iPhoneography = Happiness

iPhoneography = Happiness

I have a minor (cough, MAJOR) obsession with: iPhoneography! What is it? According to FotoRhetoric it,

is the capturing, editing, and processing of photographic images with Apple iPhone devices (including iPad and iPod Touch) and within the App Ecology developed by and for those devices.

While I like that definition – I also think it is becoming, and perhaps already is, so much more. I think iPhoneography is representative of a whole movement and sub-culture in photography which has emerged to satisfy our need for instant gratification and immediate visual fulfillment.

Whereas my Canon 5d mII sometimes stays at home, even though my iPhone 4  doesn’t replace my Canon, it does go with me everywhere. I believe that iPhoneography isn’t just a singular obsession I enjoy alone. I think it’s a legitimate and useful form of art and expression. And a great tool for travel bloggers in particular, who want to travel light on the road but still have the advantage of great photographs that are web-ready without much work …

I’ve enjoyed a few truly incredible experiences as a result of my devotion. As I write this post, I’m looking out at the Alps from a hotel room in Innsbruck, Austria where I taught about iPhoneography and convinced a few more people of the merits of Instagram, Diptic and the like. In June, I taught a similar class two times in Vancouver. I’m always looking for more people to teach. I spend a considerable amount of time every week endeavoring to stay up-to-date on changes in the arena of iPhoneography – app updates, new releases, etc.

I’d like to present to you a few of my favorite things about iPhoneography … using the letters that make up the name of this obsession of mine:

I – is for my favorite instant-sharing app: Instagram, which allows one-touch uploading to all the major social media sites and also has a “tilt-shift” feature that simulates the very unusual, yet compelling effect one gets with a several-thousand-dollar dSLR tilt-shift lens.

P – is for Plastic Bullet which is likely the filter app that I use which has the most extreme effects yet which produces results that sometimes, simply, blow me away.

H – is for Hipstamatic. It was my first love where apps are concerned. It might be my last. Nothing else has compared to the unadulterated and basic fun Hipstamatic once brought, though other apps have begun to be used more frequently. I still go back to this app whenever I want to be surprised with joyful and unexpected results. With Hipstamatic, you can never be totally sure of what you’ll get and it does a spirit good to be surprised once in a while!

O – is for optimization. Learn to take good photos with an iPhone and believe that you REALLY can. It’s not a perfect image capturing device. However, it is optimized for fast capturing and gaining ground with each update and new release (4S = 8 MPX!!), it has thousands of apps which are optimized for fast sharing. Many apps help a budding photographer learn composition and the power of the rule of thirds. Learn what you and your iPhone can do best, and play on its strengths to have fun but also stop using that excuse, “Well it’s just a stupid cell phone camera.” It’s oh-so-much-more and you can be so much more with it.

N – is for Night Camera which is one of a few great options for time-delayed image capturing. Just open Night Camera, set your phone in place, run and pose by your sweetie – then voila your iPhone snaps a portrait of the two of you together without that awkward arm-held-way-out pose that makes almost anyone look a little weird! Banff Squirrel not included.

E – is for enjoyment that I have really loved helping to inspire in others! My own enjoyment of iPhoneography has helped to revive and give new life to my general love of photography and I’ve seen that happen for other people as well. If you “google it”, you’ll see I am far from the only one in the universe who is obsessed to the aforementioned point, with iPhoneography. Can this many of us *really* be crazy? Or is it simply a happy expression of our natural creative bent that is as contagious as chickenpox … (I think the Photojojo folks might side with me! Maybe Apple too.)

O – is for: OMG, YOU CAN ACTUALLY PRINT IPHONE PHOTOS!!! Simply toggle the size setting in any app or in the general settings for the phone to save at the highest resolution and on an iPhone 4 you’ll be producing photos that are large enough to be printed and hung on a wall or pasted into a scrapbook. Make momma happy – you can even have your iPhone photos made into postcards and sent home. Just don’t forget to add “Wish You Were Here”!

G – is for good enough to cause Chase Jarvis to actually trademark the phrase, “The best camera is the one that’s with you!” He has a phrase, an iPhone app and a business created around the idea that an iPhone is a wonderful image-capturing device. It’s more than good enough, sometimes, it’s the best tool for the job!

R – is for retro effects which truly abound in filter-applying photo apps. Do you miss the days of Polaroid? ShakeItPhoto is for you! Loved the Cross Process technique of color developing and mourn spending hours in the darkroom applying that effect to printed images? Download the CP app!

A – is for Autostitch which is a great way to create a panoramic image directly on your iPhone. You don’t need to buy that expensive camera they’re using that blonde country singer to advertise! 360 and Pano (also made for Android phones) are additional apps that function similarly to the way Autostitch does.

P – is for Pixels: The Art of the iPhone. Pixels is one of several groups curating iPhoneography to the point where they are elevating it to its own art form singular within the greater field of photography. They take it quite seriously. Also deserving of note is the international Mobile Photo Group which has such stringent acceptance policies one might think they are applying to be a member of the Smithsonian Art Institution!

H – is for the hell that might be made of your ToDo list when you too join in the iPhoneography fun. My mother keeps asking me if she should get an iPhone 4 (she can barely make calls on her non-smart-cell-phone), my best friend received my old iPhone 3Gs and in one week nearly reached the same level of my obsession, I had a previous iPhone 4 stolen out of my hands in Buenos Aires and for days after it happened you might have picked me up off the floor in a million pieces so sad and complacent was I without my beloved. So go ahead, get an iPhone and join in the hell. Er, fun. Just beware, don’t make any plans for the first week of ownership -and send me a picture, eh?

Y – is for “You might think I’m crazy if you’ve read this far.” But keep in mind, some of this is decidedly tongue-in-cheek. I’ll let you figure out for yourself just which bits I’m referring to.

Want even more app recommendations? Ask, and you shall receive!