Before my trip to Washington DC, I came across a list of cool (and free) photography apps for the old iPhone. I thought that eight days was a bit too long to be away from the office, so in my absence I took some photos to see how cool these apps really are. One app for every day. Here goes...
Day 1. Glitche
Glitche is a little limited in its functions unless you spend all of your time at gigs, surrounded by matrix graphics and drinking yourself towards oblivion. Essentially it distorts your picture, adds visual glitches, gives you the option to add effects and take the pixels into an almost-3D-space. So, it’s never going to create beautiful pictures. It’s useful if you want to create that edgy look but I doubt I’ll find a use for it again. The best I came up with is this…a relatively minor glitche.
If you're interested in my reasoning, I thought it might reflect the somewhat skewed vision we all have of various world conflicts, as we can only ever really receive part of the full story. Or at least, that's the best reason I can come up with.
Day 2. Dubble
Dubble is a clever and fascinating concept. The app allows you to share your picture with the world instantly but even better that, it pairs it with another photo from across the globe. This is a little gem if you like surprises. Granted, the results don’t always work, for example my photo of the White House was ‘Dubbled’ first with a picture of cats (see right). But what’s great about the app is when a ‘Dubble’ DOES work. It’s quite cool to think a masterpiece could be created with someone you’ve never met. Try it out – it’s free! Here are a few of my favourites.
Day 3. EyeEm
EyeEm is very similar to Instagram, only it has something a little special on the side. It works in the same way, in that you scroll through filters until you find one you like, you then chose a frame. But what EyeEm does which is great, is allow you to map your location, or what it is a picture of, which will then mean you are able to see all other EyeEm user photos of the same thing. It’s clever as it encourages you to think about your smart phone photography in a way that perhaps we don’t normally. It also allows you to compare your photos with other photographers which is a great way of creating an online community like Flickr but at your fingertips. Here’s my photo of the Capitol Building using EyeEm!
Day 4. Seene
Seene is a really cool concept. The idea is that you capture slight movement of the image you wish to create, moving your camera up, down, left and right until the sensor markers go green. The picture is then automatically created for you, with a 3D look to it, that allows the image to move upon changing the angle of your device. Great, right?
Well it would be if it worked. Firstly, your subject has to sit completely still with the same expression or pose exactly. Secondly, you have to have the steadiest pair of hands in the world, so attempting these pictures from the seat above the wheel arch of Abe’s transportation was not the best idea I’ve ever had.
So, I failed at this one. I kept losing my patience with trying to capture all four movements with the camera, as the sensors are overly sensitive. I hate failing, so here’s an attempt at a Seene of the pint I enjoyed and 'captured' before my trip instead…
Day 5. Repix
So Repix is again, another photo app with yet another list of filters. It allows you to play with saturation, brightness, temperature, contrast and intensity. It allows you to choose a frame. There are two things that Repix has that other apps don’t however, and although they aren’t particularly useful in every photo, some lend themselves well. For example, light flare worked well when I attempted to take a photo of my Virgin plane’s wing midflight. Repix’ function to add raindrops also worked well for me, when taking a picture of the US Marine Memorial. It adds a sense of struggle to the scene. I know I wouldn’t use the app often but if a need ever appears again for rain and flare, then I’ll know where to go.
Day 6. Melodigram
Melodigram has a bit of a rubbish interface but it’s a good one if you’re all for capturing single moments as memories. It allows you to take a picture, add music AND capture ambient sound. Whilst walking around Georgetown, Washington, my ears were filled with the sound of crickets, but not those week-willed British crickets..ohh no, these bad boys sang to me in a gospel choir of cricket crescendo. Unfortunately I don’t think the recording did the sound justice at all, but I do like the idea. I think the software could just use a bit of help in development to make it user friendly, and my Iphone needs a better mic.
Day 7. Tadaa
Tadaa, just like all of the others has filters, frames and editing abilities… although I could not for the life of me figure out how to crop without skewing the image. Maybe you can advise me? I rather like the final edit of the image of the Route 66 sign but there’s far too much sky and space to the right hand side. Route 66 always gives off a dusty, dirty windscreen vibe to me with it stretching through Texas and Nevada desert country, hence why I went for an aged and dirty effect. Tadaa allows you to share images via social media but does not host its own community which maybe is a good thing. It’s not competing with Instagram but merely allows you to share the cool images you create with the Instagram community. I rather like this app, I’d use it again, if I could work out the crop tool.
Day 8. Instagram
Finally I returned to my old buddy Instagram. It’s just so easy to use, its filters work to help bring out the light in areas that aren’t quite visible within your picture at the click of a button. It allows you to manipulate brightness if you need to, add frames but without an endless list of choices and allows direct upload to all the favourite social channels, including its very own. You can even use hashtags and if that's not innovation, then I don't know what is!
As cool as some of the features on these apps are, I don’t have time to sift through so many options to edit my photo, by that time I’ve missed another (possibly better) photo opportunity. I don’t like it on such a small screen, or editing my on-the-go photos so intently, that’s what my laptop’s for. I still prefer Instagram over all these others, with EyeEm and Dubble coming in at a close second, just because I rather like surprises and the idea of sharing photos with other photographers.
And if you think all these apps are for amateurs, then think again! Take a look at Mashable's suggestion to follow these 8 professional photographers on Instagram!!!