First there was the wheel, followed by sliced bread, then came along the the smart phone (iPhone for me). Outside of being able to pretty much do everything but slice bread, it is a capable camera and creative tool. Here are a couple of reasons why I think so highly of the iPhone (read smart phone).
- Convenience - Other than the times I misplace it, I normally have it with me all the time. No excuses for missing a creative moment.
- Distribution - Many photo apps come with features that allow you to quickly share your creations with friends and family. Or, for the Kutcher’s, a combined 7,692,881 (at time of publishing) Twitter followers. Just think, until 1915, mass communication was limited to a loud voice. Long range mass communication was limited to smoke signals. The Kutcher’s have really changed the world (for those serious types, this was a sarcastic misplacement of credit).
- Creative Exercise- If you have read the six steps I follow to improving my own photography, you will know that I believe that the instant feedback you get from digital photography is one of the most valuable learning tools a photographer can leverage. Another piece of the equation is knowing the capabilities of your software. These two aspects of digital photography used to be separated by a drive home and a download. However, with the advent of the smart phone, you can combine these two creative exercises at the point of capture.
My Challenge - Sure, not everyone has a smart phone, but I bet more people have smart phones than full DSLR kits. That being the case, I’m all about sharing inspiration through photography and the iPhone has helped to remove yet another barrier between you and your own creative vision.So go out, download some apps, and share your images of the world, with the world!
Here is a list of iPhone apps that I am currently using. I will update the list as I update my iPhone, so check back. Just click the iTunes icon next to each one to find it in the App Store.
- Instagr.am Get it and create and account! It is totally free. It is like twitter for your camera. Not only can you quickly share photos, you can follow your friends and favorite photographers. Heck, you can even follow me. Just search for JustinBalog and click the follow button.
- Tiffen Photo FX - Not only do you get a great group of filters (GNDs, NDs, Polarizers, UV, etc…), you get masks, brushes, and layers. All that for $2.99. You can’t beat it!
- TheBestCamera.com - An app, developed in tandem with Chase Jarvis, that allows you to capture, edit, and share all your images single-handedly. Plus, the online community you get access to is a great way spend some time in a waiting room. I’m photographer #15879 and you can find me here.
- Photoshop Express - Yep, there is CS5, Elements, and now Express. The app is free and lets you control global adjustment like contrast, saturation, tint, etc. You can also share your images via your own personal online galleries.
- Tilt Shift Generator - I really can’t get enough of this app. Sometimes I use it to fake bokeh. Or, if you just want to make everything you see appear to be part of your model railroad you can do that too.
- 100 Cameras in 1 This is a great little app. It serves three important purposes. 1) It is a quick 1 stop shop to enhance your images (click, add filter, and your done!). 2) It has international textures. Yep, Trey Ratcliff assembled textures from around the world for this one. 3) I won’t pain your with the technical details, but it let’s you share your photos via your instagr.am account.
- Pro HDR -You thought HDR photography was limited to a bunch of tripod totin’ photographers? Now it’s available to iPhone totin’ folks like you and me. Just take two images, and let Pro HDR do the rest. Heck, it even prompts you to tap somewhere bright for the first image, and somewhere dark for the second image.
- Hipstamatic - Keep it real with a configurable camera that let’s you choose film, lens, and flash types. You can get a fully outfitted kit for under $10.00!
- Pano- Don’t have a wide enough lens? Let Pano stitch together up to 16 images to capture your latest summer landscaping project. Not only does it stitch, if offers an overlap feature to help line up your images during capture.
- iTimeLapse Pro - Now you can shoot and assemble avant-grade ‘still-cinema’ time lapse videos using your iPhone. You don’t even need sequential scenes. You can assemble a movie that spans an entire year. It will even remind you to take a photo!
- PhotoCalc - A great pocket utility to calculate flash exposure and DoF. It aslo includes a location based Solar chart. Never miss a sunrise or sunset again!
- Long Exposure Calculator - Do you have a 10 stop neutral density filter? If so, you need this. Just plug in your exposure value prior to attaching the 10 stop ND, then scroll to your new time per stop. It is easy to use and frees up your brain creative brain by reducing the math load!
In an attempt to extend the Apple lexicon, I present you my iPhonolio. Below are some of my favorite images, crafted solely by the applications listed above, selected from my weekly iPhone Friday posts.