Mar 17, 2011

Embracing Lo-fi Photography

I explained in my previous post, The Best Camera is the One You Have with You, that the iPhone 4 takes pictures that are quite good for being taken with a phone.  I also gave you some tips for taking better pictures with it.  But what if you can't get a good shot due to lighting conditions or what if you have an iPhone 3G or 3GS, which each have only a three-mexapixel camera?  What if you have an iPod Touch with an even lower resolution camera? Can you take good pictures then?

A lot of great pictures have been taken with toy cameras, pinhole cameras, or other cheap cameras.  If you embrace a lo-fi photography mindset with your iPhone, you can turn any photograph into a piece of art with the right app.  Here are a few apps that I've used to add lo-fi effects to photographs after the fact:
  1. Camera+ - This is a camera and a post processing app.  You can add photos to it's "light box" and then add different effects and different borders.
  2. FX Photo Studio - This has a lot of filters and has been my go-to post-processing canned-filters app.  Simply choose a photo that's on your device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) and choose a filter...or two...or three.
  3. Instagram - This has become one of my new favorites because it does two things really well.  It has a limited number of filters but it allows you to quickly pick one and share the picture using Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc.  It's the absolute fastest way to apply a filter and share your work of art immediately.  You can even follow friends feeds of photos from within the app. (Sorry for all the phonetic alliteration.)  It's also free.
  4. FilterStorm - This is a very powerful app that does a lot but doesn't have a bunch of filters.  However, it does allow you to do apply black and white, sepia, vignettes, etc. and apply them in custom ways.  For example, you can make part of a photo color and the rest black and white.  However, this app is in a class all its own.  I will go into this app further in a later post about iPhoneography in general.
Here are some of the pictures I took and applied filters to, to give that lo-fi look.  Some of these were taken with my iPhone.  Others were taken with real cameras and then given that lo-fi look.  One was edited with FilterStorm, some with FX Photo Studio, and some with Instagram.

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