Creating Great iPhoneography

Summer-Farm-K-Messick-(1)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


iPhone Tripod holderFor holding onto any tripod.

2. Griffin Car Charger


Griffin Power JoltFor staying powered on the go.

3. GorillaPod 


Gorilla ZoomFor stability anywhere.

4. Pogo Sketch Pen


For precise sketching and drawing.

5. Mophie Juice Pack Plus 


Mophie Juice Pack PlusFor doubling battery life.

6. OlloClip 


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

1. Hipstamatic


HipstamaticThis app is a popular square format image app with lots of film and lens choices.

2. CameraPlusPro


Camera Plus ProThis 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.

3. BracketMode 


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.

4. ClassicPAN


Classic PanClassicPan 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

1. TrueHDR 


TrueHDRTrueHDR is a realistic look HDR processing app with high resolution files.

2. iCamera HDR


iCamera HDRA 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.

3. ProHDR


ProHDRThis app merges or captures images and has processing options like brightness, contrast, saturation, tint and warmth.

4. HDR Fusion


HDR FusionCaptures bracketed shots and blends over and under exposed images. It outputs high res files.

Best Apps for Basic Processing

1. Iris Photo Suite


Iris PhotoThis 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.

2. Filterstorm


FiltersotrmThis 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.

3. Snapseed


SnapseedThis is Nik Software's entry into the photo app world with U Point technology, basic editing and 


4. PhotoForge2


PhotoforgeThis app has powerful editing features that include curves, levels, layers, filters and effects.

Best Apps for Specialty 

1. Touch Retouch 


Touch RetouchThis 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


PhotoFXThis 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


Autostitch PanoramaThis app creates large panoramic stitched image files from single or bracketed images.

4. FocalLab 


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


PhotoArtista OilTurn your photos into paintings. Options include fine-tuning brush strokes, toning, borders, stroke variations and canvas texture.

2. AutoPainter


AutoPainterGet 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 


AutoPainter IIFocuses on illustrative techniques such as Chalk, Book, Felt Tip and Water-Ink.

Best for Vintage Effects

1. Vintage Scene


Vintage SceneSpecial 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


Pig GrungerGet that classic grunge looks with filters and borders. This is a must-have app.

3. Bad-Camera


Bad-CameraThis app has special frame treatments and toning and filters with a vintage feel. It's one of my real favorites.

4. Old PhotoPro


Old PhotoProThis app is a real winner with toning and aged effects.

Best Light Effect Apps

1. Rays


RaysThis app is awesome for adding rays to your images with color, length and intensity adjustments.

2. LensFlare


LensFlareAdds special light effects to your images such as hexagons, diffraction, solar flares, edge glare and more.

3. LensLight


LensLightAdd special light effects to your images such as searchlights, cones, rays, streaks, sun, spots and more with opacity and size adjustments!

4. Dynamic Light


Dynamic LightAdds 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

1. Percolator


PercolatorThis app turns your images into circles of fun!

2. TinyPlanet


TinyPlanetThis app will spin your images inside or out.

3. Idroste


iDrosteCreate very cool spiral 
effects in your images.

4. ShockMyPic


ShockMyPicTo quote the developer, it "performs Coherence 
Enhancing Shockfiltering" to your image!

Best Apps for Utility 

1. Crop'n'Frame


Crop'n'FrameThis is my go-to framing app when I want to add a finished look to my images.

2. PhotoSize


PhotoSizeThis app will tell you the size of the image after you've processed it. I use this to check resolution. 

3. Photo Transfer


Photo TransferThis is a wireless photo transfer app. It works as long as both the phone and the computer are using the same wireless network. 

4. Impression


ImpressionIt allows you to create your own signature and copyright with many font options, opacity and colors.

Best MonoChrome Apps

1. Simply B&W


Simply B&WThis is an great monochrome app with amazing tonal range.

2. MonoPhix Vintage


MonoPhix vintageA super monotone app with shadow highlight adjustments.

3. Noir Photo 


Noir PhotoNoir 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,, or if you live in the Seattle area, visit Bass Art Framing on Nov 10, 2011 for a gallery opening including iPhone photo prints:

The best accessories and apps for iPhone Photography
2011 Buyers Guide
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