With his newfound smartphone skills, Mr Simon Tan can now shoot better photos, edit them, even create videos.
“Use natural lighting whenever possible. Then focus on your object and with steady hands, take photos in bursts and select the best shot.” Mr Tan, a 60-year-old photography enthusiast, shared this and other tips on taking better photos with a smartphone.
Bitten by the photography bug when he was a young man, Mr Tan has pursued it as a hobby for many years. Today, he has another instrument to complement his trusty Sony camera — his smartphone.
Mr Tan uses his smartphone to shoot photos, edit pictures, create his own videos and set them to music. His photos and videos are well-liked by friends and he receives compliments whenever he shares them on Facebook.
“Actually, I’m not good at taking photos,” admits Mr Tan, who used to work in a telco retail store. “But with the smartphone skills I picked up, I saw how photo editing and wide-angle shots could enhance my pictures.”
Mr Tan learnt these mobile technology skills at an Introduction to Android (Samsung) class, at Paya Lebar Kovan Community Club. The class was part of the Silver Digital Creators (SDC) programme to upskill seniors who have adopted technology.
Since retiring five years ago, Mr Tan has been an active learner with a thirst for knowledge. He enrolled in several photography courses because he was curious to learn about mobile photography and was eager to pick up new technology skills. Working part-time as a delivery driver today also gives him the freedom to explore his hobby further.
During the class, Mr Tan was surprised to find out about the multi-camera functions within a smartphone, such as using his earphones as a camera remote and how to easily edit a photo with a mobile app.
His favourite part of the class was learning to create travel videos with the photos taken on his overseas trips. He says: “I used to make these videos on my computer. Now with my smartphone and mobile apps, I can edit them on the move. It is very convenient and they make good memories and souvenirs of my travels.”
The fact that the class instructor was “friendly and to the point” was another reason why Mr Tan, along with 20 other attendees, also enjoyed the class. “The course was short and sharp, with step-by-step instructions which were easy to follow, and the instructor was very patient. The majority of us were seniors, so we helped each other and were happy to learn together.”
Another bonus was that Mr Tan made a few friends from the session, and still keeps in touch with them through WhatsApp. Often, the group would suggest nice places in Singapore to take photos, share photography tips and even attend other courses together.
Mr Tan is also keen to sign up for more photography-related courses using desktop and mobile software applications, such as intermediate photo editing, mobile videography and learning how to create still motion photos. He would also like to volunteer to become a training assistant to share his knowledge and experience with other seniors in the future.
Mr Tan adds that seniors who are open to picking up a new skill will find it faster to learn. “When you enjoy learning, you learn better and practise it better.”
The Silver Digital Creators (SDC) suite of courses targets seniors who have embraced technology and are ready to bring their digital creative skills to the next level. The suite of courses covers areas such as digital photography, movie making, digital music and art, and coding, among others. Visit Silver Digital Creators for details. More information on infocomm-related curriculum for seniors is available here.
Like our stories? Check out Getting Smarter with her Smart Phone, where Mdm Ow shares how she conquered her fear of technology.