Phone photography 411: an interview with @trentboz

A phone-photo-taking guru, dad to a rockstar of a dog, world class smartass and all around great guy. I'd say that about sums up Mr. Trent ;) I'm so glad he has decided to share some of his phone photography tips this week... his instagram account is quite impressive and easily one of my favorites so its pretty great to get a peak into his bag of tricks. You can follow along with Trent and the amazing Dexteron instagram over at @trentboz.

Tell me a bit about your rad self.
I am an east coast Canadian boy with a passion for dogs and photography. I am a financial advisor by trade and up until this last year spent a lot of time playing hockey, mountain biking and other sports that made me hurt. I had a dog blog in Halifax for a few years that was semi successful and focused on responsible dog ownership, primarily in the park I frequent twice a day with my dog Dexter. It’s a 183 acre forested park on the southern tip of the peninsula that is Halifax. Filled with wonderful forests, amazing oceanside paths and is all off leash. It is where a take 99% of the shots in my instagram feed. Because of this many of my shots includ Dex, I do always try to make Dex not the focus but simply a part of the shot. I am generally not a fan of feeds that are just dog shot after dog shot with little thought given to the scene or what mood its trying to convey. Anyone can take a pic of a cute dog…I want mine to make people feel something a little more. I often will use my quote, lyric or song parings to enhance the mood I feel the pic elicits in me.

What kind of phone do you have?

Iphone 6

Do you use any phone props/gadgets/additional lenses when taking your photos?
One gorilla pod for the iphone, often times I prop the phone up against the water bottle I carry for Dex’s water because I forget the gorrilapod.
Do you use the native camera on your phone or an extra app for your photo taking (such as Camera+ or the VSCO app camera)?
I only use the native camera, I know there is supposed to be advantages to other camera apps but I am usually in a hurry to shoot so its about convenience. ‘Swipe and shoot’. On occasion when the lighting is tricky I will use ProHDR which does an HDR image blend far superior to the native camera’s HDR.

What percentage of your Instagram feed are photos taken with your phone?

90%, I will sometimes repost older shots I have taken with my Olympus E-620 but otherwise its iPhone

Walk me through your process of capturing the perfect photo with your phone.
Well I have to admit, I think I will never be that lucky or skilled to take the “perfect photo”. What I can relate to is taking a photo that I believe captures a moment, takes the viewer to the same place I was emotionally when I saw the scene. For me that can happen any time. I love capturing Dexter in a moment of apparent pause or reflection. I love trying to capture him in a way that the person viewing the picture can relate to, can understand from a human perspective what he might be thinking. On instrgam, I will try to relate that scene to the caption, be it a quote, song pairing or a lyric from a song.

Tell me a bit about lighting and how you use and manipulate it when capturing your images.

I prefer to shoot in lower light or overcast days. I shoot most of my shots outside so I am forced to deal with many types of light. One tip I can pass along is regarding silhouettes and dogs. I have figured out when shooting silhouettes its best to not focus so much on the subject and to just watch the shadows, it is a sure fire way to capture the silhouette with little to no flaring. Make sure your phone is in the shadow.
What are some of your favorite editing apps?
Photowizard is easily the most comprehensive of the apps I frequently use. I use that and snapseed for the technical editing and then picfx, VSCO, juxtaposer etc for more.

It's probably different depending on the photo, but walk me through your typical editing flow of an image. 
The  first app I always use is photowizard and the first thing I do is paint the area of the photo I wish to edit with the masking tool. I do all my touch ups first with that combo, cloning out objects I want out of the shot, sharpening etc. Once I have the shot ready to start adding filters I will go to PicFX first (usually in the PFX Film series) I will usually just use PicFX. On occasion, I will stack filters from VSCO, or other apps to get the right feel.
Any photography pet peeves that you have?
People who call themselves a “photographer” who aren’t trained photographers. I am not a photographer, I am a photo hobbyist. People who have gone to school, paid for an education as a photographer are the people I consider real photographers and most of them will forget more than any of the so called photographers of today will ever know. I know a number of real photographers,  a few of them have been working for decades at their craft. It is amazing to watch a real photographer ply their trade.

What do you like most about Instagram?
The fact that I can find like minded people from all over the world who have things to say, share moments worth sharing and genuinely appreciate photography. I have made some lifelong friends and met the love of my life on instagram so it is fair to say it’s changed my life.
Any additional phone photography tips or tricks that you'd like to share? 
Take more photos than you think you will need when shooting something. Never forget to shoot low, sometimes a different perspective can really work. Finally, sometimes you should put your phone down and just enjoy what you are witnessing, take a photo with your mind.
Thanks so much, Trent for sharing soime of your smoke and mirros! You can view previous Phonetography 411 posts, HERE.

Have a wonderful weekend!

1 comment

  1. This is a really neat series! Instagram is so interesting.


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