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.

Taking Pictures

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)

Camera+. I don’t use it too much, but it’s a great combination camera + editing app deservedly loved by tons of people. (web / download Camera+)


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)

Over. Text over photos. Easy, powerful, beautiful. (web / download Over)


Instagram. Obviously. Note that amidst the misplaced debate about Instagram, I think of it as a publishing platform first and foremost. (me / download Instagram)

Tumblr. My blogging engine of choice at the moment, it’s also an incredibly easy, beautiful, and clean way to share photos that taps into a great community. (me / download Tumblr)

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)

EyeEm. Testing. (me / download EyeEm – Photo Filter Camera)

Vimeo. Videos, of course. (me / download Vimeo)


Instatags. Easy, powerful way to add hashtags to photos. Helps you figure out which tags are popular and trending in your area, at that moment. (web / download Instatag – Hashtags for Instagram)

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)

Not pictured

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. 



Considering taking the Phone app off my home screen.


So timely. I was just re-do’ing my home screen and moved it off. I jalbroke my phone a while ago and have a nifty app that lets me horizontally scroll my… shit, I don’t even know what you call it… the strip at the bottom of my screen that persists. That thing.

5 Killer iOS Apps I Used A Lot In 2010

I install a lot of apps on my iPhone and if a month or so goes by and I haven’t used it, then I uninstall it. There are several apps that I started using frequently last year and I figured I would throw a list together since I find that I’m always turning people on to new apps.

Evernote – I don’t think there are a whole lot of people who don’t at least know about this app. And if you’re a friend of mine, you’ve probably heard me rave about it. As much as I hated giving up my Moleskine, Evernote has replaced it. Every note I take is on Evernote. And because there’s a desktop and web counterpart to the iOS app, everything syncs and my notes are everywhere. This is one of two apps that I absolutely could not be without. While I had installed it previously, I started using it daily this year. I think my co-worker Kris said it best:

Instapaper – This is the only app that I use more than Evernote. I think it’s fair to say I use the hell out of Instapaper. At it’s most basic level, instapaper allows me to save articles and read them later in a nice, easy-to-read format. This app also has a web counterpart, which you’ll need to use in order to get the most out of the app. The killer feature for me is that Instapaper can send you a weekly (or daily) digest of the articles you save directly to your Kindle. Whether I come across an article on Twitter, Google Reader or the New York Times, I just send it to Instapaper and read it when I have time. It’s also worth mentioning that I like the fact that Marco Arment seems to be a cool guy and since he’s actively developing Instapaper on his own, I like to support him. This was another one of those apps that I started using very regularly this year.

Calvetica Calendar – I’m not sure there was anything wrong with Apple’s built-in calendar application, but Calvetica is just better. It looks better and I really enjoy the minimalist approach. I’ve also recently started playing around with Dialvetica Contacts, which is a similar app replacement for the contacts and phone apps. It’s still a little rough, but is being actively developed.

Instagram –  I really love Hipstamatic, but I found myself wanting more on the social side of things from it. I somehow wanted an app that was Hipstamatic + Tumblr + Twitter and Instagram is that very app. It’s so simple to use and the ability to apply cool filters to your photos, follow your friends and push your photos out to other social networks at the same time make this one of the best apps of the year. It’s on the tops of everyone’s list, which is a good thing. The more people that know about it, the more friends I will have participating. It’s also worth mentioning that Path is an excellent and similar app. It lacks the extensive social capabilities of Instagram (by design), but is beautiful to use and I recommend you give it try as well.

HeyTell – If you’ve ever wanted a walkie-talkie or two-way for your iPhone, this is the one you’ve been waiting for. Honestly, I didn’t know I ever wanted one, but once my buddy @boomcat sent a message to me on it, I was hooked. I’d never heard of the app, didn’t know anyone else that used it, but it’s a blast to use. It even has add-ons that you can purchase that allow you to change your voice in fun ways. I’m sure that more people will be installing this one over the coming months. It’s just too much fun.