A keen photographer will always have a camera with them, maybe not a full size SLR, but at least something to take a snap, just in case! And with cameras integrated into almost all mobile phones now, there really is no excuse to be without one.
OK, I admit it, I’m an iPhone convert. My iPhone 4 is streets ahead of any other phone I’ve seen, and its camera is actually half decent, too. But what makes the iPhone really perfect for a carry-everywhere camera solution is the wealth of great photography apps available.
So – without further ado, here are my current top five picks for mobile photography ecstasy….
What makes See This special is the ease with which this is achieved. Simply start the camera, and pan it around until the area you wish to photograph is fully covered, click the shutter button again and the app works its magic.
Even better, the app uses the iPhone’s built-in gyroscopes to track its orientation, so you can spin and tilt the camera around as you pan, and all the individual photos come out the correct way up! Wonderful stuff.
Using the iPhones familiar barrel selectors, it’s a cinch to plug in any set of values, and depth of field is instantly displayed along with the near and far focus limits and hyperfocal distance.
Hyper-whatey-whoey?! It’s the distance from the camera you need to focus on to maximise depth of field. If you do, everything from half this distance to infinity will be in sharp focus – s’easy! iDOF Calc – don’t leave home without it!
‘Shooting’ in at number three is an educational tool that includes one of the most fascinating utilities I’ve seen for portrait photographers. Light Studio is great for anyone learning about studio lighting.
To start with, there’s a series of lighting arrangements to read about, including single, two and three light setups, with tutorials on each. But it gets better – much better!
Starting from any of these arrangements, switch to ‘Setup’, and you have an interactive 3D modelling tool, that enables you to drag lights and camera around with a fingertip, and see the changes in terms of light and shadow on the subject’s face – in real time! Awesome!
Slow Shutter does exactly what it says on the tin, it extends the iPhone shutter speed range right down to thirty seconds. And it’s very well featured, too. Firstly there is an ‘automatic’ mode. This enables you to select a shutter speed between 0.5 and 30 seconds, and the camera automatically exposes correctly. Great for motion blur as I’ve done in the pic shown here. Manual mode lets the photographer take complete control, selecting shutter speed without automatic exposure adjustment, to bring light into even the darkest scene.
Finally, there is a ‘light trails’ mode, optimised for – well, you guessed it! Fantastic for ‘painting with light’, it even displays the results on screen in real time. If you’re a photographer and you don’t own this app – shame on you!
Relive the excitement and surprise of leaky lenses and dodgy films without the cost or hassle. The real strength of this app is simply that it is so very good at it.
OK, it basically processes standard images to look old, but they look fantastic, and the app interface is a dream to use. You can even augment your collection of photographic gadgets by purchasing additional lenses, films and flashes. Uber cool.