iPhone Apps for Photographers

As much as I would like to I can’t carry my camera with me everywhere I go, it’s simply not practical. I just couldn’t be carrying my tripod and my camera back on a trip to shops, or to a client meeting. Fortunately with the prevelance of digital cameras built in to modern phones, and the increasing ability of these devices, the fact that a photographer doesn’t have a full digital SLR to hand is not always a hinderance to taking a photograph that packs a punch. Looking back through my own images I can see a number of shots I am quite happy with that I have taken with my iPhone. Indeed there are times where I shot an image with my iPhone even when I have my DSLR with me.

The other advantage of the camera phones, particularly an iPhone (or indeed a Google Android phone) is the number camera and photo manipulation applications available. For processing my images I tend to love using Photoshop, but with my iPhone there are a number of applications I am happy to use to process a photo. With that in mind I thought I would give a list of the iPhone photography applications that I can’t live without:

 

Hipstamatic.

Hipstamatic

This is probably one of the first iPhone applications I purchased. Hipstamatic applies a number of software filters to a digital image to make it look like it was taken by an analogue camera. The application comes with a number of different effects you can apply to your image (which come in the style of different “lenes”, “films” and “flashes”) and additional filters can be purchased in the applications itself. The one disadvantage is that you have to select which filters you want to use before the shot is taken, rather than applying them afterwards like most applications. However this helps to give the feel that you are taking the photo with a traditional camera, which is something I do like.

Hipstamatic

 

Autostitch

Autostitch

One of the limitations of the iPhone camera is the lens. Unlike a SLR, if I want to shoot a wider image I don’t have the option to switch to a wider lens. Autodstitch allows me to get around this problem. With Autostitch I take a series of shots of the panorama I want, then fire up the app and load them in. So long as there is enough commonality between the images (i.e. as you move your camera through the panorama each image has a good percentage of the last image in it) the application will then align the images and merge them together into a single panoramic photo, after that you can use and inbuilt tool to crop the image to your desired view. I’ve used this to good effect on a number of occasions and produced some good panoramas with it.

Autostitch

 

Snapseed

Snapseed

Earlier I mentioned how one of the down sides of the Hipstamatic application was the fact that you had to decide which effects to apply before the picture was taken, if you prefer to apply your effects after capturing an image then Snapseed the application for you. Unlike the other two applications I’ve listed Snapseed doesn’t have an inbuilt function to take pictures. Instead you load images into the application from your iPhone camera library. These means you can use pretty much an camera application on the iPhone to capture your desired image and then load it into Snapseed to process it. The advantage of this is that you can process the same image a number of times until you achieve the exact look you are after. The other thing good thing about Snapseed is that you have a much greater range of control over how the filters are applied. Each effect has a number of settings that can be applied at different strengths to your image. Also Snapseed allows you to selectively adjust some settings on small areas of the image, meaning you can use it highlight certain features much like you would in Photoshop. Indeed I think the functionality in the Snapseed application far outweights the Photoshop Express application availabe for the iPhone.

Snapseed

While there are plenty of other applications available on the iPhone that allow you to take and process images on the iPhone, these three are probably the ones I make most use of and would recommend to any other photographer looking to make more use of thier iPhone as a camera.

There is one other application I would highly recommend to any photographer, however unlike the other applications on this list this tool will not let you take or process an image. Rather this application provides you with information to help you capture the image you want.

Mr Sun

Basically the idea of Mr Sun is to allow you to find out the direction in which the sun will be at any time and date in any location. This can be very useful when scouting a location for a sunrise or sunset photography shoot. When you are in a location you can open up this app and use the inbuilt iPhone compass to find out where the sun will as well as the time of sunrise and sunset on any given day. This can be quite useful when setting up your tripod and camera, or indeed working out what day of the year I need to be in a location to get the sun rising or setting in the position I want. The other advantage is that if you are planning to head to a location for a sunrise shot you can use this application to work out what time sunrise will be and hence ensure you set off in plenty of time to catch sunrise (there’s nothing worse than getting up an stupid o’clock to catch sunrise only to see the sun come up as you drive to your location!)

Mr Sun

 

If you have any other suggests for iPhone photography apps please feel free to suggest them in the comments.

Leave a comment