The Apps that Make iPhotos Shine

During the last few weeks I have been running a series on iPhotography. Specifically in regards to the tool set I use to capture landscapes with my iPhone. You can catch the intro and links to the rest of the articles here:

Today we are going to talk about photography apps that simulate DSLR functions. As you probably already know we don’t have the same control over the iPhones camera as you do with a DSLR. Most noticeably the shutter speed or aperture (i.e. the opening that lets light into the camera and thus hits the image sensor or film). To account for this some very clever people have done this for us via software or as we like tobcall them Apps.

For the last four weeks I have exclusively been using two iPhone Apps for all my iPhontograhy. I found them the best at what they do.


The first is ‘Pro HDR X’. HDR or ‘High-dynamic-range’ is not something new to photography and has been around since the 1850’s. The basic principle behind producing a HDR image is to take multiple photos of the same scene and use the past parts of each to produce the final product. In a digital world this usually means taking a number of photos and then going through each pixel by pixel and picking out the best based on a developed algorithm.

To show this process in action and the benefits of using HDR I have included two photos below taken in the same location within minutes of each other. The first is using the standard iPhone Camera App and the second is using the ‘Pro HDR X’ App. The difference between the two photos is significant.



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A Compact Tripod with a Grip

Hopefully you’ve been following my current series on iPhotography.  If you haven’t you can find the opening post here:

If you don’t have time to read the rest of my posts – basically I’ve been systematically outlining each bit of my iPhotography kit that I’ve been using to capture some great shots like the one below.


One of the most important bits of gear in a photographers arsenal is his tripod.  This doesn’t change for the iPhone photographer as many of the apps and features we use require a dead steady support.  This is most important when using HDR and slow shutter speed apps such as “Pro HDR X” and “SlowShutter” – for more info on these apps and the other apps I use have a gander at the following post (well……….once I’ve written it :-).) Continue reading…


Looking for a New Lens……..for my iPhone??

If you haven’t already read my opening iPhotography post ( I recommend you do before reading on.  If you don’t have time or need a bit of a recap – I’m going through all the components of my iPhone photography kit that I have assembled so far –  starting with the lens kit.

So, the iPhones built-in lens is usually more than adequate for everyday fun snaps.  The iPhone 6 spec sheet says it has an 8-megapixel iSight camera with 1.5µ pixels, ƒ/2.2 aperture and Five-element lens.  What the hell does that mean to us? basically all this fancy talk means that the your iPhone has the equivalent focal length of about 30mm and its a great piece of kit for taking digital snaps.

Most DSLR cameras theres days come with an 18mm to 55mm adjustable zoom lens – so the 30mm focal length of the iPhone fits nicely in the middle and suits most situations.  If like me however, you want to go to the next level and take some landscape or macro photos.  You are going to want to have a bit more focal length flexibility.  So how can we achieve this with our phone?

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Professional iPhotography

Four years ago I bought my wife an entry level DSLR camera.  She wanted to use it to take photos of our kids, events, holidays and the like.  After a year or so of using the automatic settings she decided she wanted to know more about photography and how to use the camera.  So for he birthday I bought her a voucher for a one on one lesson with a renown landscape photographer.  As it so happened he was also happy for me to tag along for the session and learn what I could.

I have always liked being in nature and enjoy its beauty and grace.  I particularly enjoy the natural contrasts between colours, shapes and shades that different landscapes exhibit.  Learning how to emphasize these in photographs during our three hour session really stimulated my creativity side……….well the little that I have anyway…….and I wanted to explore this world a little bit more.

For a week or so after the lesson I did go out of my way to keep up with the landscape photography, but after a while my motivation slowly dissolved.  While I did stop activity going out of my way to take photos with my wife’s nice DSLR, I did keep on taking photos when moments presented themselves using my phone.  Obviously this was a function of convenience (insert laziness) more than anything else.

I found that most of the moments I really wanted to capture were in the middle of a bike ride or just before going for an early morning dive.  Who wants to lug a big DSLR around on a bike or with their dive kit just on the off chance you find an amazing moment that you want to capture in a photo.  Your phone however, you always have with you.

Some of the shots come up really well (such as the one below I took just before a morning dive)


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