I have been known to dabble in photography. I use a combination of my big clunky Nikon DSLR and my trusty iPhone. I love taking photographs with my phone because it so portable and I always have it with me. My kids will attest that I can be rather obnoxious while attempting to get the perfect shot (I am not above pulling my car over and climbing over fences) and I really do photograph the dumbest things. I often get asked which mobile photography apps I use. I may use up to 5 or so apps for one picture. It’s hard to explain how I choose which ones to use. I just know the look I am going for and keep playing until I get it. There has been some criticism by some that using apps is not “real photography”. It is my opinion that even the best photographers use editing software and if it makes the photography look nice, who really cares? Anyway, here are my top choices:
EDITING: Other than Instagram, Snapseed is the photo app I use most often. I mainly use the “tune image” for quick editing. One of the drawbacks of the iPhone that it is not the best in poor lighting. I can usually remedy that with this app. I also frequently use the filters in this app. I also use Photoshop Express. It is a very quick and easy version of PhotoShop. Camera + is also very nice. You can keep several versions of the same picture before you load it to the iPhone photo library. It also has several shooting features. TouchRetouch is actually my newest app, so I am still learning. It can remove that pesky unwanted item in your photography.
SHUTTER SPEED: Slow Shutter Cam and Fast Camera are apps for both ends of shutter speed spectrum. Slow Shutter is a long exposure app that gives the photograph a sense of movement. I use a mini-tripod for best results. Fast Camera is a short exposure app that stops action. It can take hundreds of pictures in seconds. I use it for action shots. 360 Panorama is an app to get a 360 degree (that’s a circle for you non-math types) photograph of your surroundings. It’s important to keep your camera level and steady to get the best shot.
FILTERS: There are so many apps for that! I suggest trying some out, but they can really suck on your wallet, so it’s best to ask around. I view these apps as the creative piece to photography. Most filter apps include several types of vintage, grunge, black and white and color filters. Once you use them, you will learn what look you want. Many filter types are used across apps (colorcross, silver, vintage, light flares, etc). The ones I use most often are: CameraBag–really straight forward and simple to use; 100 Cameras In 1–tons of color filters; Retrocamera–more quirky filters and part of the proceeds go to Japanese Earthquake recovery; Color Splash–choose a prominent item in the photograph to color while the rest of the photo is black and white. I have about a dozen others that I may chose on any given day.
SOCIAL MEDIA: When I finish toying around with the photograph, I often share on Instagram or Twitter. I love, love, love Instagram. Thank you Emperor Zuckerberg for changing the Terms of Service to give back the photographic rights to the photographer (that was SO not a dig at Empire Facebook : P) For me it is an eclectic collection of photographs that portray our worldwide cultural and time. I have also used Flickr from time to time.
Remember there are probably hundreds of photography apps. These are just ones I have used and feel are worth the money (don’t hunt me down if you don’t agree). To close, I have 2 bits of advice for anyone trying mobile photography: Use your zoom and don’t be afraid to experiment. Happy Shooting!