Lessons from using the iPhone as my "only" camera

During the week I was on vacation I used my iPhone 5s for as much of the photography as possible.  The camera is credible and the images are mostly satisfactory.  I tested a couple of the Olloclip lenses with some success but carrying them and getting them on and off of the phone is out of scope for most people.  Taking the tripod and remote release stuff is over the top! But with the Joby and the release I was able to get some nice little macro images that were fun to take.  


I also used the iPhone for several videos of the natural areas on the lake we were staying.  I will continue this series with some more images, videos and information.

Using the iPhone as a one of my "primary cameras"

After reviewing my images for the last year or so I am finding that I need to do a better job of capturing the important moments in my life and while my professional photographic tools are great for the job I ALWAYS have my iPhone with me and I really need to get a lot better at using it!  To that end I have been practicing with taking and EDITING images on my iPhone and iPad.  

 My other problem is sharing images with family and friends.  So many different services that are not about my photography or my family. So Lots of research and reporting to do!  Follow along as I expand my work into the land of the iPhone.  And some family members who just need prints.

Here are three things as a kickoff: 

http://www.mobiography.net   (An iPad / iPhone magazine about mobile photography)

http://skipology.com  ( The website of a photographer in the UK who shares a lot of help)

http://davidmolnar.com/free/  ( David has a new eBook on iPhone Photography that I recently reviewed)




Looking Backwards

Over the past few weeks I have been studying the iPhone camera and what it can do as a primary camera.  I decided to look back in my library of about 34000 digital images that I have saved over time to see what I am using to take pictures with, cameras, lenses , etc.  I have owned iPhones since the original and I only have 1620 images saved from their cameras.  Upon review there are quite a few that are nice, need to be shared, printed, etc.  Many are of life events that would have been taken with “a camera”  A bunch are logging something:  purchase ideas, a picture of a white board with info on it, plants at the garden center for review, etc.  A few are learning and experiementation.  

As I look through my library I find that I am saving stuff I do not need to, I have a lot of images I need to SHOW people .

Just for fun:

1620 iPhones

3195 Canon10D  

4555  Canon 40D  

1460  Canon 7D

1011 Canon S95

6082  Olympus

4528 Panasonic

6918 Sony


Time to make a change?  

iPhoneOnlyPhotography Book Review

iPhoneOnly Photography

by David Molnar




The iPhone and its camera have been with me since the original iPhone in 2007.   After reading the preview release of “iPhoneOnly Photography” I volunteered to write a review of the full book for David. 


David’s book takes the reader through a process of expanding their photographic savvy  by introducing some basic terminology and photographic process steps or “rules” to make better images.  The book covers many photographic situations and how to make your best images in each of them.


In each chapter David gives the reader a challenge to develop new skills and to increase his or her photographic vocabulary.He has also included many images and words of inspiration from other photographers using the iPhone.  Seeing the work of others encourages the reader to read on and do more with their camera/phone.


The book introduces us to multiple apps that expand our horizons of photography using the iPhone.  Many examples use both the Apple included camera app and others that enhance our ability to capture great images and preserve our special moments.


One of the key themes in the book is the introduction to post processing on the iPhone.  David uses the SNAPSEED  app to edit many of his images.  With example tutorials in each chapter to help achieve great results only using the iPhone!  The examples take a lot of space and may seem a bit long; but it is worth the time to follow along so you can learn how post processing actually works.


 David’s post processing methods help to remind the reader that for most of us we are trying to reproduce memories of things in our lives and that the camera sometimes needs some help.  The folks at SNAPSEED should have David design some pre-sets for them!



I have two criticisms of the book around what is not included. 


The book covers production and post-production but it brushes over delivery.  David does encourage sharing to the #iPhoneOnlyPhoto, but does not really help photographers share their work  Photographers need to share and to me that means not only posting images to the Internet it means PRINTING YOUR IMAGES for others!


The second area where David could help the community is how to save your digital images from loss.  Backup strategies that work for normal people so we do not lose our images!  Apple provides tools to help with this but they can be confusing and shedding some light on that part of the process is also important.


Both of these items would add to the length of the book and possibly dilute the focus a bit, but they are a big part of the process!  We have to preserve our memories!



In closing …


Thanks to “iPhoneOnly Photography” I will REMEMBER that with my iPhone 5s I have a capable camera and post production studio in my hands or pocket and it is with me all the time!


Photography has been my avocation for many years and of late is becoming a vocation.  The iPhone’s camera is a very powerful tool in my arsenal and David’s book is a great reference for everyone to get the most of of our iPhone images.


Bob Fairbairn