Now that the iPhone 4S has been released with its 8 megapixle camera, it actually rivals the the digital camera my mother is still using. Which is not that shocking considering mom's camera is about ten years old. But when you think about all the additional applications our cell phone cameras have, its pretty significant. Take Hipstamatic. There is unlimited number of styles, colors, and different effects to make your pictures stand out from all the rest. With a normal DSLR, you would have to take the picture, go home, upload it, edit it, apply the effects. Now, your cell phone takes the pictures for you with no editing at all.
The photo here on the left was taken last weekend using Hipstamatic. One of the fun features is the ability to shake you phone and the program randomly selects the type of film and camera. You end up waiting with bated breath as the pictures process inside your camera. Then, after several seconds, its Christmas time and you are surprised with a picture. Pretty cool stuff. My pro level Nikon D3X can't do that and I paid a lot more than I did for my iPhone.
Another popular photo app is Instagram. Unlike Hipstamatic, it is a free app and free is always good. It allows you to do some fun and funky photos right inside the app. Instagram is different than Hipstamatic in that the photo is edited after the picture is taken. There are pros and cons to both ways, but the bottom line is the pictures just look cool. Check out Tarzan (me) to the right. This picture was taken in the Cleveland Metroparks on a Saturday afternoon by the lovely and wonderful Cathy Fonk. And yes, my shoes are yellow. Get over it.
The last program I have on my phone is Pro HDR. HDR stands for high dynamic range. Basically, it highlights the low and high contrasts in a picture. It gives your picture more depth and contrast. In the pro world, it takes several photos to create a picture in HDR. Usually you start with an over exposure and move to an underexposure, with equal gaps in the middle. Did I lose you? The pros side of HDR can be very detailed, elaborate, and time consuming. Pro HDR does it in seconds. It literally takes two pictures at once and combines the highs and lows. For what it is, it works great. I took the picture below using Pro HDR. You can see the high contrast in the clouds. When you consider it came from my phone, its pretty amazing. So grab your phone, a couple of photo apps, and have fun.