The iPhone as a Photography Time Machine: Doc Brown Would Be Proud

DIY GeekMom Technology

Last week I talked about my obsession with love for cameras. In my post, I confessed to usually having around 3-4 cameras on my person at all times, one of which is my iPhone. Well guess what? Technically, the many photography apps available on iTunes transform the iPhone into SEVERAL cameras.

I’m really not trying to establish myself as a liar. I’m just breaking it down to you in a kind of flibberty gibbet way. (Did anyone else ever get called a flibberty gibbet as a child? Or is that a term that only echoed throughout MY formative years? Note to self: research the linguistic evolution of this term.)

ANYWAY. There are loads of lovely apps available for the iPhone that can enhance your camera feature, and I thought I would list a couple of my favorites here:

You’ve probably already heard of Hipstamatic. In fact, Amy Kraft mentioned it here on Geek Mom in her post about Hawaii. Taking pictures with Hipstamatic adds an instant vintage look to your shots. Which is great, because let’s face it – the iPhone doesn’t always take the greatest quality photos. I’m not complaining. It’s a phone, not a point and shoot or DSLR. So when you add these awesome stylized effects on top, well, suddenly it’s not a crappy picture – it’s an ARTISTIC CHOICE. Photos that look like they were taken in the early 1970s! Awesome burnout effects and filters! You choose the lenses, type of film, and filters and shoot away! And if you’re like me and can’t make a decision, there’s even a feature where you shake your phone, and it surprises you.

It’s on sale right now for $1.99 but you’ll have to pony up $.99 every time you want to add a new package – but once you’ve bought them all, you’re only out $7 to $8 dollars. So don’t get a latte for a few days and voila, you’ve got enough for a lifetime of ye olde tyme pics.

If you’d rather take your pictures first, and filter later, then Camera Bag is the app for you. With Camera Bag, you pick a shot, and mess around with it using the 12 features it offers. You can get some of the same effects as you get with Hipstamatic, but you have much more control over the final result. Plus, it’s fun to flick through the different filters and see how each one affects your photo. It’s $1.99 right now in the App Store – and they’ve just come out with a desktop version for $19.

Related: I took this picture at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden last month – a place literally crawling with peacocks. Now do you see why my daughter says, “PEACOCK!” every morning when she wakes up? They’re spectacular!

My latest favorite is an app called 8mm. Imagine Hipstamatic, but with movies! It’s the exact same principle. You pay your buck ninety-nine and within minutes you’re shooting grainy films on your iPhone. There’s even a button where you can add some frame jitters as you film it. I’ve been following Vivi around the house shooting with this, and OF COURSE adding my own 1940s newsreel voiceover as I go. I’m sure that’s not annoying at all! Again, you take something that isn’t the best quality as far as video is concerned, slap a filter on it and, say it with me: ARTISTIC CHOICE. Fantastic and entertaining!

Have fun playing with these and if you’ve got any favorite photography apps of your own, chime in!

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