July 29, 2011, 9:37 AM — Yes, it is possible to take good photos on your iPhone without shoving it through a lo-fi app. And as cool as it may seem to make your party photos look like they were taken in 1976, one can't help wonder what we will think of them in retrospect.
"iGranny," your offspring will ask in 2050, "why is that photo of you from 2011 so tattered and old?"
"Well, listen close, Hansolo," you say as you take him on your cyborg knee. "In 2011, we had our hands on some indcredibly advanced mobile phone and camera technology. And instead of using it to properly record our moment in history, we took photos in applications that destroyed all of the detail to apply an antique effect because we didn't feel like our generation had enough cultural credibility."
Now you made little Hansolo cry, are you happy?
Lo-fi apps have their place, but for photographers who want to use their iPhone for higher-quality image capture and editing, here are some useful and fun apps. Click any screenshot for a larger image.
PhotoForge 2 has all of the basic options that you have come to expect from iOS editing apps, with the added muscle of more serious photo software. PhotoForge 2 can open almost any image type, including raw formats and files as large as 20 megapixels. It edits images at full resolution so you can see exactly what your final photo will look like at any stage during the editing process.
The sequel to the popular PhotoForge app, PhotoForge 2 has most of the features from its predecessor as well as some new updates to prevent crashes when editing large-format files. Curves, levels, brightness and contrast, shadows and highlights, and auto white balance are all available and the app also has over 30 customizable filters that range from sepia toning to vintage 3D. At any time during the editing process, you can access a visual history feature that allows you to see your photo at various stages of the editing process. When you are done editing, you can choose an image size and export your photo directly to social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox, Picasa, and Tumblr. The app has complete layer functionality and masks that allows for cool effects, such as color emphasis a-la Color Splash. The layers option also allows for watermarking your images by importing your watermark on a new layer.
Photoforge; $3 (iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad)