I just read this article from DadsForLife and thought that why not I do a blog post on this too? After all, I have been extensively using my cameras including my iPhone 4S for photographing everything in my life.
My day out with my little family normally includes a Canon 60D with attached EFS 17-55 F2.8 lens and a external 430EXII flash or a EF 28mm F1.8 lens. With that, I will also normally carry another Canon S95 with me just in case I might need it. And of course, the trusty little iPhone 4S. The best thing about the iPhone 4S is that it is a mobile computer that follows you everywhere and you can edit your photos right on the iPhone itself, upload it on realtime to many social networking sites and share with friends. No more waiting to get a computer to edit the photos and then upload it. Furthermore, with GPS activated, you can even geotag your photos! My wife can attest to the fact that I am juggling with cameras everytime I see something nice. I might shoot it with my DSLR and then shoot it again on my iPhone for instant uploading.
Although the camera on the iPhone 4S is arguably the best camera available on a phone, it does not hurt to edit and enhance the beautiful images with the thousands of apps available on the Apple App Store. So for you guys out there, here is my list of my top 10 iPhone photography apps. For each app, I will show a screenshot of the app in action and then followed by the image produced by that app. No other photoshop done on the desktop other than watermarking the photos.
10. Hipstamatic - US$1.99
This is one of my favorite favorite apps of all time (until I discover another one which you will see). It features many different options like choosing a flash type, different films and different lens to choose from. You will snap your photo from the little "viewfinder" box that is shown on the display and the effects of your chosen kit will be shown immediately. One thing to note is that you will only get the base model when you purchase the apps, the developer has included MUCH more lens etc but you will have to purchase additional hipstapaks, each costing US$0.99. By the way, this was one of the first app that got me interested in using my iPhone for photography.
|Took using Jimmy lens and Kodot XGrizzled film with flash off.|
9. ColorSplash - US$0.99
|Zooming in by pinching to get the edges correctly masked|
Want to highlight/colorize a certain area on your photo and keep the rest desaturated? Colorsplash is my recommendation to you. You will be able to pinch and zoom in to get almost pixel perfect masking and then getting that part colorized. There is also a few brushes available to choose from to get a better control on the area required.
|The final result with only the orange colorized!|
8. ToonPaint - US$1.99
|Customizing the line sizes and shading amount|
Have you always wanted to get yourself a self portrait sketch? You know by either sitting down somewhere in Bugis street and getting a street artist to draw one for you? I always wanted to do that but I just can't make myself sit there and be the subject of other people photographing me! But with this app, you have an instant sketcher in your phone. My twitter profile photo is made using this app! Similarly, more options are unlocked after purchasing add on packs like ToonColor (US$0.99) for a color sketch instead of a black and white sketch.
|My Twitter display picture is done using this app|
7. CameraArtFX - US$0.99
|Live preview of the camera with effects shown|
This app is a little similar to ToonPaint. But it is more interesting in that it offers live view of the preview image of the subject you are photographing. It also have more options than ToonPaint and offers options like cartoon, watercolor, etc. Apart from that you can also load your saved images from your phone and apply the effects into the photo.
|Took a shot of my Pluto Nanoblock|
6. PhotoForge2 - US$2.99 SALE NOW
|One of the most advanced photo editing app out there|
Forget about the free Adobe Photoshop Express. PhotoForge2 is the app that offers almost desktop like photoshop editing features. It is also the only app that I have mentioned here that features layers support. Now you can blend layers, adjust the opacity and do masking. It is the most comprehensive app that has features like unsharp mask, shadows/highlights, curves, channel mixer, noise reduction and more. With its included effects filter like dreamy, embross, etc, you can do tons here. Add in another US$1.99 for the Pop! Cam and you get tons of additional filters. This addon works similarly to the Hipstamatic app that I have mentioned earlier.
|Did this with dreamy filter + vignetting|
5. Pano - US$1.99 SALE NOW
|Check out the translucent guide on the left. You match it around the same area and continue to snap the next shot. Easy!|
Ever feel that the iPhone camera is not wide enough? No problem. Get a panorama app and my choice is the Pano app. It is quite simple to stitch those photos up to create that wonderful panoramic image. It has a simple semi transparent guide to help in lining up the next shot. Also, you can save high resolution image of your panorama direct into your camera roll. Having said that, it has been quite some time since I have taken one panorama shot. Guess I need to fire up this app more often!
4. Nostalgio - US$0.99
|A very simple app for photo collages|
Want to create nice looking photo collages? Try Nostalgio. You can choose from a variety of templates, load different images into each frame, rotate, move, spin them or use the camera and take on the spot photos to fill up those frames.Whenever I think that seperate images might be too much, I use this app to combine several photos into one nice photo.
|Various templates to choose from!!|
3. Snapseed - US$4.99
|This app has enough features for the casual user|
If you think that PhotoForge2 is a little too complex for you, Snapseed is a another good app. It is also feature packed but perhaps a little less intimidating for casual users that just want to tweak their photos but maintain a certain level of control over it. Like all other apps, it also has a filter feature that applies effects like grunge, drama, vintage etc. One interesting feature is the tilt shift function where you have control to make the photo look like minatures walking in it! Snapseed is the third most used photo editing app that I commonly use for editing my photos.
|Note that the photo was taken using my Canon 60D DSLR but fully edited on the iPhone 4S with SnapSeed.|
2. Camera+ - US$1.99
|My favorite camera and photography app EVER!|
It is tough to place Camera+ in the second spot as Camera+ is my number one photography editing app. I am using it to edit most of the photos that I take on the iPhone. I also do use it for taking photos over the default camera app since it has features like "stabilizers" which lets you choose the sharpest photo, "continuous LED flash" for the LED light to be on continuously and not just a flash. The other unique feature is the touch exposure and focus where you touch to focus and then the second finger to expose it correctly.
That is not all. The dozens of filter effects are amazing and does the job just right. I bought the additional I ♥ Analog FX pack for US$0.99 almost immediately after trying out the app. The effects are simple to apply and just require one touch. The only other option is to choose the intensity of the effect. It is great when you want to enhance the photo and want to do it quick.
|I did this with a simple clarity filter + cropping to 1:1.|
1. Instagram - FREE!
|Instagram! It also has quite a number of useful filters!|
Instagram is the reason why Camera+ has to move down to number two. Instagram is a social networking app that users post their photos in a square 1:1 format to over 15 million users. There are tons of good photographers uploading their photos daily. And their photos are seriously good! Not only that most of the users that just use their iPhone for the photos that you see in the app and it is pretty amazing what the little phone can do. It drives you and motivates you to take better pictures and also "teaches" you on different method of photography on the iPhone and editing.
|One of my earlier works edited purely using Instagram.|
Other than being a social app, it has a built in filters effect and border designs for users that just want to have a simple effect applied on their photo. My favorite feature is the linear and radial focus/blur feature where you can create a nice effect and get viewers to focus on certain areas.
Singapore has quite a number of active users in it too and they call it the SGIG. I have not been able to join in their gatherings and events due to my other commitments but I will definitely make a trip down to chat with those wonderful people behind some of the most awesome photography, be it street photography, kids photography, food photography or toy photography. In fact, it is anything under the sun.
So there you go, my top 10 apps for photography.
Do share with me on what is your favorite photography app/s.
One last thing.... if you are on Instagram, say hi to me @nivleksg. If you are still not on Instagram, give it a shot!