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How to Use the iPhone as a Photography Tool

Got an iPhone? Check out how Chris Folsom from studiotempura.com uses his as a tool in his photography.

Image by Lawrence OP

Image by Lawrence OP

There has been a lot of buzz around the iPhone lately, especially among photographers.  And for good reason… the iPhone has a host of photography-related tools that are both fun and useful.  I find myself using it more and more lately, so I thought I might share some of those functions with you.

Using the Camera

The most obvious photography-related feature is the camera.  Though the iPhone won’t be replacing my DSLR anytime soon, I almost always have my iPhone with me which means it is available many times when my DSLR isn’t.  As the quote goes, “the best camera is the one you have with you”.

One of my favorite ways to take photos with the iPhone is using an app called Pano.  Pano allows you to shoot up to 16 images side-by-side which are then stitched together on the fly in about a minute.  I shot this image while at a baseball game last week…
Granted, this is probably not something I would print and hang on my wall… there are a few areas where the stitching didn’t quite line up correctly and the noise levels are higher than I would prefer.  But still, I shot this in less than 5 minutes without a tripod on my cellphone.

Beyond panoramas, the iPhone is capable of shooting a variety of other styles on the fly including tilt-shift fakes, fisheye images and night photography.

Location Services

I can’t even count how many times I have used Google Maps and the iPhone’s GPS to help find a location I wanted to shoot.  A couple of weeks ago, some friends and I were headed to an abandoned school and we had to hike through almost a mile of woods to get to it.  Had it not been for the GPS on my phone, I am certain we would never have found it.

I have also started using GeoLogTag for geotagging my images.  Once you have the app running (and verify that your camera’s clock and iPhone are in sync) it will keep track of everywhere you have been during a photo trip.  The data can then be exported as a standard GPX file or you can link GeoLogTag to your Flickr account and the app will automatically update the map data through that site.

Sharing Images to the Web

Using the data services of the iPhone, you can publish photos to the web from almost anywhere.  Even when I have my DSLR with me, I will usually use my iPhone to send a photo and a quick update to my blog or Facebook page so that people can see what I am doing in real-time.  With the applications available on the App Store, you can upload photos to just about any social media service on the web.

Digital Portfolio

All of my favorite photos are synced to my iPhone, which turns the device a perfect little digital portfolio.  The screen is very high quality and having a collection of images in my pocket at all times makes sharing with people very easy.  I have used the iPhone to show off photos to friends, family and even recently used it to discuss some images with a gallery director for an upcoming exhibit.  I can not overstate the importance of being able to show people your work, and the iPhone is another useful tool for doing exactly that.

Do you have an iPhone? Do you use it’s camera or other features in your photography? What applications do you use? Got any images to share with us? Feel free to link to your best iPhone images in comments below.

chrisfolsomChris Folsom is a hobbyist photographer who spends much of his time photographing buildings that are no longer in use. You can view his site at studiotempura.com or see more of his photos at Flickr. His photos have been published on numerous websites and newspapers.

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