Learning to use the tools you have.

The Convenience Of Mobile

It’s attached to us, on us, in our bag and within reach almost 24 hours a day. Yes, it’s a phone, yes, it’s a device where we can have information at our fingertips but it has also become a very reliable and usable camera. Technology enables us to record our lives so much easier than ever. There is a convenience to using your mobile device instead of your camera, no worrying about batteries being charged, which lenses to bring, what other gear you might need. Just toss your phone in your pocket and go.

Less Limiting

The phone (or tablet) can be much less limiting as far as where you can go with it. Places that do not allow cameras such as concerts and some tourist sites, are fine with phones. Mobile devices are sometimes easier to manipulate, place on the floor, hold up high and adjust where and how you’re holding it in order to get the shot you want. Larger cameras are sometimes difficult to get into a tight spot to capture what you see.

The Rules Still Apply

Just because it’s “only a phone camera” doesn’t mean the rules of photography go out the window. You still want to take your time to frame your subject, compose the image properly, keep an eye out for distracting elements and pay attention to make sure you’re creating the best image you can in camera. It’s easy to just grab the phone and click without using it as you would your ‘real’ camera. If you do that, your images won’t be as good as they could be.

Experiment And Have Fun

One of the easiest and most fun ways to learn how things work is to play. Try different settings on your phone camera. See what happens to an image when you change those settings within your phone camera or within any apps you’ve downloaded. Keep experimenting until you find the settings and apps that are more in tune with your ‘regular’ camera shooting.

Or, go crazy. Create art that you’d never be able to create with your regular camera. Some of the apps out there recreate artistic methods such as painting and drawing looks. You may find something you really love that can be done with a tap on an app instead of hours in Photoshop.

In the end, have fun with it. Mobile devices can be a great tool for capturing moments far beyond what we had for lunch to post on social media. Get creative, experiment and take your mobile device out just as you would your regular camera. It is quite capable.

Photo BootCamp Magazine

On the following pages, see what are some amazing images our BootCamp members have created using their phone cameras!

And be sure to check out how you can join BootCamp at the end of the magazine!

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Alternatively if you have a slower connection you can view this magazine Here on ISSUU.

Below is a small sample of what’s in this magazine…

Join The Fastest, ‘Funnest’ Way To Improve Your Photography!

Photo BootCamp Academy is an online community where busy photographers gather to take their photography to new levels of enjoyment and progress.

  • Discover exciting new skills
  • Rekindle your passion for taking photos
  • Improve fast with helpful feedback
  • Experience enjoyment and progress

Inside BootCamp Magazine

Featured Artist

Let’s take a look at this month’s magazine. Here’s our featured artist of the month, Karen Padilla from the USA.

She said this photo was taken on the 15th after they had a big storm dump lots of rain. She happened to look outside and saw a portion of the sky that looked like it was almost on fire. She grabbed her phone, moved boxes away from the window, opened the window and snapped a couple of photos. Karen was in a hurry to get the photo and forgot to switch it to Pro so the camera took it on Auto.

By the time she got a couple of photos, the clouds had moved on. Winds were about 40 miles per hour. She’ll add it to her Album “Out the Back Window”.

Even though Karen doesn’t like the ISO as high as the phone camera chose, it turned out okay. She now has her phone camera set so that Pro (RAW) is the only selection.

There was very little editing done to this shot, it is pretty much exactly how it looked that day. Karen brought the whites down a little because the area was a little too bright. She used Lightroom Mobile to edit this image. Karen did try editing in Lightroom Classic but the image was a jpg and it just didn’t work to her satisfaction. Photoshop was not used on this but Karen is going to learn it and use this image for testing. There is some yellow fringe which may be from the sun because it was really bright behind the clouds. Using only Lightroom mobile was a little limiting in that it doesn’t have a way to handle that yellow haloing.

Comment: Laima Ratajczak“Those clouds look spectacular, great shot Karen. I also like the reflection in the front adds to the whole composition, great view from your back window!”

Cover Image

This month’s featured magazine cover image is Bruce Patterson from the USA. He took this photo using an iPhone. “A Sunset”. He processed the image with the iPhone’s native tools.

Comment: Brent Mail“Stunning work Bruce – love your reflections and symmetry, and those clouds are amazing. So lucky to capture nature at its best. Well done.”

Active Members

Let’s have a look at some great images from our active members and be amazed with what they have created using their phone cameras.

Let’s start with Derryl Friesen from Thailand. “Stranded” – Classic truck and cowboy, Harley, stranded in a field near Carstairs, Alberta, Canada. Coming home from church, Derryl spotted this cowboy with his truck hood (bonnet) up and gazing into the distance. As they zipped by at highway speed, he commented to his spotter, Karen, “What an amazing shot! Man, I wish I had my camera!” to which she responded “You have a camera! Turn around and ask him if you can take his picture!” Derryl did, met a new friend and learned a thing or two about classic trucks. Harley beamed, “This is a ’64 Mercury M100, 223 six, standard 3 on the tree, but she just broke!” Derryl just sent him his copy of the image last night and he responded, “Oh my gosh! This is wonderful! I made it my FB background! Thank you so much! That day was a special day! Glad to have met you Derryl!” Once again, Derryl’s camera has helped create the space and opportunity to make a new friend!

Comment: Amber Pallas-Brunt“Wow, I can’t believe this was photographed using your phone! What a well composed image and fabulous subject!”

Then we have Peter Dwight from Australia. He took this image using an iPhone from the outside by placing a zygo cactus flower in his lilly pilly hedge.

Comment: Denise McKay“This image is very pretty with the dark pink petals against the green leaves. Nicely composed and edited to bring out the beauty of this flower.”

Next we have Barbara Ward from the USA. This is Mitch. This image is a definite example of “the best camera is the one you have with you”. Barbara was walking along the Alabama State Pier in Gulf Shores one evening when she spotted this heron perched on the railing. Not having her “real” camera, the only alternative was her iPhone so she got it out, unlocked, and took the photo as quickly as she could. Barbara thought about adding it to last month’s Wild challenge, but decided that the noise and focus issues would prevent her from doing so. Since this is a phone camera assignment, she decided to go for it. So, here it is. Barbara has purposefully taken some of the clarity out of the water since she felt it was distracting from the bird.

Comment: Karen Padilla“That is a beautiful bird. Your composition is perfect. Love that you took some clarity out of the water giving the photo a shallower depth of field. Love the light shining on his neck and chest. Everything is wonderful.”

Next we have Rohn Shearer from the USA. He said that his photo was from the same day as the last submission of the actual falls.

Comment: Erez Shilat“Nice presentation of a powerful nature. Love the spray and motion freeze. Lovely image.”

And last but not the least is from Deon van der Merwe from South Africa. Thought he’d share this photo with you. It was taken in 2015 in Port Elizabeth (South Africa) with his iPhone 5. It became one of his favourite mobile photos after applying a painterly effect to it with an App called “Prisma”, using his current iPhone 6s.

Comment: Lauri Novak“Great motion in this shot. I like the prisma processing to make it like a painting.”

We hope you enjoyed looking at these creative and awesome images from our members and that they’ve inspired you to go out and use the tools you have wherever you are. Be a part of this awesome family and check out the complete BootCamp Magazine and see for yourself!


  • Our phones are with us almost 24 hours a day, remember you always have a camera with you.
  • Be aware of your settings, just as you would on your regular camera. It will help you create better images with your phone.
  • Get creative. Phones are sometimes easier to position than a larger camera giving us more options for creative compositions.
  • Explore technology. There are so many phone apps available for shooting and editing. Try them out, experiment and play until  you find what you like.

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