Mingling in the Dark Room

A friend recently asked me on Facebook, “ok, how is it that the i-phone (sic) takes better pics than my super duper researched fancy cam!? The answer is, it doesn’t.

I get this question a lot. No, I didn’t take special photography classes. No, I don’t have a special digital SLR camera with filters. No, I don’t carry around a lighting kit and gels. It is my smart phone’s built in camera combined with photo sharing apps. I say apps, because I typically don’t just use one application to get the final picture. For those of you that are curious here is an infographic of how I usually get to my final images.

Mingling Mobile Photo Applications

I love Instagr.am because it is easy to use and awesome to share your photos with the world, but I typically prefer to have a little more control over editing my images.  I like them to feel a little more polished. Enter Camera+. They have a ton of filters and tools for cropping, adding borders, rotating, and color correcting. I also like that Camera+ allows me to snap several images in a row and choose the best one for editing. It is like having multiple canvasses in Photoshop.  If you just use Instagr.am, you can take only one pic at a time or choose one from your library.  It is just not as flexible. But, I think that is somewhat the point of Instagr.am, it is quick and dirty sharing of artsy pictures with the masses which is something that they dominate in over Camera+’s social sharing features. Camera+ allows you to share with your social networks but does not have a built in feed/friend-ing mechanism like Instagr.am. In Instagr.am you can follow people a la Facebook, like their posts, comment on them, and the best part is it incorporates push notifications so you know when someone has given you props on your photos. It inherently keeps you posting more and more pictures by building in this peer to peer feedback. In fact, I think Instagr.am is so on the money so far that they could tempt people away from Twitter and popular geo-location apps if they come up with the right plan to scale their app.

I just wish one application had all the features I like from both of them or perhaps apps should be more open for integration with each other. Imagine the power of this moving forward. Competitors building off each others functionality and living symbiotically in the mobile world. We already see this with Gowalla and their integration to Foursquare. I think it is where all app developers should be looking. Until then, I guess I will just continue to combine apps together in my mobile darkroom to get that perfect image. Heck, Instagr.am is free  and Camera+ is just $1.99 which is way cheaper than buying my friends Canon Digital SLR.

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