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Tag: hiking

How to Use an Apple Watch as a Remote to Snap a Better iPhone Photo

If you should come upon an amazing vista and desire a picture of yourself using your iPhone’s rear-facing camera, you can use your Apple Watch as a remote viewfinder to frame the shot. Here’s how.

I’ve often found when using my iPhone’s camera that one of my biggest challenges has been framing enough of the environment into a selfie pic. This has been especially difficult when I’m also trying to jam several people in. Sure, capturing all of the faces is hard enough, but if you can’t see where everyone is, the picture has limited value.

Of course, the solution is to move the iPhone to a distance beyond your arm’s length, which will get you the wider shot. But then, it’s not a selfie anymore. Well, not exactly. Let’s call it an ‘extended selfie.’

But how do you take the picture if you can’t touch your iPhone?

Camera Remote App
If you also have an Apple Watch, you can use it as a remote for your iPhone’s camera. The Apple Watch’s native Camera Remote app essentially controls your iPhone’s camera and offers a convenient 3-second countdown after you tap the shutter button. That should give you plenty of time after your look down at your Apple Watch and tap it to then look up at your iPhone’s camera in the distance.

Easy Activation
To turn on your Apple Watch’s Camera Remote app, you can simply proclaim to your iPhone, “Hey Siri, take a picture.” Or if it’s too noisy around you, you can also tap the app’s icon on your Apple Watch’s screen.

The Value of Using a Remote Viewfinder
This Apple Watch app can control the front or rear-facing iPhone camera. So that means you can take advantage of the better quality of your rear-facing camera for your extended selfie. That’s because even though you can’t see your iPhone’s screen when using the rear camera, you can still frame the shot using your Apple Watch. It effectively becomes a remote viewfinder.

Removing Yourself from the Picture
Using the Camera Remote app also opens up plenty of photographic options beyond selfies. If you’re able to position yourself far from your iPhone (but close enough to maintain the Bluetooth connection), you can erase your presence from the environment. And that should allow you to capture more natural moments.

Bring Along a Tripod
All of these options will give your iPhone photography a lot more flexibility. That said, you should also bring along a tripod. Propping your iPhone up against an object to get the right angle can be a really difficult and potentially risky exercise for your iPhone.

I know that using a tripod doesn’t exactly match up with the spontaneity of pulling your iPhone out of your pocket to take a quick shot. But a little Joby tripod with an iPhone grip should fit easily enough into any bag or backpack.

Shooting Beyond the Distance of a Selfie Stick
Yes, using a selfie stick can also help to get the shot you want. But performing this remote Apple Watch trick will offer even more opportunity to create a really great photo.

Just be careful not to put your iPhone in harm’s way… now that you no longer maintain physical contact with it. (I’ve have a tendency to do that with my cameras.)

To date, I’ve been successful protecting my iPhone while using it as a camera and found that using my Apple Watch as a remote viewfinder is a nifty tool to enhance my iPhone’s photos.

Feeling Comfortable Yet?

Our cat has no problem relaxing, and even occasionally expresses her feline Zen for my camera. I find her disposition a helpful reminder to take a deep breath every now and again.

These are, no doubt, strange times. Complete with plenty of stress and uncertainty. So, it’s probably a good idea to take a few cues from our companion animals and chill out whenever possible. After all, it is summer.

So whether you’re hanging out in the country side…

Or beginning to get out again in the big city…

I hope you’re finding some time to relax and recharge. My family and I just returned from a little excursion to the Berkshires.

Find your sunshine.

How to Take 10 Minutes on Vacation to Create a Brilliant Timelapse

I captured a timelapse video of Barred Island in Maine while the tide lowered, revealing a narrow strip of sand and an entry point.

Look, I knew I wasn’t fooling my family. Not when we went on vacation to Maine, experienced an incredible hike in Acadia National Park, and took a break for lunch. Because then, I unzipped my backpack and didn’t take out my sandwich. That sight is an easy tell by now.

Instead, I pulled out a compact tripod and my DJI Osmo Pocket camera which I’ve been using to create timelapse videos for the better part of the past year.

My wife and ten-year-old son have come to expect that I’m going to try to quickly capture a timelapse shot in moments like this.

Ten Minutes on Top of your World
Lunch on the top of a hiking summit a thousand feet up usually happens pretty fast. There isn’t time to capture hours of a changing landscape. Not when I’m primarily there to enjoy it with my family.

But carving out ten minutes? Yes, my family can handle that.

Capturing a video frame at two-second intervals for ten minutes creates a nifty ten-second timelapse.

It’s enough.

Enough to allow me to feed my creative spirit, but not too much to be disruptive to the larger goals of our day.

Chasing Nature’s Relationship with Time
Snapping a photo isn’t a problem. We’re all used to pausing for someone who needs to take a few seconds to get a quick picture.

But timelapse shots are a different game, and those ten minutes can feel like an hour when it’s really time to resume a hiking trek. I actually take closer to fifteen minutes, because I also need to set up and break down my little tripod. (It’s a Manfrotto Element Small Aluminum Traveler Tripod. $93.84 on Amazon.)

I really appreciate my family’s flexibility as I’ve explored my little hobby capturing nature timelapses.

My Timelapse Videos from Maine
Last week, I shared my favorite photos from our Maine hiking trip.

And now, here are my timelapse clips from our fun adventure in Maine.

Thank you, DJI Osmo Pocket, Manfrotto tripod and my family for helping me to capture these beautiful moments.

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