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7 Little-Known Tricks For Incredible iPhone Photography

iPhoneography is the act of creating photos with an iPhone,[1][2][3] or any brand of smartphone with a camera where images or video have been shot and processed on the iOS device. The term is originally derived from Phoneography which is the act of creating photos shot and/or processed by a cameraphone.[4]

Phoneography, though already a few years old, became mainstream with the advent of the iPhone and its App Store which provided better, easier, and more creative tools for people to shoot, process, and share their work.[5] In 2013, Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior VP of worldwide marketing tweeted a link[6] to a Natural Geographic feature in which phoneographer Jim Richardson used his iPhone 5S for a photo feature on the Scottish Highlands.[7]

iPhoneography has grown since 2007, when the original iPhone with 2-megapixel camera was released.[4] Photographer Damon Winter used Hipstamatic to make photos of the war in Afghanistan,[8][9] a collection of which was published November 21, 2010 in the New York Times in a series titled "A Grunts Life".[10][11] Also in Afghanistan, in 2011, photojournalist David Guttenfelder used an iPhone and the Polarize application.[12]

Development of iPhoneography[]

iPhone camera[]


Beginners Guide to iPhone Photography ft. IamPopcornn

iPhoneography gained popularity with the constant improvement through generations of iPhone cameras.[4][13] The first Phone was only equipped with a fixed-focus camera with no optical zoom or flash. As it evolved into the iPhone 3GS, the camera became more intelligent with autofocus, auto white balance and auto macro. The iPhone 4 was the first iPhone that could natively do high dynamic range photography.[14][15] The iPhone 4S and 5 were released with a panorama function available in the built-in camera app. The iPhone 6 and 6S further improved on functionality and performance, allowing more sophisticated manipulation and higher picture quality.[16]


July 11, 2008 saw the public release of iPhone OS 2.0,[17] which allowed developers to create apps for the iPhone. At the same time, the App Store opened, allowing people to install new functionality through apps.[18] Among the earliest apps, there were camera replacement and photo filter apps, some of which also provided social networking that allowed users to share pictures instantly. In camera replacement apps, such as CameraPro,[19] Snapture[19] and Camera Genius, featured anti-shake, composition guide, burst mode and auto horizon etc., to assist people in making photographs. The photo filter apps focused on the post processing of pictures, including adjusting color, or converting to black & white. A notable app was Hipstamatic, released on December 9, 2009,[20] which combined both the camera replacement and photo filter features. Its many manual control options and different editing tools contributed to the vintage look of photos.

iPhoneography community[]

On June 30, 2010, "Pixels at an Exhibition" was held in Berkeley, California, organized and curated by Knox Bronson and Rae Douglass.[21] It was the first gallery exhibition to feature iPhoneography exclusively.[21]

iPhone in journalism[]

See also: Backpack journalism at Wikipedia

In Afghanistan in February 2011, photojournalist David Guttenfelder, winner of numerous World Press Photo awards, used an iPhone and the Polarize application, which imitates the look of a Polaroid photograph, to produce pallid, washed-out war photographs.[12] In another case, when the Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast of the US, causing great damage and casualty, Time sent out 5 photographers with iPhones to document the devastation. One of the shots, raging ocean waves collapsing on Coney Island in Brooklyn, taken by Benjamin Lowy, made the cover of Time magazine's November 12 issue.

Photographer Damon Winter used Hipstamatic to make photos of the war in Afghanistan;[8] a collection of which was published November 21, 2010 in the New York Times in a series titled "A Grunts Life",[10] earning an international award (3rd) sponsored by RJI, Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.[22]

Philip Bromwell, a journalist for RTE News did a network news story using his iPhone.[23] Professionals are using their smart phone and iPhones for practical purposes as well as for certified and specialized projects. Michael Rosenblum, with others, has trained United Nations field operatives to tell their own stories. Several years ago, he helped train more than 1200 journalists at a BBC bootcamp for video journalism (VJ), and believes "good training is everything". He said, "Bromwell’s work puts to rest the idea that shooting a TV news story with an iPhone is 'amateur' or 'fine in an emergency.' Looking at Bromwell’s piece, you can’t tell the difference between this and something shot by a professional crew."[23]

Tutorial gallery[]

Further reading[]


  1. Question: What is iPhoneography?. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012.
  2. Roberts, Stephanie. "The Art of iphoneography", Pixiq. 
  3. Goldsworthy, Sophie. "The Rough Guide to Digital Photography", Rough Guides, pp. 187. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 iPhoneography - How to Create Inspiring Photos with Your Smartphone - Michael Clawson (2018-02-05).
  5. How-to: Use the new Camera app in iOS 7 (2013-09-20).
  6. Phil Schiller tweets links to iPhone 5s photos in National Geographic (2013-10-08).
  7. Capturing the Aura of the Scottish Highlands With the iPhone 5s (2013-10-07).
  8. 8.0 8.1 Estrin, James (November 21, 2010). Finding The Right Tool To Tell A War Story.
  9. Hipstamatic War Photography on the Front Page of the New York Times (2010-11-23).
  10. 10.0 10.1 Dao, James (21 November 2010). Between Firefights, Jokes, Sweat and Tedium. New York Times.
  11. Buchanan, Matt (2011-02-14). Why a War Photographer Shot an Award-Winning Photo With a $2 iPhone App.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Lavoie, Vincent. "War and the iPhone", 2012-05-24. (in en) 
  13. Your Smartphone Camera Should Suck. Here's Why It Doesn't (2015-12-21).
  14. What HDR means for iPhone photos (2010-09-02).
  15. AppleInsider (2010-09-02). First look: Taking HDR photos with Apple's iOS 4.1.
  16. What the iPhone has done to cameras is completely insane (2016-04-07).
  17. Alexander Manu. "Behavior Space: Play, Pleasure and Discovery as a Model for Business Value", Taylor & Francis, 15 April 2016, pp. 13–. 
  18. Tyson McCann. "The Art of the App Store: The Business of Apple Development", John Wiley & Sons, 11 November 2011, pp. 1–. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 Sorrel, Charlie (7 April 2008). Snapture Fixes The iPhone's Camera, Free.
  20. Hipstamatic Hands Pink Slip to All but 5 of Its Core Employees.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Yawnick, Marty. Review: Pixels at an Exhibition, Giorgi Gallery | Life In LoFi.
  22. Feature Picture Story.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Rosenblum, Michael (29 March 2014). iPhone Journalism. The Huffington Post.

External links[]



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