Camera+ is considered by many iPhone photographers to be one of the best photo apps around, offering a rich array of features to help you get the most out of your smartphone photography. The app’s features are essentially split into two halves: those for taking photos, and those for editing images.
The first part of this tutorial will look at how to use Camera+’s powerful touch exposure and focus tool, because once you become familiar with how they work you’ll find that you have greater creative control over your images. The second part will go through the typical editing workflow of an image, looking at selecting a scene to apply to your image, followed by an effect and finishing off with a border.
Using the touch exposure and focus tool
Camera+ has a very versatile method of setting the focus and exposure for a photo. You can either use a single tap to focus on a particular area or you can set the focus and exposure independently. This latter option gives you an enormous amount of creative control when it comes to composing your shots. This is how they work:
1. Tap to open Camera+ and compose your shot, then tap the screen to call up the red Focus box.
2. If you want to take a quick photo, simply drag this box around the screen to set the focus and exposure area for your image.
3. However, if you tap the red ‘+’ in the top-right corner of the focus box, you call up the separate exposure circle (it looks vaguely like an aperture).
4. Drag the exposure circle away from the focus box and you now have the opportunity to set the focus and exposure areas of the image independently.
5. You can either drag them about using a single finger or, if you’re feeling particularly dextrous, you can use two fingers to move the symbols about the screen. Drag the exposure control to a bright area of your scene to darken the image or drag it to a dark area and the image will lighten.
Editing an image in Camera+
Camera+ has a dizzying array of photo filters, effects and adjustment tools. The two that we are interested in this tutorial are Scenes, which are a single tap effect and which can only be applied once, and Effects, which can be applied over a scene and allows you to adjust their intensity. To use the editing tools, you must ensure that the your images are saved to Camera+’s Lightbox, so you can access them. This is a my preferred editing workflow:
1. To enter Camera+ Lightbox, tap the photo in the bottom-left corner. You’ll now see all your images.
2. A single tap on an image calls up some options. You can delete or zoom into an image by tapping on the respective icons. Or you can Edit, Share, Save, or show Info by tapping the icons that are displayed just below the image. For this tutorial, tap Edit. (You can also display an image in full-screen mode by double tapping it, then edit it by tapping the icon at the bottom.)
3. The screen changes to show the full image with two rows of options at the bottom. The one at the very bottom are the five types of adjustments that you can make. The row above this displays the options within that adjustment that you can make. By default, Scenes is already selected, with the option None highlighted.
4. Swipe to the right to see all the different options. Tap to apply one to see how it affects your image. The Scenes affect your image by changing the contrast, brightness, hues and saturation of the colours. Here, we’ve chosen Scenery to boost the contrast and colours in the image. You can’t adjust the intensity of these effects – they are either on or off – and only one can be chosen for each image.
5. Next, tap Effects (which changes to red) and the options above this menu changes to Color, Retro, Special and IheartAnalog. Each option has nine settings, which are displayed in the screen above, tap one to select it. Here, we’ve chosen Sepia to give our image a vintage feel.
6. With Effects, you can adjust the intensity. To do this tap the Intensity icon in the bottom right and a slider pops up. By default, the intensity is at its highest setting, so slide it to the left to reduce the effect. As you slide, a box appears just above to indicate the percentage of the effect that has been applied.
7. Next, tap Borders to add a frame to your image. You have two options here, Simple and Styled. Again you have nine options under each setting. Here, we’ve selected Old-Timey.
8. When you’re happy, tap done and you’re taken back to Lightbox. By tapping Save, the image is saved to the Camera Roll and removed from Lightbox.
Camera+ is a powerful app to have on the iPhone and once you’ve got to grips with its many adjustments, you’ll be able to produce striking images minutes after you’ve taken them.
Are you a convert to Camera+? What are you favourite adjustments? Let me know in the comments section below.