I don’t know about you, but these days when I feel a bit “apped” to death. Seems like everywhere I turn there are discussions, articles, advertisements and blogs on the latest and greatest apps – and it all gets just a little confusing. Apps to find recipes, apps to look up directions, apps to split the bill at a restaurant with your friends and make sure that everyone pays their share, apps to chat with your friends, social media apps, apps to find out who is singing that tune that you are listening to but can’t quite place, apps to do the laundry (ok, that was my dream app….).
Today I’d like to share a few photography related iPhone apps with you that I have checked out and find worthy of a second glance because, quite frankly most of us just don’t have the time to figure out which apps are worth the space on our phone or the $$ to purchase them. And if you don’t trust me, check any self-respecting iPhone app review out there and I bet you’ll find these listed somewhere near the top.
Thought I would start with a few great free apps (you had me at free) and then if you’re still hanging in there with me, some of the for fee alternatives…
Camera Plus provides some great features for a free app. It is certainly an outstanding replacement for the camera that is built-in to your iphone, and is also one of the most popular. A few of my favourite features include anti-shake, “big button” (turns your entire phone screen into a shutter button so you don’t miss that great shot because your fat finger missed the small camera button), and even a self timer. It has some basic video functionality with the free version, or you can upgrade to the Pro version for more options. In terms of post-processing, you can convert your images to sepia or b&w and crop/rotate. There is also an option to share via Twitter, Facebook, email or YouTube.
The GorillaCam App is made by the GorillaPod people – you know, those funky, twisty- legged tripods that you can wrap around pretty much anything to steady your camera. Their approach with this app is to plug hands-free photo taking which makes sense given their other products. Some of the coolest features include a bubble level and grid to help you compose your shot (no excuses for not getting your horizon straight…), burst mode shooting and time lapse photo capture, and of course a self-timer, press anywhere shutter, and anti-shake option. This app is basically just a replacement for your built-in camera; no post-processing or sharing functionality here, but it is a great free app with some cool features.
Wow, Photoshop on your camera! For those of you that have experience with Photoshop, stomp down hard on those expectations right now. This free app has some nice features but it is nothing like the “real” Photoshop that we all know and love. On the plus side, I did find it easy to use and was pleased to see some options that I am familiar with from my daily work with Photoshop, including exposure/contrast adjustment, sharpen/soft focus, and saturation/tint adjustments. Each adjustment can be fine tuned by just tapping on the screen, which is nice. There is of course a crop tool included, and also the option to add some special effects and borders to your image. The finished product can be shared via Photoshop.com, Facebook or TwitPic. I would have appreciated the option to save processing recipes like I can in Photoshop with Actions or in Lightroom with Presets – just sayin’!
Best Camera App
This app is developed by Chase Jarvis, a guy who wrote a book called “The Best Camera is the One That’s With You”. Now, if you’re going to make an iPhone camera app and call it ‘Best Camera App’ – well, you better deliver something pretty special to live up to the name. And I have to admit, I really do think that the ‘Best Camera App’ is unique enough in it’s approach that maybe it lives up to the hype. Now this app is not free – it is actually the most expensive app that I have in my Photography folder at $2.99. But it is super easy to use and I really liked the intuitive user interface. You can apply a variety of filters to an image that you capture with the camera (which is pretty basic – nothing special here) or work on an existing image. Then you just click on the circular filters on the bottom (ha, just like filters on a real camera lens) to add them. You can stack them up to create whatever effect you want and then save the image or share it on a whole list of social media sites, to your email, to Flickr, etc.
Ok, I love this app because, well it’s just so darn cute and hip. Just starting up the app and looking through the little square viewfinder brings back memories of the first cameras that I ever used, with the square flash bulb on top and plastic 110 and 126 film cartridges. Just like a real camera, the Hipstamatic camera has 2 sides – a back with the viewfinder and shutter button, and then the front with the lens. There is a lever on the front that allows you to select the photo resolution, and then there are icons on the bottom that allow you to select (with the swipe of a finger) your film type, lens and flash. You can purchase additional film, lenses and flashes to go with your camera as well, but there are plenty of combinations to be created with the ones included with your original purchase. Once you have created your image, you can save and share it via Flickr, Tumblr, Facebook or Email. One feature that I liked was the option to select a photo from the library and automatically set your camera to match the print. So much fun for $1.99!
Well I think that we’ve had enough app talk for one blog post. Stay tuned for a future post where I will share some more photography-related apps that add fun effects to your photos. Happy snapping!
All photos by Anita Woo.