On October 31, 1941 Ansel Adams was driving along when he noticed a scene that excited him. He quickly pulled over and set up his 8x10 view camera. In his haste, he couldn't find his Weston exposure meter. He remembered what the exposure should have been for one part of the scene and came up with an exposure of 1 second at f/32 with the ASA 64 film he was using. Although he wanted to take a second image, the light changed and the scene was gone. Imagine if Mr. Adams had an iPhone on that fateful day that he took what probably is his most famous picture...Moonrise, Hernandez.
Driving along I got a call from my wife. It lasted about 10 seconds. I put my iPhone down on the seat and continued on home. Since the snow is still in mile high piles in front of my house, I got out of the car to do a little shoveling. [I predict the snow will actually be around until May.] After shoveling, I went inside.
Unfortunately, when my son left with the car, my iPhone was still inside. It wasn't lost or anything terrible like that. It just wasn't with me all day today. Here are the pictures I missed today without my iPhone...
My little girls, as I call them, two of the cutest Pugs you ever saw, were in the backyard surrounded by snow. Missed shot.
Looking over the dozens of photo apps I've got on my iPhone, I think it's time to give app creators a bit of advice.
1. If you want to charge me for an app, charge me and DON'T give me a 'free' app that opens up asking me to upgrade before I've even had a chance to try it.
2. Look at other apps and please don't duplicate features that are generally available in a zillion other apps.
3. Please don't give me an app that creates black and white images and call it worthy of being. It isn't.
4. Folks who like "retro" or "lomo" or "holga" effects probably aren't interested in your creating an app that emulates what they do. Their whole reason for being is to do things the old fashioned...darkroom way.
Alice Austen was a noted photographer...about 100 years ago.
Yes, it's true. I'll say it straight out: I like squares!
Square images, that is.
Every since I did wedding photography (many moons ago), I've enjoyed looking at square images. In those days, I used a Hasselblad that shot 2 1/4 square images on 120 film. Today's interest in Holga cameras keep up the use of square images.
When I take photos I frequently think about how they would be cropped for a square. Instagram is very useful when it comes to cropping squares. It allows you to crop images very easily. I like that feature. Here's what it looks like when you are cropping an image using Instagram. I particularly like the idea that you can 'move and scale' the image easily. If you like squares, Instagram is a useful (and free) tool. Try it.
You might be seeing a movie in your local theater made entirely with an iPhone. Yep, it's true. Park Chan-wook, a noted Korean movie director, used iPhones to film his 30-minute fantasy-horror short called Paranmanjang (ups and downs). It was completely shot with iPhone 4s. It will be interesting to see how this film is received and if other directors and producers try their luck using iPhones as their cameras of choice.
Will an iPhone get an award at the next Academy Awards?
As a writer for many years, my photographic skills have been very helpful. Now, carrying an iPhone around makes my writing even easier.
Here are some tips for using your iPhone pictures if you want to write articles...
The fear of public speaking is wide spread. Many folks attend Toastmasters meetings in hopes of overcoming the fear and learning how to speak in public effectively. One of the best ways to learn how to speak better is to see yourself on video. iPhones, of course, are idea for recording videos. The fact that you have it with you is a key factor as well.
You can record your fellow Toastmasters or ask one of them to record your speech. Emailing the video is also quick and easy. Before the end of the Toastmasters meeting, everyone can have their speech ready to see at home, in private.
If you belong to Toastmasters, consider offering to record speakers. Do NOT record anyone without their permission.
In the olden days (before iPhones), if you attended a photography workshop, you'd learn some good techniques and write down all the stuff you needed to achieve them. By the time you got home and bought the equipment, you probably didn't really remember how to use it. Now, things are different.
If you go to an iPhone workshop, you can literally get the equipment (i.e. Apps) right then and there. You can experiment with it as the instructor is speaking. And the best part is that the "equipment" you'll get is either free or very inexpensive.
iPhone workshops are popping up all over. Look for one in your area, or better yet, create your own iPhone Photography Workshop. Hmmm...that's a good idea. I think I'll try it myself. :)
Using an iPhone to take pictures is fast, easy, and fun. Using the many iPhone photo Apps makes the experience even better. Now (I hope) is a good time for App makers (at least one, I hope) to consider going way back to the beginning of photography and create an App or add to an existing App what are now called alternative photographic processes. I would love to see an App the allows me (us) to give us the same look as we got from albumen, bromoil, carbon, cyanotypes, daguerrotypes, gum bichromates, kallitypes, palladium, platinum, Polaroid lifts, and vandykes.
If you want to get those old effects, it's very time consuming, and in many cases physically dangerous to deal with the poisonous chemicals. Come on App developers, let us get back to photographic basics...please.