Richard Gray teaches what may be the UK’s first college-level iPhone photography class.
Gray, a street photographer whose work you can check out under the handle “rugfoot” on Twitter, Flickr and Instagram, just wrapped up the first course in iPhoneography at the photography department of Kensington & Chelsea College in London; the next two sessions of the five-week course start April 26 and May 31.
He shared with Cult of Mac the required app downloads for the class and the four most common mistakes iPhone photo students make.
Cult of Mac: There are required apps for the course, though you promise students won’t spend more than £20 (about US$30), what are they?
There are many, many more but I’ve selected these apps to give the students a good toolbox of skills.
CoM: What are the most common newbie iPhone photographer mistakes?
RG: The most common mistakes are:
1) Taking photos without enough light. The iPhone will always adjust through its shutter speed and ISO but the results are usually blurry and noisy.
2) Not getting close enough. The iPhone has quite a wide-angled lens so people mistake what they see with what they’re going to get on the iPhone camera.
3) Not using editing apps. The iPhone camera still takes quite dull photos on its own.
4) Using editing apps too much. Sometimes people are like children in sweet shops when they discover the massive variety of apps you can use.
CoM: Do you expect the course might evolve into generic smartphone photography?
RG: Yes, we’d really like to run something similar for other smartphones. The cameras appearing on other smartphones are really impressive. But for the moment, the predominant smartphone is the iPhone, so that is our largest potential audience.
CoM: What kind of work will a student who earns a top grade in the course be able to do?
RG: We’re hoping that students leaving the course will have a good understanding of general photographic principles such as composition, light management, color, etc. but they will also be able to manually edit photos, e.g. changing brightness, contrast, color, etc. cropping, have some good creative tools such as blurring, toonpainting, stitching, etc. have good knowledge of the available preset filters and, lastly, know how and where to interact on the social networks.