Everyone’s a photographer these days. Technology is leveling the playing field; no longer does one need to lug around a point-and-shoot or a DSLR camera to take great photos. In fact, most of us have a solid photo-taking and photo-editing tool right in our pockets.
But as you take more photos and shoot more videos, you might want to know how to do more with the tools you have. If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our recent coverage about photography apps, editing apps, video apps, camera accessories and photo blogs. These apps, tools and gadgets can help you document your life better than ever and refine your skills. Let us know your top photo and video tips in the comments.
if you’re serious about photography, all paths lead toward a digital SLR (single-lens reflex) model. With their large image sensors, interchangeable lenses and a seemingly endless supply of tweakable features, DSLRs maximize both flexibility and mobility. Since the debut of the Nikon D1 in 1999 — the world’s first modern DSLR — the technology has advanced considerably. Once for still pictures only, almost all DSLRs manufactured today record video, too. Camera makers have enhanced autofocus mechanisms with swarms of extra focus points and added high-tech features, such as face detection. Some even have swiveling LCDs for hard-to-get shots. Here’s a guide to help you figure out the right model for you.
Hefe. Lo-Fi. Rise. Hudson. Where do you even begin? We’ve gone through the photo-sharing app’s 17 filters and broken them down by how they alter a photo, the effect of the filter and situations where they work best.
If you read the article above and realized you need a primer on Instagram, check out this guide. It’s a must-read for noobs.
Calling all Instagram addicts: Cease living your life in X-Pro II. These versatile apps will let you customize, color-correct, crop and add beautiful effects to your photos before you upload them to Instagram. These tools will help make some necessary adjustments to your photos before you start adding effects to enhance them.
If you’re still using the basic camera app on your iPhone, you’re doing it wrong. The tool gives you one option in video mode: focus. Want to zoom? Forget it. You only have access to zoom when you take a picture. Here are five apps that will make you abandon that rusty camera app that came pre-installed on your iPhone. Some apps in this list are perfect for the novice who just wants a bit more flexibility, while others were made for the professional photographer or videographer who just happens to have left the DSLR or HD video equipment at home.
The Kick is a pocket-sized lighting studio for photos or video. It’s a handheld, wireless device that emits bright light on demand and lets photographers modify light for clearer images. Built-in effects such as rainbow lights, strobes or lighting effects can give photos or video a special touch.
3DCone, a cone-shaped add-on for the iPhone 4 and 4S, will let you shoot 3D pictures and video from an easy-to-use app. It’s the brainchild of Saturn3Designs, and converts your iPhone into a a stereoscopic camera. The Kickstarter project has a ways to go before it reaches its target, and it’s a tool we’re excited about.
Haven’t you heard? Photos are so 2011. Video is where it’s at. More specifically, take a look at Viddy, a social video editing and sharing app that has just surpassed 26 million users.
Like Viddy, Socialcam has specifically worked to streamline mobile video sharing. Spun off from Justin.tv in March 2011, the quick and easy platform allows you to upload and customize videos that you capture with your smartphone (iPhone and Android). Socialcam doesn’t have a time limit like Viddy’s 15-second cap, and you can add filters, themes and music. Plus, it’s simple to integrate your multiple social media accounts, so you can snap and share in a jiffy.
The Lensbaby optical effects system is a set of lenses, optical swaps and accessories that allows a huge range of effects and distortions for the SLR or DSLR photographer. Initially designed in 2008 for the creator’s own experimentation, Lensbaby products now include five lens bodies that mount directly on your camera and eight optics that you can swap in and out of the lenses.
Three Texas-based engineers have developed a device to shoot and follow subjects from a distance without the need for a camera operator. The SOLOSHOT is the ultimate tool for selfies.
Most smartphones today have built-in digital cameras, which allow you to take photos that rival what you might have taken with a high-dollar stand alone digital camera just a few years ago. But in addition to taking good pics, you can also edit your smartphone photos directly on the phone, dramatically improving the quality of the shots without ever having to involve your computer. Whether you’re looking to remove a little redeye or add a speech bubble, there are plenty of great photo apps to help you get the job done right.
Just a few years ago, creating your own movie would have required an expensive camcorder to shoot, and your own –- often expensive -– video editing equipment to polish your video into something you’d want to share with others. Now we have smartphones. But in addition to replacing the camcorder, your smartphone can also be used as a video editor. A slew of apps — for iPhone and Android — let you trim out pieces of your video you don’t want, change the frame rate or filter your video to make it look like an old-school 8mm film.
Are you looking to really make your family and vacation photos stand out, but haven’t been able to figure out the ropes of Adobe Photoshop? It’s a difficult program to master, but by learning the tricks of the trade, you can do just about anything to your photos. It has the ability to do simple tasks, like lightening and color-correction, in addition to the ability to rewrite history by adding someone to a photo — or deleting him from one! To cure your Photoshop-phobia, we’ve rounded up eight stellar Photoshop tutorials on YouTube.
The iPhone is capable of recording high-definition video suitable for the giant plasma screen in your living room, and there are a number of video editing apps to help you polish your video and add opening credits, sound effects and even a soundtrack into the mix — without ever leaving your device.
In the age of affordable DSLRs, Instagram and ubiquitous photo-sharing on Facebook and other social networks, we’re taking more photos than ever. How can you keep all your pics in order? There are lots of powerful photo management apps for Mac and PC that make the process of organizing, sharing and processing your digital images a snap. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites — from Picasa to iPhoto ’11 to Adobe Lightroom to Aperture — and categorized them for specific types of users.
A photo by Tommy Ton of Jak & Jil
There’s a lot of compelling content on the web, especially when it comes to travel blogs, fashion blogs and curated, crowdsourced photo collections. We dug up nine photo blogs with images that surely will inspire you to do something, whether it’s travel, think outside the box or try a pair of harem pants with a dropcrotch.
The web is teeming with beautiful photo blogs — it’s not uncommon to find yourself scrolling for hours on Tumblr. But for photo bloggers, it can be hard to get your work to stand out or to build an audience. Whether it’s a DIY, fashion, bucket list or travel blog, excellent photos and a sharp interface are crucial if you want your blog to become a bookmarked destination. We’ve ask a few bloggers and photogs to sound off on tricks of the trade, what aspiring photo bloggers should know, and what makes a good photo.
While it feels natural to just post media quickly to your Facebook Page, sometimes great photos or video need their own home in the form of a personal website. To optimize the interface of your blog or website, you’ll want to create a mockup. Here are nine great tools — some of which are free — to help you figure out the layout of your web presence.