Not that I recommend leaving your DSLR behind but lets face it, digital photography has come a long way since the Kodak DCS 100. Photographers have a lot at their disposal and it’s only getting better and better. A new entry level DSLR goes for under $500 and some $350 point and shoot cameras far outdo what a $5,500 top of the line Nikon D1X 5.4 megapixel CCD 3 fps could do ten years ago.
For someone looking to sport a pocket camera you have some great options. I love my Canon S90. It has all the manual features I need and because it’s so small it’s always with me, unlike all that DSLR gear that used to sit by the door. But despite it’s size, I still need a laptop to show anyone anything. That’s where my iPhone comes in. I’ve taken this thing to South Africa, Ireland, Mexico, The United States, and all around Canada and it offers unmatched convenience – with the right apps of course. There’s just something about taking a photo and having in online in under a minute that appeals to me.
Putting aside the fact that a good photo isn’t taken by a good camera it’s taken by a good photographer I want to share my favorite iPhone photography apps. These are the apps I use to make the job of shooting and publishing on the fly easier. These won’t make your photos better, only you can do that, so I’m not promising anything beyond a little help in the processing and publishing.
Let’s start with the camera. The iPhone comes with a nice camera (I still sport an iPhone 4 but with iOS5) that takes a decent photo in the right conditions. There are options to adjust the flash, turn HDR mode on/off, switch between the front and back, and the newest update has allowed the volume button to act as a shutter rather then having to press the screen (a big improvement). I look forward to picking up an iPhone 4S but this works for me so I’ll probably skip the update.
You can improve the standard iPhone camera with an app called Camera Plus. It can enhance, colorize, crop, rotate, flash your shots, plus use standard editing tools, such as brightness, saturation, hue, contrast, sharpness, tint, and color temperature. Camera Plus also has 21 Photo filters, and 9 Distortion Effects. Almost everything you need in one handy app. To bad is doesn’t have the volume button shutter (it did but Apple put an end to it). This is a wonderful app you really should be using if you regularly use your iPhone to snap photos. It’s a buck to download.
Obviously if you go with Camera Plus you don’t need another app to edit you photos but if you wanted to, and I do, PhotoForge from GhostBird Software is all you’ll ever need. WIRED said PhotoForge is possibly the best iPad (iPhone) photo editing app yet. It’s fast and easy. After I’ve taken something I want to post I open PhotoForge, import the photo, crop it, edit the curves if I need too, sharpen it a little, and save it. PhotoForge is a very simple program to learn and use and I highly recommend it.
That’s it for the serious stuff. Now the fun photo apps. First up is The Best Camera. You just know with a name like that it has to be good right? Best Camera lets you shoot, edit and share your iPhone photos with the world. I like it because you can stack effects one on top of the other and delete them if you need to. It’ s a fun app to play around with and it can create some nice art. The Best Camera web site offers a good look at what you can expect so make sure you surf over and see. They even offer a book of photos taken with it.
One more fun photo app to include and it comes from Art and Mobile, the same company that makes TiltShiftGen. This is QuadCamera. This app allows you to take a series of photos and export them either as a set (four to eight photos) in one photo or as an animated gif. It’s a cool app. I don’t use gifs much but I’m sure if someone does this would be very handy.