Create Great iPhone Photos

Apps, Tips, Tricks, and Effects
A book that’s a bit more than just a grand-tour of photo-related iPhone apps.

At first glance, Allan Hoffman’s new book seems like another of those “guide-to apps” books that probably started appearing sometime before the one-hundred thousand-and-one app was uploaded to Apple’s AppStore. Still, it’s a bit more than just a grand-tour of photo-related apps.

Recently I told someone that the best camera I have is one in my phone (of the green-robot variety); that’s not true, my Canon Rebel takes much better photos, but I usually don’t have it with me when I see something I want to take a picture of. If you understand that, then this book is for you.

The book starts with a bit of history of the iPhone and its cameras up to the current iPhone 4 that adds several improvements including the ability to shoot HDR (High Dynamic Range).

The majority of the book is taken up with reasonably in-depth looks at apps aimed at photographers. There is a chapter called “customizing your iPhone camera” but, though a few skins and tripods designed for the iPhone is mentioned, this book isn’t really about hardware hacks. Of course, such things exist, readers looking for that might want to look at cases like the ones made by Japan’s Factron.

The main parts of the book are the chapters on apps. Chapter three covers a few apps like Adobe’s PS Express, Photogene and Photo Forge that attempt to bring photo editing to the iPhone. Other more specialized apps like Iris Photo Suite, Perfect Photo are covered as well. Colour adjustments apps that provide effects like colour adjustments, selective blurring and different kinds of effects that users of PhotoShop might find in plug-ins are all covered in chapter four. Finally, chapter five looks at apps that process photos to give them a retro-style. Some even go further creating a fantasy darkroom that let users “develop” their photos using different virtual chemicals.

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The last part of the book covers ways to share your photos using more apps using popular social networks. It’s worth noting how straightforward this has become in recent years so that a lot of this material will seem redundant to some readers. Near the end, there is an interesting chapter that’s a guide to blogs by photographers who have committed to taking photos with the iPhone camera.

The over-arching theme in this book is about making the limitations of the iPhone into strength. With this book, you’re going to learn about a lot of apps that readers will probably be unaware of, combined with the last chapter on professional photographers who are making the most of the iPhone’s photographic abilities should give readers a fresh challenge.