Sunday, June 26, 2011

Amazing Photographer iPhone App

I confess I often keep Twitter running in the background when I'm on my computer, which is quite often, and I semi-regularly check to see what people are Tweeting about. Since the vast majority of people I follow on Twitter are photographers or those representing photography-related products and services, it's no surprise that the Tweets I mostly see are, in one way or another, related to photography.

It's not always, of course, about photography that photographers and other photo-related Twitter users are Tweeting. Often enough, they're Tweeting about social media and how social media can help you as a photographer or help you build your photography business. Nothing wrong with that. These days, anyone wanting to make a living via photography needs all the help they can get.

When the subject of the Tweets I view is about photography itself, I've lately noticed there's been a trend to Tweet a lot of stuff about iPhone photography and iPhone photography apps. I guess there's a lot of people who are fairly taken with shooting pics with their iPhones in spite of the fact that practically no one is making a dime, being-a-photographer-wise, shooting with an iPhone. (Chase Jarvis notwithstanding.) But then, photography isn't just about making money, right?

While photography certainly isn't simply about making money with a camera, I'm thinking there must be a fair amount of dough to be made coming up with iPhone photography apps. I'm told (via one very Twitter-active photographer's Tweet I recently read) there are 6,500 iPhone photography apps available to download.

Six thousand five hundred!

I own an iPhone and, for whatever reasons, I practically never snap photos with it. It's not that I don't know how to use my iPhone's camera or I'm unable to download apps. (In fact, I have downloaded a couple of apps which I've rarely used.) It's also not that I'm generally disinterested in photography other than the kind of stuff I shoot or in other image-capture devices than those I mostly use or that I'm purposely bucking this iPhone photography trend for one reason or another. I just don't and I don't for no particular or apparent reason. (Use my iPhone very often to snap pictures, that is.)

Beyond all those Tweets about iPhonegraphy and iPhone photo apps, a lot of people also post pictures they snap with their iPhones. Lately, it seems many of them are using the Instagram app for their iPhone pic production while the rest of them are using various other apps to enhance or post their photos, i.e., of the 6,499 apps, beyond Instagram, that are available.

Yep. Just about every iPhone photo I see has had some sort of app applied to it changing the look and feel of the photos. Nothing wrong with that, especially since so many of the iPhone photos I see would positively suck or be boring as hell if the iPhone shooter hadn't added some app's effects to it, rendering the photo a bit more interesting in an interesting-digital-photo-effect sort of way.

The other thing I've noticed is that not many people comment on those many iPhone snapshots that iPhone people post. (Unless it's snapped by the likes of a Chase Jarvis... sorry Chase, I'm not picking on you. Honestly, I'm not.) So, due to the apparent lack of feedback iPhoneographers receive for their iPhone pics, I've decided there's room for another iPhone app. Yes. I have an idea for number 6,501 in the world of iPhone photo apps. I'm calling it the "Amazing Photographer" app and here's what it does:

Every time you snap a photo with your iPhone, the Amazing Photographer app comments on the photo. It doesn't just comment, it praises your photo! I don't care if you snap an iPhone pic of paint drying on a wall, the Amazing Photographer app will tell you it's an amazing photo plus plenty more positive comments about you (as an iPhoneographer) as well other good stuff about the amazing (or not) iPhone snapshot you just captured.

You see, the Amazing Photographer app sort of mimics the way it is on some photography forums and social media sites. You know, like when someone posts a completely unmemorable and lackluster photo on Facebook and many of their friends drool all over it, proclaiming it an extraordinarily incredible and a-m-a-z-i-n-g photograph even if, in a more perfect and honest world, the best many of those photographs could hope for would be no comments at all. (Mostly because, even in a perfectly honest world, many folks' mothers would still teach them if they didn't have anything nice to say, they shouldn't say anything at all.)

