David Papp Blog

iPhoneography 101

As the name suggests, iPhoneography is the art of capturing and editing images with an iOS device. The iPhone’s powerful camera has made taking beautiful photographs easier since users don’t have to worry about the technicalities that come with a single lens reflex camera, which has to be toggled manually. The iPhone’s camera automatically adjusts itself, which means the user can focus on other elements such as composition and lighting.

With powerful photo editing apps like Snapseed and Filterstorm, you can instantly edit and share your photos on sites like Flickr and Instagram where a community of fellow “iPhoneographers” can find you and appreciate your work.

A Community

The simplicity, accessibility and implicit spontaneity of iPhoneography have captured many followers. It’s become a worldwide trend, with a lot of creative individuals producing great work, which has prompted the launch of iPhone Photography Awards. The competition accepts photographs taken with iPhones, iPods or iPads and receives submissions from over 70+ countries all over the world.

There is a fast-growing community of iPhoneographers today and many share tips and tricks online about anything from new gadgets you can use with your iPhone for effects to post-processing advice. Some popular websites include iPhone Photography School and AMPt Community.

Why the iPhone?

The iPhone’s built-in camera has been ahead of its competitors. With its focus on pixel quality instead of number and the sophistication of its sensors and fine-tuned hardware, Apple has always stood out from the crowd and smartphones in general have now become the most popular alternative to digital cameras. These days, people take pictures with their smartphone more often than they do with cameras and it must be said that Apple tends to remain at the forefront of smartphone camera technology. I realize some of you may disagree. J Innovations come at breakneck speed in this market, however, so expect to see more competition from other makers. The best part about all this is that it will result in even better products for us consumers.

31 thoughts on “iPhoneography 101”

  1. Good to see great quality photos from our smartphones these days. I actually prefer Nokia or HTC when it comes to mobile phone cameras. I own a low-end HTC Desire X which has a 5MP camera and my brother owns an iPhone 5 which has an 8MP camera. I prefer my 5MB Desire X camera to my brother’s iPhone’s camera in some aspects. The low file size is a huge plus and the stock camera features are amazing in my phone. Not that the iPhone 5 camera is bad, but I personally prefer the HTC cameras, maybe because I am not really used to iOS. Also, Nokia cameras are really great, in my opinion.

  2. I’ve juggled between Android and iOS devices for awhile and if there’s anything I think Apple has down it’s always photography. It “just works” and it works great. With Android I’m often getting auto focusing issues, long delays between pictures, or even blurry pics. It drives me nuts when I’m trying to use the barcode scanner or photograph text and it’s just so blurry.

    You remember back in the day when everyone would pose for a photo and you’d take a few more photos “just in case?” I have similar sentiments when I use an Android device (Galaxy S4).

    That said, I am thoroughly impressed with the Nokia 920 camera quality. Too bad it’s on Windows Phone as I would easily buy the exact phone with Android on it.

  3. My iphone gives me the convenience of taking a good picture in a rush. Sometimes I need to snapshot a certain notes or objects that grab hold of my interest. I can depend on it to take a great picture. I almost never have a problem identifying the object or writing through an iphone lens. Coming from an android, I find that the auto focus feature on the iphone is really amazing.

  4. The auto-focus of the iphone really helps when taking snapshots at graduation and birthday events. When compared to my old Nokia Lumia, the iphone really is better at every feature aspect. Not only does it have a good quality camera but also doesn’t drop calls ever.

  5. As much as I love the idea unfortunately I have a Samsung galaxy phone. However that leads me to wonder if there are any sites like this for Android phones. I haven’t studied photography but I would try the app all the same.

  6. I don’t have an iPhone exactly but I have an iPod. Apple fit the iPod with cameras that are inferior to what they put in iPhones. It’s actually kind of sad, but maybe it’s necessary – they had to fit in everything into a thin, 88g device.
    I hope Apple improved the picture quality of the front facing camera, though. Right now all you get is a few grainy pictures.

  7. Being a HUGE fan of the iPhone, I can honestly say the camera is something I enjoy using thoroughly. It’s really something when you can zoom in on a picture and it remains detailed and clear. When I owned a Samsung, Android, and Windows phone, the picture quality was great but it wasn’t as good as the iPhone’s. Sorry tech giants, you have some catching up to do on picture quality!

  8. Technology has certainly come a long way. Use a phone even a year back and you’ll see a real noticeable difference in quality. It’s a pity I don’t use the iPhone though, I’m more an Android guy but I have an iPad and I have to say the camera experience beats Android hands down. It produces pictures that are decently crisp even in bad lighting, and I just love the camera not on the iPhone, but on Apple’s iOS devices in general. Though I wouldn’t buy a phone just based on the camera specifications.

  9. When I was a teenager I thought that the instant-ness of a Polaroid camera would be as good as it gets! Obviously, it was much cheaper to use a traditional camera and its accompanying film, though that also meant dropping off your film one of the ubiquitous photo-mats in your city and waiting. Sometimes the wait was worth it, and other times you would turn in a dud roll, and get poor quality images in return. You also had to wonder if the photo developers were gawking at your images, so I can say with certainty that I enjoy the instant, high quality photos that smart phones provide and the privacy of “developing” my own images.

    • Haha me too. I’ve always been fascinated by it and I’m just surprised how quickly it developed and changed.

  10. Great article! I’ve been using my iPhone’s camera more than my digital SLR. I love taking pictures and I just can’t carry my DSLR every time I go out. My phone is very handy and I’ve got lots of camera apps installed because I like putting drama and effect on my photos without uploading it to my computer and using photoshop. With these photography apps, I can just edit my pictures straight to my phone and upload it to my social media accounts.

