Northern California Science Writers Association

NCSWA Workshop: Smartphone Photography

  • Saturday, October 08, 2016
  • 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Pomona St. & 2nd Ave, Crockett CA 94525
  • 0


  • (NCSWA members only)

Registration is closed

Smartphone Photography: How to shoot and edit print-quality photos with your phone

You have a powerful storytelling tool that you always carry in your pocket: a smartphone. Today, major publications feature high-quality smartphone photos in print and online, and this workshop will teach you how to shoot and edit them yourself. Adding smartphone photography to your field reporting will make your stories more appealing to your editors and more engaging to your readers.

In this workshop, you'll brush up your basic photography skills or learn them from scratch. We’ll delve into composition and exposure, and explore the impressive functionality of modern smartphone cameras and their editing apps. You’ll learn about the many pros and the select cons of using your smartphone camera as a professional tool, as well as about supplemental equipment that will take your smartphone photos to the next level.

After taking photos during the workshop, you’ll learn how to enhance them through editing. You’ll experiment with the resident photo editing app on your phone as well as with Snapseed, a free, feature-filled photo editing app.

Whether you are a freelance or staff writer, learning how to get the most out of your smartphone camera will help you sell stories to editors, and will bring your stories alive to your readers.


Lisa Strong is a freelance writer, still photographer, and filmmaker based in Marin County. She’s taught the multimedia production class for her alma mater, the UCSC Science Communication Program, for 10 years. Prior to that, she taught field photo workshops in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, and in Alaska – starting in the days of film. Recently, she’s worked for the Exploratorium, producing live interactions with research ships on expeditions. She prefers producing from the ship, and has been on four ship-based expeditions for a total of five months at sea. For more about Lisa, visit her website.

PREPARATION: Download the Snapseed app, which is free and comes in both Apple and Android versions, to your smartphone. Also, be sure your phone is fully charged.

LOCATION: The workshop will be in the charming and photogenic East Bay town of Crockett, which is just off I-80 right before the Carquinez Bridge. We'll meet at the intersection of Pomona St. and 2nd Ave., near the clock, at 8 am.

SCHEDULE: 8 am to 1 pm

We'll start early to catch some of the best light of the day. After our photo shoot, we'll have lunch and share our photos at the nearby Valona Deli.

COST: $40

NOTE: To make this workshop accessible to as many of our members as possible, NCSWA is providing a generous subsidy that keeps the cost low.

REGISTRATION: Spots are limited to 12, offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline for registration is Friday, September 23, 2016, at midnight.

WAITING LIST: If enough people sign up for the waiting list, we will offer this workshop again.

REFUND POLICY: Cancellations during the registration period will be credited toward future NCSWA events; no refunds will be credited after registration closes.

CONTACT: Robin Meadows, Professional Development Committee chair

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