Merek Davis is not a coder. The developer never even made an app before 2013. Yet on his first iOS at-bat, he hit an App Store grand slam with Mextures, his photo-editing app that quickly became one of the top photo apps of the year.
Mextures is like Photoshop for your iPhone, only easier to use. The app’s editing tools and formulas let you tweak and re-tweak pics, adding light leaks, textures and color gradients that can turn even your crappiest pics into something majestic.
It’s a bona fide hit, with some of the most-followed names on Instagram using Davis’ creation. But it almost never happened.
Eric is a Stormtrooper who escaped the exploding Death Star and wound up on Earth.
Now he wears jeans, enjoys lavender-scented bubble baths, drinks Johnnie Walker whisky and sings a song about his tomato allergy.
No longer a member of the Galactic Empire guard, Eric serves as muse to British photographer Darryll Jones, a self-described 39-year-old child who has turned his fondness for toys — especially Star Wars action figures — into a Force on Instagram.
“I have always loved toys,” said Jones, a food and lifestyle photographer who does work for the Tesco supermarket chain when he’s not taking pictures of toys. “I recall quite vividly setting up little dioramas in my room or in the garden and playing out the scenes in my mind, imagining that the little plastic figures could come alive.”
Instagram was the golden standard for not only sharing, but shooting mobile photography in its early days. But since then, more complex tools like VSCO Cam and Camera+ have come onto the scene. Nowadays, getting the perfect photo isn’t often as simple as just tapping a filter.
Today Instagram is releasing a big update in an attempt to tap into the evolved state of iPhoneography it has been missing out on. New editing tools are being added that let you adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and more.
Cole Rise has nearly one million followers on Instagram and the hottest new photography app in the App Store. He also made seven of Instagram’s built-in filters, which explains where the name for the “Rise” filter originates.
His app, Litely, is less than a month old with over 3 million downloads. Considering he was one of the first 100 people on Instagram, he really gets mobile photography and where it’s headed. During our conversation, Rise goes behind the scenes of Litely’s development, shares his influence on Instagram during its early days, and gives some great advice on how to take better pictures.
Bart van Olphen thinks he can conquer your fear of cooking fish if you’ll just give him 15 seconds.
The seafood chef from Amsterdam uses Instagram’s relatively new video feature for Fish Tales, which is probably the world’s fastest cooking show in this golden age of refined eating.
“People really like the simplicity of the recipes,” van Olphen told Cult of Mac. “You really can learn how to cook in only 15 seconds.”
Cooking shows have been simmering since the early days of television, with pioneers like James Beard and Julia Child unraveling the mysteries of the kitchen. With the emergence of the Food Network in 1993, the format boiled over into a ratings bonanza, turning chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Rachel Ray into celebrities. Now YouTube is home to dozens of shows featuring entrepreneurial cooks seeking to cash in on the foodie craze.
Rachel LaCour Niesen’s passion for vintage photos started when she walked down her grandmother’s wood-paneled hallway to look at a bedroom wall that held a carefully edited family history.
There she saw a photo of her father standing proud in his cap and gown on graduation day, an aunt sitting poolside during a swim meet and a happy couple cutting their wedding cake. The imprint those pictures left on LaCour Niesen lies at the heart of her @savefamilyphotos project on Instagram, where she curates a collective history. She invites people from around the world to send her a digital copy of a cherished family photo and brief story that, in many cases, gives the photo its emotional muscle.
“The treasure is not just the photo but the story that comes with it,” LaCour Niesen told Cult of Mac. “I believe stories are the currency of our past, present and future. Without them, we are bankrupt. Our family photos trigger those stories. They are like glue that holds my story — and our stories — together over time.”
Throwback Thursday, Facebook and Instagram have made personal blasts from the past a weekly — if not an hourly — ritual. The web is awash in fuzzy Polaroids, vintage Kodachromes and black-and-white snaps, uploaded by individuals with hard drives full of memories and shared by everyone.
What if we lived in a world where you could pay for your food by sharing it on Instagram? Some would call it hell on earth because of how our Instagram feeds are already overwhelmed with such pictures, but that kind of attitude could be starting to change.
A new pop-up diner in Soho, London called The Picture House is letting its customers pay for their meals in exchange for posting a pic of it on Instagram with the hashtag “BirdsEyeInspirations.”
I have a personal Instagram filter that protects my eyes from all the cute pet pictures. But now and then, a dog or cat slips through. One pretty pooch in particular — an Alaskan husky with arresting, ice-blue eyes — has me looking forward to her daily adventures in rural New Hampshire.
Stare into the eyes of Bella, and you’ll get a glimpse into the heart of her owner, photojournalist Cheryl Senter.
“There is total love in every image that I take of her,” Senter told Cult of Mac.
After years using pro gear to cover the news, a chance encounter with Hipstamatic opens journalist Scott Strazzante's eyes to the joys of iPhoneography.
When photojournalist Scott Strazzante planned a weekend trip to Washington, D.C., with his daughter Betsy in 2011, he was intent on leaving his cameras at home.
They were visiting colleges and he wanted it to be a “daddy-daughter” weekend. But the prolific, award-winning photographer gets anxious when he is not creating, so there was a point in the trip when he commandeered her iPhone, downloaded Hipstamatic and started making pictures.
As soon as he returned home, he purchased his own iPhone and it wasn’t long before the news photographer began making pictures for the first time that were truly about him.
His Instagram feed, a body of street photography images that grows larger by the day, has more than 19,000 followers. He loves how Instagram allows him to send pictures directly to people waiting and wanting to see them.
By now you’ve heard all about the catastrophic Heartbleed bug and how it has siphoned passwords, credit card numbers, emails and other data to the vampires who would drain all of us dry. From your love life (OKCupid) to your tax returns, there’s a lot at stake.
Since 66% of web servers are vulnerable to the bug, that means you’re faced with only task more fun than decluttering the garage: changing your passwords.
To help you on your password resetting chores, we’ve compiled the best tools to make the process as quick and painless as possible. Also, they’ll sync your new passwords to your iPhone — all in under 10 minutes. Leaving you time to watch Silicon Valley again. You’re welcome.