Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Favorite iPhone Photo & Video Apps.

Playing my Traveler guitar using my iPhone as an Amp. (photo by Anne)

I have been an iPhone fan since its inception and yes, I am one of those freaks that have gone through all five versions (iPhone 1, 3G, 3Gs, 4 and now the 4s) of this popular Smart Phone.  I just love the versatility of this gadget-- "a digital Swiss Army Knife."  With one tool, I am always carrying a virtual office wherever I go-- my telephone, my computer, my music and most importantly (as a photographer), a camera/videocamera.

I shot and edited this photo using the 1st iPhone

I shot and edited this photo using the iPhone 3G

When I got my first version of the iPhone, I just used the camera for casual snap-shots.  At 2.0 megapixel, the camera was just too "light" to use for anything more serious.  Since the phone came with some great Apps., I was always eager to upgrade.  I began using the iPhone for my Fine Art work after upgrading to the 3G.  There was only a megapixel difference, but I was able to clearly print my photos up to 8" x 10" (using the Camera Bag App.).  You can see the results of this initial foray in my "Grounded Series." Now with the 4s' 8 megapixel camera, I can leave my trusty compact Leica D-Lux 3 at home.

Here is an example of a photo I shot and edited with the iPhone 4s.

Although there have been a slew of lens attachments and gadgets that have been made to enhance the performance of the iPhone's camera, I never really used any of them personally.  Carrying attachments bulkier than the phone itself defeats the portability and ease the gadget offers.  My main attraction to the iPhone aside from its obvious convenience, has always been the availability of wonderful Apps.  To date, I have more than 400 Apps. on my current iPhone.

Here are some of photo and video Apps. I use regularly:

CAMERA BAG - I've had this App. from the beginning.  The App. offers preset vintage film looks to simulate specific eras from the past.  The current styles included are: Helga, Colorcross, Instant, Magazine, 1974, Lolo, Plastic, Cinema, 1962, Mono, Silver, Infrared and Fisheye.  My favorite is the Lolo style setting because of its square format and saturated colors-- simulating medium format slide film.  I used it exclusively for my "Grounded Series."

645 PRO - This is my new 'go to' camera on the iPhone.  It just came out last month to rave reviews,  so I immediately got a copy.  This App. elevates the iPhone to a more professional level.  645 Pro has the options to shoot at HI-quality to MAX-quality JPEGs, with an additional option to shoot in dRAW saved in TIFF format which can be downloaded for later processing.  The App. also gives you more control of your iPhone camera settings through the clever exposure lock, focus lock, white balance lock, selective metering (multi-zone or spot), digital zoom and variable self-timer.  You can also choose from 7 color and B&W film modes (simulating classic film stocks), medium format ratios (6x6, 6x7, 645, 6x9, 6x17) and focusing screens (crosshair, 2 compositional grids).  It also boast of unparalleled low-light performance with shutter speeds as long as 1 sec.

POCKET LIGHT METER - Since I still shoot in film (sometimes), having a handy lightmeter with me all the time helps.  This App. is an excellent Reflected Light Meter for general use.  Best of all, it's free.

PHOTOGRAPHERS CONTRACT MAKER - Creat, edit, sign and email contracts and releases directly from your phone.  You can also customize your documents with images... as well as customize your templates with in-App. upgrades.

LUCE: LIGHTING DIAGRAMS - Create your own lighting diagrams with this simple but elegant App.  Choose from a great selection of cameras, lights and background props to illustrate your own unique lighting setup.  Great for recording lighting setups that you might want to repeat in the future.

DSLR REMOTE - The original iPhone based wireless cable release with live view.  I've had this for several years.  It is quite pricey, but it works well.

PINHOLE ASSIST - If you dabble in pinhole photography, this is a great App. to have.  All you have to do is to choose your camera type (Diana, Holga, Zeroimage, Ilford etc.), and the App. automatically compensates for the reciprocity of the film you are using --16 different curves are included or you can manually set your own.  Settings go as low as .025 ISO allowing for "wet-plate" sensitivity.

HELLOPHOTO - A simple but effective App. for film and slide aficionados.  Use your iPhone as a light table to view your negatives or slides.  You can also use this App. to convert your negatives to digital photos or to turn your slides into digital photos.

PHOTOCALC - Calculate exposure reciprocation, depth of field & hyper-focal distance and flash exposure with this App.  It also includes a reference section with a glossary of terms, the Zone system, the Sunny 16 Rule, Films and Filters.  It also provides you with current Solar and Moon Phase info based on your location.  Great all-in-one App. for general (film) photography.

PHOTOGENE (2) FOR IPHONE - My favorite Photoeditor on the iPhone.  Retouch (dodge, burn, heal), adjust contrast and focus, correct using histogram and curves, adjust color, crop and straighten your photos in your iPhone with this App.  You can also choose from a wide selection of effects, looks as well as frames and borders within this one App.  If you have just one photoediting software on your iPhone, this is the one to get.

FILMiC PRO - This is the videocam App. for the serious iPhone filmmaker.  It offers 3 separate shooting modes (up to 48mbps at 1080p), 4 selectable resolutions (w/ 4 bit-rate options per resolution), 26 different variable frame-rates, 3 separate focus/exposure systems, audio monitoring levels, stereo recording support, custom slate configurations, colorbars up to 15 seconds, framing overlays (4:3, 16:9, 2:35.1) and many more.  I use this App. more than I use the original video on the iPhone.

REELDIRECTOR - I've been using this video editor since my 3Gs.  It's easy to use, but has enough powerful features to satisfy a filmmaker.  Good enough for Youtube videos.

CINEMAFX FOR VIDEO - 55 different film looks for your iPhone video project.  You can even stack up to three effects on top of each other.

TIMELAPSE - An essential App. for any iPhone filmmaker.  This App. can be configured manually with parameters for exposure shutter speed, recording time (days, hours, minutes) and final video length.  This is so easy!  I had to rent an Intervalometer, when I used to shoot timelapse on film twenty years ago.

CINECALC - My 'go-to' App. for Cinematography.  It boasts of a database of 200+ camera formats, 450+ types of lighting equipment (all major brands), 250+ par lens combinations and extensive photometry for all types of lights.  It has camera tools to calculate depth of field, focus splits, field of view, exposure, lens matching, color correction, macro, flicker free speeds, time-lapse and many more.  It also has lighting tools to calculate light intensity, light coverage, mired shift as well as a converter and a calculator for electrical equations.

FILMCALC - This App. is essentially the same as the Cinecalc with more or less the same capabilities.  When you are shooting a feature film, where mistakes can be costly, it pays to be redundant.  I check my computations from one App. with the other, just to be sure:)

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