5 tips for perfect winter photography on iPhone

Winter is always a great reminder to get outside and enjoy Mother Nature, but capturing those memories is certainly different from taking photos in the summer.

I was recently at Lake Louise in Alberta, soaking in the action of Canada’s favourite game, a pond hockey tournament set in the most Canadian of backdrops, while having a chance to sled with dogs in Canmore. 

While using the iPhone 11 Pro Max on this trip, the temperatures, lighting, contrast, exposure, and action, were all factors when trying to capture the perfect shot. Whether you’re a novice or a professional, here are five tips to help you capture optimize outdoor winter photos on your smartphone. 

Keep your phone warm

While your smartphone is designed to deal with some pretty cold temperatures, you want to make sure you use the right protective gear for the elements. This means having a good case to keep it insulated, or a protective and shockproof housing if you’re going to be in water, ice, or snow. 

Use the video stabilization

The triple-camera lens array on iPhone 11 Pro brings 4K video recording to a whole new level with vibrant dynamic range and cinematic-quality video stabilization. For high-action events, like sledding with dogs in Canmore, Alta., this means you can capture fluid video, while still having handy access to the shutter button to snap still photos for use on social media. 

Swipe below to view video of stabilization shot on iPhone 11 Pro Max


HDR is a setting you want to make sure you have turned on. This can be done via your camera preferences, and this ultimately helps you capture the best of high-contrast settings. This takes multiple rapid photos and stitches together the best part of each image. What you get in the end is darker shadows and more vibrant, visible brights in one shot. 

iPhone 11 Pro’s HDR can be used across front- and rear-facing cameras as appropriate. 

Lighting and exposure

Think about lighting and exposure when shooting outdoors. Daylight can be your friend, but can also overexpose your images, too. Many photographers opt to shoot in cloudy settings as variables are easy to control, but if you do find yourself in the daylight, when tapping on your photo’s subject to gain focus, make sure to double tap and slide the exposure slider up and down to gain the appropriate and desired level for the current environment.

Animate your memories with Live Photos

Finally, Live Photos are a fun way to animate your memories, especially when there’s a lot of action in your surroundings. Tap the Live Photos icon when taking your photos, and iPhone 11 Pro will capture a short clip before and after the main photo.

When viewing the shot in the Camera Roll, you can long-press to bring the moment to life where the video clips are stitched to the photo along with the audio—fun for triggering memories of the moments that happened around when the photo was taken. 

What are some of your favourite iPhone photography tips? Leave them in the comments below.

Gadgets for summer entertaining – Cityline

We take you through 2013’s hottest summer tech gadgets, plus we take a trip back in time!

As aired on Cityline, Tuesday, July 9, 2013, on City.

As always, you can watch previous episodes of Cityline at, or via the City Video iOS or Android apps! Cityline airs 9 a.m. on City across Canada. Check for all television air times across the country.

Show notes:

Best Buy

– Margaritaville

– Sphero robotic ball

– Withings Video Wi-Fi Baby Monitor


– hipKey Proximity and Movement Alarm

– iGrill


– Horizon Kompakt camera


– Klipsch Music Centre 3

How to take family photos like a pro – Walmart Live Better

As seen in Spring 2013 edition of Walmart Live Better magazine, available FREE from your local Walmart Supercentre.

Camera Tips - Walmart Live BetterFor taking snapshots of your kids at the park, or sneaking a sweet pic of your tot at her first day of preschool, the camera built into your mobile phone will get the job done.

But if you’re looking to boost the quality of your family photos, a “real” camera is the way to go. With dozens of different kinds of cameras on the market today, though, it’s easy to get lost in the photography aisles. So here are tips for finding the perfect camera to fit your lifestyle, budget and picture-taking needs.

Choosing the right camera for you

Do you want to keep a small camera in your handbag so it’s at the ready for your kids’ next adorable moment? Look at point-and-shoot models like the Nikon COOLPIX L610 ($208). These foolproof cameras allow you to capture higher-quality images while letting you explore your photographic creativity.

If you’re a budding photographer looking for something more high-end, try out a DSLR camera like the Canon Rebel T2i ($536). This style of camera is the kind professionals use, and they are typically larger, heavier and pricier.

Or does your photographic style fall somewhere in the middle? Mirrorless cameras (also called micro 4/3 cameras) offer many of the features seen in DSLRs, but they’re less expensive and more compact.

Making your snaps look professional

Sure, taking a picture is as easy as pushing a button, but if you want quality photos you’ll be proud to display, take a quick minute to set up each shot before you snap. Where is the light coming from? You never want to take a photo with a sunny window in the background – your kids and their puppy will appear as faceless silhouettes. Instead, find natural light and use it to your advantage – place your subjects so they’re facing the light, and turn off your flash. For best results, take pictures at eye level with your subjects, rather than looking down or up at them. If you’re trying to capture snaps of your busy toddler, get down to her level, and use a tripod if you need help to keep the camera steady.

