Fooling Around with iPhone Photography

By Ellen Bedrosian

When I got my first iPhone in 2010, iPhone photography was already in its pre-school stage. Apps and accessories were readily available, and Tony Sweet had recorded an instructional video, Getting Started in iPhone Photography.

Hanging me out to dry-comp size

Hanging me out to dry — iPhone 3Gs with Pic Grunger

I attended one of his seminars at B&H back then and learned about some of his favorite apps at the time, including one that I got a lot of use out of, Pic Grunger.

On a field trip to Sandy Hook with the club, I snapped an image of a clothesline. It was just a so-so image until I played around with it in Pic Grunger. The final image (below) turned out to be one of my favorite images, one that I still get compliments on from other members. It also won a Medal in the May 2011 Pictorial competition and got a lot of “likes” on the Worldwide iPhoneography Art Movement page on Facebook.

The cameras that come equipped with the latest iPhone models are better than some point & shoots. With built-in HDR, auto-flash, filters and pano options, you always have a versatile and compact camera with you when you’re on the go. But you can do so much more!

With a variety of new apps, you can turn your images into works of art. One of Tony’s blog posts, The iPhone Loves Iceland, inspired to me to try Snapseed on an old photo of a sunflower shot with my 3Gs. I loved the angle of the sunflower but when I shot it, the sun was starting to set and the 3Gs didn’t have a fill flash. The result was a really dark center, not usable as a straight image. Snapseed opened up some possibilities for salvaging the image, making it into an image that garnered a few comments and favs on Flickr.


Sunflower – iPhone 3Gs with Snapseed Grunge style & texture

Other cool apps that Tony mentions in his post are PhotoForge, Mextures and Autostitch for your panoramas. Haven’t tried them yet but when I do, I’ll let you know.

Other apps I use fairly frequently are Adobe PS Express, a surprisingly robust version of PhotoShop for your iPhone that is free. Not only can you crop, straighten, remove red-eye, reduce noise, sharpen, adjust contrast and brighten (just to name a few) you can also add filters, or what they call “looks.” You can also purchase “premium looks” but I haven’t done that because there’s still so much free stuff to play with in the app.

One more app I like to use occasionally is Old Photo PRO. This app creates an image with a vintage-look from modern captures, like this one of my cat, Cheech.


Cheech – iPhone 5s, Old Photo PRO

For more information on iPhone photography from the guru, visit Tony Sweet’s iPhone instructional videos. You’ll be amazed at all there is out there for those who love to use their iPhone camera.

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  1. Pat

    Very nice blog. Also, love the vintage look to Cheech’s portrait…I bet he likes it too.

  2. Frank Crommelin

    Love “Hanging out to Dry” I grew up in rurel NJ in the 40s-50s and this image takes me right back to another time, before washing machines Weed cutter Lawn care etc. It’s very well done. I refered to this image in an artical I wrote for the PSA journal stating ” I have even seen a remarkable inage taken wiyh a cell phone” this was the one.

    • Ellen

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Frank. I’m very grateful.

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