My Favorite iPhone Apps (Work for Most Smart Phones)

Taken With Hipstamatic

Taken With Hipstamatic

 

I have a favorite road and a favorite tree.  My friends who know me well, know that I drive by this tree a lot and take pictures of it during different times of the year.  No, I’m not crazy. Just interested in photographing this tree. It’s got great architectural lines that stand out in different ways depending on the light and season.  I have several favorite pictures from this road, and
they were all taken with my iPhone.  Basically, I had the camera, I had the inspiration, and I took the time to capture the best images I could.

Did I need a fancy $5,000 camera to get these pics?  No. Good images come from a good eye and a basic knowledge of composition and exposure.  If you understand those elements, you can take great pictures with any point and shoot.

Taken with Camera+

Taken with Camera+

Nothing feels better than creating a collection of images like these that I made with my iPhone on this beautiful ranch road.  They’re easy to take, and the results I get are amazing!

Why I love Shooting with My iPhone

So I’ve come to the realization that the era of the compact camera is coming to a close. Have you noticed?  Either people shoot with their cell phones or they use an advanced digital SLR.  There’s not much in between. Why is this happening?

Taken with Hipstamatic

Taken with Hipstamatic

It’s my experience that the iPhone has more capability and is easier to use than the current point and shoot cameras on the market.  Every time I have a client ask for a recommendation on a camera and they only have  a couple of hundred dollars to spend, I recommend the iPhone.  They’re always surprised to hear me say it…and usually disappointed if they don’t take my advice.

I’ve been an iPhone user for many years, so my experience with Android is limited to working with my clients’ camera phones.  What I’ve found is that the Android models have different capabilities based on the carrier or memory size which can be problematic when trying to load up an app on the fly.  They don’t work as consistently as the iPhone, and I had several Androids crash while I was working with them.

With the advent of the more advanced menu-driven compact cameras, it’s become more difficult for people to decipher all the hidden menus and options. These little gadgets are almost as complicated as the advanced digital SLR, but without the quality results.   The only thing that makes them different is their size — definitely not a positive feature if it means a smaller lens, a smaller sensor, and diminished end results.

I became enamored with iPhoneography after attending a professional photographic trade show. We took a little seminar on a then new app called Hipstamatic. It was eye opening.

Taken with Hipstamatic Multiple Exposure Option

Taken with Hipstamatic Multiple Exposure Option

All of a sudden we could create stunning photo effects in moments that used to take hours in Photoshop. I was amazed and severely hooked.   So for the next year, I shot as much as  I possibly could with this app. I got really familiar with the ins and outs of the iPhone.

I also realized that this was the future of social media. You could create instant masterpieces that were greatly appreciated online, but they weren’t high res images you could blow up the size of an airplane hanger.  As a photographer, you don’t want to post images that can be stolen or used somewhere else, so the iPhone quality and size is perfect.

I knew then there was a huge future in this art form.

So I kept researching new apps, reading everything I could about the newest and neatest. Here is what I have found:

My 4 Favorite iPhone Apps are for Android too  

Hipstamatic  – this was my first love. This app allows you to select “film” and “lenses” before you shoot to create the perfect effect.  Hipstamatic also makes Oggl – an app which adds the ability to change film and lenses after you’ve taken the picture.  Oggl is also available for Android.

Camera + –  This app allows you to control exposure, focus and ISO while you’re shooting.  It also has some editing features which include selective focus, exposure compensation and   exposure lock.  I use it on every picture I take.  Unfortunately, Camera+ is not available for Android.

Snapseed – this is my go to app for processing photos after I’ve taken them.  There are so many options, but my favorite is the automatic contrast and exposure setting. It allows you to go into the image and selectively change exposure, contrast and saturation in a specific part of your picture.  Other settings such as Grunge, HDR and Retroux let you scroll through various effects.  Also available for Android.

Instagram – I love Instagram.  It’s mainly a sharing community for iPhoneography and smart phone photography, but it has some awesome filter effects that allow you to enhance your picture.  Available for Android.

Taken with Camera Plus and Edited with Snapseed

Taken with Camera Plus and Edited with Snapseed

The beautiful thing about photography with the iPhone is that it expands my creativity. I can use more than one app to create even more customized effects. I take each image through a series of apps before getting the final look I want.  I never know where I’m going to end up, and I like it like that.

If you’re interested in finding out how to become a pro with your iPhone, Jansen Photo Explorations offers online iPhoneography classes that will help you create stunning images.  We help you master shooting, creativity, editing and sharing with this incredible tool.

We also offer many other options for learning to be more comfortable with your camera and your personal vision.  Single and multi day photography workshops are our specialty, and if you’d like to take a longer trip, we have Iceland, Africa and France coming up for 2014.  Call or email us now to book your next photographic expedition, www.JansenPhotoExpeditions.com or learn Photoshop Elements and iPhoneography and more online at www.JansenPhotoExplorations.com

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Holly Higbee-Jansen

Co-Owner and Workshop Leader at Jansen Photo Expeditions
I am a passionate photographer and workshop leader, and I have been exploring my fascination with light since I was a young child. As a co-owner and guide for www.JansenPhotoExpeditions.com, I love taking our small groups of clients to beautiful places to help them explore their photographic creativity. Join us on one of our photographic workshops in the American West, Iceland and Central America: www.JansenPhotoExpedtions.com or take one of our online photography classes.  Live life creatively!  Reach me by email at:  hhjphoto@gmail.com
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