Birder's Guide

DEC 2013

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 36 of 51

hold the camera horizontally. This will give you a larger image of that rarity to share with friends. ExtEnding BattEry LifE Taking photos and videos can eat up quite a bit of battery on your phone. To extend battery life, go into "Location Services" on your phone and turn it off for any apps that don't need it. If you know the exact location of the bird you are flming, you can shut off location services on your camera. You can also purchase external batteries to charge your smartphone in the feld. The mophie battery charging case is very popular. It will add some heft to your phone, but it will also triple the battery life. Although it cannot be used with any digiscoping adapters, there are plug-in batteries, like the Juice Pack, that will charge your phone and allow you to use a digiscoping iPhone case. CamEra+ The Camera+ app lets you do some adjusting to photos in the feld. If your phone doesn't have a burst mode, Camera+ will make it an option. This app also claims to have an image-stabilization feature, but in reality, all it is doing is waiting for the one second when you are not shaking your phone, and it can be frustrating in the feld to wait after you hit the shutter for the photo to be taken. But it can help with lighting issues in low light conditions. imoviE This app is available for free when you purchase an iPhone 5s. It allows you to edit your videos on the iPhone and even includes templates with which you can easily make movie trailers and then immediately post them to YouTube, Vimeo, and even CNN iReport. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Here's a trailer I made during the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival with my iPhone 5 and spotting scope. Posting Photos onLinE With a little practice, you'll get great photos—and then you'll want to share them on all your favorite birding social networks. Be judicious about where you post them. Your state's Facebook birding page may be about sharing birding information, not posting the 20 Bald Eagle photos you got over the weekend. But do not worry. There are apps and communities that are dying to have your photos, including Instagram and Hipstamatic. These are photo community apps that even let you put flters over your photos to enhance color or make it appear that it was taken in 1974 and sat in a window getting sun bleached for 20 years. Post a picture of a Bald Eagle in the low-resolution setting and you will be an Instagram art hero. You will be showing birds to a community of folks that may not get much exposure to nature. They will love it. These apps can also be synced with your personal Facebook and Twitter accounts so that you can share your bird photos right from the feld with your smartphone. A fter all this, should we still be calling it a phone? Do we use it more as a phone or as a camera or as a computer? Perhaps it is a camera that happens to let you take phone calls, or, better yet, a portable computer that lets you take calls and photos and video. (Editor's note: For more on this topic, check out ) Regardless, if you're carrying a smartphone and a telescope into the feld, it's worth learning the basics of phonescoping. Whether it's for documenting a rare bird or just sharing with friends, the benefts far outweigh the effort. December 2013 | Birder's Guide to Gear 35

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