It has come round to the time of year again, when luggage is dusted off and winter coats are taken out to air. By now, if you are set to travel this end of year, you would already have booked your flight tickets, settled your accommodation and renewed your passport (Hang on, have you?). What then is left to ensure that you will return from your vacation rejuvenated with great memories?
In an age where many of us rely on our smartphones for almost anything and everything, the answer lies in prepping yourself with these five must-have photography tools and apps. These tools will work magic in presenting your best self, and certainly aid you in capturing the key highlights of your trip.
Given that this is written with smartphone users in mind, we’re assuming that almost everyone has heard of, or is already an avid user of the photo-sharing app Instagram. Hence, Instagram will not be listed as one of the tools. If you haven’t heard of or used it though, do check out the app’s vibrant and booming community of users who have embraced colour filters, tilt shifts and hashtags wholeheartedly, and with inspiring results too!
Hyperlapse is the latest offering from Facebook-owned Instagram. Launched in August this year, this relative newcomer has wowed photography enthusiasts with its ability to shoot high quality time lapse videos without professional equipment. Its in-built stabilization technology allows smartphone users to film handheld videos while in motion, which can then be sped up to 12x the pace for a cinematic feel.
This makes for very interesting travel videos indeed, which you can of course, share with your friends on Instagram and Facebook. Check these ones out:
MeituPic is a godsend for the selfie generation, for the app allows you to literally work magic with your existing assets. Want a smaller face? Use its slimming tool to drag to your desired width. Got a screaming red zit? Try its acne tool to remove unwanted blemishes. Fancy brighter and bigger eyes? There are tools for that too.
What’s more, you can also choose to look taller by elongating your legs! Go ahead and have fun, but just don’t go overboard with the photoshop, will you? Subtle touches are the key to presenting an enhanced but realistic version of yourself.
Now that you have got a series of beautified pictures, you have got to try MeituPic’s sister app, Meipai. Meipai allows you to instantly create music videos, either by filming the video through the app or by compiling a montage from your photo library. It’s easy to use, and it has a wide range of filters, MV effects and music tracks to play with. You can also share your creation on various social media and messaging platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Sina Weibo and Wechat!
Check this Meipai video from Singaporean model and actress, Sheila Sim, who shot this on her recent trip in Paris:
4) Selfie Stick
We’ve got the technology bit covered, but we will need some physical tools too. In comes our new prosthetic arm – the selfie stick – which will enable you to capture a wider panoramic view and fit in an amazing selfie or wefie (group shot) at the same time!
Try to get one before you leave for your trip, if not, there’s always a chance that you can purchase it overseas. In Europe, vendors who ply the streets hawking a bunch of selfie sticks are a common sight.
5) Touch-Screen Gloves
Hands up if you are heading somewhere cold for your year-end vacation. You’ve got your coat, your shawl and your themal underwear, but are your gloves smartphone-friendly? If you are intending to maximize your smartphone usage with lots of Facebook surfing and photo-taking like we usually do, then it might be time to invest in a pair of touch-screen gloves.
That’s it. Remember your passport and download the apps before you leave, and we look forward to seeing some great travel pictures from you!