Featured Photo

Phoneography is arguably one of the most popular, if not the most popular, ways to take a picture. Cameras in many phones are now better quality than some of the original digital cameras that were released onto the market years ago and the size comparisons are a joke. Aside from the ease of portability and the excellent quality of the images is the ability to edit and share the photos on the same device with which they were taken. Hundreds of apps have been created that let you add any number of filters; adjust contrast, brightness, and saturation; crop and straighten; add text and emoji; upload to social media sites; and ultimately become an internet (and sometimes real-life) famous photographer*. Instagram is perhaps the best example of this. Flickr and Twitter have even jumped on the filter preset bandwagon. Love it or hate it Instagram created a platform for many brilliant photographers to showcase their talent. It also created the much maligned “selfie” and millions of photos of lunch. And dinner. And cappuccino art. You win some, you lose some I guess.

Many of the photos that get posted to our Flickr group and that we share with you in our photo posts were taken with phone cameras. This excellent shot by DoctorJ.Bass being one of them. The geometry of the lines and shapes of the parking garage and buildings across the street combined with the dramatic contrast in light and dark make for a very eye catching photo. It can still be hard to believe that such an amazing image was captured with a phone. Not only that but instead of having to use a computer to download and process the photo DoctorJ was able to open an app, import the photo (unless the app was used to take the photo), and select a filter preset. Once saved the photo was exported to Flickr for everyone to see.

I personally have at least a dozen photography related apps on my phone that I use regularly but I’d say the one I’m drawn to the most lately is VSCO Cam, which is what DoctorJ. used to edit this photo. I love the presets but it also allows you to edit the photo on your own – tweak the contrast, brighten, saturate, crop, straighten, fade, change the hue, and more. It has recently added a social media-esque feature they refer to as Grid. Users can edit their photos and upload them to their own grid where others can view them. You even get your own nifty website address. The beauty of Grid (or downside, depending on where your need for constant reassurance and confirmation of your greatness lies) is that while you can follow people, and have their photos show up in your feed, there are no “likes” to be exchanged or collected and you have no idea how many people are following you. It’s simply a clean, aesthetically pleasing way to post your photos for the world to see**. Of course the photos can also be saved to your phone and uploaded to any social media platform or photo site you want.

Are there any apps that you prefer? Maybe some that we haven’t heard of? Feel free to let us know in the comments. And you’re welcome to post your Instagram name, or VSCO page, or Tumblr, or whatever, as well. We always want to see your photos no matter the platform.


*results may vary

** For the record I am in no way affiliated with VSCO, I just happen to like their app.

Born and raised in Silver Spring, MD, Kerrin is a product of Montgomery County public schools and the University of Maryland. A photographer, treehugger, and perpetual retail employee with a swearing problem she’s always up for a good dirty joke or two. When not re-treeing DC with Casey Trees, or honing her passive-aggressive Maryland driving skills on the Beltway, she can be found watching puppy videos on YouTube.


2 thoughts on “Featured Photo

  1. Most of the times I just use an Instagram filter and call it a day. But if it’s a shot that I want to do a little more with, I’ll use Snapseed. VSCO looks interesting, though. I’m going to check it out.

  2. I do love me some Snapseed. It was the first app I found that let me straighten my wonky photos and do all the adjustments I’d been wanting to do. CameraBag also has a most excellent filter called Italiano that I adore, so much so that I created a preset in Lightroom to mimic it.