Think you can’t make the most of street photography in Buenos Aires unless you’re lugging around a fat lens and a heavy digital SLR camera? Think again. iPhones will be the first to delight you, surprise you, and ultimately change your mind.
Though us seasoned photographers are accustomed to shooting with our larger-than-life equipment, the logic of smaller & smarter when it comes to the street is obvious. Try pointing that 4kg wide-angle that weighs the same as what you bicep curl at the gym in the face of a skeptical stranger twice your size you just met. Now try holding up your iPhone and take the same picture. If my professional instincts and experience serve me correctly, the reaction of your subject are likely different from one piece of equipment to the next. The intimidation factor is less and the access is more when your image-capture device quite literally, fits in the palm of your hand.
So although we love the juicy images of crisp foregrounds and out-of-focus backgrounds captured by thousands of dollars worth of Nikon, if you’re shooting with an iPhone and suffering an inferiority complex, not to fret.
Here are 5 iPhone applications that will add to your Foto-Ruta experience in Buenos Aires:
Camera Bag ( $2.99 USD )
Camera Bag allows you to take a shot and then toggle between 8 different presets ( some nostalgic, some modern ) in order to process and optomize your photo. My favorite’s personally are cinema and holga but you can give a distinctive and consistent style to all your street shots very quickly with this app. If you’re new to iphoneography, this is the first one to get.
Camera + ( $0.99 USD )
Camera Plus was developed by Canadian photographer Lisa Bettanywho’s sold over 300,000 copies of this app in the last year. If you’re going to download and use just one single app on your iphone…this one is it. With a combination of corrective lighting and creative filter effects, plus the ability to crop, rotate, and add borders, it is the quickest way to make your quotidien street images come alive. The supplementary effects you can buy that mimic low-fi cameras are also fun to play with. I use this app…every single day.
Camstructr ( $0.99 USD )
My former roomie ( and obviously wicked smart friend ) Juan Carlos Ospina Gonzales developed Camstructr, which allows you to divide the screen into sections, then shoot them separately to construct a photo collage. What I love about this app is that it really teaches shooters about telling a story with their images in just one composition. Whether you want to shoot a sequence of actions A, B, and C or simply frame the same subject from different angles, you’re forced to consider the idea of having more than one picture in the frame. Aside from that, diptics and triptics are visually appealing and are a fun way to make the ordinary into something unique.
Hipstamatic ( $1.99 USD )
I first iphone camera app that I was addicted to ( even more than spooning Nutella out of the jar ) was Hipstamatic. The Hipstamatic for iPhone is an application that brings back the look, feel, colors, and fun of plastic toy cameras from the past. Even before I owned an iPhone I was hearing about this app from professionals that were giggling over its high-contrast effects and imitation of plastic cameras. If I had one word to describe this app I would say “Fun” with a capital “F” It’s great for shooting at social gatherings ( aka fiestas ) as well.
TiltShiftGen ( $0.99 USD )
The TiltShiftGen ( taken from Tilt Shift photography ) allows you to create retro miniature pictures.By adjusting various parameters, it allows you to apply many ToyCamera effects on your pictures: from “mini pictures” to vintage styles images. It is an indispensable for taking birds-eye shots or aerial shots from a building in the city ( of which Buenos Aires has many ). It’s easy to “over-do-it” with this app, like a new fish-eye lens, and be tilting and shifting everything but it does give you that enchanting feel as if all your pictures were taking with Alice in Wonderland.
Each week at Foto-Ruta we give technical tips & advice on shooting before our participants head out in teams to capture their clues. If you’re interested in learning more about iphoneography and apps please visit Fuera Foto’s Iphoneography page and sign up for one of our monthly workshops.