iPhone Photography

So as many of you know I shoot a lot of photoson my iPhone and even do all the editing on my phone You can check out some of my iPhotos on flickr.

I have been asked many time what app or apps I use to do the post work on my images. Let me start with my current iPhone. I currently shoot with the iPhone 4 (on AT&T if anyone caries). I normally always shoot with the Apple camera app (the one free with iOS) this lets me shoot with HDR ON. HDR will then save 2 images to my camera roll. One that is the original and one that is the "HDR" images. Not sure if you could call this a real HDR images but the phone does a pretty good job at creating a greater dynamic range of luminance between the lightest and darkest areas. (more on what HDR is here)

(Note the "HDR On" in top of the iOS Camera and then see how the sky was saved with 2 images of the tree from a frame from a pano stitch)

Ok, now on to post production… I have 2 folders of apps but I only really used a few of them. The app I chose is kinda based on what I want to do with the images. One thing to note is if you shot your image with the iOS camera app all of these apps bellow are non-destructive to your image. When you save your edited image they save a new version to your photo album. Also some of these apps have Facebook & Flickr uploads. I have used them in the past but found I did not want to keep giving apps access to my accounts. Also when I change a password I then had to updated all the apps with the new passwords. Bellow is a list of all the apps in each folder and a bit of a description on what they do and what I use them for. (note the order they are listed is the order they show up in my folder. Some of the apps are located in the corners for faster and easier access)

"Photo" is my main editing folder:

TiltShiftGen - $0.99
TiltShift is a great little app. It lets you add blur and control it to look like a photo from a TiltShift Lens. It also has nice control over Saturation, Brightness & Contrast. The other cool thing that is lets you do is add vignetting to your image and control the amount that is applied.
The one thing I wish this app had was cropping. In some cases I will pre crop an image in Camera+ or PS Express

Best Camera - $2.99
Best Camera is an app by Chase Jarvis who started this whole iPhone Photography thing for me. This app let you apply pre set effects and eliminates of the effect to and image. You can layer as many effects & adjustments as you want onto an and arrange them in any order you want. Personally I wish the Square Crop would let you adjust the placement. I have not been suing this app too much lately.

Lo-Mob - $1.99
Lo-Mob is fun app that lets you emulate different looks of Vintage film. It also has fun Film Boards from, Slides to Sprockets to Polaroid's. One little cool thing you can do is pinch an image to scale it reframe within the crop you chose.
I don't use this app all the time but it is a fun app to use to tricked out photos for Facebook.

Plastic Bullet - $1.99

Plastic Bullet is an iPhone app by the some guys who make Magic Bullet for making video look like film. It loads up 4 version of your images at at time if you like the image that loads you can save it but if you want to see more you can keep hitting the refresh button. Fun app but there is no control over your looks. Fun for just making some quick images to share.

Photogene - $1.99

Photogene is has some cool features but a lot that are in other apps. You can Crop, Rotate, Apply Filters. But here is what is cool you can make levels calls and see a Histogram you can tweak the darks mids and sightless all separately like in Photoshop. It has Exposure control with Contrast. Saturation & Color Temp & even RGB adjustments. There is also some thoughts bubbles you can add to your images and boarders in this app. Over all this app has a tone of great images control in it!

PS Express - FREE

Photoshop Express is by Adobe and has a lot of the same basic controls of the Online Version of Photoshop Express. You can Crop, Straiten, Rotate & Flip an image. It also has Exposure, Saturation, Tint, Black & White, and Contrast Controls. It has an interesting way of making these adjustment but truly interacting with you photo by dragging you finger over the image to make the adjustments. You can also add some effects and borders to your images with this app. Over all the images controls are useful but most of the time I use the crop then apply my effects and adjustment in other apps.

AutoStich - $1.99
AutoStich is an app for making panoramic photos from your iPhone. I was not sure about this one at 1st but after trying a friends copy I was quite surprised. Over all it does a good job at stitching images and lets you make final crops to your pan once they are stitched. One trick with panoramic's is to shoot vertically. I use this technique when shooting with my DSRL and on the iPhone it is easy because that is the default direction of the camera.

