Flowers, family, found objects. If you have an iPhone, chances are you’ve started to explore the world of iPhoneography — shooting images with your phone and, if you choose, processing them using various applications.
There are hundreds of apps out there for the iPhone photographer, some great, others less so. But just as with coffee, it’s all a matter of taste. The fun thing is, it’s only your own taste that matters.
Here are some ideas on how to go about taking iPhone photos and selecting apps that will work best for you.
It’s all in the picture. A great photograph is all about content. Just because you shot it with an iPhone doesn’t mean that concept has to go out the window. No stress, though: The content only needs to mean something to you. If you have an Instagram feed or a Twitter or Facebook account, it’s easy to share the image with the world. But kids also grow up fast, so you have the option of keeping a shot hidden away for future blackmail purposes.
Take the photo first, process it later. When you’re taking a picture, apps practically call out to be used: Add some color here, drop in some scratches there and after a bit, the sky is purple and your child’s face is green. Upload and voila, it’s art! But I’m a big proponent of capturing the image first and processing it later. Just because your favorite app is at your fingertips doesn’t mean that you’ll like the processed photo a year from now. So take that cute baby picture with your iPhone, save it to the Camera Roll, then add your flair later. This way you’ll always have the original to go back to.
Not all apps are created equal. You may be seduced by the word “free,” as I am. Getting something for nothing rocks; just make sure that it’ll meet your needs. The free app often lacks functionality and may prevent you from saving the final processed image or may not allow you to export it in a size any larger than a thumbnail. Free is a great way to see whether you like an app, but if you do like one, invest a few dollars to get the full version.
Washington Post staff photographer Michael S. Williamson picked five of his favorite apps, along with a few of mine and one from Washington Post social media producer T.J. Ortenzi.
100 Cameras in 1
This app does, in fact, offer 100 filters. The clever folks who produce it have given the various filters moody names that read like a post-modern Hallmark card. One is called “Waking up on the beach.” Another is “Surrounded by pillows.” My favorite: “The ghosts came back.” There are lots of textures as well as brilliant and soft colors (also black and white). As with most of the better apps, you can either shoot with the app or add its various effects to an existing photo from the Camera Roll.
645 Pro ($2.99)
This one’s for serious camera phone users. There are as many dials, knobs and controls on this app as on an actual film camera.
It helps to have experience with a sophisticated film camera to understand most of the app’s features. But if you want to make a classic portrait with a quality-film look, this is your app. It has exposure lock as well as focus lock features with touch-screen simplicity.