Using special settings

With digital photography, you can take as many pictures as you want without wasting film – all you need is a good-sized memory card. Many cameras allow you to set a continuous shooting mode where you can hold down the shutter button to capture multiple images – perfect when you’re shooting hockey games or dance recitals (you can always delete any bad shots). Flip through your camera’s manual and you’ll find many modes to suit your needs. Experiment with them!

Sharing and saving

You’ve taken thousands of priceless photos on your digital camera…. Now what? You’ll probably want to upload them for safe storage, print some hard copies as keepsakes, as well as share them with friends and family on your favourite social media networks. Secure Ditigal, or SD, cards let you upload securely to the web. The 32GB Lexar High Speed SD card ($36.98) slides right into your camera’s SD memory card slots and can be programmed to connect to your Wi-Fi network. Once connected, the card will automatically set your privacy settings and send photos to your predetermined social media sites.

A high-quality memory card is an easy way to minimize the chance of losing your precious photos and corrupting files. Depending on how much you plan on spending, you can purchase a variety of “class cards.” As a rule of thumb, the higher the class, the higher the quality of the memory card. If you are simply capturing photos, a low- to mid-class memory card will do. If you are also capturing hours of HD video alongside photos on a digital camera, invest in a higher-quality memory card that will allow you to record video at a much higher speed.

Creating backup copies is the best way to preserve your photo memories. Walmart PhotoCentre offers secure, free storage of your digital images. So if you lose your computer, or your hard drive gets fried, your photos will still be safe. Plus, you can access your photos anytime through your mobile phone using the free app.

Get in the picture, mom!

Flip through your photo albums or digital files and you’ll probably notice there aren’t too many shots of you with the family – the photographer misses out on being in the picture. To put yourself in more pics, we recommend a GorillaPod by Joby ($51). It’s a tripod with flexible legs that bend around any object and adjust to any height you need, while keeping your camera steady. Set a self- timer, then jump into the picture.

Photo gifts

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, skip the box of chocolates and consider a personalized gift from the Walmart PhotoCentre that will let the moms in your life know you’re thinking about them on their special day. The best part? Many gifts (including mugs and photo canvases) can be printed in an hour.

There’s an app for that!

Using the Walmart Photo Prints app (available for iOS devices), you can order your favourite photos for print and pickup from the comfort of your smartphone via your Walmart PhotoCentre account – perfect if you’re looking for last-minute gift ideas.

Repost from Walmart Live Better magazine

Cityline visits CES 2013!

The Consumer Electronics Show—more popularly known as CES—is where hundreds of thousands of technology enthusiasts, journalists, and gadget-makers gather to find out what’s trending in the upcoming year in the consumer electronics market, and I had the pleasure of visiting the five-day event in Las Vegas, NV, on Jan. 7 through Jan. 11, 2013.

Among the sea of people were the latest innovations in technology today, including the smartest of smart refrigerators, eco-friendly app-controlled thermostats, and larger-than-life television sets.

Over the next year, the Smart TV Alliance will be working towards creating a connected environment across all of its member television manufacturers, like this curved, OLED television from LG.  The end result will include thousands of applications from weather to news to games to social media—all from the comfort of your television’s remote control.

When it comes to being connected, gadget-makers are pushing even harder this year to keep you connected to the Internet all the time.  For example, the Samsung GALAXY Camera is connected to the cellular network, so no matter where you are, your photos can be uploaded to your favourite social networks from Facebook to Twitter—all without a Wi-Fi network, USB cable, or computer!

Here’s a look at what I found in connected technology for the home:

With parents constantly on the go and kids more digitally connected than ever before (be it at home or in the classroom), families are facing increased challenges to stay caught up with the latest technology. Apps, gadgets, and “smart” technology for the family are largely in focus CES this year.

Busy moms are in luck this year, too.  Baby monitors, like VTech’s Safe & Sound, will allow you to not only hear your baby, but now you can even see your baby from multiple camera angles on a 2.8-inch full-colour screen.  If you are looking for something to keep your child occupied, the MINDSTORM EV3 will bring your LEGO to life!

Check out my web-exclusive look at family gadgets here:

What are you most excited for in the world of technology in 2013? Share them in the comments below!

Camera by Alex Tutt.

Gadgets to Kick Your Summer Off Right – CityLine

As seen on CityLine – April 16, 2012

As always, you can re-watch previous episodes of CityLine on, or via the Citytv Video iPad/iPhone app!  CityLine airs 9am/4pm EST on Citytv in Toronto.  Check for air times in your city.

Show Notes:

Winston’s credits:
Wake-up Light Plus

Canadian Tire 
Schwinn Tango 20-in Folding Hybrid Bike

Samsung Galaxy Note


Future Shop 
Logitech Harmony 900 Remote

Toshiba Camileo BW10 Sportscam (Video)

Cyber-shot Digital Camera TX20 (Photo/Video)

Pool Jam Waterproof iPod Ready Wireless Speaker Set

GoPro Hero HD (Active/Wearable)