Even when owning expensive dSLR bodies and high end glass to match, a lot of photographers still can’t resist getting camera and image editing apps for their phones. Despite the fact that the phones are much slower and lower resolution, the low cost and different functionality makes the apps irresistible. 3G connectivity of course gives the ability to download new software easily while mobile and try out a wealth of features dSLRs many only get in the distant future. Some photographers like HDR guru Trey Ratcliff of StuckInCustoms.com even get involved in making their own apps. Check out his “100 Cameras in 1”, I discovered last night. I’ve tried a number of apps since owning an iPhone 3GS, in todays post I’m going to mention three of my current favourites; ProCamera, CrossProcess & Photo Mess. Others will follow in future posts.

The big advantage of ProCamera is that the focusing and exposure points can be dragged around the screen and separated if needed. This allows for much more sophisticated composition. By way of example, in the screenshot below you’ll see the yellow exposure diamond and blue focus zone square moved over to the jar in the foreground. The two images to its right show the same shot with focus moved from the jar to the coins jar behind it while the exposure was kept on the jar in the foreground. This is impossible with the standard iPhone camera app where both exposure and focus points are locked together.

Cross Process
Cross Process does one simple job well. It takes a camera or library image and runs it through an image processing algorithm that results in a photograph that looks like film that’s been deliberately processed in a chemical solution intended for a different type. We spend good money on cameras that the manufacturers have gone to great lengths to make colour accurate and then join countless others in distorting the colours. 🙂

Photo Mess
Another app that does a simple job well. It allows you to select camera or library images and stack them on the screen, rotating and resizing as needed. In the example below I’ve used the single image out of Cross Process multiple times over.

With all these apps you can use the photo library to help create a work flow, saving the results from one app and loading it into the next. E.g shoot with BracketMode (very fast HDR shooter), merge the images with HDR Pro, add a boarder with Photoshop Express and stack with Photo Mess.

Some of the apps have direct support for sites like Flickr, Facebook and Twitter. Trey’s 100 Cameras in 1 supports all three. If an app doesn’t have such support individual apps for each of them will allow you to get your creations online to share with others.

Happy Snapping!