iPhoneography: Is it here to stay?

With the major improvements made to iPhone cameras and the development of thousands of editing Apps, iPhoneography has started to gather a lot of fans. The iPhone is light, practical and always in your pocket.
Although you can edit your pictures with your computer’s software, the real fun begins when you use the available Apps, create your own art pieces, and upload them to the social networks or e-mail them to your friends from your phone.

The iPhone 4 has a 5 megapixel camera. In 1991, Kodak released the first professional digital camera system (DCS). It was a Nikon F-3 camera equipped by Kodak with a 1.3 megapixel sensor.

Captured with Gorillacam and processed with Mobile Monet. © Fabiola Forns.
Canon’s D30, their first digital camera, had 3 megapixels, while Nikon’s D1 sported 2.7 megapixels. 5 Megapixel may not sound like a lot these days, but it is enough to make a fairly large print, when the image is captured properly.

Captured with HDR Pro and processed with Photo Studio ©Fabiola Forns.

Captured with HDR Pro and processed with Photo Studio © Fabiola Forns
There are a few accessories that would help you in the capture and editing of your pictures. Joby developed a table tripod especially for this use, that can also be hung from tree branches or doors, called Gorillapod for iPhone. If you are a little more serious and would like to sit your phone on your regular tripod, to do slow shutter speeds (App Slow Shutter for blurring water and color abstracts), there is an iPhone Tripod Holder, with a regular size screw that fits tripod mounts and L brackets. If you are going to be editing a lot of photos, you may benefit from the Mophie battery pack, that fits comfortably over you iPhone, in stylish colors. To end your accessory list, a Stylus would make your job easier, without getting your fingers on the phone’s screen.
There are Apps designed to avoid camera shake, like the one provided for free by Joby, Gorillacam, while others have usable digital zoom, as Camera Plus.

Are you a fan of HDR? HDR Pro and True HDR will capture two or three different exposures and blend then for you, giving you after capture controls to edit the resulting images. Note that if the dynamic range is too big, that amount of exposures will not be enough to cover it and you may get halos. But it is ideal for landscapes with skies that you want to enhance.
Worried about the depth of field of a small sensor? Synthcam technology of using video to blur the background (of foreground if it is your choice) will solve this problem, although it has a bit of a learning curve until you get the hang of it. It is also great for making artistic blurs. There is an excellent tutorial available from the creators.

Captured with Gorillacam and processed with Plastic Bullet ©Fabiola Forns.
If you like panoramas, 360, Panorama and See This have the answer for you. And if you like to play with the vintage look in your pictures and have you phone look like and old camera, you must try Hipstamatic, square format with vintage look, that will let you switch lenses, film and flash. Make sure to enable precise framing.
Captured with HDR Pro and enhanced in Iris Photo Suite and Pic Grunge ©Fabiola Forns

Captured with Hipstamatic, no post processing. © Fabiola Forns
Most of these Apps will let you upload directly to popular social networks or email. However, if you are planning to print, make sure your App works in the original resolution. You should have an icon that takes you to that feature in the front page of your App that will let you do that. If not, go to your phone Settings and navigate to that App, and set it there.

Captured with iPhone HDR, processed with PS Express © Fabiola Forns.
If you are going to print our images, it is better to do it from your computer, but there are Apps that handle printing from the phone. They require an internet connection for both the phone and the printer. Epson, Canon and HP have Apps to handle this.
Picture editing.
The real joy of iPhoneography is editing your pictures. There is an array of Apps that will give you options as simple as cropping, adjusting colors and curves and as sophisticated as adding a vintage look or an acid burn or texture.

Captured with HDR Pro, processed with Pic Grunger ©Fabiola Forns
I will name a few of my favorites, like Photo Studio, with almost two hundred filters, Photo Wizard, another set of filters, Iris Suite, with layers capabilities, Mobile Monet, for selectively coloring B&Ws, Bad Camera for special defective effects, Pic Grunger to add texture and grunge, Plastic Bullet for creative color effects, Rays for radial blurs, Tiffen’s FXs, mimicking their glass filters, with the ability to mask. If you are into fancy frames and creating collages, Imikimi is the App for you, with hundreds of themes to which you add your portrait or image. iDroste will create spirals, while Artista Oil will convert your photo into an oil painting. You may want to try the Frame X Frame, provided free by Joby, that will let you stitch together your images into a stop motion video, and comes with a bubble level, self timer and 3 shot burst. Photoshop has a free application for basic adjustments and Noise Blaster will take care of your grainy problems.

Captured with Gorillacam and processed in Bad Camera. ©Fabiola Forns.
Although most of the Apps will let you upload directly to most social networks, and email your contacts, some are more efficient than others.
Instagram is a very simple way to edit your photos and share them instantly and best of all, it is free. It will let you see what others are doing and share your new stuff. It will let you track favorites and locate your friends. The world is waiting for you!

Captured with Gorillacam and processed with Photo Studio ©Fabiola Forns.
If you want more information on this fascinating subject, there are a lot of books available, like “Killer Photos with you iPhone”, by Bamberg, Krug and Ketchum, or a 15 episode Podcast by Tony Sweet, available at his website.

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