The creator of a popular photography application on the iTunes store has a list of five apps he recommends for taking and editing photos and video on the iPhone while traveling.
John Barnett, a professional travel photographer, cinematographer and Getty Images contributor, said he uses both his digital single-lens reflex camera and his iPhone as he travels around the world but that he has been fascinated with mobile photography since the first iPhone launched.
Last week's Get App-y column looked at the Samsung Galaxy Camera, a high-quality camera connected to the Google Play store for Android devices.
This week, Barnett provides a tour of apps for the iPhone in time to download them for summer travel, and offers his own tips for using each one.
First on his list is one he and a friend created as their go-to app for editing and taking photos: Wood Camera — Vintage Photo Editor (99 cents, Bright Mango).
Barnett, 28, who lives in New Haven, Conn., just outside New York, but once lived in Tulsa, said the pair wanted to solve many of the problems they had found in other photography apps and to offer more editing features and filters than were in Instagram, an app they loved.
Wood Camera, which last week was ranked No. 6 on the iTunes store among all paid apps, lets users do basic photo editing — adjusting brightness and contrast and sharpening and straightening, apply a variety of filters and share them. It also has a lightbox that allows people to import a batch of photos at once for editing.
• Pro tip: Find a lens you like and then play around with the brightness, contrast and saturation.
While we all have our own list of photo apps that we use among the hundreds available on the iTunes store, here is Barnett's list of four other favorites and tips that he offers when people ask him what to know about when they travel.
Diptic (99 cents, Peak Systems): This app lets you combine up to nine photos into collages with different filters, borders and layouts. It's one way to combine photos into a highlight of a single event.
• Pro tip: Don't be overwhelmed by layout options, which total more than 165. Start with something simple and then adjust the aspect ratio and shape of the layout. Connect your Facebook account so you can import those photos directly into the app.
ProHDR ($3.99 for a full version, free for a lite version from eyeApps): Barnett says this is the best solution for creating photos in the “high dynamic range” of images for people who aren't sure what it is. HDR is especially good for shooting landscapes and scenes that have both light and dark images. While the look can be overdone, this app gives users more control than the iPhone's own settings, including after the photo has been taken, he said.
• Pro tip: Hold the iPhone steady while two shots of different exposures are taken at the same time. This will prevent ghosting and blurred areas.
Slow Shutter Cam — long exposure photograph (99 cents, Cogitap): Capture light trails and blurred movement, especially like traffic lights at night or running water.
• Pro tip: Use a tripod or prop up the iPhone to keep it steady during the shot.
8 mm Vintage camera (1.99, Nexvio). This app lets you shoot retro-looking videos with your iPhone and apply effects to existing videos, Barnett said.
“It looks very real and retro and gritty,” he said. “It's obviously not for everything.”
• Pro tip: In this app, you can choose to record audio or mute the sound for making a silent movie or add a projector sound, Barnett said.
And Barnett's general iPhone tips are basic ones for beginners: 1) Get closer to your subject instead of zooming in, which reduces the quality and size of your images. 2) Think about lighting — find the most interesting lighting outdoors at sunrise and sunset — and your photos will improve. 3) Pick your best photos on the iPhone and print them: “Most people have years of digital images and very, very few actual printed copies,” he said.
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For more information about Barnett, find him at Instagram @johnbarnett, on Twitter