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A top five of photo apps for the iPhone

July 13, 2011 |  9:12 pm

You may not know it from your friend's Facebook updates, but there's more to iPhone photography than Hipstamatic and Instagram. In fact, you can take a class in it.

For the past year and a half, photographer Dan Burkholder has been travelling the country teaching iPhone users how to turn their phones into a full-service darkroom. Taking an image like this:

  Dan_burkholder_1

And turning it into this:

Dan_burkholder_2

 "Ninety-seven percent of the work is on the iPhone itself," he said.

Burkholder's workshops run from a day to five days. His single-day classes are straight lectures where he shows slides and talks about the different photo manipulating apps on the market -- what they do and how to use them. In a five day class, like the one he recently taught at  Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, he takes his students out shooting, helps them stitch images together, manipulate and print them. It ends with a group critique about what worked and what didn't.

This fall, Burkholder will publish a book on iPhone photography called  "iPhone Artistry." He doesn't have a fixed release date yet because his publishers want the book to come out at the same time as the new iPhone 5.

"More and more people are doing serious iPhone photography, and it's only going to grow," he said. "The book is the most comprehensive book for creative photographers."

In the meantime, I asked him to name his five favorite photo apps.  

1. Autostitch: "Allows the user to overlap images and meld them together."

2. Filterstorm: "That has very good masking and local control."

3. Iris Photo Suite: "Has layering capability and also a nice range of filter effects."

4. Photoforge 2: "Has the best curves implementation. (That's something we use in Photoshop all the time)."

5. True HDR: "This app brings out better tonality for highlights and shadows."

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--Deborah Netburn

Images: 125th Street Station in New York City, before and after. Credit: Dan Burkholder

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