Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Adventures in iPhoneography

Since I discovered the Hipstamatic app a while ago, I've found myself more and more intrigued by the potential of phone photography. Like most people, I don't always carry my big Nikon with me, but I'm never without my iPhone 3GS...the problem (or so I thought) with that was the camera on the iPhone is, quite frankly, a bit rubbish. Enter Camera+, an improved camera app and mini editing suite which allows both basic enhancements to counteract the limitations of the phone camera, and (with a little ingenuity) some interesting creative possibilities.

As well as a useful cropping feature, Camera+ allows a range of lighting adjustments, and a wide range of filters and effects, which can be utilised simply to bring out the best in an image, or layered over each other to create something new.

The camera app itself includes a zoom, timer, and stabiliser for the shaky of hand...and it's also possible to import any image into the editing software, not only those shot with Camera+. All in all, a very valuable app which turns the iPhone into a tool for 'real' photography, not least for giving me the ability to capture and edit the abstracted images I love, whenever I happen to come across something.

And as I continued to explore this new world of iPhoneography, I also discovered Instagram, a photo-sharing community of iPhoneographers (and snapshot-takers), with a facebook/twitter-esque feed-like-follow system. Instagram also has a shoot and filter option (basic but fun)...but of much greater interest is the worldwide community of people posting their work, including some absolutely brilliant photographers.

There's a huge range of stuff, from professionals posting unbelievable quality, to those shooting and editing entirely on their phones (some of which is also unbelievable quality), to teenage girls putting up blurry shots of their feet. But the set-up allows one to find new and interesting work through an organic network, without having to be distracted by too much crap...exactly the way social networking should be.

I've found it inspiring discovering the work of others, as well as valuable in terms of getting almost instant reaction to my own work. Not sure whether or not it has any great value as a promotional tool, although I tend to think any kind of exposure could be of some use. What it has done, though, is give me a push to finally get myself set up on Twitter, because there's the option on uploading to automatically post there.

So, having resisted for some time (while knowing I really ought to be getting involved), I'm now tweeting! Currently I'm using it for this iPhoneography project I seem to have fallen into, but I'm hoping to develop my twittery a little more over time. 

At this point, I have no plans to print these images or post them elsewhere...so to see more, come find me on Instagram (atelierphotosynthetic), or Twitter (@atelierPh).

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