HDRforFree - FREE

HDRforFree is an app that will try to make an HDR out of your image. I have not used this much lately as the iPhone 4 will save an HDR when you shoot a photo and there are other apps now that give you control over the highs and lows of your image.

Camera+ - $0.99


Camera+ is an app by Photographer Lisa Bettany. This app has a nice camera the lets you control the location of focus like in the apple camera but also the iris. It also has great post features. You can start with adding a Scene adjustment. I am digg'in the new Clarity Effect. You can then rotate your image or flip your image. I don't rotate or flip much but if you shoot an image that needs it, it is there. Camera+ has a great crop with Freeform, Original, Golden, Square, 3x2, 4x3, 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, & 16x9 aspect ratios. Now for the fun stuff you can tweak you image with Color, Retro, Special, & for an add-on buy you can get the well worth it, I ♥ Analog Effects. Once your effects are applied you can then control the amount the effect is added on. Now for the last touch adding a boarder to your image. you can pick from Simple or Styled. Over all I think this app is well worth the money and the add on pack adds some cool stuff as well. This is one of the apps I really like to use. The one thing it needs is straighten and adjustable vignette with an amount control.

Diptic - 1.99


Diptic is a fun way to combine multiple images into one image to share your story. You can arrange 2-4 images is just about any combination you want. Additionally you can buy other layouts, I have not done it yet but will update you all once I do.

PhotoWizard - $0.99
PhotoWizard seams to have a lot of the same stuff as Photogene & PS Express. I have played a bit with it but have not used it too much.

iMovie - $4.99

iMovie is Apple's iPhone/ iPad version of its basic video editing application. I have only cut one movie with it but have found it it easier to bring videos out and convert them and editing in Final Cut Pro. It is still a fun one to have on your phone to mess around with if you have the time. You really need to think out which clip you need next then located them in your album. There is no project bin to dump all the needs clips for an edit into.

"Photo 2" is my 2nd folder and also has some of my upload apps

Flikr - FREE
Flickr is is great way to upload your images and share them on flickr and browse the flickr site from your phone.

MobileMe Gallery - FREE

MobileMe Gallery lets you browse your Apple MobileMe Online Gallery along with your other MobileMe friends photos.


LEGO Photo is a fun way to turn a photo into a Lego Brick Mosaic.

Genius Scan - FREE

Genius Scan is a great little photo utility that lets you take a photo of a document or photo then identify the corners and stretch it into the corners to create the proper aspect. It also has some Color & Black/White Enhancements built in. This app is handy for a quick scan or saving the white board after a meeting.

Animoto - FREE


Animoto lets you make Animoto slideshow from your phone. I have yet to use this app but seen some fun stuff done via the online application.

HoughCam - FREE

HoughCam makes fun patterns out of what your camera sees. Not sure the point but still fun to play with.

Instagram - FREE

Instagram, I have seen a lot of people post images from Instagram. It was described to me "as way to turn your crappy pictures cool" I download it and found out you have to make an account to even play with it. If You take crappy iPhone pics and don't mind making online accounts it might be that app for you but I have not gotten around to doing anything with it yet.

So as you can see I have a few apps for editing photos but the mains ones I have been using lately are Camera+, TiltShiftGen, Diptic, AutoStich, Flikr & Facebook for sharing my images. I hope this little write up helps you with your iPhone Photography and Images Sharing.


Mike Sly Tips: Cube Tap & Ground Lift Adapter from Mike Sly on Vimeo.

Grand Canyon Panoramic


Grand Canyon Panoramic
Originally uploaded by Mike Sly
Here is the Photo of the Week:
This pano made up of 4 images stitched in photoshop and enhanced in lightroom

1st Post Blog Post

Welcome to the Mike Sly/ Sly Digital Blog. This is going to be where I post; New Work, Photo of the Week Images, Behind the Scenes, Tutorials & Tips, or whatever else might come up. Please check out the Mike Sly Hub at MikeSly.net, follow me on twitter.com/mikesly5 & check out my flickr photos flickr.com/mikesly
Lots of cool stuff coming soon, stay tuned.

Copyright © Mike Sly