iPhone Lomography – My Current Workflow

As I’ve mentioned before here, I’m having a blast working with the camera on my iPhone, largely pushing into territory I had previously thought was not for me. One of the presets that gives an effect that I like is ‘Lomo’ in the app Phototoaster. Not being a student of history it took me a while to realise that ‘Lomo’ actually refers to a camera, the Lomo LC-A, that has somewhat of a cult following. Characteristic photos from the Lomo LC-A have effects caused by light leaks, strong vignettes and rich, saturated colors. Often lomographers will shoot with slide film and cross-process to give strong color shifts. Take a dip into the Lomography photostream here.

While I mull over the purchase of an LC-A+ I’m going to continue playing with my iPhone. Read on to see how easy it is with the iPhone.

I am typically using Camera+ rather than the camera app that comes with the iPhone. Here is the image as shot. Lots of problems with this, my biggest criticism is that I should have been closer to crop out the sky and the trailer. You can zoom with Camera+ but be aware that it is a digital zoom – in effect you’re just using less of the sensor. If I have to crop I’d prefer to do it in software after the fact. I’ll admit that I think cropping is not a big deal particularly with my DLSR but is an issue with the small files that come from the iPhone, so try to get it right in ‘iPhone’ as it were.

The first step is to bring the file into PhotoForge and do some preliminary editing. Photoforge is a great app with lots of capabilities, curves, sharpening, cropping, textures, frames and effects and is one that I highly recommend. One of the neat things is that Photoforge has layers so you can work in a layer based manner if that is something that you’re used to. I generally am not using layers but I’m also just doing very simple edits. I will generally look at the levels panel and tweak there if I think the image needs it. In this case it didn’t a levels adjustment and so I moved on to add a bit of contrast using the curves function. I didn’t like any of the other tweaks that I might usually add and so I saved the file back to the photolibrary and jumped into Phototoaster.

I’m almost exclusively using Phototoaster now to add the Lomo effect. There is a Lomo effect in PhotoForge but it feels a bit washed out for my taste. I cropped the image to a square to remove the distractions and applied the Lomo effect which can be found …

I like the square but also wanted to see what else I could do. Here I didn’t lock the crop to a particular ratio and came up with this crop that I particularly liked and as before then added the Lomo effect.

iPhone Fun on the Farm


How many times have you seen something that you’ve thought would make a great photograph but you’ve kept going, thinking that you’ll get it on the way back or tomorrow or the next time your in town? If you’re like me you’ve done this dozens of times. I’m always rushing from one place to another so much so that there’s little time for those scenes that you just happen upon. The photograph above is one example of such an image. I’ve driven by this tractor on a weekly basis for over 7 years, it’s on the way to the local coffee shop, but it wasn’t until this week that I actually stopped and took the photograph. I was pleased that I did. I got a photo that I was happy with and got to meet Chrissie Dahlstrom. To see Chrissie’s version of her tractor click here.


iPhone Fun

Although I’ve had an iPhone for quite a while, it wasn’t until this summer that I finally got turned onto it as a camera. I’m very familiar with the ‘best camera is the one you have with you’ refrain but wasn’t that excited by what I saw in the results. So what changed? I was thinking about something a workshop student said last year – ‘I’ve been wrong all these years’. I realize that I have a particular idea about how my photos should look, how much processing they should see, how they should be presented. It goes on and on. Not that any of this is particularly bad. Having these kinds of bounds results in a particular look or style that in time becomes uniquely you and so I maintain that aesthetic with photos taken using my DSLR. With the iPhone however, all bets are off. I push and pull, add textures, funky borders, effects that I would never otherwise have dreamed of. As a result not only am I having fun but I’m taking photographs more regularly than I would have otherwise and of subjects that I would have normally walked by or in the case of the photograph above, rowed by.