Since, these days, investors seem eager to invest in just about anything that smacks of trendy, techie, things, I'm looking for a few million to develop my Amazing Photographer iPhone app. Any takers? I'll send you my PayPal address.

The pretty girl at the top is Faye. I snapped it outside her apartment with my Canon 5D and an 85mm prime. (Sorry, didn't use my iPhone.) I lit Faye with a couple of lights. For the mainlight I used a 300WS monolight modified with a rather small, shoot-thru umbrella. The back light was another 300WS monolight, but I left it bare bulb. You can click it to enlarge it.

And BTW, we're down to the last 5 days you can purchase either or both of my ebooks for 25% off using discount code JUNESPECIAL when ordering. A lot of people this month have taken advantage of this offer. If you haven't already done so, don't miss out! Links to my Guerrilla Glamour and Guerrilla Headshots ebook sites are in the right-hand column.


Roger0x1 said...

Hey Jimmie,
Whats the background there -- out of focus concrete or something post? I like it.

jimmyd said...

@Roger0x1: Yeah. Some sort of concrete pavement with a design pressed into it to make it look like individual pavement stones. Obviously, it was shot at night. It would take me a while to locate the original (and the file data) for this shot but I definitely was shooting with a fairly open aperture, probly f/3.5 or f/4.

M.R. said...

Hey Jimmie,

Given this blog post, I think you'll appreciate this one that happened to me. :D

I'd like to say that I make a living doing photography, but the reality of the situation is that I don't (and not for a lack of trying). So, I hold down a regular 40hr/week job to pay the bills, and do my photography work either "just for fun", or when I get the off paying gig whenever I can. With that said...

My specialty is pinup (a mix of modern and retro looks), and some retro glamour, but I can shoot pretty much anything anyone would want; assuming that they're willing to pay for it. :D At my day job I had this twenty-something year old woman who kept trying to convince me to shoot pinup of her by showing me snapshots she took of herself on her iPhone (that had been run through one of those image processor programs). It got to the point where she was doing this every-other-day and it was starting to get under my skin, mainly because (and I'm trying to be nice here...) she isn't exactly the most photogenic individual, the shots she kept showing me weren't even close to pinup/vintage as she kept insisting that they were, and she kept trying to get me to do it for free.

Soo.. one day when she decides to try to "convince" me again, I called over one of her co-workers so we could do an impartial comparison test. She shows them what her interpretation of pinup/vintage is (that was taken with her iPhone), and I show them some shots I did with my pro level gear (displaying them on my Android based phone).

Hilarity ensued when she got pissed that everyone present not only thought her pic was dog crap in comparison to the work I do, but not even close to being what she thought it was in her mind. :D

To make her feel better I tried to make a deal with her. I told her that if she traded me some wallet sized portraits of dead presidents printed on official U.S. Mint paper, I'd do some pics of her.

Would you believe that she didn't get it (although the other people present were nearly double-over laughing)?

I'd like to say that this experience is few and far between for me these days, but unfortunately the sad truth is that she's the norm, not the exception. :/ People just don't value the hard work that goes into some of the work out there, mainly because they see apps like this that lets them create barely passable work themselves on their iDevice. :/

jimmyd said...

@M.R.: LOL Great story! Thanks for sharing it. You're so right: The part that really sucks is that the woman's perception is becoming the norm if not *the* norm.

Many photographers complain about all the competition from so many people with cameras these days, especially from those who will work for really cheap. But the bigger problem, IMO, is the dumbing-down of potential clients and the public at large that these new technologies, as well as social media sites, has caused. If that weren't true, good photography would still be the biggest factor determining a photographer's success in spite of overwhelming competition from so many people with cameras... whether they can use those cameras effectively or not.

Paul said...

I think your app is a great idea and hope you can find a programmer/developer/$$$ to make it happen. If it could post a picture on Facebook AND leave comments as well you got something.
In honor of your sense of humor and insight I will be purchasing one of your ebooks.

All the best,