iPhone Photography

October 26th, 2011

So I’ve had my iPhone 4 for a year or so now, and I’m really impressed with the camera capabilities. In reasonably strong light conditions the quality is excellent.  However, uploading photos from the iPhone to the web is not so great, especially with the MobileMe gallery being retired next year.

I’ve virtually given up with Flickr and all my photo hosting for the website is with SmugMug, an excellent photo hosting service. Unfortunately, the SmugMug iPhone app is a bit poor, and I prefer to get all my photos into Aperture, tweak/crop/straighten as required then upload. This means uploading “live” is only a temporary action, where I remove the photos to be replaced with an improved selection later.  This does however leave a lack of capability for photoblogging.

Enter Instagram: An app that allows photos to be uploaded directly from the iPhone to their webservice. This site runs on WordPress and there are some plugins that allow the most recent Instagrams to be displayed in the sidebar, and also a collection of instagrams to be shown on a page or post. But that’s just be beginning.

Instagram is intended as a simple service, so pictures are 600 pixels square, no big problem there as it’s ideal for web display. But what Instagram adds are simple on/off filters to give photos a vintage, low-fidelity or saturated look. It’s really easy to use and creates some nice effects with virtually no effort. These photos are all iPhone/Instagram only:

Beyond Instagram I found a whole selection of apps to make photo editing on the iPhone and iPad fun and with good features. Free apps like Pixlromatic and iSplash Pro, as demonstrated by the aeroplane picture, and Phonto to add text and Squaready to create a square canvas for rectangular pictures as seen on the RX8 image. (These photos were not taken with the iPhone 4, only edited on it)

A very good value application called FX Photo Studio has much more comprehensive filtering and framing and when combined with Instagram for upload and display means it’s easy to while away a few hours playing at photo editing on the go. Of note is the fact FX Photo Studio is not limited to Instagram 600px images, but seems to be able to support up to 2500px images – it’s therefore one of the best value photo editing apps I’ve ever bought.

But pure Instagram is great too: A single photo taken last night by the iPhone 4 (the best camera in the world is the camera you always have with you) and uploaded immediately with Instagram. Taking and sharing pictures is what photography is all about.