Pimp my iPhone #1

If you’ve followed my blogging, you’ll remember I’ve posted a couple of articles called “Pimp my Mac.” I recently purchased an iPhone and have been busily attempting to fill it up with apps. I figured I might as well talk about the good ones. I’ve mentioned a few on Facebook. I’ll probably post more here, since my blog is echoed on FB as well.

Today, I bought an app called TrueHDR. For those of you unfamiliar with the term “HDR”, it stands for High Dynamic Range and refers to a photographic process in which a series of photographs are merged together. Usually, a minimum of three shots are taken, one at normal exposure, one slightly over exposed and one slightly under exposed (real photogs will quibble at my choice of terms, but this is the easy explanation). These three (or five or however many you wish to use) are woven together within your software of choice to provide a much more detailed photograph than is usually possible.

The iPhone has never been able to provide HDR shots, since the camera/phone cannot change Fstop and exposure settings. Most of the HDR apps available just mess with the saturation levels and call it HDR. TrueHDR is different. This little app utilizes the tap-to-focus feature of the 3.0 software in the iPhone. After you launch the app, it walks you through the process of taking two shots of your subject. In the first shot, you tap on the brightest spot in your frame and then take the picture. On the second, you tap on the darkest and repeat. The software does the rest. It will align your shots and merge the two pics, giving you a wider range of colors, lighting and resolution.

It’s not as good as real HDR with multiple shots, but it’s a big step for the iPhone. Here are a couple of HDR-ish shots I took this afternoon, just before sunset. It’s not true HDR, as the app title suggests, but it sure makes an iPhone shot look better than it would normally.

While I’m talking about iPhone photos, I might as well mention a couple of photo editing apps. Photoshop Mobile is a good app. It does a good job of editing shots, but I prefer an app called PerfectPhoto. It offers more filters and options and I get generally better overall results.

Another fun one is Lo-Mob. This little program is chock full of special effects, the likes of which would have cost a pretty penny even just a few years ago. It’s worth the few cents that it costs. Enjoy.

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