iCeland loves the iPhone


I’ve been intrigued by the iPhone photography of Dan Burkholder and others. I love the weathered look, and the apps are getting quite cogent, enabling us to create large files for print. Now, by large files, we’re not talking 20x30 inches, but we can certainly make up to 13x19-inch prints, that can have a fine art, abstract and saleable look.

So, after meeting fellow iPhone photographer Harry Sandler, who got me thinking like the iPhone apps think, we were off on our Focus on Nature Iceland workshop. We shot and compared iPhone shots during the workshop, when I wasn’t teaching.

At our first stop, a power plant area (quite futuristic looking), I took an iPhone 4 shot of the foreground rocks, blue water and lighthouse.


With some tips from Harry, I created this more abstract interpretation.  


So I got the idea quickly, and proceeded to shoot iPhone images, along with D3X shots at every stop throughout the week.  

Stitched pans are remarkably easy with the Auto Stitch app. The following image is comprised of four handheld images, assembled using Auto Stitch and texturized using PhotoStudio. The shape of the water made the pan interpretation a no-brainer. 


 We came to a waterfall area where there was a farm with some storage buildings. After spending some time with the apps, playing around to see what you get, one starts to pre-visualize the effects of certain apps. With the graphics, texture and color, this subject was an excellent candidate for an iPhone interpretation using primarily the  PhotoStudio app. 


When we arrived at our motel at the glacier, we were able to walk around there for some photographic opportunities. Couldn’t wait to see a real-life glacier and wasn’t disappointed!

This scene was another obvious stitch-pan situation. So, this was achieved by handholding the iPhone for five exposures, moving from left to right and overlapping by about half, then compiling using Auto Stitch and subsequently textured with PhotoStudio.


We found an old farm with turf houses, which are basically built into the hillside, with turf for shingles. After shooting the stitched pan to get all of the small sheds in the picture, I used Auto Stitch and primarily Photo Forge, to get the feel I wanted in this image.


It rained constantly for only one day, so we were lucky weather-wise. Being in the Gulf Stream with much rain accounted for the rich green color on the island. On this day, we were soaked. After returning to the “troop carrier,” we noticed dew drops on the windows and proceeded to shoot the old church through the dew drops until they started to run. This is a crop from a full-frame image, slightly oversharpened and with added sky texture, both done in PhotoStudio.


We hit one of the great overlooks, but there was no place to park, so we pleaded with Siggy, our driver, to stop while we jumped out and quickly grabbed a few shots. We were ready to jump back into the vehicle if a car approached, but traffic was light on this particular mountain pass this day, and everyone had ample time to shoot and dissect this scenic overlook.

This image is a five-image handheld pan, again compiled using Auto Stitch and texturized in PhotoStudio.


And finally, here’s a shot made while on the walk to Glacier Bay. Getting low to the ground to exaggerate the size of the foreground flowers adds to the feeling of expanse. Several textures are overlayed in PhotoStudio. 


All in all, this was a great trip and workshop, and a seminal event in the development of my iPhone technique.

The most frequently uploaded pictures on Flickr are shot with a cell phone, a great many with the iPhone. The larger file sizes and increasingly cogent apps can render file sizes that can be printed for display and for sale!

Our next Iceland workshop through Focus on Nature is July 10-16, 2011!

Tony Sweet

 Click here for Tony's biographical information.

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Love the way you use this app. I've had it since it was 101 filters (then they changed the name) and had left it idle as I discovered new apps. I'll have to revisit it. Stunning photos, thanks. I'll post a link on my blog at . (and you have me thinking about Iceland now......

 The name is has been modified to FX Photo Studio

 My primary apps are PhotoStudio, Photo Forge, Auto Stitch, Photo fx, ProHDR, and TiltShift

I searched for an iPhone app called "PhotoStudio" but can't find anything relevant to the techniques you show in your article.  A link please?

Are you using "FX Photo Studio"?  Its screenshots don't look much like your photos.  If that's what you're using, please give some hints about how you manipulated the images.

 By the way, these are ll quite beautiful!

 What is Photo Studio? A Paint program?