iPhoneography, Rediscovering A Love Of Photography With The iPhone

Posted in iPhone on 26/01/2011 by Frank Prendergast

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When I bought my iPhone I thought I knew how I would use it, and for the most part I was right – it would help me to stay connected while on the move in a fashionably compact way. What I did not realize was how much I would use the camera.

I studied photography when I was in college, but hadn’t touched a camera in years, but with my iPhone I rediscovered photography and discovered the truth in the saying “the best camera is the one that’s with you” (iPhone photographers may be most familiar with the saying via Chase Jarvis who has adopted it and uses it to promote his photography app and community at thebestcamera.com).

It would seem I am not alone in my iPhone camera obsession, Flickr have some interesting (if a little vague) stats on camera usage on their site, and the iPhone 3G was the leading camera for some time. While the vague graph (no timeline or hard figures) shows a decline in the 3Gs popularity on Flickr, if we look at the data for cameraphones you can see the iPhone 4 is on the rise, and I would imagine will make it’s appearance as one of the top devices in time.

I have an iPhone 3GS, and the 3 megapixel camera takes decent enough photos, but once you discover the wealth of camera and photo editing apps available things really take off. There are iPhone apps for almost every aspect of photography, but noticeably popular are apps that use filters to simulate a vintage look, such as you might get from camera lenses and film from the sixties and seventies.

While some of the apps that allow you to apply such filters to your photos can lack subtlety, the abundance of such apps highlights the main issue with cameraphone photography – despite great leaps forward in recent years the limits of a phone camera will often yield less than spectacular results without doctoring of some description.

I have a growing collection of camera and photo editing apps the best of which I will review here on MacTrast – but in my quest to discover new and exciting photography related apps I beg you to comment below with your favourites!



  • http://wouterdutoit.co.za Wouter du Toit

    Nice article. Please let me know what device you used in the picture above as the tripod? I want to start using it for doing some film work and want to get one.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.mactrast.com Cormac Moylan
  • http://www.mactrast.com J. Glenn Künzle

    Yup. I highly recommend the ZGrip as well. I own the zGrip pro, which is very much like the above, but contains more adjustment angles. Owned and loved it for over a year now.

  • deb

    Nice article! I look forward to reading your photo editing reviews/recommendations!

  • Ed

    If there was a button on the grip that allowed you to take a picture it would be great but as ir is you still need to reach that awkward release button. The Iphone 4 has a great video app called 8mm that kinda does look like 8mm film. No doubt I'll bore of that too in a little while…
    If one wants the film look one should get off ones botty and shoot film!

  • http://www.iphoneart.com/bccreative Bruce Colthart (@bcc

    Ed, one way to overcome that is to use an alternative camera app (versus the native Apple Camera app) that includes timer options. Set timer to 3 seconds or so and you'll eliminate that vibration. Also some replacement camera apps let you shoot by touching anywhere on the screen. Touching in the middle of the screen avoids the "rocking" from the default button.

    I no longer use the default Camera app; there's so many superior options for under $4.00 US.

  • http://frankprendergast.ie Frank Prendergast

    I understand the rationale behind the decision, but in terms of iPhoneography it is a pity that Apple veto the use of the volume buttons as a shutter release – Camera+ had it as a hidden feature before it got found and banned (before being reinstated again sans volume shutter release feature). For normal camera use it was so much better than having to touch the screen at all.

Author

Frank Prendergast

Frank loves using his iPhone as a camera & photo editor - if you have any tips on cool photo apps or processes, or just want to share your cool iPhoneography please drop Frank an email. Frank offers web design in Cork (Ireland) and also loves WordPress and the Rockford Files.