Fact: in this day and age there are entire exhibits in brick and mortar galleries dedicated to projects done with camera phones. They’re often great and include photos from photographers that put the aesthetics of an image first and foremost. And folks digg it.
For lots of work involving capturing a scene (and to some degrees, creating) you’ve got all you need in a phone and don’t need to glorious bokeh that a full frame camera can afford you. Instead, the killer feature of a phone includes the apps, sometimes lenses and cases. But you don’t need much of the hardware stuff to get more from your cameraphone.
If you’re an iOS user, then check out this list.
What does it do?: RNI Films lets you edit your images with what’s probably the most powerful photo editor on the market–only Lightroom even comes close. With this app you’ve got control over various parameters but you can also apply real-life film emulsions and other analogue effects to your images.
Pro Tip: The highlight editor is very, very good. You’ll probably want to purchase one of the Negative film packs.
What does it do?: This super powerful app lets you shoot with manual controls, edit with presets that mimic the look of VSCOs and share to your favorite platform. The editing is a happy medium between Lightroom and RNI films in many ways.
Pro Tip: Try the curves feature to really fine tune your edits. Additionally, the defocus selection can be highly customized. Be conservative and do only a little bit at a time.
What does it do?: The Manual app lets you control the exposure of your images. That’s pretty much it.
Pro Tip: If you’re the type that shoots and uploads to Instagram or EyeEm with their built-in presets, this is all you need.
What does it do?: Take all the film emulsion looks from RNI Films and randomize them. Think of it kind of like photo editing for the Tinder-app generation that enjoys swiping.
Pro Tip: Try fine tuning the emulsions you see by working with the extra customization.
What does it do?: Adobe’s premiere photo editing app is very good on both Android and iOS. This is for the photographer that really like prim and proper editing vs embracing the world of presets that much of the mobile community does.
Pro Tip: I honestly wouldn’t even bother about syncing the collections to your desktop. Just edit the images that live on your phone; but that’s just my opinion.
What does it do?: The absolute best alternative to Instagram’s presets and looks. You generally know a VSCO image when you see it because they’re that distinctive.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to upload an image to your Journal!
What does it do?: The Multiple app is all about double exposures. I recommend it for any photographer that really wants to do them but was always confused about how to create them. They’re still not simple to do as it is.
Pro Tip: Take note of the two different camera buttons.
What does it do?: This app is designed for the photographer that owns the Covr Photo case. This case uses a prism to allow you to shoot what’s directly in front of you while holding the phone flat like a FLR or medium format SLR camera. It reverses and flips the image for you but could use upgrades like manual control.
Pro Tip: This case was designed for the street photographer.