How to take photos with an iPhone part III, is the third installment on how to take better photos with an iPhone or any smart phone for that matter. Read the previous two posts at these links:
In this post we are going to talk about apps and post-processing your images.
If you were like me, the first time you purchased an iPhone you probably didn't even know what an app was. Only yesterday a friend of mine asked me that very question - 'what's an app?'
An app is a piece of software that does a specific task, which runs on your phone. App is short for application - as in software application. If you go to the App store with Apple, you'll find more apps than you can poke a stick at.
Once you've taken a photo, nine times out of ten, you'll need to run that photo through some post-processing. On a smart phone this is done with an app. A photo app turns your smart phone into your very own portable digital dark room, which when you think about it, is pretty amazing really.
2. Which App?
Given the huge number of apps out there for photographers, it can feel pretty daunting trying to decide which app is right for you. Popular apps include:
My advice with apps is this - purchase one app, learn it, then master it, then add another app to your iPhone.
Only by slowing down and really learning one app, will you begin to produce iPhone photos with a consistent visual aesthetic.
3. App Traps
Apps have some traps that you should watch out for.
Instagram - I use Instagram a lot, but there is one thing I really don't like about it. You can't process an image in Instagram and just save it on your photo roll. Whatever the reason, each time you process an image with Instagram, it will automatically be uploaded to your Instagram feed online. Unless I've missed something really obvious over the past two years, there is no way around this. The flip side is, you can make your Instagram feed private. Just go to your Instagram account online and dig through the Preferences.
Hipstamatic - This app is like using film. You select the film type you want, the lens you want and then you take your photo. The app actually processes the photo based on your preferences and spits out the final image. Unlike other apps where you take the photo, then process with an app, Hipstamatic is the reverse. This means you can end up with a lot of photos with a look and feel, that you may not like. And which you can't really change.
Another trap with apps, is ensuring that you are shooting at the highest image size possible. Always check this when you download a new app. Just go into the app settings and make sure you have selected the highest possible setting you can for image size.
Check back later in the week for Part IV How to take photos with an iPhone.