August 22, 2012

Use smartphones to capture events for your cause

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Photographer Dan Chung’s Olympic smartphone photoblog setup.


Take some tips from a pro photographer at the London Olympics

Target audience: Photographers, nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists, citizen journalists, Web publishers.

Lauren MajorThe 2012 London Olympic games were a chance for photojournalists from around the world to produce breathtaking images. One photojournalist took the challenge of using only a smartphone to capture his images. 

Dan Chung, staff photographer for one of Britain’s major newspapers, The Guardian,  documented the Olympic events armed only with an iPhone 4S. This allowed Chung to post photos live to his photoblog, so fans could stay up to date by the minute.

Turn your smartphone into a high-end camera

Nonprofits can learn from Chung’s Olympic coverage that multimedia documentation can be as easy as using your smartphone camera. The quality of the photos from his iPhone rival those of some professional camera’s images, which only goes to show how advanced that smartphone cameras are becoming.

Some applications that are worth checking out are Snapspeed, for editing and sharing, and the Schneider iPro Lens System, for lens accessories that produce wide angle to fisheye images. The iPro Lens System acts as an attachable lens as well as a tripod. It should be kept in mind that smartphones generally produce poor audio quality, however. Pro Audio To Go is one of many applications that has the capability of  turning your phone into a 48 kHz professional audio recorder.

Live updates, as Chung does on his photoblog, help your organization keep donors and supporters up to date as events are happening. Instead of fussing with having a big camera on hand all the time,  your nonprofit can make an impact with a smartphone camera to capture inspiring stories in the field.

How is your organization using mobile technology, and what are some smartphone camera applications you’re using?

Take a look at some other posts on multimedia technology by Major Multimedia:

• Spotlight: Homeles in Dehradun – Multimedia Storyteller Frank Rohrig

The Kilgoris Project: Kindles in Kenya

Code for America: Engaging, Uplifting Nonprofit Promo Video Lauren Major is a visual storyteller who helps nonprofits, NGOs and small to mid-size businesses create and share their stories of social good and corporate social responsibility. She is a visual artist, consultant, producer and a partner in Socialbrite. Visit her profile page, see her Major Multimedia site and blog, follow her on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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3 thoughts on “Use smartphones to capture events for your cause

  1. Allows you to broadcast live audio or video from an event directly to your FaceBook page. Various paid plans allow you to store the video for later playback, and also post to your website, blog, etc.

  2. Hi, I appreciate what you shared. There’s a large contingent of photo enthusiasts online who will dismiss a photo straight away if they find out it was taken with a smartphone. The rally cry of “get a real camera” can be heard echoing through the rafters of comment sections for many websites. We think everyone should have a dedicated camera, but a good photo is a good photo, regardless of the gear used to take it. Camera phones have some inherent strengths and weaknesses, and by emphasizing the good and downplaying the bad, you can take silence naysayers before they can get to the enter key. Here are some things to keep in mind when firing up the photo app on your iPhone, Droid, Lumia or whatever. thanks~ Anne Tanne ; Visit me: