iPhone photography is, in the words of current internet jargon, a trending topic. It’s big and anybody can do it. With the apps available for the iPhone and android we can really be creative and easily put out excellent quality art. iPhone photography is known as iPhoneography and I’ll be talking about it a lot here on my blog from now on.
The video above is an example of what’s coming. Two leading iPhoneographers, Jack Hollingsworth and Guy Yang, have begun an internet talk show about iPhoneography with lots of tips, contests, gear, etc. This is the first episode where they introduce themselves and give a very useful tip at the end.
The tip is how to use the reticles on your iPhone camera to adjust exposure, focus and white balance. The reticle is that big square that pops up on your screen when you poke at what you want to focus in… I know, a fancy name for what we all just called “the pulsating square). Well that one reticle in the native iPhone camera adjusts all three parameters at the same time. This makes it stupid easy to focus and it also prevents us from taking the best photo possible under many situations.
To get the best flexibility and be able to truly control the scene you’re photographing, we need a camera app with multiple reticles; one reticle to control focus, another for exposure and possibly even a third for white balance. What they didn’t mention in their tip is what iPhone photography apps are available which have multiple reticles so we can achieve maximum control over those three paramaters that cannot be acheived in the basic native iPhone camera app. Watch the video (it’s only 15 minutes long) and they will explain more about reticles and why it’s important to use them in your iPhoneography.
Now here is what they didn’t tell you in the video. Which iPhone apps give you multiple reticles? My top three are; King Camera (FREE and the $0.99 upgrade is essential), Camera+ ($1.99), and Camera Plus Pro ($1.99). I have all three of these and not because I an a hoarder… it’s because of the OTHER things each app also does other than provide multiple reticles that aren’t available otherwise. In fact I bought two of the apps just to get darkroom features available in the photo editing modes. In the big picture, spending less than $5.00 to get all three of these terrific apps is dirt cheap. How much did you spend on your current camera again?
This photo shows an example of the multiple reticles on the King Camera iPhone photography app. The yellow icon, that sort of looks like a sun, sets the proper exposure and the green circle with the crosshairs sets focus. First set the focus on your subject, then move the exposure reticle until you have the whole scene looking the just way you want. You want details in the shadows to be visible and PLEASE, always avoid having ANY highlights overexposed EVER! Blown out highlights are ugly and cannot be corrected. There just isn’t any detail in them to be able to recover. Most of the time you will want to set the exposure reticle in a highlight area to keep the exposure within the dynamic range of the image sensor of the iPhone’s camera… if you ever need to coax more details out of shadow area, that can usually be done in other apps.
If you only want to give this a try before taking the full plunge, I would recommend getting the King Camera iPhone app. It was the #1 photo app as of February 4, 2012 and you can’t go wrong having it It’ll only set you back $0.99 too if you get the upgrade. Don’t be cheap! After you put that one on your iPhone you should see a quantum difference in your photos if you just take a little more care, amounting to about 10 seconds, to setup your shots.
I have lots of super easy iPhone photography tips and will be talking about them often. If this topic interests you, please subscribe to my blog and the updates will come right to your inbox. Immediately your iPhone photography will begin to delight and amaze your friends, you’ll look good, and they’ll be coming to you for photography advice!