I Learned a New Word–iPhoneography

Last week I watched parts of a two-day live webinar presented by http://www.creativelive.com/ and featuring photographer, Jack Hollingsworth. The webinar was presented free to promote their course, “iPhoneography Workshop”.

There is a whole world out there that is using the iPhone and other smart phones to create photographic art. I’ve had my iPhone 4 for a few months now, and frankly still know very little about using it, except to use it as a simple point and shoot camera. And I was not even doing that right.

After watching the webinar, I’m looking at the camera on my iPhone with increased respect. To be honest I’m still not that versed on the basic capabilities of even the native camera, let alone the thousands of iPhone apps that are available. Its features were expanded with the release of iOS 5. I have never read the manual, so I did not have a good grasp of even the basics. Here are six things I learned.

  1. The picture is not taken until you lift your finger from the camera button, not when you tap it. This means you can compose the shot, hold down the shutter release button and then remove your finger the instant you want to take the picture.
  2. To zoom in on a scene, pinch your fingers and then drag outward. You should see the slider bar open allowing you to adjust the zoom by dragging the slider.
  3. The iPhone has a AF/AE Lock capability. To turn it on, tap and hold on that part of the image you want to lock in on for a second or two. Remove your finger, and you will see the AF/AE Lock at the bottom of the screen. To turn it off, tap on the screen again.
  4. You can quickly bring access the camera from the Lock Screen mode. Double click on the Home button, and then tap on the camera icon on the right.
  5. You can also use the Volume Up button as the shutter release to take a picture.
  6. This really has nothing to do with the camera, but you can make a screen copy. First hold down the sleep button, and then quickly double tap the Home button. The captured screen is added to the Camera Roll. This also works on the iPad.

The above are what the native camera and its apps are capable of. My next step is to explore some of the cool apps available available for the camera. I suspect the camera in Android phones have similar capabilities and apps.

If your using an iPhone or iPad 2, and know of a good app or two to exploit their capabilities, leave a comment. Also, if you like this article and would like to see more like it here, please let me know by giving it a high star rating above. Thanks.

5 thoughts on “I Learned a New Word–iPhoneography

  1. Hey Don, thanks so much for the six neat things about the iphone camera. They were all new to me, too. And very cool indeed.

    I can suggest a few photo apps:

    1. “Pro HDR” (icon looks like a lens with a sunset in the background). This is my favorite, and it really works. You have to hold the camera still, but not tripod-still. The app analyzes the bright and dark parts of the scene, picks two different exposures, then takes two different pictures, then assembles them into a true HDR picture.

    2. “SlowShutter” (icon is mostly black with a blue-purple clock face). This app allows time exposures, up to 15 seconds. OK, the pictures are noisy, but it’s impressive to get anything with a cell phone camera in a dark room.

    3. “TimeLapse” (icon is gray background with a black & gray clock face). This app creates an .avi file from a sequence of photos taken at intervals you select. You’ll need to rig up a tripod/camera-holder to use this, but it really works. It will save the individual frames as well if you want.

    4. “Camera+” (icon is a black background, round multicolor lens in the center, small white plus sign in upper right). Actually pretty similar to the native camera app, but it has faster shot to shot time capability.

    Best Regards



    • Hi Vance,

      I have downloaded “Pro HDR” and “Camera+”, but have not tried them yet. Thanks to your comment, now I have a better idea what they do and what to expect. Once I give these a spin, I’ll download the other two.

      Thanks for your comment.


  2. Don, I’ve used the iPhone4’s camera quite a bit and found the app, PhotoGene to be easy to use, many-featured and from it I can email my “improved” snaps to relatives and beyond. Another thing about duplicating a photo in your camera roll, is that before pressing both controls to make the copy, one can also zoom the photo in–like cropping, thereby improving the photo. BTW, I look forward to your class, Digital Video & Photo Projects on 3/28/12.


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