Tips from influential iPhone photographers

Light painting photo of fireworks

Check out the blog post “9 Tips from the World’s Most Influential iPhoneographers,” including a tip (about light painting) from yours truly. Emil Pakarklis of the iPhone Photography School website contacted me about contributing a tip for the post, and I was happy to oblige. The post includes lots of great advice. Be sure to take a look at the multiple exposure techniques from Manel Bello.

Happiness, photography, and gratitude

I stumbled on this inspiring video from a post at the Greater Good website (“the science of a meaningful life”). I love the idea: You take a photo a day as a way to express (and feel) your gratitude for something. I’ve often done this, without even really thinking of it that way, but I can see how turning it into an everyday practice could really change your outlook on things, as it did for Hailey Bartholomew.

Amazing creativity in a stop-motion video

I’ve been a fan of stop-motion videos since I was a kid, and lately I’ve been wowed by the ways still photographers have been creating stop-motion videos out of thousands of frames. As photographer Jonathan DeNicholas says at Vimeo, “This film is made entirely of stop motions stills…. It is a contest entry that required it to be no longer than 2 minutes and you can only shoot things you appreciate during the month of February. There are exactly 2,877 stills in this film hence the title.”

It’s just great. My favorite “scene”? Probably the one with snow and steps. You just have to see it to believe it.

Printstagram’s Tinybook is really tiny

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So my three Prinstagram Tinybooks arrived, and they’re pretty adorable. And tiny. I knew they were just 1.7 by 1.5 inches, but until they arrived, I didn’t realize how small that would be. One very cool thing about them: They’ve got magnets inside. Yes, that’s right: You can put your book on the fridge.

24 photos in one little book


For this month’s book for my 12 Books project, I tried something completely different (well, different from the short story I published as a Kindle book): a tiny photo book. With Printstagram, you’re able to select 24 of your Instagram photos, then get three copies of your book for $10. The books are small: just 1.7 by 1.5 inches. But for the price, it’s a pretty good deal.

Photo book printing has been around for years, but now it’s even more automated and simple. With Printstagram, you don’t even get your photos from your computer’s image collection; you just type in your Instagram login, and Printsagram grabs your images. It’s almost what I’ve come to think of as an “instant book.”

But here’s what’s interesting: It’s also got something in common with the artist’s book — books designed and printed by designers, illustrators, photographers, and other artists. They’re made independently, the print run is small, and they’re intended as works of art. Though I don’t plan on selling my little books, I could see how a photographer might print, say, 50 of these, then sign and inscribe them, and offer them at $10 a pop.

Just another interesting opportunity in the evolving world of the book.

Smartcameras, Apple, and the future of photography

samsungI’ve got an article at the website Connect (part of Digital Photography Review) about what I see as a dilemma for fans of Apple’s iOS and iPhone photography apps. Smartcameras are starting to appear — that is, point-and-shoot cameras with the Android operating system and photo apps — and I fear that Android, and not iOS, will dominate this smartcamera trend. I’d love to buy a smartcamera at some point, but I would want it to be a camera with iOS apps — that is, all of the photography apps I’ve got on my iPhone. Will that happen? I’m not quite sure, and in my Connect article I come up with a bunch of scenarios (Apple buys Nikon, Apple introduces its own digital SLR, etc.) for how things will shake out. Realistic ideas? Not always, but it’s fun to speculate.

If you’re wondering about the smartcamera trend, check out my posts about smartcameras and Android cameras at What I See Now.

Book recommendation: “Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books”

I’ve been struggling with e-books lately. I keep thinking I should go ahead and join the e-book revolution, just as I have with music and photography and so much else, but I just can’t get into it. I have read e-books, but I still prefer traditional, printed books, for any number of reasons. Certainly one of them is their beauty as objects. That’s one of the reasons I love Leah Price’s book “Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books.” This is a beautiful book, and it’s about, in part, the beauty of books, and the writers who love them. The book puts the spotlight on the personal libraries of 13 novelists, with close-up photos of their shelves. Why do I love (printed) books? This book says it all.

iPhone photography show at Soho gallery


Save the date: There’s an iPhoneography show in New York City, and I’ll be there for the opening on December 16. The exhibition will feature 200 photos, with more than 8,000 photos having been submitted. Interested in seeing your photo on the walls of the Soho Gallery for Digital Art? You can submit until December 10. Learn more.

100 camera and photo apps in 100 days

Over at my What I See Now blog, which is all about iPhone photography, I’ve got a new project: 100 Photo Apps. The idea is pretty simple: Over 100 days, I’ll post 100 images from 100 different iPhone camera and photography apps. I’m thinking of the project as a way to showcase the best photo apps and also highlight what’s possible with iPhone photography and the iPhone camera.

Which is quite a lot. There are Photoshop-like image editors for the iPhone, photobooth apps, and lots of tools for recreating the photographic techniques and tools of yesteryear. If you want to get a sense of the possibilities, check out my 100 Photo Apps posts at What I See Now, and also think about viewing this video I put together for my book, Create Great iPhone Photos.

Why do I have three (yes, three) photoblogs?

OK, so maybe you haven’t really been wondering this, but it’s the truth. I now have three separate photography blogs. Not long ago, I wasn’t even blogging, and now I feel like I’m something of a blogging maniac, in part because of the ease of creating and managing a blog with Tumblr. So what are these blogs, and how are they different? Here are quick descriptions:

What I See Now: News and advice about iPhone photography. Learn about iPhone photography contests and exhibits, video tutorials, gadgets, and updates to iPhoneography apps. I also post occasional photos (of my own) at this blog.

Really Great iPhone Photos: Here’s where I post other people’s awesome iPhone photos, either by reblogging them with Tumblr or by contacting and getting permission from Flickr members.

Domestic Tableaux: I just put this up. Tumblr makes it easy to let a blog accept submissions, and I’ve been wanting to try that sort of blog for a while. Domestic Tableaus is all about photos of what’s on your kitchen counter, bedroom bureau, or somewhere else. Those images can be interesting, funny, or even sad or poignant.

So there you have: my photoblogs.


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