Like any hobbyist, I have collected more than my fair share of cameras and lenses. But when push comes to shove, I must say that my cell phone camera is the one I end up using the most frequently. As super-photog Chase Jarvis states,
“The best camera is the one that’s with you.”
My cell phone is an older 3G iPhone. It does not have a zoom or even a fabulous lens, but what it does have is instant availability.
What makes this camera really sing are the photo imaging apps for sprucing up pictures. While there are loads of apps made for the iPhone camera, I currently have three favorites.
The first is from Chase Jarvis and is called The Best Camera ($2.99) This app works after you take the picture. It provides a unique set of effects that can be applied at the touch of a button. You can stack those effects and mix them and then remix them. I like to use the cropping and add-border effects. I also like the “Paris” filter which renders a nice black and white image. When you’re finished making adjustments, you can share your photos via Twitter, Facebook, Email, and thebestcamera.com.
Here’s a before and after comparison of an old building in S.E. Portland, using The Best Camera app:
The second app is called Hipstamatic ($1.99) This app recaptures the look and feel of plastic toy cameras from long ago. Unlike The Best Camera app, this app works before you take the picture. (In other words, you can’t import previous photos for post-processing). You choose the lens, flash and filter you want and then you take the picture. Also, you can build onto this app by purchasing additional “lenses,” “flashes,” and “films” to get the precise look you are after. It’s both fun and artsy. These pics can also be shared on Facebook, Flickr and Email.
The third app is Photoshop.com Mobile . ($0.00). This app is great for cropping, adjusting, changing color and adding special effects such as Warm Vintage, Pop and Vignette. You can also add a variety of border effects. It allows you to upload pics to Facebook, TwitPic, and photoshop.com mobile. Did I mention that it’s free?
Here is a before and after shot. The lower “photoshopped” image is much crisper and brighter:
Using a cell phone camera with fun apps is just one way of simplifying your photography. I’d love to hear about the cell phone camera apps you prefer as well as your suggestions on how to simplify photography in general.
Please feel free to leave a comment below.