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Camera Phone Crash Course:
Creative Capture & Processing Techniques

September 21, 2013, 9:00am — 12:00pm
Viewpoint Photographic Art Center • Sacramento, California

Register for this class

All images on this page were photographed
and processed with an iPhone 4 or 5

The rise of smart phones as image capture and processing platforms is one of the most exciting developments in contemporary photography. Modern camera phones outfitted with a variety of photo apps offer incredible possibilities for spontaneous creativity on the go, as well as more fully realized fine art images that can be just as compelling as photographs made with more traditional camera systems. The ability to capture images with a camera that is always with you as well as process the photos directly on the phone (a “digital darkroom in your pocket”) is a new image making paradigm that many photographers have found to be a wonderfully refreshing new way to channel their creative muse. 

In this workshop fine art photographer and digital imaging expert Seán Duggan will cover the essentials you need to know to get the most out of the photographic possibilities of the iPhone and similar smart phone devices (many of the concepts and apps featured in this workshop are equally applicable to Android mobile devices but this workshop will be taught from an iPhone-centric perspective).

We’ll review techniques for getting the best images possible and ensuring that you are capturing and saving files at the highest resolution. Included in this discussion will be capture techniques for exposure blending, HDR, slow shutter speed and multiple shots for panorama stitching and collage work. We’ll also take a look at some fundamental photo apps for image processing, and developing a sound processing workflow for "app-stacking", where an image is processed in different photo apps for specific reasons.








An HDR blend of two exposures with a texture added

Our explorations will cover both basic Photoshop-like adjustments, as well as interpretive approaches that can result in intricate multiple image composites and images that push the boundaries of the traditional photographic format. No matter what type of photographs you make, the iPhone offers a fascinating and engaging way for you to explore another side of your photography.  This workshop will focus on taking your iPhoneography skills to the next level with an emphasis on refining both your vision and technique to create beautifully artistic images.



Some of the Key Topics to be Covered:

• Understanding the strengths and limitations of camera phones

• Developing your “Spidey Sense” for scenes that work well for iPhoneography

• Creative exposure techniques

• Creating (high dynamic range) HDR images

• Panoramic stitching from multiple source images

• Using layers (yes, layers!) and layer masks for more refined creative control

• Creating multiple image composites

• Adding “special effects”, creative filters and textures

• Moving beyond canned app effects

• Finding and developing a personal style



Requirements: Participants should bring their iPhone (or other smart phone). If you choose to download any of the apps shown in class, you can expect to pay an additional $15 to $25 on app purchases.




A panorama stitch of 13 different exposures combined with a
vintage paper texture and custom hand tinting effects.



The Bow




Diptychs and image "mirrors"
are easy to make (and a lot of fun!).





a 2-shot HDR, plus light rays,
plus vintage texture, plus hand coloring





Long Distance Call,
a multiple image composite from three images.





An HDR blend of two exposures with vintage texture
and custom hand tinting effects added.



Silhouettes and backlighting
often create interesting images.



On the Shores of an Imaginary Night:
a simple composite of two images.









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© Copyright Seán Duggan, 2011, 2012, 2013