14.02.2018

A SMARTPHONE PHOTOGRAPHER’S ESSENTIALS

written by:
Elaine Li

14.02.2018

A SMARTPHONE PHOTOGRAPHER’S ESSENTIALS

Photography has been a hobby of mine since the age of 12. I took a break during my teenage years, then revived this passion thanks to the invention of smartphones and Instagram. These days, I use my smartphone to shoot on a daily basis, whether it’s street snapshots, timelapse videos, or even portraits.

Portability is what makes smartphones a great photography device. And another factor that plays into it is that it’s a device that you always have around. In my sharings through articles, panels, and talks, I have always put in a lot of emphasis on capturing the mundane everyday life but with a unique frame and/or perspective. For this very purpose, portability is important, as you never know when a perfect moment presents itself. But with portability, comes limitations in other areas. To compensate for these limitations I like to carry a range of accessories.

TwistGrip Manfrotto for Iphone Elaine Li

Smartphone accessories have improved over the years. Here are a few essentials that I always use:

When shooting timelapse videos, the most important thing is stabilization. With a final cut that has multiple aspects moving at the speed of light (not literally), it is important to ground the video with quality stabilization. I use a PIXI EVO 2-Section Mini Tripod with TwistGrip universal smartphone clamp. The clamp is easily adjustable to fit any smartphones, and it’s extra helpful when you have a thick case so you don’t have to take the case off every time you shoot.

Elaine Li Twistgrip for Iphone

A tripod is great for timelapse, but if you’re looking to do video work that require movement, using the TwistGrip universal smartphone clamp along with the TwistGrip is perfect. It has a better grip that provides you more control over your phone, minimizing shakiness which usually happens when you’re just holding onto the phone.  The TwistGrip also has a wrist strap, so for people like me who’s usually quite careless, your phone wont drop onto the floor easily.

TwistGrip Manfrotto for Iphone Elaine Li

Low light is a troubling issue when it comes to smartphones. Although, the tech has jumped leaps and bounds in only a decade, the small, handy, multi-purpose devices are not kind in capturing in the dark. You could do everything right, but ‘grainy blotches’ can ruin the composition and tarnish your skills. Whenever I expect to be shooting through the light of day and onto the night, I always find room in my bag for the Lumimuse. It’s a handy little led light that is just as portable as your smartphone and attaches sturdily onto the TwistGrip providing for a professional setup that could fit in your jacket pocket.

TwistGrip Manfrotto for Iphone Elaine Li

TwistGrip Manfrotto for Iphone Elaine Li

TwistGrip Manfrotto for Iphone Elaine Li

Hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a Direct Message on instagram.com/lielaine.

Elaine Li

Hong Kong

Elaine is a Hong Kong-based art director and freelance photographer. She specializes in city and street photography, and is known for her urban exploration and rooftopping work. With her passion in photography and power of social media, she has garnered over 150k following on Instagram, and work with a variety of brands as a social influencer.

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