It is often said that the best camera is the one you have with you, which is very true, and with mobile phone cameras giving you great control over your photos and the whole host of image editing apps you can get for your phone, why would you need anything else?
Ok, so clearly a mobile phone isn’t going to give you everything a DSLR or good point and shoot will give you, but for candid photography, close up photography and some street photography, maybe even landscape photography, a mobile phone can do a pretty good job.
I’m a big fan of the Apple iPhone and have been using one for many years now. The recent models, the 4, 4S and 5 brought some good updates to the camera and couple that with a few apps, you can get some very pleasing images.
One of my favourite features on the iPhone is the panoramic mode where you move the camera in a smooth horizontal motion and the camera takes series of images and stitches them all together for you. This is an example from a beach in my hometown in West Sussex:
Straight out of the camera, it’s not a bad effort, it needs the horizon straightening, but for me I thought it could be tweaked a little more to get a better result.
One of my favourite apps for editing images on my iPhone 5 is SnapSeed by Google. I say Google, but that’s only because they recently purchased the company who developed the software, Nik Software. This app gives you a good selection of options to tweak your images and a few filter options to give your images a particular look. For landscapes I really like the ‘Drama’ filter which gives the images a much more punchy look to them. It’s applied very easily, you select the filter then just slide your finger or thumb across the screen to change the strength of the filter. Very simple as every app should be.
Another great feature of SnapSeed is a way to add borders and frames to your image just to give it that final finish. You get lots of options from the standard solid borders to more creative looking borders which can make the image a little more interesting. For my beach shot, I applied the drama filter and a creative frame to give me a final image of this:
Quite a difference from the original image as you can see, and all done with my iPhone.
And do you want to know the best thing. It’s free! Yep, SnapSeed is a free app so there is no excuse not to download it and experiment with it. It’s also available for your iPad too.
So when you are out and about, try experimenting with your phone, you might be surprised at just how good it is as a backup camera when you need it most.