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iPhoneography – Apps for smart phones

iPhoneography – everbody’s doing it man! And I mean, everybody. There are so many Apps out there, easily downloadable at the click of an App Store button.  Take your photo, apply a certain ‘look’ to it, share it to your favourite social media site(s), and you’re away. Yes, I am a professional photographer, and I have a place for my iPhone in my life.  I even sold an iPhone picture once to someone – so there you go, you can make money too!…well, sort of…But geez I think about the days of film and how I learned photography. All the Apps you can download have some origin in film processes. It used to take me hours and a huge expense to explore my creativity in ways that can be done simply with a monthly phone plan. How things have changed. I think iPhoneography can be a great creative tool for big and little kids alike.

The main aim for iPhoneography (the term I shall use to describe smart phone photography – let’s face it, the bulk of us are on iPhones these days) is not technical excellence, but creative expression.  Everyone has that little bit of photo buzz in them.  No matter the circumstance, when you’re presented with a moment that you’d like to keep forever, you whip out the camera, or your phone, as the case may be.

If you love to travel light, and if you’re out and about on a photo wander, your iPhone is the perfect accompanyment.  It sits in your back pocket, and when something presents itself to you, out it comes. There are countless Apps out there, some free, some for a dollar or two.  I’ll show you some before and after pictures here, and let you know which App I used, and where relevant, some post production steps I applied as well.

I took my Melbourne photo group on an outing shooting the textures and layers of Fitzroy using iPhoneography. Before we went out, we heeded two things:

1. We pre-loaded our Apps before the day onto our phones. Some Apps that people suggested were Paper Camera, Instagram, Hipstamatic, Magic Hour, iDarkroom, Panorama and Vintique. Just enter these search terms in the App Store and they’ll come straight up.
2. We ensured we had a fully charged phone before we went out.  Taking photos and applying Apps saps the juice out of your phone pretty quickly, especially if you’re also adding instant online sharing to the mix.  Our phones lasted for a good 1.5 hours before they gave up the ghost.

OK, here we go. In most cases here you’ll see the original capture first, followed by the App’d version.

This one is taken inside Magic Hour.
Then you crop to square, and then pick the look you want.
I went for T-Max Film which was an old black and white film.
It was known for its white-whites and black-blacks and not much grey tone in between.
The white rough-scratchy border is also applied.
It’s got a bit of a rough-London-in-the-70’s look.

These are both Hipstamatic.
When you take the photo it is then automatically processed.
You can choose a few different looks, I like the John S. lens with Ina’s 1969 film.

The square polaroid border is applied to the edge.
Contrast is added, and the colours are saturated.
Blacks/shadows contain a greeny tint which works for grungy places.
There’s also an uneven shadow/masking that is applied
around the edges to give the vignetting.

The original picture.
I didn’t like the roof but knew it would disapper with the square crop afterwards.

I tried it in Hipstamatic first (left).
I wasn’t so keen on the result as the red has gone greeny with that App.
So I took it again inside Instagram and applied the Lo-Fi look…
much better for keeping the contrast and reds pumped.
Plus I like the rough black edge too.

This one was processed inside iDarkroom.
The photo was cropped square.
Then I applied Hi CP.

(CP stands for Cross Processing which was when you processed a roll of slide film
in the chemicals normally used for processing negatives.
It was literally ‘cross-processed’ and gave a high contrast look.
A very hip look for photography in the 1990’s.)

I then added the Cardboard texture.
I increased the Contrast even more.
Tilt Shift was added across the top and bottom to make those two areas out of focus.
And finally added the Black Vignette last.

Two more in Hipstamatic.
It’s just perfect for grimy, grungy, mouldy environments!

This one is five pictures on panorama, would you believe??
It takes up to six in sucession and knits them together.
Then I opened it in iDarkroom and added CP Yellow to warm it up and add contrast.

Love an experiment!
I opened Panorama and shot three images parallel to the wall.
So after each frame, I stepped sideways to line it up and take the next frame.
Then I put it in iDarkroom and applied CP Red.
It warmed up the skin tones, removed some of the blue and added contrast at the press of a button!

And the the whole group – with six frames knitted together.

Back to the T-Max look in Magic Hour.

And I do love Instagram with the purple-toned blacks and black border using the Amaro look.

A straight Hi Sepia change once inside iDarkroom.
The whole image is made black and white.
Then the whites are left white, and the blacks are given the brown tone.

The original capture.
I saw the orange brick framing the contrasting green foliage inside.
And of course my friend Jerry in the foreground.
I was thinking in colour for this one.

A very pumped colour saturation and contrast inside iDarkroom!
And then the black Vignette was added. Too easy.

Again, quite basic in iDarkroom.
A Black Vignette edge with Hi CP added.

Back to Hipstamatic for these.
Makes me want to go to Cuba.

And last but not least.
Back to Instagram we go.
Lo-Fi was added and Bob’s your uncle.

Someone asked about whether or not you can get decent prints out of iPhone pictures.  You can – but not physically too big. I would stick to standard snapshot size, so that’s 10x15cm or 4×6″. Remember to print you need to be at 300dpi in your file.  At a stretch you can go to 5×5″ square in size. You can make photo books at 7×7″ square which showcases your Instagram photos beautifully using Blurb books.

Make an Instagram Photo Book
– the kids will love to make this:

1. Go to Blurb Instagram Books and hit ‘Get Started.’
2. Blurb will ask you for your Instagram login details.
3. Create a title and enter your name as the author.
4. Select a range of 60 favourites.
5. Check the front and back covers, spine and image order
6. Preview to check.
7. Pay and add postage – and that little puppy will be delivered to your door asap (7-11 business days).

Have fun happy snapper!


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