Category: iPhone

Shooting Neon With an iPhone

February 22nd, 2014 Permalink

Back in 2010, I posted 10 tips for shooting neon. Now more and more people are carrying around their iPhone as their primary camera. I thought it was time to post a follow up with tips for shooting neon signs with a iPhone. Many of the same tips for shooting with a DLSR apply to […]

Back in 2010, I posted 10 tips for shooting neon. Now more and more people are carrying around their iPhone as their primary camera. I thought it was time to post a follow up with tips for shooting neon signs with a iPhone. Many of the same tips for shooting with a DLSR apply to the iPhone as well!

  1. Know Your Camera
  2. Neon is bright. Especially at night, this brightness can confuse the camera app and the exposure will not be what you want. However, most apps will let you set which spot is used for exposure and focus. For example, to set exposure and focus on the Camera app that comes with the iPhone, just tap on the screen. Holding down will lock the exposure and focus so you can compose the shot. Learning how to make the camera behave the way you want will make sure you can get the shot exposed just how you want it.

  3. Know Your Apps
  4. There are hundreds and hundreds of photography apps to choose from on the App Store. Knowing what the apps you have will do for an image is key to getting the image you want. Spend some time with each photo app you download, learning what adjustments it can perform and how they affect the image. Knowing this will help you pick the right app to get the look and feel you want.

    I like the way the Hipstamatic app combination of John S Lens and Kodot XGrizzled Film work with neon signs.

  5. Shoot Day Or Night
  6. Neon looks amazing at night, but don’t ignore it during the day. Often there are details that cannot be seen at night, and some signs no longer light up. But they still look good!

  7. Shoot During The Blue Hour
  8. Shooting neon when the sun is low in the sky will allow you to capture the glowing tubes as well as the surrounding context. This is a great time to shoot signs!

  9. Experiment
  10. Get close. Shoot reflections. Get under, behind, and above signs. Use the neon as part of the image, but not the only thing in the image. Use experimental photo apps, and combine the results of different apps. There’s no harm in trying things – pixels are free!

    Here are some apps that will do interesting and unexpected things to your photos:
    Interlacer (Full Disclosure: This app was written by me)

    This image was made with Hipstamatic and Interlacer:

    Also check out Doctor Popular’s Appsperiments

  11. Look At Other Photos
  12. There are a lot of people shooting neon with their iPhones. Look at what they are doing. Get inspired! Here are a few to get you started:
    Sean Calvey (scalvey)
    Sharlynn V (sv1)
    Frank Prosnik (innerstate1)

  13. Practice
  14. The more you do practice, the better you will get. Make time to shoot. Seek out interesting and vintage neon signs. Go have fun!

You can see all of my iPhone neon photos on Flickr.

Tire Jumper

July 11th, 2013 Permalink

It’s here! The Kickstarter project to make a book from the Transamerica View 2012 project is now live!

Last year, I started a project to document my daily view of the Transamerica Pyramid. I used my iPhone and the Hipstamatic app to make an image of the view every day. The result was 256 unique images of the Pyramid. I had always envisioned that the project would take on a physical form, either through a series of prints or a book. After considerable research, I have decided that the best format is a 12″ x 12″ 72-page full color photo book. This size will allow plenty of space for four images on each page, and there will be enough pages to dedicate a full page to some of my favorite images from the project. The book will be printed by Oddi, a company with many years of experience producing high-quality art catalogs and photo books.

Printing a book like this is a large project, and I need your help! If you would like to help make this project a success, please consider backing it on Kickstarter. You can donate any amount and receive a digital copy of the book. For donations at the $10 level and up, the rewards range from a postcard to prints to a poster to the book itself.

If you would like to see all the images, they can be seen here.

Thanks for taking the time to check out the project. Tell your friends! Tweet it! Post it on Facebook and Google Plus! Let’s make this happen!


June 14th, 2012 Permalink


Made this one by shooting with my iPhone through a Diana lens, then processing in Camera+.

yaw om

May 16th, 2012 Permalink

yaw om

Inspired by the Lee Friedlander show at the Fraenkel Gallery. If you are in San Francsico, check it out.


April 23rd, 2012 Permalink


Yreka Sunrise

April 22nd, 2012 Permalink

Yreka Sunrise

I am constantly amazed at the power of the photo processing apps on the iOS platform. This original image was shot using the Hipstamatic app. It was dark, the interior of the shop was poorly lit, and I was shooting through glass. As you can see, the image is terribly underexposed and grainy. Not much to look at:

However, after cropping and adjustments in Camera+ and applying noise reduction in PS Express, the image looks like this:

It take some time to learn what each app is best at, and to open and process the image in various apps, but it is time well spent. There are some great results possible. If you want to see more, I suggest you check out this group on Flickr that is dedicated to iPhone before and after shots, and look at the Appsperiments project that Doctor Popular is doing.

Happy shooting!

Eye Of Light

August 3rd, 2011 Permalink

Eye Of Light

Interlacer Contest Winners

July 4th, 2011 Permalink

It was difficult, but we narrowed down the Interlacer contest entries to select ten winners.

Last month, I announced a contest for users of Interlacer and Instagram. There were a lot of great entries, and it was difficult to choose only 10. The images are presented here, in no particular order. In the end, I think we got a great cross-section of really interesting images that people are creating on the iPhone.

This image by Ventri was chosen as the overall favorite:

This image by Always Breaking was chosen as the most creative. Both Doc Pop and I loved the way the interlace effect echoed the architectural theme of the shot:

dottiebobottie made this cool image of the 16th Street BART station:

deena21 created this interesting double exposure portrait:

debinsf used Decim8, Camera+, Blender, and Interlacer to make a very interesting landscape image:

maansee made this image along the Embarcedero in San Francisco:

topspinguy used Interlacer, Photoforge2, Diptic, and Slitscan to make this interesting abstract image:

mikistrange used Photoforge2 and Interlacer to come up with this image:

brandondoran came up with this creative entry:

amywhiggins used Stripecam and Interlacer to create this abstract:

I want to thank all the talented photographers that took the time to post an image. Special thanks to Doc Pop for helping to select the images and to Postagram for providing prizes.

Can’t get enough? Check out all the images on Instagram that were created with Interlacer.