For me, there is a lot of freedom that comes with photographing with my iPhone. It’s not just the camera’s compact size that is a benefit, it’s also about the liberty it provides to focus less on the technical and more on the light, the composition, and the moment.
So while a “real camera” certainly has its advantages, the photographs that I produce with a phone often exhibit a greater sense of risk taking and fun, which hopefully informs what I do with a DSLR.
Photography with a phone doesn’t mean that you have to do without software or accessories. As with any other type of photography, there are certain tools that become invaluable for me to produce the best work possible.
Skiva Protective Case and Extended Battery
Once I began to seriously use my iPhone to produce pictures, I quickly began to realize that the battery just didn’t last long enough. The Skiva provides me double the battery life and it’s housed in a sturdy rugged case that doesn’t bulk up my phone too much. When my battery is low, I simply press down on the button near the base of the Skiva and my phone is soon recharged to 100%, proving me a full day of shooting.
There are no shortage of camera apps, but my default is Camera Plus. It allows me to quickly lock exposure and focus at two separate points, by simply spread two fingers across the screen. This makes it ideal for off-center compositions. It features a digital image stabilizer and a burst mode for action or low light situations. It also features the best Clarity filter which I apply to almost every image whether it’s taken with this app or not.
Nik Software’s line of plug-ins for Photoshop and Lightroom are a part of my digital workflow. So is Nik’s Snapseed, which I use as my app of choice for converting my iPhone images from color to black and white. You can not only use various color filters to impact contrast, but you also have the benefit of several presets. Though this is just as effective for working with color images, it is its ability to produce beautiful black and white that make it invaluable to me.
The focal length of the iPhone 4s is the equivalent of a 33mm lens on a full frame camera. So, while it’s great for a lot of situations, there are times when I really want another focal length to work with. The Olloclip delivers this in the form of an adapter that fits snugly around the phone and provides a fisheye, a macro and wide angle focal length. Though I have to remove my case to use them, they provide me a great creative option when I want it.
If you are photographing with your phone, you know Instagram. It’s an application that is not just about the filters that you can apply to your photographs, but about the community you can build around them. Though many of the images posted on the service can be pretty mundane, I have discovered some of the most creative and risk-taking photographs I’ve ever seen. It really helps expand the definition of what a photograph can be and it helps inspire what I do with a DSLR.
Because so many of my photographs are posted to Instagram, which presents images in a square format, many of my early images were cropped into a square. Sometimes that works great, but sometimes it doesn’t. Squareready allows me to maintain my 3:2 ratio and create a nice white border. The software offers much more but for me this one feature is all I need.
Though I wasn’t a big fan of this app when it was first released, recent improvements have made it a more important part of my workflow. As well as providing you a variety of preset effects filters, it also has presets for contrast, brightness, saturation, sharpness and more, all of which can be adjusted using a simple slider. It may cover territory that other apps provide, but it’s simple interface make it quick and easy to use in a pinch.
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