Yanik's Photo School

YPS’s Top IPhone Photo Apps

The IPhone is great! How’s that to start a post. :)  I’ve had mine for just 2 months now and it never leaves my side.

For me, one of the best things about the IPhone is the camera. Let’s face it. The image quality sucks. But that doesn’t matter. What’s important, as a photographer, is to always have a camera with you (and use it!) and the IPhone gives me that freedom without having to carry another small P&S camera with me. I don’t have to tell you that to become a better photographer, you need to shoot, shoot, shoot! Use it or loose it.

What’s great about the IPhone is the apps you can get to make your photography experience more enjoyable. I’ve had to opportunity to test out more than a dozen and here are the ones that have stayed on my phone up to date.


PhotoForge

By far the closest app out there which resembles Photoshop.  In conjunction with the drawing side, the photography side of the app is great. It’s very intuitive and the touch features work well. Here are some of my favorite features in PhotoForge:

  • RGB Curves: you can play with red green blue curves on top of your normal curves adjustments.
  • Unsharpen Mask: let’s face it. The IPhone camera is prone to camera share thus creating movement blur so having the ability to sharpen your image like Photoshop’s Unsharp Mask is a no brainer.  You can control the Amount, Radius and Threshold.
  • Simulated HDR: This is basically Shadow/Highlights
  • Hue/Saturation: Tweak the hue, saturation and Lightness with sliders just like in Photoshop
  • Exposure: surprisingly, this feature works a lot better than I thought it would! A lot less black/white clipping. Love it!
  • Sunset/Blue Sky: a neet little feature which adds an orange (sunset) or blue (blue sky) gradient to your image. Kindda like the graduated filter in Lightroom.
  • B&W and Sepia: gotta have those and they’re there.

There are many more features like unlimited undos and tons of presets so as you can see, get a lot of bang for your buck! Here’s a video on some of its features. It’s usually $4.99 but as of this writing it’s on sale for $2.99. What a deal.

Camera Bag

This is a fun app with some fun presets to post process images quickly on the fly. My favorite preset is Helga (and looking at Chase Jarvis‘s photos on Twitter, his too :) ) which puts a vignette, slightly desaturates the colors and does a square crop. In total, you get 10 presets for $1.99.  I sometimes save my image with the Helga preset and then tweak it a bit more in Photoforge.

Pano

I tried a few free panorama apps but they don’t even come close to the precision of Pano! I was very surprised by the stiching quality. I love using this feature. Seeing the app icon on my phone reminds me of panorama options that I tend to forget with my DSRL. It’s as easy as taking your photos with Pano and then clicking “make my panorama now!” button. You can take upto 16 photos with a max resolution of 6800 x 800. You can get Pano for $2.99.

PhotoFlipper

This is a brand new free app that is much welcomed! Finally an app that lets you rotate your image (at 90 degree increments) or flip (horizontally and vertically) them. It’s simpl, effective and super easy to use.  I’ve been wanting to horizontally flip quite a few of my IPhone image and I was forced to to it the long waay via Photoshop. Not anymore! Woohoo!

Scissors

This is a very intuitive app that uses multi touch technology to crop and rotate your image. It’s basically a combo Crop/Rotate app where you can change the crop rectangle size and also, by using 2 fingers, rotating your photo. This is great to straighten horizons or get funky angles. I use it mostly for straightening and cropping. And at $0.99 it’s well worth it.

There are tons of IPhone photo apps out there! Please share the ones you are using and what you like about them.

1 Responses on YPS's Top IPhone Photo Apps"

  1. Martin says:

    A free alternative to scissors is “CropForFree” App. It’s not as sophisticated visually, but it does the job very well. And it’s free! (so you can spend that $.99 on a song instead…) 😉

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