If you buy one photography app, make it 100 Cameras in 1

Jun 10, 2011
Tech

I’ve been a fan of photographer Trey Ratcliff’s blog Stuck in Customs for some time, and if you aren’t familiar with his work you should be. Ratcliff, who specializes in high dynamic range photography (he’s got a piece in the Smithsonian), released app 100 Cameras in 1, for iPhone and iPod Touch earlier this year, […]

I’ve been a fan of photographer Trey Ratcliff’s blog Stuck in Customs for some time, and if you aren’t familiar with his work you should be. Ratcliff, who specializes in high dynamic range photography (he’s got a piece in the Smithsonian), released app 100 Cameras in 1, for iPhone and iPod Touch earlier this year, but the service recently got an update to support Instagram sharing. Although you won’t get HDR-style photos from the app (you can, however, access Ratcliff’s free tutorial, which is worth a read), users do get access to 100 different camera effects that can transform even the most generic iPhone photos — and at a buck, the app is a must-buy.

Right off the bat, users will see that 100 Cameras in 1 is fast. You can opt to take a photo through the app or use your camera roll. Normally with photo apps I always opt for the camera roll, but 100 Cameras offers two ratio options to help improve your photos, making it much more worthwhile. Once you’ve chosen a photo, you can starts adding effects, which are viewable in swipe-able list format or individually. Unlike other apps that show you static thumbnail examples, 100 Cameras applies each filter to your image so you can immediately see how it looks. Each filter offers a slider, which is worth playing around with, too. You can save the image with one effect, or tap “add effect,” which will apply the filter and allow you to stack additional options on top.

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100 Cameras offers plenty of sharing options: email, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Smugmug and Dropbox, or the aforementioned Instagram support. The app also integrates the Game Center, which gives users trophies for sharing or exploring.

One downside of 100 Cameras is that it doesn’t support multi-tasking. If you’re working on an image, be sure to save it before checking email or answering a text or you’ll lose your work. The app also requires that you crop the image (I’m not sure why), so you’ll lose some of the shot. Rather than using standard effect names, Ratcliff has taken artistic liberty and given each a playful description. This can make keeping track of filters you like difficult, so be sure to rely on the favorites function or you might find yourself constantly flipping through all 100 effects.

A free version of 100 Cameras in 1 is available with limited selection. The app is also available for iPad, and is currently on sale.

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