I'm very happy to welcome Emily, whose iPhone photos and photography I've admired for a long time, as a guest on Fuoriborgo - today she'll share some tips on iPhone photography, and talk about some of her favorite apps. Thanks, Emily!
I got hit with the iPhoneography bug in January 2010, a month or two after getting my first iPhone. At the time we were living in Switzerland and had just found out that we would be moving back to the States over the summer. I had, of course, been taking a lot of photos all along, but suddenly I felt as if I needed to capture every single moment so as to not forget a thing (my memory is awful!). We did not own a car and walked or rode the train everywhere, which meant an abundance of photography opportunities. My iPhone was on me all the time, so it was perfect. Before too long I was taking as many photos with my iPhone as with my DSLR.
Besides its easy portability, the other thing that makes photography with the iPhone so fun is the abundance of photography applications available on iTunes. There are quite a lot of good photo apps out there, but you do need to be careful, as not all of them save your photographs at full resolution. If you are only posting your photos to Facebook or Twitter the resolution may not be a big deal. But if you are like me and you like to print out your photos, then full resolution is a must.
Here are some of my favorites:
Camera+ ($1.99) is probably the app I'm using most right now. It's a camera replacement app which means that you can use it to take your picture, rather than the camera that comes with the iPhone. I almost never use the camera that comes with the iPhone because Camera+ has this awesome feature where the exposure can be set separately from the focus. It also has a lot of great filters and photo editing tools. You can edit photos taken with Camera+, and also import old photos from your camera roll to edit.
CameraBag ($1.99) is just a great go-to, no-frills app. There are only 14 different filters and it's very easy to use.
lo-mob ($1.99) was the app that made me fall in love with iPhoneography. It has a lot of vintage/retro looking filters.
Pro HDR ($1.99) is one of my very favorite iPhone apps. You know how when you're taking photos outside, the sky often gets blown out? Pro HDR fixes that problem in seconds by prompting you to choose one light photo and one dark photo, and then merging the two together! It can be a little hit or miss. If there are too many fine lines in the photographs, the end result will be too blurry. But Pro HDR works great for me more often than not.
TiltShiftGen ($.99) is another one of my very favorite apps, which I couldn't do without. It is supposed to be used to create a miniature look, but I use it for selectively blurring photos or creating a shallow depth of field look.
Some other apps which I don't use as much, but I feel are worth noting: Pic Grunger ($.99) and VintageScene ($1.99) are both fun apps that give photos a really old, antique look. And also Plastic Bullet ($1.99), which gives pictures a nice toy camera look. I have many more apps (50+), and at any one time I am using one more than the others, but these are the ones I seem to rotate through the most.
I've found that the key to taking good iPhone (or any other mobile phone with a decent camera, I imagine) pictures is much the same as with a regular camera.
1. Good light. The number one most important thing.
2. Be very still. Make yourself into a human tripod! Hold your breath!
3. Take a lot of photos. I often take an annoying number of photos of the same thing (ask my husband and children) to get the shot I want. This is something I hope to rely on less as I get better.
4. Experiment and embrace the imperfections that go along with iPhoneography. The photo below is very grainy, but in this case I feel that it really enhances the mood of that rainy morning by the lake.
Emily McCann currently lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. When she's not chasing after her children she can usually be found reading a good book or trying to improve her photography skills.