When I was a kid back in the ’70s and ’80s I was really into hi-fi systems. I couldn’t afford much gear, but I could borrow copies of The Absolute Sound and read them cover-to-cover. In those days the general wisdom was to buy an amplifier with way more power than you could possibly ever use, because it would sound great at low and normal volumes.
That wisdom stuck in my head, and I think it applies to software
What I use for phone photography.
I’ve dug pretty deep into iPhone photography the last couple months after being an Android photographer for quite awhile (and featured in Gizmodo). Here’s what I’m using these days to create, edit, and share photos on the iPhone.
Camera. I use the native camera app and focus on composition first, editing second. I have started testing Top Camera and Average Camera Pro for long shutter speed and multiple exposure, but for the moment, still use the native camera app for the vast majority of the pictures I take.
Average Camera Pro. Testing. Takes multiple images over a period of time (both variable can be set manually) to be used for multiple exposures, noise reduction, slow shutter effect, and more. Ben Lowy takes some of the best photos with Average Camera Pro (see more on Instagram under #avgcampro). (download Average Camera Pro)
VSCO. Simple and beautiful. Works as a camera and an editing app, although I use it strictly for editing. The filters are modeled after classic film types (“digital film emulation”), fitting with VSCO’s popular filters for Lightroom, Adobe Capture RAW and Aperture. Find VSCO pictures on Instagram under #vsco. (web / download VSCO CAM)
Afterglow. New, launched in Nov 2012. Simple to use, has a wide range of editing and filter options (including many “guest” filters from photographers popular on Instagram). I find the horizon adjustment to particularly slick and powerful, as I often take pictures with the horizon slightly off. Find Afterglow images on Instagram at #afterglow. My current editing fave. (web / download Afterglow Photo Editor)
Filterstorm. Closest thing to Photoshop on the iPhone (and better than the Photoshop Express App). Great for multi-layer editing, dodging and burning, cloning, etc. Essentially, use it to cut out unwanted parts of an image: a bird in the sky, a spot, etc. Also available for the iPad. (web / download Filterstorm )
Tilt Shift Generator. Adds Tilt Shift effects. The free version is fully featured, but will only save low-res images. (download TiltShift Generator – Fake Miniature)
Photoset. So easy to use. Made by Tumblr, although it doesn’t require you to use Tumblr. Allows you to easily create multi-photo photosets to share by web, email, or Tumblr. No account required, and a joy to use. (web / download Photoset)
Flickr. I could wax on for hours about how I wish Flickr had led the innovation in web and mobile photography. Alas, they haven’t. But I still use it to store high-res images, and it’s still powerful for me, even though the community has moved on. (me / download Flickr)
Cinemagram. The best shot at “Instagram for Video”. I use it very lightly, but like the idea and it’s a fun toy. (download Cinemagram)
Photojojo Fisheye, Telephoto, Wide-Angle lenses. Great for adding a new perspective to the standard iPhone lens, they attach easily to most cell phone cameras (they worked for my HTC Android and my iPhone), and help you take great pictures. (buy at Photojojo)
Snapseed. Loved by many, I can’t get the handle on the editing workflow. The first update post-acquisition by Google that integrates Google+ into Snapseed is an interesting feature… if you use Google+. (download Snapseed)
Great list from Taylor. I know a few people that swear by Snapseed as well and I just can’t get a handle on it. Gonna have to try a few of these that I didn’t know about. Always love seeing how people use their iPhone.