November 24, 2010 / FAQ
iPhonography - iPhotography
“The best camera is the one that’s with you” —Chase Jarvis
I am a big believer in always having a camera with you, because hey you never know what is going to happen, right? While before I used to carry around a little point and shoot Canon, these days the only camera I need with me is my trusty iPhone. Even before “smartphones” I always bought a phone with a camera, here is a photo from back in 2005 shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. While I had a point and shoot with me, I would not have gotten some of these photos without my camera phone.
These days it is my trusty iPhone 4 that is with me at all times. In the spirit of some recent posts on Mashable about 10 Pro Tips for Snapping Perfect iPhone Photos or 10 Unique iPhone Photography Accessories I thought I would talk a bit about my favorite must-have iPhone apps!
If you get nothing else, get this app! How can you beat the price of FREE?!?! The reason this app is a must-download is for it’s Self-Timer feature alone, which will let you set up your phone on a table and then run to get in the picture yourself. Besides this essential feature, you get a bunch of other really useful and fun features such as Interval Timer, Anti-Shake, Burst Mode, 4x Digital Zoom, and more! Did I mention that this is a free app?
The best camera is the one that’s with you. This is the companion app to Chase Jarvis’ book and website of the same name, this app has a couple of “killer” features that really set it apart from the rest. Inside the app you will find a couple of fun creative filters such as warming and cooling as well as a few presets to give you a specific effect. Another positive aspect of this application is the ability to apply the filters to photos you have already taken. Besides these photo effects which are fun to use, Best Camera has a great sharing application built-in. With basically one click I can post to Flickr, Facebook and Twitter. This is a great time saver for those of us Social Media butterflies who love to post photos.
Flickr for iPhone is another great free app so you can quickly upload and share the photos you took with your friends and family. Even my Mom uses Flickr to share photos, I don’t know if that says that a) my Mom is as nerdy as me, or b) it’s simple and easy sharing features make it a great place to host photos.
Yes this is a paid app and doesn’t really “DO” anything to your photos, however Rick Sammon really makes learning photography fun. If you ever get a chance to sit in on one of his lectures you will not be disppointed, and the app is more of the same. Rick takes a light-hearted approach to learning and explains the fundamentals of photography in this app – it’s like having the best parts of his books in the palm of your hand. Example photos and even videos are the icing on the cake! An update to this app was just released adding more content as a free upgrade! Sure the price is pretty steep when compared to other apps, but if you think about it in terms of a book (which would be $15-$30) it’s actually a great deal.
Ok I had to plug Rick Sammon’s app because he is such a great guy and it really is a worthwhile app for nine bucks, money well spent. On the alternative and FREE side you have some great information from Nikon in the form of their Learn & Explore app. This app collects content from the Nikon website and presents it in app format so if you are already a regular reader of the official Nikon site this is nothing new. However, the ability to easily have all the information at your finger tips with photos and text make it a worthwhile free download. Definitely has helped me to kill some time while taking the subway.
Another paid app that is useful but nothing you couldn’t do at home on your laptop, however having the convenience on your phone on the go makes this a worthwhile purchase for the traveling photographer. What this app does it help you discover photos around you as an interface to Flickr’s geolocation features. Pulling up a map, you can explore interesting photos near you and create a shot list from them to find the exact location later. Useful for traveling to new cities and finding inspiration on places to take photos, or even for exploring your own town! Again, nothing that you couldn’t do on your own with Flickr or Google Maps, but being able to do this while walking around on your phone is a decent enough advantage for $2.99.
Ok, so lastly I needed to balance out my paid apps with one final recommendation for a free app! I’m a big fan of just using the awesome native camera app and adjusting your photos later to have complete creative control (unlike Hipstamatic which forces you to process at the time of taking the picture only). Back to this app, with a name like Photoshop you can assume you will be able to manipulate your photos in some way. Inside the app you get some great fine-tuning adjustments such as Contrast, Exposure, and even a few creative filter effects. Not bad at all for a free app, right?
I hope you enjoyed this quick look at what’s on my phone. In addition to these of course I’ve tried more than my fair share of camera applications. Hipstamatic is fun for quick effects but too limiting in my mind since you have to choose your effects at the time of capture. Instagram is becoming a new favorite for it’s free price tag and fun retro filters which you CAN apply after the photo was taken. Go out and have some fun with the best camera that you have with you!