I've never had a set workflow for my iPhone photography. I've may photography related apps -- cameras, filters, editors, etc -- that I use without thinking much about efficiency or workflow. Often times I can't remember how I created a particular image. Inspired by a [recent blog post] by Jorge Quinteros I decided to develop one for my new favorite photography app Pressgram.
I use one of several apps for capturing my images but I use the native Camera app, Camera+, and viviHDR often. I use the native Camera app when I want quick access to my iPhone camera. It can be launched from the lock screen very easily, has a square1 mode and some ok filters. I don't use the HDR feature of the iOS Camera app. I think viviHDR does a better job and has three HDR modes. VSCOcam, Camera+ and Afterlight have excellent filters and shooting modes absent from the native app. Camera+ has image stabilization, a timer, and a burst shooting mode. Afterlight has an overwhelming number of features. I'm not going to catalog them all. Finally VSCOcam. I use this app mostly for the large number of analog film inspired filters. Camera+, vividHDR, and VSCOcam all have lightboxes. This is handy if I want to create multiple edits of my images before exporting to the iPhone's Camera Roll.
Photogene is another app for filtering and editing my photos. I know it has an overwhelming number of features but I expect that soon I will reduce the number of apps I use because it does so much. I'm using it mostly for the healing tool. My iPhone 5 camera has a scratch near the center. It's quite noticeable in shots with a clear background on portraits. I can easily remove that blemish from my images.
Once I'm happy with my edits I export my images to the Camera Roll and maybe import into EXIF-Fi. EXIF-fi is an app for editing the information stored inside the image file. I use it to add some copyright and descriptive text to my images. While I don't care if someone downloads and uses my images (non-commercial) I do want my Creative Commons copyright respected.
Unfortunately iOS does not have a file system. Each time I edit and export an image a new copy is created. This can make keeping track of which file contains my edits. Fortunately some of these apps -- VSCOcam, Exif-Fi, -- create app specific folders within the Photos app. I use these folders to keep track of which image contains my edits. It's not perfect but it's what I've got.
From the camera roll or app specific folder, I import my image into Pressgram, select my blog from the list, add some descriptive text (with hashtags), a title and some categories and hit the check mark to publish my image to my blog and Pressgram.
That's my workflow in a nutshell. My workflow isn't strictly defined; it's just a guideline I follow. The reason I have so many apps is that I find that no single app has a filter that always works to give my images the look I want. I experiment a bit. It could take me up to five minutes to create something I like.
While in the past I was quick to capture, filter and post I think I may want to change to a new strategy. I' leaning towards capturing images during the day and the doing my edits and posts later in the day. This will give me more time to think about how I want the images to look.
- I'm using the iOS 7 camera app. ↩