To get started with iPhoneography, you need a few good accessories, great apps and some creativity. As a professional photographer, I've been using my iPhone to create beautiful images for a year, and I have found these apps and accessories to be among the very best.
The Best Accessories
The cost of getting into iPhone photography is pretty reasonable once you have your phone and a service provider. A good tripod holder is essential for HDR work, and a car charger is great for keeping your phone charged on the go. When you are not near an electrical outlet or your car, the Mophie Juice Pac will keep you going. The GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and small ball head is super for work that's really low on the ground or on table top set-ups. When processing images, the Pogo Sketch Pen is great for tapping all those buttons and sliders. For a couple hundred dollars worth of accessories, you are set!
1. IPhone 4 Tripod Holder
For holding onto any tripod.
2. Griffin Car Charger
For staying powered on the go.
SLR-Zoom ($49.95, joby.com)
For stability anywhere.
4. Pogo Sketch Pen
For precise sketching and drawing.
5. Mophie Juice Pack Plus
For doubling battery life.
For macro, wide-angle and fisheye shots.
Apps for iPhoneography
I have purchased over 100 photography apps. Some are great, some are good and some are not so good. If you
consider the cost of apps in addition to accessories, that means I have spent roughly another $200.00. Since I've purchased the apps over time, I have filed them into separate new folders. These are my best apps organized by categories.
Best Shooting Apps
This app is a popular square format image app with lots of film and lens choices.
This is a replacement app for the iPhone camera. It includes an anti-shake feature, burst mode, gridlines, geo-tagging and timer. This is my go-to shooting app for standard format.
I use this app to capture images for HDR processing at a later time. This app has a timer setting, and it creates two exposures that are automatically saved in your camera roll; one exposure for highlights in the scene, and another for darks. The app also has a manual option where you can select the bright and dark areas for image capture.
ClassicPan stores image files at a classic panoramic ratio of 9:4. It supports full resolution and geo-tagging with various film options.
Best of HDR Processing Apps
TrueHDR is a realistic look HDR processing app with high resolution files.
2. iCamera HDR
A great HDR processing app. It includes Tone Compression and several capture mode options including HDR Auto, Manual HDR, and Single HDR. It has several processing functions such as brightness, contrast, image rotation, and shadow highlights.
This app merges or captures images and has processing options like brightness, contrast, saturation, tint and warmth.
4. HDR Fusion
Captures bracketed shots and blends over and under exposed images. It outputs high res files.
Best Apps for Basic Processing
1. Iris Photo Suite
This is a powerhouse app with many traditional processing features found in Photoshop. It features everything from levels, curves, contrast, saturation, layers and masking to histograms, filters and textures. I run almost every image through this app.
This app ranks right up there with Iris Photo Suite, and has many options for basic processing. It includes borders, noise reduction, clone tool, vignette, rotating, straightening, cropping and a history tool.
This is Nik Software's entry into the photo app world with U Point technology, basic editing and
This app has powerful editing features that include curves, levels, layers, filters and effects.
Best Apps for Specialty Processing
1. Touch Retouch
This is an amazing app for removing unwanted objects in your image and acts much like PhotoShop's content aware function in PS5.
2. Photo FX
This is a special editing app by The Tiffen Company with many choices in filter effects. It features grad color filters which are all adjustable to grains and diffusion effects. I can't say enough good things about this app.
3. AutoStitch Panorama
This app creates large panoramic stitched image files from single or bracketed images.
This app has focus blur effects such as: Dreamy blur, Soft Focus, Zoom Blur and Motion Blur. It has a vignette function and a resize capability.
Best Apps for Photo Painting and Drawing Effects
1. PhotoArtista Oil
Turn your photos into paintings. Options include fine-tuning brush strokes, toning, borders, stroke variations and canvas texture.
Get impressionistic styles from real painters applied to your photos. Styles include Aquarell, Benson, Cezanne and VanGogh with masking abilities to maintain more detail in masked areas.
3. AutoPainter ll
Focuses on illustrative techniques such as Chalk, Book, Felt Tip and Water-Ink.
Best for Vintage Effects
1. Vintage Scene
Special effects software in this app turns a photo into a vintage image. Color toning options, textures and edge options make it a winner!
2. Pic Grunger
Get that classic grunge looks with filters and borders. This is a must-have app.
This app has special frame treatments and toning and filters with a vintage feel. It's one of my real favorites.
4. Old PhotoPro
This app is a real winner with toning and aged effects.
Best Light Effect Apps
This app is awesome for adding rays to your images with color, length and intensity adjustments.
Adds special light effects to your images such as hexagons, diffraction, solar flares, edge glare and more.
Add special light effects to your images such as searchlights, cones, rays, streaks, sun, spots and more with opacity and size adjustments!
4. Dynamic Light
Adds dimensions of light to your images simulating Orton, HDR, and many photo filter light effects adding increased dynamic range to your image.
Best Fun and Crazy Apps
This app turns your images into circles of fun!
This app will spin your images inside or out.
Create very cool spiral effects in your images.
To quote the developer, it "performs Coherence Enhancing Shockfiltering" to your image!
Best Apps for Utility
This is my go-to framing app when I want to add a finished look to my images.
This app will tell you the size of the image after you've processed it. I use this to check resolution.
3. Photo Transfer
This is a wireless photo transfer app. It works as long as both the phone and the computer are using the same wireless network.
It allows you to create your own signature and copyright with many font options, opacity and colors.
Best MonoChrome Apps
1. Simply B&W
This is an great monochrome app with amazing tonal range.
2. MonoPhix Vintage
A super monotone app with shadow highlight adjustments.
3. Noir Photo
Noir Photo is a wonderful monochrome app with toning, spotlight, vignette, highlight and shadow.
Workflow Processing for iPhoneography
I usually process my files with the basic apps first, and I make all the same adjustments I would normally make with Photoshop. Then I decide on the type of look or treatment I think would be good for the image file. I go to the folder with the appropriate app and process the file again. Often I will blend various file looks in Iris for a blended effect. I will also apply several apps to one file to achieve a unique look or blend treatments. My final steps in processing are to sharpen the image in PerfectPhoto, add a frame in an app that fits the look of the image, and add my signature to the image with Impression.
You can check out my blog for ongoing updates and ideas, karenmessickiphone.blogspot.com, or if you live in the Seattle area, visit Bass Art Framing on Nov 10, 2011 for a gallery opening including iPhone photo prints: baasartgallery.com/framing.