iPhone Camera Bag


I discovered the ProCam app earlier this year. I had seen it reviewed and praised on some websites and decided to give a try. Within a few months, I realised the reviews were not hyperbole. The ProCam is one of the handiest iOS camera apps I have ever used. The ProCam 3 app replaced several apps on my iPhone 6. I no longer use Vivid HDR, Manual, Camera+, and Slow Shutter Cam. Other than the native camera app, I have no other camera apps on my iPhone. I made a comparison of the output quality of various camera apps, and the TIFF images produced by the ProCam app were better in quality. ProCam app has a slow shutter mode for timelapse, star trails and long exposure photography. I have manual control over exposure, shutter speed, ISO, focus point, and white balance controls. And focus peaking. Yes, the same focus peaking function that can be found in modern high-end digital cameras. ProCam 3 also does Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) for creating High Dynamic Range (HDR) images. The app supports JPG and TIFF. I tend to treat the TIFF files as RAW. iOS 10 supports RAW pictures in the iPhone 6S, iPhone 7 and 7S so I may soon give that a try.


After capturing images with my DSLR, I import them into Adobe Lightroom for editing and post-processing. I have always post-processed my iPhone pictures, using various apps over the years, including Adobe Lightroom Mobile. However, I recently started using an app called Polarr.

"Sunrise at Rodanthe Pier, Rodanthe, North Carolina” — 3 September, 2015 — iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm ƒ/2.2 — 60s at ISO 32

Polarr allows me to edit every aspect of the TIFF images I shoot with ProCam 3 including:

  • Exposure
  • Brightness
  • Highlights
  • Shadows
  • Saturation
  • Vibrance
  • Perspective
  • Contrast
  • Dehaze
  • Split Toning
  • Vignette
  • Tint
  • Colour temperature

Whew! Just like in Lightroom (desktop) on my iMac, I can pretty much adjust everything about an image via Polarr for iOS. Polarr has more adjustment features than Lightroom Mobile. Polar comes with many free filter packs to emulate vintage and modern file types, and I can purchase additional filters via in-app purchase. But Polarr offers one feature that I wish the Lightroom Mobile app also had. All the adjustment I make to an image can be saved as a preset. I can reuse those changes on other photos. I can also share my presets on social media. Polar creates a QR code which I can post to Twitter or Facebook. I can reuse filter presets created by other Polarr users only by import a QR code.


I’m pretty good at holding my iPhone 6 steady while taking photos but long exposure and HDR require that the camera remains stationary. Earlier this year, I bought a small Manfrotto tripod that I use to use with my iPhone.

Mountain Lakes, Nature Preserve, Princeton
"Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve, Princeton, New Jersey” — 31 October 2015 — Apple iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm f/2.2 @ f/2.2, ISO 32

The tripod is lightweight, portable and rugged. It's small enough to fit inside a long coat or small backpack. The tripod has a push-button locking adjustment, so I can position the tripod head just where I need it.

Complete Kit

The Manfrotto tripod and two camera apps are all I need to create compelling photographs with my iPhone.

Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve

My sister-in-law, Falguni, and I have been trying to organize some local hikes. We have many nearby trails in our area. We had planned for late October but the timing was not right. Last Saturday it rained most of the day and Sunday we had a family event to attend. The sun eventually came out later in the day but by then the ground was soggy so we postponed to today. Bhavana, my nephew Rohan and his grandfather decided to come along as well.

Mountain Lakes, Nature Preserve
"Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve” — 31 October 2015 — iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm ƒ/2.2, 1/350s at ISO 32

We decided to walk the Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve. Bhavana and I had walked it before with the kids and had promised to come back. We walked along the red path toward Mountain Lake. My nephew seemed excited to be outside. He asked a lot of questions about where we were going and what he would see.

Mountain Lakes, Nature Preserve, Princeton
"Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve” — 31 October 2015 — iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm ƒ/2.2, 30s at ISO 32

The park is a 75-acre natural area located just outside Princeton. Access to the park is via Mountain Avenue which is just off Bayard Lane/Van Horne Road when coming via Route 206. The park is a favourite for family walks, birding, and fishing. In the early 1980s, it was purchased by Princeton Township and is preserved as open space. The preserve has two lakes one of which is pictured above.

Mountain Lakes, Nature Preserve, Princeton
"Bhavna and Falguni." — 31 October 2015 — iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm ƒ/2.2, 1/220s at ISO 32
I brought my Nikon D5100 with me along with my Manfrotto tripod but after a few captures, I realized I preferred snapping images with my iPhone 6. Setting up the tripod and composing the shot took time. It was quick to pull out my iPhone 6, slide up to activate the camera, and snap! Eventually, I just carried the tripod on my shoulder and captured all these images with my iPhone.
Mountain Lakes, Nature Preserve, Princeton
"My nephew looking for adventure." — 31 October 2015 — iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm ƒ/2.2, 1/490s at ISO 125
Mountain Lakes, Nature Preserve, Princeton
31 October 2015 — iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm ƒ/2.2, 1/580s at ISO 32
Mountain Lakes, Nature Preserve, Princeton
31 October, 2015 — iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm ƒ/2.2, 1/280s at ISO 32
31 October, 2015 — iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm ƒ/2.2, 60s at ISO 32

When my nephew and his grandfather sat down on the bench to take a break from walking, I immediately thought about what capturing an image that told a story about a boy and his grandfather. It was only later at home while reviewing the images in Lightroom that I realized that my nephew was holding a leaf.

"Enjoying a moment.” — 31 October, 2015 — iPhone 6 + iPhone 6 back camera 4.15mm ƒ/2.2, 1/430s at ISO 32

60 Seconds at Carnegie Lake ...

A few weeks ago, when I looked out the window and saw the light fog hanging over the area, I knew I needed to hurry. I quickly assembled my diabetes kit, bolus for my liquid breakfast of Soylent, packed my TimBuk2 messenger bag, grabbed my iPhone 6 and Nikon D5100 and headed out the door. The tripod was already in the car.

Driving along Blue Spring Road, I noticed that the colour start to appear in the sky. A sort of reddish-orange. I headed toward Carnegie Lake intending to capture images of the fog over the lake. But as I pulled into the parking area, I knew I had to do something else. I mounted the iPhone 6 on the tripod and set about capturing some images.

After a few long exposure shots of the lake with Slow Shutter Cam I tried something new. I put myself in the image. I have only done this one time before. I knew I had to stand still to reduce ghosting since I set the shutter speed to 60 seconds.

But as I stood there counting down the second, I forgot about the image. The camera had long ago captured the picture, but still, I stood there. I am not moving. Just enjoying the scene before me. The air was crisp. For 60 seconds, no cars passed by on Route 27. For 60 seconds, I could hear the sound of the lake water lapping against its bank. For 60 seconds, I could listen to the birds call out to each other across the lake.

60 seconds.

This image was captured on my iPhone 6 with the Slow Shutter Cam app. I applied the Fuji Velvia 100F filter in the Really Nice Images Films mobile app.