a PC.

View a guide on how to use the Chainfire app Tablets in photography: Chainfire app guide. | External link - opens new tab/page. Also read more details on the Chainfire website Tablets in photography: Chainfire website | External link - opens new tab/page.

3. Field or Preview monitor

It’s advisable to opt for a tablet with at least a 9-inch display. The main purpose of using a tablet is as an extended monitor. You will get a better preview of the subject than the small display on your DSLR. According to O2, tablets such as the Apple’s iPad Air (9.7-inch screen) and ‘Samsung Galaxy Tab S’ (10.5-inch screen) are the best preview monitors you can use on a photo shoot Tablets in photography | External link - opens new tab/page. They allow more space to view and work with the images. You are less likely to strain your eyes with decent sized screens.

Using tablets in photography to control the camera uses the same procedure as any shoot. Taking the shot is set up and released from the mobile. You will need a USB OTG connector to use the tablet as a preview monitor. Applications such as the DSLR Controller, GoPro, CamCap, Helicon Remote, and DslrDashboard are the advisable software to use.

Tablets in photography – top devices

What are the top tablets for photographers? There are various devices to choose from. They offer many features and functions. Choosing one can be quite confusing when picking the best to help your shoots.

To make it easier, consider the other reasons you’re buying the tablet. Email and editing photos or other uses are also important. This will help narrow down your list of choices, as most devices have their own strengths. It will also help to opt for a tablet that has been recommended by other photographers. Here are some examples:

  1. Apple iPad with Retina Display
  2. Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
  3. Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
  4. Microsoft Surface 2
  5. Lenovo Yoga Tab

Mobile devices have found their way into DSLR photography because of powerful camera lenses and relevant apps. These assist professional and amateur alike. The changes have come about because using tablets in photography helps and simplifies our work.

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Contributing author: Honest Blossom

Honest Blossom is a seasoned blogger and practising photographer from the UK. She has written various articles ranging from the latest technology and innovation, travelling spots, mobile and digital photography and more.

Your part in the amazing explosion of photography

Daily number of photos uploaded 2005-2013YTD

• Daily number of photos uploaded 2005-2013YTD •
Source: 2013 Internet Trends – KPCB
(2013 Source no longer available online. Latest version is shown as a slide show below).

Photography is about you and several billion other people.

The global phenomenon that is photography is growing at an incredible rate. Online posting of photographs is on-trend to double every year. In fact the number of photographs posted daily is literally mind-boggling.

Figures out

Published May 29, 2013, the “KPCB Internet Trends 2013 Report” by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers quotes some astonishing global figures for use of the Internet. The report publishes the graph above showing more than 500 million photographs are posted every day to just four online providers – Flickr, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. The figures are all derived from data published by the four companies.

Facebook the biggest photo-site

According to the report the biggest holder of photographs is Facebook. The social networking site handles more than 300 million photo  External link - opens new tab/page uploads per day. More than fifteen percent of the global population uses Facebook with more than sixty three percent of those using the site every month.

Despite the tsunami of photographs being posted online every day we must expect that many more photographs are not being uploaded. It would not be unreasonable to expect more than a billion photos are taken being taken worldwide everyday. Although the actual figure must remain speculation.

How many Internet devices are there in your house?

The KPCB Report gives figures for a wide range of global growth rates. Mobile Internet use and general mobile use has exploded too. Many families have more than ten Internet enabled devices in the home – computers, games machines, mobile phones, cars, televisions, tablets… the list goes on. Against that backdrop, photography is not an unusual growth case.


Another area of growth of interest to photographers is video. A few weeks ago YouTube topped 1 Billion viewing hours in a week. In some countries young people are watching more YouTube than TV these days. Calculations from figures in the KPCB report suggest that about 1,008,000 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube each week. This is corroborated by the YouTube statistics page: YouTube Statistics page  External link - opens new tab/page. Certainly the video channel is becoming a global phenomenon as it appears to be taking on TV and winning  External link - opens new tab/page. However, there are also many other online video websites.

How many other photosharing sites are there?

There are thousands of photo-sharing and publishing sites globally. I personally publish photographs on seven different sites. How about you? One thing is for certain. The global growth industry that is photography has not yet peaked.

The KPCB report in full

The latest report is in slide form which I have included below for you.

KPCB Internet Trends is published annually by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

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