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How I Shoot: @TonyCross’s Tips for Capturing Movement with AverageCamPro

How I Shoot is a series where we ask Instagrammers to tell us about the set-up and process behind their photos and videos. This week, @TonyCross shares how he captures moving water with Average Camera Pro. To see more Average Cam photos, browse the #AvgCamPro hashtag!

"I use Average Cam for two things: photographing water and shooting in low light," says photographer Tony Cross (@tonycross). “For low light photography, its primary function is to achieve the sharpness you can’t get with a normal iPhone photo.” But Average Cam’s ability to quickly take multiple photos and layer them on top of one another means you can capture beautiful images of moving water.

Want to try your hand at capturing moving water? Tony offers up some tips:

Vantage Point

"I mostly use Average Cam for photos of the ocean, and I always try to find something that will give context to the water – rock formations or groups of rocks, carefully placed people, and the like. But essentially I’d compose it the same as I would a normal photo. I tend to take wider shots."

Shooting

"You need a tripod. Also, make sure your ringer and any vibrating alerts are off. This can interrupt the averaging process or shake the phone when it needs to be still. Average Cam allows you to lock exposure/focus (the little L button), and I recommend doing this, particularly in low light. If you don’t, the camera will keep auto-exposing as it shoots. Most importantly, when photographing water, experiment with the number of shots you’re taking and see the different outcomes you can get. Depending on the conditions, you can get anywhere from slightly-smoother-than-normal looking water all the way to smooth as glass. Try different increments and see what you like. I always use the timer for at least a second or two, so whatever movement I create by clicking the shutter has time die down.”

Editing

"I use VSCO and Snapseed (Apple/Android) to edit all my photos, and there’s nothing I do differently in particular for Average Cam shots. However, the total size/resolution output from Average Camera Pro is less than a normal iPhone photo, so be careful about running your photo through any editing process that degrades the image or resolution.”

Additional Thoughts

Try using Average Camera for all sorts of situations, says Tony. “While I mostly take photos of the ocean, I’ve seen tons of amazing shots of streams, waterfalls, really any type of water. Play around with exposure and number of shots. You can get a lot of different effects out of it.”

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Chasing Light in Antelope Canyon

To see more photos and videos from Antelope Canyon, check out the Antelope Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon location pages.

Tucked away along the northern border of Arizona lies Antelope Canyon, one of the most visited—and photographed—locations in the American Southwest. Located on Navajo land, the landform is technically classified as a slot canyon, or a narrow canyon that is significantly deeper than it is wide. Like all slot canyons, Antelope Canyon was formed by flash floods rushing through underground crevices. Over time, the waters eroded the rock into the smooth, flowing landform seen today.

Antelope Canyon is divided into two sections, upper and lower, known in the native Navajo language as Tsé bighánílíní (“the place where water runs through rocks”) and Hazdistazí (“spiral rock arches”), respectively. The Canyon’s narrow top opening restricts the amount of sunlight than can enter, but results in a few dazzling beams that make it to the canyon floor. These beams, along with the canyon’s intense red glow and flowing lines, have made Antelope Canyon especially appealing to those Instagrammers adventurous enough to make the trek.

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@billylloydesign: A Potter’s Point of View

"Pottery is not just a product on a shop shelf or a gallery plinth; it is a form of craft," says Billy Lloyd (@billylloydesign), a potter based in south London who shares the art of his trade on Instagram.

"There is a very human element to making pottery—a relationship carefully nurtured over time and through direct engagement with clay. Instagram provides me with an opportunity to demonstrate the different processes, tools and materials involved in crafting a utilitarian object."

Billy traditionally trained as a “thrower,” a craftsman who shapes clay on a potter’s wheel before it goes into a kiln to harden. He works from his studio at Cockpit Arts Deptford, London, but also designs products which are made in Stoke-on-Trent, a site of large-scale pottery manufacturing. (See his “Billy” range for @TheNewCraftsmen.)

Billy uses Instagram to highlight all aspects of his practice: “A quick sketch, a thrown pot on my wheel, a trip to a factory in Stoke or a visit to a client are inevitably full of photogenic moments that illustrate life as a potter,” he says.

He aims to highlight the effort behind the ceramics we habitually encounter in day to day life: “Everyone has a favorite mug right? I certainly do. In fact, for me, choosing which mug to use is much like choosing which pair of shoes to wear or jumper to put on. Different moods encourage different combinations.”

For more photos and videos behind the scenes of ceramics on Instagram, follow @billylloydesign on Instagram, as well as these great Instagrammers:

  • Ragnhild Marstad, Scandinavian potter and thrower - @ragnhildmm
  • Studio KotoKoto, handmade objects from Japan and the United States – @studiokotokoto
  • Kuntaro Abe, Japanese ceramic designer – @kuntaroabe
  • Tánata, ceramics business based in Madrid, Spain – @hello_tanata
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Exploring Matsushima, Japan’s 260 Pine-Covered Islands

Off the mainland coast of Miyagi Prefecture sits one of Japan’s three most scenic sights: a group of 260 small pine-covered islands called Matsushima (松島).

Deriving their name from the Japanese translation of “pine island”—matsu (松) for “pine” and shima (島) for “island”—the destination is a draw for locals, tourists and seagulls alike. The islands are best viewed from one of four vantage points, and cruises offer the best option for getting an up-close look.

To see more photos and videos from Japan’s pine islands, visit the Matsushima (日本三景 松島) location page and browse the #matsushima hashtag.

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Arashiyama’s Bamboo Forest

In the Arashiyama (嵐山) district of Kyoto, Japan, is the jaw-dropping Sagano Bamboo Grove. The forest was the setting of Japanese novelist and poet Lady Murasaki Shikibu’s acclaimed novel, "The Tale of Genji." There is a walking path that cuts through the bamboo grove and makes for a photogenic trek as light filters through the stalks. The bamboo in the grove is still used to manufacture cups, boxes, baskets and mats in the area.

To view more photos and videos of the bamboo forest, be sure to visit the 竹林の小径 (Kitasaga Bamboo Grove) location page.