Well, it’s Week 2 of ANZ 23 Mobile Things and that means taking photos on a mobile device – oh goody…
You can probably tell that I wasn’t immediately excited by this one. I haven’t taken a lot of photos up till this point for various reasons:
- Until January this year, I didn’t have a mobile device with a camera in it (been using an iPod (3G – no camera)) until I got an iPad on loan from work.
- I was given a camera for my birthday which takes better quality photos than most cameras on phones/mobile devices
- I’m more of a words than pictures person
- Photos to me are kinda private; I’m much more comfortable sharing my thoughts and ideas in writing online than sharing photos.
- Photos/pictures can be kind of challenging with sharing online with copyright/privacy issues so it was easier to avoid them (!). Luckily, thanks to a fantastic conversation on Twitter the other day, I have got lots of advice how to find Copyright Commons photos and attribute them in blog posts (more on that in a separate post coming up)
Anyway, the challenge this week was to take some photos using a mobile device and think about it in a library context. Thanks to Kim Tairi’s excellent introduction post, I was away with trialing a few new apps this week; namely Instaweather and Instagram.
I LOVE Instaweather; it is so easy and fun to use. Basically all you have to do is download it, open the app, wait for it to pick up the information about your location, temperature, and weather and then just snap away! You have the option of various ‘skins’ – different arrangements of the weather/location information either along the bottom of the photo or down the side. Then it’s very easy to share to Instagram (and it even loads lots of hashtags for you!), on Twitter, etc…
Here’s a photo I took on Wednesday using Instaweather, and then modifying the colour scheme slightly with Instagram.
Fiddling with Instaweather & Instagram
The thing I have found with Instagram is that it is (nearly) exclusively a mobile app; you have to download the app and create a profile to begin. It is slightly problematic on the iPad as you have to use the iPhone app, but you have the option of blowing it up 2X to fill the screen (end result = slightly blurry :() or leaving it as it is and just using a small part of the iPad’s screen. Instagram is also fun and easy to use. Just snap your shot, modify it or leave it natural, and share.
I can definitely see the attraction for people in using mobile apps for photography. It is so quick and easy to take photos and upload them in seconds. I enjoy taking photos on my camera, but it is so much more work to take them, upload to my computer (a slow process!), rename them to something I can identify with and share them. If I had a smartphone, I think I might take even more pictures.
But having an iPad (which is a fantastic device!) is kinda awkward to take photos with – plus the photos (at least from my iPad 2) aren’t that great quality! It just feels so obvious you are taking a photo when you take one with your iPad because it is so huge compared to cameras and mobile phones. Does anyone else feel the same way or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?
Anyway, moving along, here’s a photo of my workplace – Te Pātaka Māramatanga – the library at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.
And here’s a cozy photo of my snacks in preparation for the (late! at least in NZ) Twitter chat yesterday evening. It was a lot of fun joining in with every one 🙂
So this post is more about me personally taking photos on a mobile device and getting more comfortable with that, but I definitely see the potential for libraries to also use photos in their marketing, social media profiles, competitions, and as a way to show-off the collection.
I enjoyed the challenge of this week and the chance to discover some new apps. And now I even have a growing collection of photos for my blog posts – win-win!