TimeLapser app for iPhone

One thing that many buyers of commercial photography like to see are behind the scenes videos of a shoot. It allows them to get a sense of how you like to work and what kind of shoot you might run if they were to hire you. Even for photographers working in the retail and personal fields, behind the scenes video can be a great marketing tool, showing potential clients and customers what their shoot might be like.

Of course, like photography, productions vary widely. You can shoot a scripted narrative with voice overs and scores. You can shoot a time lapse of the shoot and simply post that. The latter is certainly the easiest to shoot, and the TimeLapser app is designed to make that easy.

TimeLapser uses the built in camera to shoot individual frames, at a user-determined rate and resolution, then stitches those images together into a .mov file (at a user determined frame rate). At its heart, it’s basically an intervalometer that will combine the individual files together for you. (more…)

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Sunrise & Set Pro for iPhone/iPod Touch

Like many in this industry, I started as an assistant to other photographers. One cold and wet afternoon while cleaning the cases of one of my clients I came across a curious set of plastic laminated cards with the word “Sundicator” printed on them. Being the complete geek that I was (am,) I recognized the terms Azimuth and Inclination and figured that these cards were a way of estimating where in the sky the sun would be at a particular time and place. Each card was specific to a range of latitudes on the globe. In order to use the set properly you needed the correct card for your latitude and a compass. It’s worth noting that this photographer had lost the card for our home latitude.

Jump ahead 15 or so years and you have the age of gps and hand held computing. Hence the iPhone app Sunrise and Set Pro. This wonderful little app will read your current gps location and tell you the Azimuth (heading) in inclination (angle above horizon) of the sun for any given time. It will also give you sunrise and sunset times for that location on any given day. The app automatically computes daylight savings time issues which is great because I can never remember whether to add or subtract and hour. And it will also allow you to save custom locations for later review. This is a great option for location scouting. With saved locations you can easily change dates and times of shoots from home and know what the sun will be doing before arriving on location. (more…)

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DSLRemote for iPhone and iPod touch

In order to be successful in this business you need a lot of tools at your disposal. I mean not only physical tools like gear and software, but also intangible tools like a positive attitude and a penchant for keeping clients happy. Also, the ability to keep clients in awe of you is always a big help. I’ve stated here many times that I’m not a gear head. I’m perfectly willing to spend money on necessary gear. But my bar for what I deem necessary is very high. It’s a rare day when I’ll go buy something just because I think it’s cool or fun. Last week I made an exception to my “˜not unless it makes my work better” rule and purchased DSLRemote Pro for my iPhone. (more…)

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Perfect Photo…

From your iPhone?   Well maybe not perfect, but certainly better than what you’re able to do with the stock camera.   Last week I reviewed the Best Camera app and one of my complaints about the preset filters was the fact that the user can not edit those filters. The Perfect Photo app does allow more fine tuned control over the image.

Like most camera based apps you can either shoot a new picture right from the app or load one from your saved images. From there you’ve got the ability to edit several aspects of the image.

You can…

  • rotate/flip
  • crop
  • adjust alignment (i.e. fix crooked images)
  • adjust brightness/contrast
  • adjust gamma
  • adjust exposure
  • increase shadow detail
  • increase highlight detail
  • adjust levels
  • adjust hue, saturation and lightness
  • adjust color balance
  • adjust color temperature
  • sharpen
  • remove noise

There are also several preset effects: (more…)

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The Best Camera…

…is the one that’s with you. Or so says commercial photographer Chase Jarvis and his merry band of programmers. The Best Camera is primarily an iPhone app that allows users to enhance and share photos shot with their phone, right on their phone.

Now those of you with an iPhone know that it’s camera is pretty good, but not great. It’s certainly not going to replace your primary camera and I don’t see you shooting your next assignment with it. But it’s always with you, which makes it great for those little moments when inspiration strikes. If you’re anything like me, nothing goes out into the world without at least a little clean up in Photoshop. Small contrast moves, color correction, etc. So the ability to do it right there on the phone certainly justifies the meager price tag for this app. ($3.)

Shot with the iphone, enhanced with Paris filter from "the best camera" app
Shot with the iphone, enhanced with Paris filter from "the best camera" app

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Favorite iPhone Apps for Photographers

I travel a fair bit. And like many photographers, I’ve grown to love some of the benefits that come from having a connected PDA in my travels: being able to handle business calls and emails and modest web browsing is a great benefit to me as a travelling sole proprietor. I’ve been using an iPhone 3G for the past year, and I’ve found a handful of useful applications that I’ve come to rely on in my work. Finding these applications can be a bit of a trick, most “iPhone photography” applications are aimed at folks making photographs with the iPhone itself. It can be hard to sort through applications for the rest of us.

For each application, I’ll also note whether the app functions without a connection to the internet. While network coverage continues to increase, in many of the areas where I often shoot, it’s still spotty or non-existent. So, for me, offline usage is a great benefit. (more…)

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