Monday, July 25, 2011

My Must Have iPhone Camera Bag

The only "must have" photo apps that I know of are the ones you know and love and can't stop using if you tried.  That answer differs for every person based on your artistic preferences abilities and of course, your ability to know about the app in the first place.

Which leads me to a small digression: the iTunes store. Much as I appreciate being able to shop from 100s of photography apps, I would spend more (hint hint Apple) if I could compare apps based on functionality, category, rating and longevity.  For example, there are many apps such as Magic Camera and Filter Mania that provide different "filters" to change the look and feel of a photo.  But there's no super-category called "Filters" for all the apps that allows me to find all the apps that do that and compare.  There's only search.

So how do I find apps I want to try? When I find an image that I like, I look to see what it was made with.  Believing that there is no substitute for checking it out, I've looked at the iTunes and home pages of over 50 photo apps and purchased 16 apps, about 10 of which I use on a regular basis. That's a 20% yield.

So here's what I love and therefore is in my iPhone "camera bag" at the moment:

  • Basic Branded Effects: Hipstamatic, Instagram (it's hip to be square)
  • Basic Capture: TrueHDR (there are many HDR apps) and TiltShiftGenerator
  • Basic Editing: In this category, I use PhotoWizard and Filterstorm (perhaps not properly named) though there are lots of alternatives that I have not yet tested.
  • Special Effects: Percolator (prefer to Phototropedelic), Pic Grunger (prefer this to Grungetastic because I can't get a picture to come out in a manner I like in the latter), Frametastic (more pleasing templates to me than Diptic), Light, HalfTone (for that comics look)
  • Filters: Filter Mania (love the grunge filter in here), Photocopier
  • Still testing: Cropulator, Rays
What are your faves?

Note: I am not compensated in any way for my opinions about these apps. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wherein I Become My Shadow in 3 Apps

Metamorphosis into my shadow in 3 apps:

Hipstamatic using Libatique lens and Kodot XGrizzled film

Added a rose window gobo in Light and moved it to center on the shadow of my head.

Then I used Pic Grunger to add bleach spill effect, burlap texture, and I think, After Hours style.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Creative Journey in 5 Easy Photo Apps

Recently, over the course of 2 days, I was fascinated by the transformative power of the creative process unfolding over time in my photographs.

1. The Hipstamatic iPhone app with Lucifer VI lens and Alfred Infrared film gives regular asphalt an eerie red glow. Just imagine if all our roads were red instead of black.  Totally different feeling.

2. Then I used Percolator, another iPhone photo app, to get a champagne bubbles effect that added a sense of drama and comic story feel:

3. Then I did this with a few other road signs and thought they would look good together.  Originally I was thinking diptic but Diptic didn't have the right proportions for 2 so I tried Frametastic because they had a well proportioned template for 4:

4. Then just to see what would happen I took it through Instagram:

5. Then I wondered what I could add in Filterstorm. Turns out it has a very hand text tool with the copyright symbol built in:

Personally, my favorite is step 3.