A Year in Photos

Photography, fiction, and personal essays form my three primary creative outlets. For this blog's first 18 months, I used it primarily for photography. As I've returned to creative writing, I'll use this blog for fiction, too. Sometimes, when reality needs to be discussed more than truth, I write personal essays.

This blog will continue to showcase as many above-average photos as I can muster. Hopefully my written work will be as good or better than the visual. Whichever drew you here -- photographs or fiction, I hope you enjoy both.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday -- Ten PHONEtography Apps

Sometimes, I think, people assume that because I use DSLRs and film cameras that I'm necessarily against phonetography. That's no true at all, though I see phonetography as more for fun than for serious and creative photography. But, in an effort to change my views on that, I started researching good and creative phonetography apps on my Galaxy SIII. Here are ten phonetography apps I like.

10- Aviary

Aviary is a fun app and my favorite of the photography apps. It allows some editing (enhancements) to correct lighting and colors. These features are, in my mind, well laid out and pretty good for a phonetography app.

Aviary also features stock filters (effects), image frames (frames), and stamps (stickers). Note that some of the frames and stickers kits cost a couple bucks, so even though the base app is free some of the add-ons add up quickly.

Aviary has tons of features and to keep reciting them would make for a long list. In short, this is probably the best phonetography app out there and is definitely worth the free price tag for the basic features.

9- Otaku Camera

Another free app, this fun app adds manga-type borders to your photos. As an added bonus, the add-on frames, as of this writing, are free. This app is a close second in my mind to Aviary and serves an entirely different market. Were I to remove all my phonetography apps except two, I would keep Otaku as one of them.

8- Cymera

This may be the most expansive app I've used. This has a LOT of features and capabilities for improving photos. As an added bonus, the app doesn't, by default, like some, have garish filters as the default. Cymera is a legitimately useful and usable app.

7- Clone Camera

Clone camera requires that the user take two photos that line up nearly perfectly next to each other. On the plus side, you can put different foreground objects in each. It's a clever idea but a flawed implementation. It seems to work by taking a photo with a small portion of the sensor. Instead, it should take the full photo and then take it again and blend out the things that are the same. If you can master this app, it has a lot of potential for fun.

6- One Man with a Camera

This is a fun app that lets you select the toy camera you'd like the app to imitate. It then takes a photo with a filter that simulates the camera you selected. And it does it well, having seen actual photos from many of the toy cameras that the app imitates. It's free, but you can remove ads for a buck.


$3.99 app as of this writing. There's a free version limited to 3.2 megapixels and with reduced capacity. And ads. Nope; an app maker that releases a limited-capacity free version is not interested in having me as a full-version customer. I uninstalled this one.

4- Multi-lens Camera

This is a nifty action sampler app. It benefits, compared to most action samplers, from having different frame shapes. It's definitely a fun and creative way to get your action sampler phoneography fix. If you're an action sampler fan, this is definitely worth checking out.

3- Smooth Camera

This app advertises that it makes people's faces look smoother. In my experience, everything just looked like it went through Photoshop's pallet brush filter. Also, this app inundates you with full-page ads whenever you change screens and has banners on each page. Ads at startup, at close-down, and at EVERY other opportunity possible. I couldn't make it work and the sheer ad volume was highly off putting. I'd suggest skipping this one.

2- Vintage Camera

This is your standard-outta-the-box take-an-image-and-apply-filters app. It's nothing revolutionary, though I admit I like the interface.

1- Pinhole Camera Calculator

Technically, this doesn't take photos. That said, it's one of the most useful apps for me since I enjoy pinhole photography. If you'd like to make your own pinhole cameras or if you have a kit one and want to use it reliably, this app is a must-have. In addition, the information in it will help you learn more about pinhole photography and analog photography in general. This is a well designed and useful app with a good interface. I will not ever uninstall it.

Other important Phoneography apps:
- Massive Development Chart

- The Photographer's Ephemeris

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