Some serious photographers absolutely hate smartphone photography. They look down too on people who use the ‘auto’ feature to take pictures on your DSLR cameras - the only way to be creative is by doing things manually, they say. But if I followed that advice I would have missed 99 percent of the photos I’ve taken.
When the pros ask me what f.stop setting I have used for a photo, I love the look they give me when I say, “I don’t know, I used the auto setting”. The only thing more satisfying is when I can tell them I took the photo with my phone. Priceless!
And then there are the artists that can’t accept photography as an art. I showed some of my photos to an artist who was a member at an area gallery. I was hoping to convince her to include me in her gallery show. She came right out and told me that there wasn’t much interest for photo artwork, that I would be only the second person to show anything. Well, things didn’t go as planned so I never got the opportunity to do her show.
Fast forward to now
Last year I was homebound trying to avoid the Polar Vortex; or was that the year before?.
The first part of this current winter in my area was very warm; we had more rain than snow, I could actually go out once in a while. Then January happened, it’s been cold, we have snow that won’t melt, and it’s slippery so now I avoid going out unless I really have to.
This means no photography is getting done unless it’s an indoor event. So what can a guy do? Ah! The phone and phone apps!
I started downloading some apps that were free but found if I wanted more features I would have to pay extra for them. When you use the free ones, there is a lot of advertising for games or other apps that just pop up in the middle of what you’re trying to do and you’re clicking around to get back to the program.
So . . . while out running some errands I picked up a gift card to invest in some better photo apps and some new music. The prices range from $.99 to $4.99 so I bought a few of them. Another time I bought a bundle of six apps for $11.99 which turned out to be a good purchase. All apps are very user friendly and come with video demonstrations; just click on them for more information.
So, here is how I spent some of my spare time. Not all photos used here were taken on the phone; some are camera photos I uploaded and turned them into something more appealing.
Here we have a collection of before and after shots. Two were camera photos and two are smartphone photos that I had to upload onto the iPhone. The first one, I just inverted the colours, I entered it in a local photography contest and it was selected as one of the top twenty entries.
In these photos, with the bees I used a special iPhone clip-on macro lens and then turned three of them into a collage. The red ribbon photo is the lighted ribbon displayed on Church Street in Toronto around World AIDS Day. I was able to turn the background black and the lights made the photo. The water fly is a camera photo, the water and reflection was added to give a different look. The sunrise,(maybe you’ve seen this one before) I used the pano feature on the iPhone and then I just sharpened it up a little.
Two of these photo are selfie shots, the other two were taken by someone else. The apps I purchased for $11.99 had the dinos in it so I just inserted them. (Now I tell people I’ve been taking photos since the dino age.)
These were created on a free app called Photofunia. You need a good face shot and then you can insert it pretty seamlessly in over 400 different layouts. I have created over 100 silly photos with the app like in the next collage and the one at the top of the story.
In this last collage, I’m using Dreamscope, another FREE app that allows you to make some really wild and crazy creations. It also has overlays to make your photos resemble painting from classic artists. The one photo of the town has the theme for the painting “The Scream”. The centerpiece of our downtown is the Church of Our Lady, so here I have turned my photo into a stained glass masterpiece.
So if you’re feeling you aren’t an artist, maybe give this a try. Most of the photos were created with a couple of clicks. The apps can be very user friendly, even I can do it.