Over Christmas I adopted Richard's old iPhone. He'd upgraded to a nice shiny iPhone 3GS, and his old 1st generation iPhone was sitting around doing nothing, so I thought I should give it a reason to live. That, and the fact that my trusty Nokia Navigator 6110 was on its last legs.

I only got my hands on it the day before we flew off on our holidays, so I added a few applications that I already had on my iPod touch, and bought a few photography applications that Richard already had and found useful, or that I'd seen impressive reviews/results from. I also took pot luck and bought one that I just stumbled upon.

One of my uses for the iPhone within photography so far has been for updates to flickr/twitpic/email on the go - using wifi where I found it I managed to upload 104 photos whilst we were away keeping friends and family in touch with our progress. I almost always have a backlog of proper photos (by which I mean taken on either my d80, or on one of my, ever expanding, family of film cameras). So, processing as I go is important to enable these to be shared quickly.


I have 3 types of photography applications on my iPhone.

  • Applications for sharing
  • Cameras
  • Processing

Applications for Sharing
I only have the one application in this category - flickr. It allows me to look at my photos and those of my friends, to access my favourites, to edit the details of my photos and, most importantly, to upload my photos at full resolution adding tags and sets as I go. Whilst we were away I used email to upload photos to flickr as I could queue them up, so that next time I found a wifi connection they'd just go, however this only emails a smaller version of the image. Being back at home where data roaming is cheap (if not a bit slow), using this application is my preferred upload method.

I have 2 camera applications in addition to the standard one, NightCamera and Hipstamatic.
NightCamera is my first choice whenever I'm lacking in natural light - so, early mornings out with the dog, indoors, night time.
Hipstamatic is a new purchase, so I haven't had a chance to work out when I'm going to use this application yet, so I'll probably revisit this in an additional post sometime. Up until now I've liked taking the photos on a "normal" camera application and applying filters afterwards - this is a change as I'll have to get it right first time.
The standard iPhone camera isn't the best camera in the world, but it is adequate in most situations. The thing that makes the photos more usable, at least for me, is the ability to use different applications to achieve different effects.

This is where the iPhone comes into its own for photography. My rules are that everything taken on the iPhone must be processed on the iPhone and uploaded from the iPhone. No post processing on my laptop (as I mentioned earlier, I've got enough of a backlog already). So, the ability to do some element of processing is important. I have 4 applications that fall into this category.
The 4 applications are, in no particular order, ShakeItPhoto, CameraBag, MillColour or Adobe Photoshop Mobile.
ShakeItPhoto tends to get used for photos which are primarily signs, or bright expanses of colour.
CameraBag and MillColour tend to get used for images which are more landscape or people related, or which I'm trying to make a bit arty.
Adobe Photoshop Mobile tends to get used to put borders on things, and sometimes to do the nice blur effect.
In all cases, I'm using the pre-defined filters, rather than adjusting individual levels. I don't find the representation and resolution on the iPhone screen to be quite sufficient for fine adjustments, so I'm happy to default to a more pre-defined effect.

I'm still looking for an application which allows for custom rotation - i.e. correcting a slightly wonky horizon. If you know of one, please let me know.

Sample Photos

Standard Camera + ShakeItPhoto


Standard Camera + CameraBag


Standard Camera + Mill Colour


Night Camera + ShakeItPhoto


Night Camera + Camera Bag


Night Camera + Mill Colour


Night Camera + Adobe Photoshop Mobile