  11. Have to say that the argument that the iPhone camera auto adjusting qualifies it to be used for photography due to renewed focus on composition and lighting is farcical. Photography is an art that requires effort and skill/training that the iPhone removes from the process and makes everyone’s ‘masterpieces’ look similar. What the iPhone (and most other smartphones) does provide is the ability to quickly capture a subject, but to say the iPhone is perfect for this when so many smartphones now have cameras that could shame the iPhone’s is a bit of a stretch.

  12. To me, Android devices are better at photos than the iPhone. The Sony Xperia phones have great photo shooting abilities. The camera is higher quality than that of an iPhone; however, the iPhones are still better than most low end phones. I just feel that compared to flagship android phones, the iPhone does not meet the competition.

    • I’m a fan of Xperia cameras too. My OH and I have owned around 6 different Sony Xperia handsets between us and have always been impressed with the camera function.

  13. I’m so pleased to see cell phone photography getting a good review. There’s a quote that says “the best camera is the one you have with you”, and it couldn’t be more true. It’s so convenient to collect memories with a small device in everyone’s pockets, and quality keeps going up and up. It’s also so much fun to see what type of manipulation can be done with various apps.

  14. One of the best features of the iPhone is the camera. I love taking photos, I have tried a couple of editing apps and they have not really been up to scratch, so I am looking for something to really do the job well.

  15. I may need to swap phones with my husband! He has the iPhone 5S but really doesn’t do much in the way of photography. It sounds like a lot of fun could be had exploring the gadgets made just for the iPhone. I am assuming there is a range of cost to the different gadgets available. I might be spending some time researching all the options.

  16. I use my iPhone mainly for pictures anyways. I really think that it captures better pictures than any camera that I have owned. Not only do the pictures turn out great, but there are plenty of apps for editing without having to transfer your pictures to your computer.

  17. I actually saved up for Iphone for the camera and apps as well. After having an android with 18 megapixel camera, I still feel that the iphone takes better pictures than the other one. Especially that the camera apps that accompanies it are vast and with many effects to choose from.

  18. Yeah, I totally agree with you, iPhone has certainly replaced digital cameras and the quality of the pictures are stunning. It’s as good as a digital camera, and convenient and easily accessible. And if apple brings home some new innovations, who knows, one day digital cameras might cease to exist. (Of course they will still play a crucial role in mass communicaiton and the film industry)

    • I’m pretty sure that day is coming sooner than we think. It’s just so inconvenient to carry two devices around with you so if you can just take one device with a dual functionality then that’s always going to be the popular option.

  19. iPhone’s camera is definitely much better than most Android devices’s camera. Windows phone has the edge here though, I really preffer that you basically get a free camera with a Nokia Lumia phone.
    Android need to step up their game. Only the OPO has the upperhand really on the camera, with it’s 4k filming abilities.

  20. Impressive use of a phone and apps. If people can use their phones to take pictures then they could make extra money selling photographs. It’s always a comforting thing to find a way to use your gadgets for artistic purposes.

  21. While the iPhone definitely has one of the best cameras for smartphones, I don’t find it to be the best one out there. Sony’s Xperia Z line has the best camera in my opinion, but also as an all around smart phone. The Xperia Z2 and Z3 are truly waterproof up to a couple of feet, have dedicated camera buttons, and the sensors are pretty good too. The lenses don’t distort much either. But most people know anyways, that megapixels don’t matter that much as soon as you go over 5MP.

  22. oh this is on my Christmas list! For now I am only using an old Sony Experia which often disappointing when it comes to image quality…. However I will have to wait patiently, for good quality photographs I still rely on my DSLR camera. Yet it’s great to have a light device to hand for quick snapshots.

  23. I think the iphone editing software is pretty good considering you are using a phone. The amount of editing you could do on a camera has always been limited. Being able to do this on the same device is very convenient.

  24. As an owner of the iPhone 5s, I completely agree that this camera is superb and tops other competitors. For a smartphone, the camera quality is tremendous. There are so many options you have such as creating a time lapse or a slo-mo video.

  25. My iPhone is one of the old ones in the market, and I no longer can use any apps without having a store attendant download the app for me from a certified Apple store. I never install any photography app on my iPhone and don’t use any additional filters when taking photographs with it.

    What was hard was to individual add protection to the photographs before posting them online. Without any app installed, I could not immediately add my details, usage rights or EXIF data to my works.

    So far the blur and the capture result has been quite inspiring, at least for me, to take more photos and learn about sharing my work online with other iPhone photographers. Soon I might be having iPhoneographers appreciate my work.

  26. I’m sorry but the iPhone6 and the iPhone6 plus’ cameras are not ‘ahead of its competitors’. For one thing, it has had a lot of issues since its release. The Lumia 1020 has by far the best camera on any smartphone of its generation.

  27. iPhoneography 101? Haha, it’s awesome that they’re even making the quality much better. I’ve been fascinated of it a lot and I’m really thankful they work on such stuff. Technology in terms of photography is getting even better and better, I don’t even know if it’s going to get better than the sight of people, or do some really shocking amazing thing with it soon, but it sure has a lot of future like this.

  28. If you google “iPhone Photography” you will notice a lot of HD photos that look so professional you’d never guess a phone took it. Many iPhone Photographers have set ups on their phones with apps (/tweaks) to make their camera app better. Enhancers of all kinds and what not but in the end of the day, it’s still the iPhone camera that took the photo and that’s shocking. I love the quality of iPhone photos.

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