Taking Back Control of iPhone Photography

Taking Back Control of iPhone Photography

There are countless photo apps popping up for phones, each one bragging about the addition of the now oh-so-played-out vintage filters you can apply. The last thing we need is another excuse for someone to think they are a creative photographer via one-click edit buttons. Ya know… the same edits even your 1-year-old can manage to accidentally apply while teething on the corner of your phone. They are all the same mindless app, driving the false sense of creativeness. News flash, if you have that app so do like… 100 million other people, and they have that same “creative” vintage button. Now don’t you feel special. To be honest, at this point your phone photography would probably be more appealing and eye-catching on Facebook if you just stuck to standard photo edits, as everyone and their grandma are robotically mass producing the same EXACT edits as you. You’ll practically be the only one with vibrant contrast and colors in your images if you go against the grain on this one.

But let’s get past these boring one-button edit “features,” shall we? After all, in the end, you are still dealing with a point and shoot camera on your phone. It’s the other end of the mindless droning of “photography” these days. Of course PnS cameras have the ability to focus, expose, and judge the rest of the variables in order to create a borderline tolerable image. Sure, PnS’s have the ABILITY to do all of this stuff for us, but hardware and software developers of phone cameras decided that the cameras WILL do all of the deciding for you, and you don’t get a say in the photo-taking affair. Just point and click, you get what you get, and you’re stuck with the computer in the driver seat 100% of the time. No surprises, this approach left us with 100 images with maybe a couple falling under the category of “acceptable,” the rest being a joke, and proof that computers are not good photographers.

Then came the ‘tap to focus’ milestone with phone cameras. While this wasn’t a giant leap in seizing back control of your picture taking, it was a step in the right direction. Now you can at least have a say whether the camera focused on your love one’s face or the random tree in the background, oh boy. No control over exposure really, whatever you focused on is what the image was exposed for. If you were able to do any kind of exposing manipulation it proved fairly cumbersome. And this is pretty much where phone photography has sat, and quite honestly still sits in most realms of this type of PnS technology on phones. For those who have known more advanced cameras, have been privy to so much more control of image capturing. We can try to look past the fact that phone cameras will not let you adaptively change your aperture and shutter speed, but holy shit, at least let me do some exposure compensation for these train-wreck-of-exposure results.

Someone is finally listening. Someone is just as tired of all the other one-button answer apps as I am. Smugmug of all people, have developed and released an application that takes us to that next level. It’s called “Camera!.” Camera! is an app that does provide in-app image capture and edits without leaving that single app just like a lot of others out there, BUT… it gives us more control and feedback of our photographs. The single most powerful feature is that you can tap to focus with one finger and tap another part of the composition for your exposure. This powerful feature essentially gives simple to use exposure compensation control back to the photographer. It’s a poor man’s exposure compensation technique, but it’ll have to do for now until more sophisticated control can be married between hardware and software. This means you can grab your focus, and then drag another finger around the screens, touching different tones and exposures in the photograph, effecting the overall photo exposure. On a traditional manually controlled camera, we spin dials to add or subtract light from the exposure, whereas with this app on your phone, this is effectively done by hunting out and selecting a portion of the composition that has the exposure you want applied o the overall image.


Other nice features is a built-in level, which will help you better frame your landscapes and horizons so they are not so tilted. There are also grid overlays that can help you with your framing, and handy info screen that will provide all of the capture info of your image (histogram, aperture, shutter, ISO, etc). You can also fire photos in rapid succession at 9 FPS. It’s also comes with all the standard editing features you see on all the apps, as well as one-click uploads to your social networking sites.

Now, this camera app is by no means a replacement for any legit photo taking intentions. It is an answer to those moments when all I’m found with is my iPhone and I need a quick photo to document something. However, for many people out there, the iPhone is their only camera. This app will help you take better photos, make more conscious photo compositions, and separate you a little more from the millions of one-button “creatives” out there. Just because you only have an iPhone doesn’t mean that you have to take pictures like an iPhone.

You can checkout more, download the app, and see a quick demo of the app here: http://www.awesomize.com/