Top iPhone Camera Apps for Mobile Photography

Every since the very first iPhone came out I have been trying to find ways to make the camera on the iPhone a viable photography choice when a DSLR was just too big, bulky, and basically unavailable. Most photographers would have scoffed at the thought of using a cell phone for any kind of serious photography, but as has happened with the field of photography over the years, things change.

I took my first photo with an iPhone on December 15th, 2008 at 9:23am, and from that point I have since taken a little more than 7,000 images with an iPhone in one version or another. With the release of the iPhone 4 Apple made realistic photography an option. The screen resolution and the over abundance of really cool camera and photography apps has made mobile photography legit (most posts on this blog that have iPhone photos are tagged iPhone).

Being a photographer that actually was around when we were shooting 35mm and transparency film, I have been a little slow to jump totally on the mobile photography platform, but with so many great apps out now it’s made iPhone photography fun. My top three of all those apps on the app store are listed below. You can click the image just below to see a full size screen shot of all three apps in an example progression.

With all these apps I would highly recommend shooting an original and working with a copy to preserve the original image. Many if not most of these apps will completely alter the image forever and you can’t go back, so be sure to have that original image saved.

Best iPhone Camera Apps

  1. Camera+ – Great all around photography editing app
  2. Camera+ is probably the most versatile app available. It has been around quite a while and has a very large number of adjustment-post editing possibilities. It has several shooting options for focus, a grid (standard on DSLR’s), a better zoom than the basic iPhone app has, and several ways to adjust the image before you shoot. The image editing features are more flexible than any app I have tried. It allows for the most filters, and gives you a large number of “effects” which are basically overlays on the image.

    One of the best features of this app has nothing to do with the way it edits photos but with the fact that it doesn’t “require” a square crop to be taken. That allows the full 5mp camera depth to be used. It allows for sharing on Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. Cost $.99 (at this posting it’s on sale). Download Camera+ on iTunes

  3. PicFx – Best app for filters, and textures
  4. The PicFx app is basically an app you can apply cool filters and textures to your images. The biggest drawback to this app is the fact that you must use a square crop on the image which reduces the image size significantly. The best part about this app is the textures. It has a large number of choices and it gives you an easy to use opacity meter allowing for even more unique looks. Will allow you to share on Twitter and Facebook. Cost $.99. Download PicFx on iTunes

  5. Instagram – Best social networking photo sharing app
  6. This app has exploded in popularity like many things that have an element of social networking attached to it. The cool thing about Instagram is it’s quick and easy ability to share quick and quirky edits with friends. The negative aspects of this app is that it’s limited to basically people with an iPhone.

    It has no web application, which means it has no way to see a full stream of photos, no url to give to someone, no profile, no rss feed, or any of the things we take for granted with most other applications (like Flickr). It is also quirky to add new friends, but all info and sharing take place within the app. You can share to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, or email.

    This app would be fantastic if it had an app available for Android and a web presence. I have read that both are on the way but with the main focus of this app being a social networking app it needs to be available outside the iPhone. Cost: Free. Download Instagram on iTunes

The Valedictorian Graduation Speech of 1963 :: Throwback Thursday

In honor of what would have been Georgia Christal’s 65th birthday on March 29th (Deborah’s mom), today’s Throwback Thursday post is a photo of what was her graduation speech, the valedictorian speech of the class of 1963 (even though she is standing at a podium that says class of 1955, is that weird?).

I love these old photos, no computer, no cell phones, almost surprised they had a microphone for her to use. It was certainly a paper world back then.

A Mix of Sun and Rain So Time to Stop and Smell the Roses

They say you should stop and smell the roses. It has been so cold, wet, dark, and raining for the last few days that you couldn’t get outside and do anything, let alone smell a rose. It finally cleared up enough this afternoon to jump outside for a quick break, and today that makes this shot the photo of the day. I took the shot of the roses with my iPhone today, and in my ongoing battle to make the iPhone a viable photographic alternative to a big DSLR I am testing out some new apps (blog post review to come some time).

There is so much going on this week and my mind and heart are in basically three different places so this was a nice walk around the house break. My friend and marathon prayer partner lost his sister unexpectedly this week and today he is in Tennessee with his wife at the funeral. He has usually been on the other side, praying for myself and Deborah as she continues with her tests at UAB, but this week it changed.

This morning, going through my normal continuous reading of the bible, I just happen to be reading Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 12:26 that says “if one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together”, and this is truly the case. As we get ready for the next round of tests at UAB on Friday (depending on whether UAB and BCBS can figure out how to talk to each other) I know he will be back on the other side praying for me once again, and that is such a comfort to me.

What Does the Church Look Like in 2012?

One of the things I love about our particular church is that we are always talking about reaching the unreached… reaching deeper into the community of Auburn and Opelika trying to find ways to bring the Gospel to those who haven’t heard the Good News (a command throughout the New Testament I might add).

One of the ways we do that is once a month the entire staff gets together and walks through the various issues that are the church. Yesterday we discussed the “status quo” of doing church in our culture today and the above image was one page of my notebook where I took notes as we all discussed the topic. I love being a part of these discussions and talking about what the church body looks like in 2012. Since my job is generally on the administrative side of ministry and not that of a pastor, (sometimes it’s hard to remember Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 12:27-28, the Church needs everyone’s gifts and talents to reach the unreached) but God’s church needs everyone to be involved, not just staff members and volunteers, but everyone.

Will Our Generation Respond to Scripture?

In one of John Piper’s books I’m just finishing up called Jesus: The Only Way to God – Must You Hear the Gospel to Be Saved? he makes this conclusion for the church today.

The question for the church in every generation is: Will we submit gladly to the Scriptures? Will we devote ourselves to understanding them truly, valuing them supremely (under God himself), applying them properly, obeying them wholeheartedly, and speaking them courageously and publicly?

I think this is a great challenge for the American church today. We have built a culture around consumerism church instead of our worship services being a joyous celebration of what God has done the previous week. This is the status quo of “church” is something that takes place for one hour on Sunday morning where we get to hear some good music and an encouraging 17 minute message.

If we truly believe Paul’s words in Romans 10:13-17, then we have a great responsibility to reach at least those unreached people in our immediate community and then beyond.

13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Do We Continue to “Sit and Soak”

Question is, how will this play out in our churches in 2012? How does the “sit and soak” mentality of the American church leave Romans 10 unfulfilled (among many other verses as well), and how will we reach those people right here in our own community? Fulfilling the status quo is the most comfortable thing to do, but it’s not very productive for reaching new people for Christ.

The church today should not be about a specific building, or a specific cultural group, or time frame, or a set format. Yes, scripture, orthodoxy, sound doctrine, and at some level, traditions of the early church, are very important and should be a strong foundation, but buildings, times, formats, and everything that goes along with all that, should not be a barrier to those seeking to know the Lord.

Mwangaza Children's Choir Today at Cornerstone

Worship today was a little different at Cornerstone, Brian was teaching this morning, and the Mwangaza Children’s Choir (also on Twitter) was here in Auburn visiting from Uganda. Cornerstone has been partnering with a nearby community church in Uganda, Buloba Community Church, for several years now and this choir hosted by Africa Renewal Ministries was the catalyst for that partnership. The children leave Uganda in January to do a sort of reverse missionary trip to the United States for 6 months, and to bring awareness to the children in need in Uganda.

If you missed worship this morning at Cornerstone Church this is a quick look at what you missed, but they are also going to be here tonight for a concert at 6:30. Hope to see everyone there, if you are in Auburn you are more than welcome to come.