Killer Photos with Your iPhone
by Matthew Bamberg, Kris Krug, and Greg Ketchum
Published by Course Technology
Bottom Line: An excellent introduction to both photography and iPhoneography. Its straightforward style and emphasis on photography make this a great guide for beginning and intermediate photographers.
Killer Photos with Your iPhone by photographers Matthew Bamberg, Kris Krug, and Greg Ketchum is the first book for iPhone photographers. There are already books published that feature iPhoneography — most notably The Best Camera is the One That’s With You by Chase Jarvis. Killer Photos is about creating photography using the iPhone, with its unique combination of digital lo-fi camera and thousands of available photo apps. Written from the perspective of a photographer, this is an excellent book for beginning and intermediate iPhoneographers but even more seasoned iPhoneographers will learn a thing or two about the iPhone and the capabilities of its camera.
From the publisher’s description:
“Killer Photos with Your iPhone shows students how to take fantastic pictures using the camera built right into their iPhone. Because of its portability and unique capabilities, the iPhone camera is now one of the most popular digital cameras on the market, and this book shows you how to do everything from taking simple pictures to using apps to snap and create innovative images. You’ll find information on the basics of shooting with an iPhone, including how to aim, compose, and focus your shots, as well as shooting within an app platform, and even post-processing. Many of the most popular photography apps are covered, and explained option-by-option with full-color images that allow students to see the progression of the app all at once instead of step-by-step. Covering both the 3G and 3GS iPhone models, this book will have students shooting, editing, and sharing killer photos in no time!”
The book is well written and excellently organized. The first chapters cover the basics of the iPhone’s camera and purchasing apps. The first chapter is a really nice overview of the capabilities and limitations of the iPhone’s camera. The emphasis is on the basics, but I was pleasantly surprised to find tidbit’s like detailed specs of the iPhone’s camera. I believe it’s important for a photographer to know their camera in order to get the best results possible from it.
The book shifts into photography basics, illustrating composition guidelines and lighting basics. It gradually moves into more advanced topics, emphasizing good photographic technique.
With the basics out of the way, Killer Photos covers additional lighting and composition techniques and starts to sprinkle in tips on post-processing apps. I especially like that the book details and illustrates how the iPhone performs (or sometimes doesn’t perform) in many of the lighting conditions an iPhoneographer will encounter. Chapters are devoted to photographing portraits, places and things and using better lighting techniques. There’s even a section on how to create killer light trails.
Finally, it’s an app bonanza where Killer Photos breaks down and explores the features of several of the more popular photo editing and post-processing apps. The last few chapters explore in-depth several of the more popular post-processing apps — Photoshop.com Mobile, CameraBag, PhotoForge, FX Photo Studio and Tiffen Photo fx among others. The apps are explored in depth, digging through the menus and illustrating what each feature does. These are like printed instruction manuals. For someone with no previous experience with these apps, these chapters are really helpful in exploring in detail all of the features of these apps and how powerful some of them are. The book explores the menus that many of us don’t take the time to.
One of the things that I really like about the book is the emphasis on photographic basics, theory and technique instead of just apping up photos. It’s nearly Chapter 4 before the first third-party app is even mentioned. Although there are chapters that are devoted to apps, the main focus of the book is how to shoot a good photo to begin with.
The book is an easy read but is never condescending. It’s written clearly with little technobabble, so it’s not intimidating to the new photographer. At the same time, it covers classic photographic rules and techniques that gives the aspiring iPhoneographer a good framework in which to explore and grow. In order to break the rules, one must know them first. Killer Photos is filled with examples, photos and a lot of extra tips as well.
Killer Photos is an excellent book for someone wanting to explore iPhoneography and grow as a photographer — someone who wants to use their phone for more than just snapshots to post to their Facebook profile. This book covers everything they need to know to put them well on their way to taking some killer photos with their iPhone. Intermediate iPhone photographers — those who know their way around the camera and have a few photo apps — can skip past the first 39 pages or so and will still find this book interesting as well for the quick lessons in photographic technique and the detailed guides for the apps.
If you’re a professional or an iPhoneographer who’s already submitting work to gallery shows and online exhibitions, or if you are expecting a book on how-to for creating elaborate and intricate “killer photos” using multiple apps, this book is not for you.
Killer Photos was written before the iPhone 4 was released and although it’s written with the iPhone 3G and 3GS in mind, most of the concepts are so non-device-specific that what is taught here can easily be applied to the iPhone 4 and iOS 4 as well.
Killer Photos with Your iPhone is an excellent introduction to both photography and iPhoneography. Its straightforward style and emphasis on photography make this a great guide for beginning and intermediate photographers with a desire to learn how photography works. I recommend it to anyone who is new to iPhone photography or iPhoneographers with moderate experience who want to quickly learn more about their camera, sharpen their skills and learn tools and techniques to take their iPhone photography up a notch.
Killer Photos with Your iPhone lists for $24.99 USD, but is available now on Amazon.com for only $18.24.
LoFi’s Killer Photos Giveaway
Life In LoFi has one copy of Killer Photos with Your iPhone to give away. It’s in new condition, read once and is only slightly fingerprinted. We will be giving it away via Twitter to one lucky follower sometime on Thursday, July 15, 2010, so follow Life In LoFi at www.twitter.com/LifeInLoFiBlog for your chance to win a copy of the book.
Related Link: Publisher’s website
Disclosure: We were provided with a copy of this book by the publisher for review.