Be geektastic with these nifty iPhone camera apps
I'm an iPhone photography geek--a lazy one. While there are many folks out there who are far more talented photographers than I will ever be, there is no one more talented at getting nifty-looking pictures out of the iPhone with minimal effort and skill. The iPhone has really created a revolution in photography: it gives us, the unskilled and untrained masses the chance to play with color, filters and composition without having to purchase expensive lenses or photo editing programs.
My favorite iPhone camera apps
PowerCam (Full disclosure: this was originally a compensated review) PowerCam is a free iPhone camera app that enables the user to apply instant, live filters and effects to images and video BEFORE and WHILE shooting them. What you see on the screen before you snap the shot is what you get. What I love about this app is the ability to apply over 50 live filters (such as neon outline, sepia, watercolor sketch) to live photos and videos before you take them. It's like having Photoshop on your phone for every picture and video. Also, the app allows for easy sharing to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and you can save the photos to your iPhone native photo gallery.
Incredibooth from Synthetic, LLC. Remember those photo booths that populated boardwalks and pizza restaurants of our childhoods? You'd squeeze in one with your best friend, press your heads together and take four wacky photos in quick succession. Why? Because back then, cameras were bulky and required skill to use, and we didn't all carry them around with us all the time. Incredibooth is a fun iPhone camera app that lets you relive that childhood fun, minus the cramped, smelly booth. The red curtain swings back, the red light blinks, and you and your buddy take four shots in 20 seconds, all captured in good, old-fashioned black-and-white glory. Get your photos, grab some popcorn and cotton candy and then hit the Ferris wheel!
Hipstamatic Half the fun of Hipstamatic is the brilliant in-app recreation of those cheap, plastic textured camera casings of the 60s and 70s. And the rest of the fun is in the recreation of the limited flash range and focal length of those tiny instamatic cameras. I snappped a picture of my mom in her kitchen with the Ina's 1969 filter, and it's like we had been transported back to the year of my birth. Hipstamatic also provides easy sharing features for posting to Facebook, Twitter and other sites, but the pictures stay within the app and can't be added to the iPhone's native photo gallery. However, the photos can be emailed to friends directly from the app.
ToonPaint is available for $1.99 and will instantly turn photos into a cartoon-like line drawing. I admit to a bit of disappointment on this one; in order to get anything other than a black and white ink line drawing, a $.99 color filter must be applied. However, I've been wanting to do a cartoon headshot for Facebook and Twitter for a while, so I suppose $3 is cheaper than getting a custom drawing. And the app does allow you to either take a fresh picture or to cartoonify one from your existing albums, which is rather handy.
Autograph This Wanna be a star, or just feel like one? Don't laugh; someone at a recent event actually asked for an autographed picture, and my first reaction was, "I bet there is an app for that!" And indeed there is, for .99 from Vamp Apps. Autograph This allows the user to take a photo and then sign it with a finger using light or dark "ink," whichever has the best contrast to the photo's background. The photo can then be posted to social networks or sent via private message. Run into someone famous? Snap a pic and ask him/her to sign with a finger. Someone thinks you're famous? No more carrying those pesky 8x10 glossies around; just use your finger!