Friday, October 22, 2010

iPhoneography aka Cool filters for iPhones

A few days ago a good friend asked me what filters I used for iphone photos. I often post iPhone pictures up on facebook and leave it at that. I responded to her text rather quickly as I was in a hurry, but afterwards felt that it was important to share more of my discoveries and whom I discovered them from. I feel that one day when people look back on camera phone technology from 2010 it will be fascinating to see how it would have changed and developed. 

I'm a little surprised myself, that I have had so much fun creating pieces with a camera phone. For example, the shot below was taken on the iPhone 3G at at the Joshua Tree with two friends whom are really fun, creative models. I edited the picture with the program Tiffen FX for iPhone, but more of that soon!

Initially I had purchased a few apps, the one above included, there were plenty that I also had never heard of and still haven't tried. If you pick up some photography magazines or search some blogs, you will find a truly dedicated photographer share every little detail of discovery. None more so for me in the app process than Zoe Wiseman. 

In a nut shell, I think the world of LA artist Zoe Wiseman & her photography. It was her blog that influenced me to try new apps and experiment with certain looks and feels. Wiseman is ridiculously talented. Her work as a fine art nude photographer truly inspires me. When reading her blog she cuts through the BS and is very open and honest about her work and achievements. Wiseman also shares. Which was a huge blessing to me when it came to playing around with something I truly never thought would be taken seriously; shooting images with an iphone. 

It's no secret that I am not much of a writer, so I will share the apps that I have been using, however I do encourage you to visit Zoe Wiseman's blog as she did a fabulous job of analyzing the different photography for iphone apps and their value for money.

The first app I ever purchased was Camera Bag which generates some generic filters giving you different looks from a "Instant" (think polaroid), cinema (a crop of 16x9 with the blacks increased), infrared, Helga, Colourcross, "Lolo" (think Lomo style with a white border) to a fisheye. It's a fun app, but comes with it's limitations. i.e. you can't crop and create layers. There are better ones out there. 

I tried my hand at an app called Coloursplash. I wont lie, I don't have the patience to deal with this app. I can assure you that there are people out there who have run with it and are making some well wicked art work, It's just not my thing. Picture a colour photo of a yellow canary then converting the colour image to black and white while leaving a canary yellow. Painting is done with your finger and you can zoom in and out for accuracy. 

Tiffen FX would have to be my most preferred iPhone app for photo editing. It's detailed, fun and you can layer. You can crop & run filters from the following categories: Film Lab, Diffusion, Grads/Tints, Image, Lens fx, Light fx, Photographic, Special FX. Within these categories are filters like Bleach Bypass, Cross Processing, Faux Film, Grain, Three Strip, Two Strip, Black diffusion, Pro-Mist, Glimmer glass Soft fx, contrast, NDs, Auto adjust, vignette, depth of field, wide and close up lens foliage, halos, colour conversion, the list truly does go on. You can have a field day and kill some serious time on a bus playing with this app. 

Shake it Photo is a novel app that allows you to take a picture, then shake your iphone as you would have once with an old Polaroid and watch it slowly develop. See below: 

Its fun, I've used it lots & makes for a great holiday facebook post. 

Probably the most popular is the Hipstamatic which is very hipster indeed. Its fun and I have seen photographers get some real winners with this app, but it's not quite my preferred. I find the application occasionally buggy and slow. It's all about the borders around the images. 

I haven't had a bunch of luck with Photo booth. True to name the app takes 4 photos in succession of each other as you would in a photo booth. I often found that the photos wouldn't load to facebook from the app and I would have to use iPhoto after retrieving the image from my phone. Cute, but I don't really use it much. 

Lomo Style is another app I am quite fond of, although I don't use it as much as Tiffen FX it has a much similar to camera bag, it has filters like "Holga, B&W, Sepia, blue, green and red coloursplash" While Camera Bag has more filters, I prefer the look of Lomo Style filters to Camera Bag. Why? I feel that they are more dramatic. 

 It's a look I quite like. But that's me, I do recommend trying these out for yourself. The Lomostyle logo is that of the Fisheye 2 camera that Lomography sell on a red background, so it's easy to identify when searching for app. 

There is an app I purchased a while ago call "Light" it allows you to put fictional light on your image i.e. Windows, clouds, curtains, foliage, light rays. I've had a play, but haven't really found a use for it yet.

TiltShiftGen is a digital tilt and shift generator. Think adding DoF to a wide landscape shot that suddenly makes the photo look like a miniature. Again, I am sure people out there are doing funky cool things with this app, I just haven't spent enough time with it.

For shits and giggles: Face Melter is gold. Not unlike photo booth on Apple computers you can lose valuable time turning your face into a melted blob that will leave you feeling hilarious for hours. 

PhotoMarkr: generates a copyright symbol and image on your beloved pictures. It's a smart idea. I feel a bit of a goose sometimes copyrighting iphone pictures, but I've started to see some decent work out there very much worth copyrighting. It's your art, it's your choice. 

PS Mobile: Photoshop has arrived for the iphone. In all honesty, I can't give you any more information on PS Mobile than that. I'm too caught up with Tiffen FX. So have a play and tell me what you think. 

Finally: Easy Release is a cool tool to have if you have forgot your model release forms. Haven't had to use it just yet.

I will leave you with a few more pictures that I have shot on the iphone that I quite like and have edited with programs mentioned above. 

Happy shooting.