According to a recent report, in 2014 we were on track to share 1 billion photos a day.
1 billion. You can do your own maths about how many more photos of babies and cats that will mean.
I'm a shameless iDevice addict, so if like me, you're always on the lookout for ways to make the most of your iPhone photos on your travels, here are some suggestions. There are a few clever ways to use your iPhone, iPad and iOS features to pick the best photos and share them in clever ways with the people who matter...
My family have graciously grown accustomed to my travel-tales ambush the minute I touch down, shortly followed by a massive show-and-tell of all my unedited trip photos. But for my last trip, I found a better way to share my photos with them, as I took them...
In iOS, you can create a shared stream via iCloud that other iOS users can subscribe to.
You’ll then be prompted to share with with people from your contacts so add everyone you want to share with (you can add more people later).
Tap ‘create’. Voila, your stream is created and you’ll now see it in your list of shared streams. To add photos to your shared stream, tap into your new stream. Click the ‘+’ icon again and add any photos you want to share.
iPhone, iPod, iMac and AppleTV whichever devices your subscribers are signed into with their iCloud account), will be able to see your photostream. In my case, my Mum and Dad have AppleTV, so when I shared my latest trip stream with Dad, they could see my photos on the TV. Makes a nice change from Netflix, I like to think.
If you have friends and family who aren’t on Facebook, they sometimes miss the chance to see your pics or comment on them online.
With the shared iOS shared photo stream, you can comment on photos just as you would in Facebook, but only your fellow stream sharers can see the comments - (read my previous post: 11 things to think about before posting your trip to Facebook).
How often have you found your best trip shots are spread across each others phones and it’s tricky to see them all together? No longer an issue, iPhone friends!
When you create your shared photostream, you have some options - including allowing subscribers to post to the shared stream.
Now, whenever your travel buddy takes a great shot on their iPhone, ask them to tap into your shared stream, click the ‘+’ and add their own photos to the album. You’ll both then be able to see all the photos in the same stream, on your own device. Bingo!
OK, a tip for all the households that aren’t as Apple-centric as mine: to share photos with friends via a web browser, tap the ‘Public website’ option when you create your stream, which makes your stream public on iCloud.
Now you can tap below to share this via email/Facebook and your friends can see your photos in a browser, via this link.
I've never done this, but it was so obvious a use I checked it was possible and it is!
Lovers of real-time sharing and blogging who use WordPress can use this plugin to have their iCloud photo stream published to their blog. And it doesn’t all have to go live right away - you can configure your blog to create draft posts you can edit.
The blog can also show your photo comments - definitely worth some investigation if you’re a travel blogger. Just configure your shared steam settings to ‘Public website’ in the options, then you can set this up.
At the end of the day I sometimes want to share a few photos to Facebook, and realise the picture I really want is actually on my camera, and I have no way of getting it off without syncing it to the computer. But there's good news if you're also travelling with an iPad.
You can buy an SD card reader which plugs directly into your iPad, which allows you to quickly and easily import photos from the camera and use the hotel wifi or 3G to push the photos up to social sites.
I used a card reader on my last trip and it was one of the most useful things I packed. Additionally to me importing photos to the iPad, good old iCloud sync was at work over the hotel wifi and synced photos from my phone into one place for us to browse.
Tip: Your iPhone will geolocate and timestamp photos with the local time. When you arrive, try and remember to set your camera's clock to the local time (take it from your iPhone). When you combine all your photos (anywhere - the same goes for any photo app that sorts chronologically), you’ll see them in a better chronological order.
Bringing your iPad on holiday opens up a realm of opportunities for photo-centric entertainment! I've passed many a plane journey playing with the Pic Collage app.
This app pulls photos from your camera roll (or shared photo stream) and lets you collage them together. Kids will love that you can annotate the pics and add stickers and icons too. I'd go so far as to say this could be a parent's secret weapon for long haul flights home - kids can be entertained for hours, I was. I created one with all the shots of us trying local food and drinks and then made another with us with the cats we met in Istanbul (Guilty. I contributed to the internet catmosphere).
Collages are saved to your camera roll, so you can print, email them or share them - you could create individualised digital postcards!
For my last trip, I very nearly walked out of the house with an SLR and 3 lenses, plus my iPhone and iPad, but I’m glad I reconsidered… just think carefully whether the benefit of taking great shots with sharp focus and amazing depth of field offsets the hassle of carrying around your big camera.
Obviously, don’t forget your phone charger (it’s easy to do) and don’t forget the local adaptor (even easier to forget - I managed to bring a Japanese adaptor to Turkey, er?!).
If you’re out for a long time and are very dependent on your iPhone for photos - get an auxiliary charger. I’ve had several of these for different models of iPhones and they work like magic when your battery levels get low. You charge the auxiliary battery up separately, it holds on to the charge, and when you plug it into your phone, it dispenses charge into your phone. It can get your phone back up to 100% charge in a couple of hours.
I originally bought this auxiliary battery when I was hostelling. I’m too un-trusting to plug my iPhone in to charge in a communal plug socket in a dorm room, but I’m willing to risk it for a £10 back up battery.
Update January 2016: I now use an Anker PowerCore 20100 - it can charge your phone for a week!
The genuine Apple card readers for iPad retail for about £25 (be sure to get the one with the right connection for your iPad model). I’ve used a genuine version, and my Dad uses an eBay special for about £4 that takes multiple different types of card. Neither of us have had any problems, so save yourself some money and try the cheapo version first. Obviously test it before you leave [unlike me on my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur. 2 more trips to the Apple reseller later...]
Do you do anything cool with your photos whilst you’re away or when you come home? Share your tips in the comments, I’d love to know!