You’ve heard the saying: The best camera is the one you have with you. In 2012, the camera most people have with them is their mobile phone. Even though I went to photography school and have a Nikon DSLR with all the lenses and accoutrements one has for shooting great photographs, most of my recent photos have been taken with my iPhone 4s.
|Fir Island Nature Reserve|
I have always believed that any camera can take a great picture, it is in fact the photographer, not the device with which you shoot with, that takes a good photograph. The image quality that can be achieved from mobile phones now is amazing considering that lens technology did not exist in phones until 2002.
I received my first iPhone as a christmas gift 2 years ago. In the beginning, I thought it was just an easy device to take fun, simple pictures. After post-processing some of them, I came to realize the iPhone's potential for great photography. Since you carry it everywhere there is something wonderfully spontaneous about it. That and the ability to capture something instantly, with little hassle or preparation makes the iPhone a great photographic tool!
The iPhone has become the most commonly used camera among Flickr users. One of the best Flickr groups is (Through the lens of an iPhone). Now, there are photography purists who will say that taking a photo with your phone isn’t the same as using a sophisticated SLR camera (and I was one of them in the not too recent past), but the results speak for themselves. An improvement in the quality of camera phones, coupled with some great apps that really let you get creative, and you’ll be amazed what kinds of photos you can take with your phone.
1. Invest in good apps.
All you really need is a handful of photo apps that allow you to shoot with ease and replicate the styles and effects you like most.
I have a number of apps on my iPhone, however I consistently use the following apps the most:
Photo Toaster. One of my new favorite photo editing tools. It has virtually everything – crop and sharpening tools, color adjustments, filters, special effects, resizing.
|Halon Boy, Vietnam|
TiltShiftGen. This app is designed to adjust photos so that their subjects look like miniature models. Its depth of field tool is fun to play with, as are the color and brightness controls.
Hipstamatic. The classic retro photo app that forces you to choose a processing style up front instead of just choosing a filter afterwards. You choose, and can change, film stock, camera lenses, and use a “flash”. Resulting images are fun and quirky.
LoMob: One of my early favorites. Several filters to use on images already shot. Subsequent app updates have improved resolution on final saved images making this one a keeper!
SimplyHDR: Creates a great painterly effect, enhancing colors and vivid definition.
|Saigon at Night|
Other popular apps to look into are Camera+, Instagram, Diptic and Pano. A good resource for new apps is the blog iphoneography.com.
All other techniques are virtually the same as with a traditional camera; Lighting, composition, background (a camera phone isn’t able to isolate the subject from the background so be aware of what is cluttering up your image. Change your angle or get closer to your subject) and....
2. Be Creative!
Any artistic expression is a conscious attempt at connecting with your world. Our daily lives are filled with beauty, ugliness, joy, sorrow, oddity and hilarity. How you choose to document and reveal those moments is up to you. I’ve chosen my camera phone and it’s been worth it!
|You Make Me Happy|
|Saigon Children in the Park|