Hi everyone,

I recently visited Disney World in mid June and it marks the very first time I brought my DSLR with me on a Disney park vacation.  I usually only carry a point & shoot camera because I cannot stand carrying a lot of stuff throughout the parks. I was totally excited by the images I was able to capture with my DSLR and very glad I brought it.  It was definitely worth the extra effort. Having said that though, my camera, the Canon 5-D Mark II is very heavy. I did use a Tamron zoom lens which is lighter than my regular Canon lens but STILL it is a very heavy camera.  In full Florida summer heat & humidity, plus the fact that we were in the midst of a tropical depression, it became very challenging to stroll the parks with that camera slung across my body.  We also had intermittent rain showers almost every day and on a couple days I left the camera behind because I knew it was going to be way too wet and the lighting was going to be iffy at best.

iphoneography tips for using your cell phone in the parks

Of course I always had my cell phone with me and in recent years, particularly this past year I have loved using my I-phone to take photos, particularly in low light settings, surprisingly!  I often incorporate these photos into my layouts either on their own or mixed in with regular sized images.  I am a regular Instagram user. I also use several other camera apps for I-phone such as: Hipstamatic, Snapseed & Camera + to name just a few.  These apps allow me to play and dabble to my heart’s content to create photos that have become to me –  little tiny pieces of instant art.  There is something so immensely satisfying to me to whip out my cell phone, snap the shot and then manipulate it into something else entirely different.  I had so much fun looking for unusual angles or filling my frame with just some detail of either park artwork, a ride, people, or something classic like Cinderella’s Carousel.

Several tips to consider when using your cell phone camera in the parks:

1. Use your native camera for all your cell phone photos.

You can then later pull them into any app you desire to edit and add special filters, frames and textures. Your native camera will use the highest resolution available unlike some of the apps.  I know it is tempting to want to use Instagram right in the moment so you can share your photos instantly but resist that urge.  The advantage to using the native camera, besides the resolution, is that later on you can pull the photo into Instagram and make your edits but you will also have a copy of the original photo in your camera roll so that if you want to change it or edit it in your computer software once you get home you then have the option of doing so.  In addition, I often would rather have the full size photo later on for my scrapbook pages instead of the cropped square.  Another advantage to waiting is that your battery life will be preserved if you resist playing with Instagram while you are in the park! Then you can take more photos!  At times if I was in a really long line for a ride I would take a few moments to play with several photos so that I could share them and entertain myself during the wait but I was always mindful of my battery life!

2. Its’ all in the details!

Rather than taking wide sweeping shots of scenery like you might do with a regular camera use your cell phone to get up close to the wonderful details found in the Disney Parks.  Fill that frame & avoid people in your shots (unless it’s your people!) and you will end up with some pretty artsy looking shots that look like they could have been taken anywhere and give a unique perspective in your Disney photos.

3. Black & White

consider using Black & White filters on photos that might be traditionally left in full color. That can be tough because so much of Disney is colorful and that is of course very beautiful but it is also fun to do the conversion to B & W. This will lend a more artsy feel to your photos and create a different mood on your scrapbook pages. In addition if you have an interest in photography it can be fun to challenge yourself to use those filters or look for subjects to photograph with the intent to convert to Black & White.

Epcot Canopy

4. Cell phones are great for interior shots in shops & the roller coasters!

I found that my cell phone could take photos inside retail shops and other attractions that were more difficult to take with my DSLR.  Furthermore there is no way I am going to have my good camera in my hands to snap photos during a ride but I could keep my cell phone in my hand quite easily and use as needed.  Naturally a lot of shots end up being deleted but I did get many that I was quite happy with that I would not have gotten with the DSLR.

I have included my very favorite cell phone shots from my June trip.  Almost all of them were processed using Instagram by pulling them from my camera roll into the app at a later point in time.  I hope you enjoy seeing them!

One more thing…I-phoneography is a great way to interact and enjoy photography with your older teens while on a trip.  My daughter who also uses Instagram would search the hashtags to see what other people were taking photos of in the parks.  We would search together and discuss the photos we saw and then also post ours as well.

When I wasn’t with her at certain times I could see what she was taking photos of and it was a whole lot of fun that we had together doing that. We also took photos of each other swimming in the pool.  I love the shots that we got and will really enjoy scrapping some special pages of those memories.

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