There are many apps that you can use with your iPhone camera to increase its capabilities – such as Camera + that gives you up to 6 X zoom instead of the usual 4 X zoom. There is also an app called Snapseed which will let you build up layers of effects similar to what you can get with PS/PE.
This article will look at the Camera + app that is free and that is a lot of fun to play with. This will be followed by another article in December on Snapseed.
The first part of this article is about the additional camera controls provided by Camera+. These will be of more interest to a photographer wanting manual control of focus, shutter speed, WB and ISO. If this is of no interest to you, then skip ahead to the second part on using Camera + for post processing of your photos by adding a frame, a filter, cropping your photo, choosing a scene effect, adding text in a caption.
But I am saving the best for last. There is a button called Clarity which magically makes your pictures spring to life.
Please note that there are new apps appearing every day. One of the easier ways to find out about them is to ask other members in the Photography SIG what they recommend. Otherwise, the iTunes store has ratings and customer reviews (thousands of them!).
Part one – Using Camera + (Completely different from Camera Plus)
When using the iPad for photos, be aware of where the camera is located so that you don’t cover it over accidentally and then wonder what has gone wrong. Same thing happens if you have a folding cover like mine. There is no opening for the camera to see through.
The advantage of using Camera + over the apple camera app is that you have manual control on your focus, shutter speed, white balance and ISO.
Let’s start with a look at the basic controls for taking a photo with Camera +.
The basic controls for Camera + are shown below.
Image 1 – Camera + basic controls
- – Shutter button
- – level indicator
- – Manual exposure control by sliding your finger across the screen. Goes from -6 to 6 EV.
- – Zoom in up to 6X (compared to 4X on Apple camera app)
- Quick Settings for macro, crop style, timer, burst, stabilizer
- – White Balance (tap on this to get more control of white balance)
- Selfies! Not my cup of tea.
- Three lines with bullet points in lower right hand corner of screen – settings for the more advanced of you. The more familiar that you are with these settings, then the more that you can get out of the app.
The Quick Settings box (#5 from the above image)
Image 2 – Quick settings box. Stabilizer is useful for shaky hands!
White Balance (#6 from the first image)
If you click on the WB Auto symbol, you get a lot more choices .
Image 3 – WB choices for lighting
Along the bottom you can select your light conditions – shady, cloudy, and so forth on through to candlelight.
To the left of the line on the bottom, you can choose between Auto and Exposure Lock (looks like a figure eight). I’ll leave the details of exposure lock to the photographers. But it lets you focus on a dark section of your composition and then to lock it in so that the white part does not over expose the photo. Find out more about this feature at this website:
If you really want to use exposure lock, my preference would be to take out my camera to use instead of the iPad.
If you click on the + at the end of the light conditions, you get a slider to control the temperature from 1,000 K up to 8,000 K. Find out more at:
Image 4 – WB with + to get to temperature scale
Image 5 – Kelvin temperature scale
Note: So far the only way that I know to get back to the starting point is to click on the Photos symbol, and then click on the camera symbol. When I find another way, I’ll pass it on to you.
Manual controls – woo hoo!
The use of manual controls is of more interest to a keen photographer than to an iPhone/iPad user only wanting snapshots to post to their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Setting Camera+ to manual
Follow these steps to set your Camera + to full Manual control:
(1) Go back to the first image and click on basic control #8 (three bullet point lines).
Image 1 again
(2) Scroll down through the Camera Settings and click on Advanced Controls.
Image 6 – Advanced Controls
(3) Tick the radio button for Full manual as shown below:
Image 7 – Full manual
Using the Manual controls
Let’s go back to the first image that we had and add a red rectangle to show you where the Manual controls are.
Image 8 – Location of Auto/Manual controls
Using Manual Focus
Starting from the left with #1 – manual focus. Touch and drag your finger on the screen to adjust the focus manually. You can touch the screen first to get an initial focus, and then use your finger and eyeball to fine tune it. Good luck!
Image 9 – Manual focus
A bit of theory on ISO and WB
Before we go any further – ISO is a measure of the sensitivity of the film or digital camera sensor. A low number (100) is used for bright daylight while higher numbers are used when there is less light (3200 or more).
White Balance (WB) refers to the different colour casts that your photo might have. It may look completely different in natural sunlight compared to fluorescent lighting indoors.
You can find more detailed information at these websites:
Using Manual for shutter speed and ISO
When you click on the #2 spot in the middle of the manual settings bar, you get two adjustable sliders.
Image 10 – two sliders for shutter speed and ISO
The first is for shutter speed. It varies from 1/4 of a second to 1/8000 of a second. You can use this for when the subject of the photo is moving. More about this at the Photography SIG.
The second slider for ISO goes from 64 to 800. I am a bit perplexed by this as most cameras seem to have it go as high as 3,200. Go figure.
Using Manual for WB
We already covered this without realising it in Basic control #6 at the start. So go back and reread that part again.
Part 2 – Editing your photos with Camera +
To Be continued.