Best Camera (free) apps for teaching photography

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Chumby Regular Member • Posts: 460
Re: Best Camera (free) apps for teaching photography

Patrick T. Kelly wrote:

I'm no pro but my first point is that probably none of the students will have a phone that has aperture adjustments. They are almost all fixed at a specific aperture.

If you have a mix of Android and Iphones I don't know what camera app would be the same in both. I suspect none but I don't know.

My opinion is, if I were teaching the class, that the students would be required to have phone with a "pro mode" which allows them some control over settings, and require each to learn how to use their camera app. Then you would not teach "how" to change the shutter speed but "why" you change the shutter speed...or the ISO or Exposure Value or metering mode or focus mode.

The trend is towards awesome computational photography where the camera's artificial intelligence does it for you. For example, my Huawei p30 pro had a "silky water" setting where it allows the motion of the water to be blurred. With a camera, I would use a neutral density filter and a slow shutter speed. The p30 pro does it for you. And, if you're not happy with what the artificial intelligence gives you, you're expected to "fix" it in an editing program.

Teaching traditional photography with non-traditional phone cameras is quite a challenge. I would not try and compare the two. Just teach why shutter speed matters and why ISO matters and why you use exposure compensation. When do you use multi-point metering versus center metering versus spot? And, if each student uses their own camera app, they will be able to discuss amongst themselves the differences and advantages of each. For example, I thought it was magic when I first experienced Pixel tracking a subject with focus locked but now it's fairly standard.

You will also need a site where students can post their photos and everyone in the class can see and compare the different systems. That way you could also have students practice with, say a swinging pendulum and different shutter speeds or a still life lit by a window with different ISO settings or EV settings. I took some photos of an empty street with streetlights and showed how adjusting the exposure value made the mood go from bright and cheery to dark and threatening. One woman who saw the photos said the dark one was frightening even though there was no one in the pictures.

I apologize for not knowing a camera app that will give a pro mode across every make, model, and operating system. I suspect you might have better luck writing to photography magazines or someone like Marques Brownlee who plays with lots of phones and lots of software. I suspect they'll respond wishing you luck.

Good luck.

Thank you very much, Patrick for your advice here and time spent in putting down your thoughts.

Very much appreciated and from my initial investigation you are right about aperture mode - lens seem to be all fixed.  I like very much some of the suggestions you have made here.



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