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Square Format Pics

(squ)are p(ics)

I love to travel and preferably I travel light. That's why I sold my DSLR and mirror-less cameras and made the shift to versatile mobile photography and mobile post processing. On my site I share photos of places & life, the story behind them, how I post processed those photos and which apps and gear I use.

 

Blog

Enjoy square format pics and the story behind them.

Visit the Blog 

 

Tutorials

Learn how I edited my photos on an iPhone and iPad. 

Go to the Tutorials 

Apps & Gear

See which apps and gear I use for my mobile photography. 

Apps & Gear I use 

Latest blog posts

 

In my blog I write about my shift to mobile photography, post photos I shot with an iPhone, how I processed them, which apps I used and how I manage my mobile photo library. 

 

 

 
I’ve been looking for a new camera (DSLR) recently but, with having a iPhone 6 now, and having repeatedly gone over “Squics” I’m just gonna pass on the $1500.00 camera and learn the phone.
— Ben K. from Wisconsin via eMail

Latest tutorials for mobile photographers

 

Every shift is also a challenge. Mine was to figure out how I could apply techniques from classic photography and post processing to mobile photography. I'm talking about things like HDR, long exposures and retouching. Maybe my free tutorials can save you some time.

 

 

 
This image has been rolling around in my head for a while. I want to give a shout out to Chris (@squics) on Instagram. His image and long exposure ghost train article have been a significant influence in this image even though we adopted different ideas to reach the end result. Thank you Chris.
— Paul Brown, prize winning iPhoneographer from Lincoln, England, skipology.com

Mobile photo apps I use

 

I tried many camera and photo editing apps from the App Store. But I also prefer to "travel light" when it comes to apps. I rather handle a handful apps well than many just a little. All of the camera and photo processing apps I use fit on a single page on my iPhone 6. Here are the apps I use regularly.

iOS camera apps

 

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iOS8 Camera App

The iOs8 camera app is my all-purpose snapshot camera; mainly because I can quickly launch it from the lock screen by swiping up from the lower right corner on the lock screen. With auto focus lock, "rapid fire mode" and manual exposure adjustment, the built in camera app became a versatile, all purpose camera app for photographing and filming. 

Pro HDR X

I used the predecessor since it was released and was glad to see that the developer released this update in 2014. It's by far the best HDR app I've found. I can shoot HDR or load up to three exposures  and manually create the HDR. Contrary to the HDR function from the built in app, I can adjust the HDR effect after shooting.

Get it from the App Store 

 

Slow Shutter Cam

I use this app for shooting long exposure photos like floating water, waterfalls and light trails. The app supports exposures of up to 60 seconds without the need of any "hardware" filters that I would have to use with a DSLR. I can even adjust the the intensity of the motion blur after I took the photo; try that with a DSLR! The app supports the full 8 megapixel resolution of the iPhone 5 and 6.

Get it from the App Store 

Play Memories

This is the companion app for the Sony QX attachable lens style cameras that I use occasionally.  It is a remote viewfinder and control for those cameras. It connects to the camera using WiFi and photos are transferred to the iPhone right after shooting. It supports various shooting modes including a manual option for bracketed photos for creating HDRs and geotagging.

Get it from the App Store 

 
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Pure Shot

This is my "DSLR replacement" app. Optionally, it saves photos as high quality TIFF files and it can shoot bracketed photos, that I can use to create an HDR using Pro HDR X. I found the architectural grid to be very helpful for composing photos in square format.

Get it from the App Store 

 
 

iOS photo editing apps

 
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Pixelmator for iPad

I used Pixelmator a lot on my Mac and was excited to see that the team released a version for the iPad all along with layers, brushes and fancy stuff I knew from the desktop version. I like especially that the iPad version makes use of the latest iOS technologies like opening a photo from anywhere, not only the camera roll.

Get it from the App Store 

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Touch Retouch

If I need to remove any disturbing objects or even people from a photo I turn to Touch Retouch. The app advanced selection tools and an automatic mode to remove smaller objects automatically. Alternatively, I can use a clone stamp to erase unwanted objects or people from a photo with a few brush strokes.

Get it from the App Store 

 
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Filterstorm Neue

I use Filterstorm Neue for a lot of photo post processing tasks like for (re)-processing older RAW files from my Nikon or those from the Sony QX1. I also use it frequently for reducing noise and apply various enhancements. It's one of the few apps that can save edited photos as uncompressed TIFF files for better image quality.

Get it from the App Store 

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Skrwt

Skrwt App helps me to fix all kinds of distortions like falling lines of buildings and it even fixes distortions that come up in panorama photos that I do with Autostitch Panorama. What makes this app so special compared to others I tried is that it doesn't reduce the overall megapixel of the photo.

Get it from the App Store 

 
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Photoshop Touch

Though I don't use Photoshop on the desktop, Photoshop Touch is my favorite app for all the tricky retouching tasks. Just like it's big brother, it supports layers, edge aware brushes, gradients and lots of effects like motion blur and many more. 

Get it from the App Store 

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Photoshop Express

This is the little brother of Photoshop Touch. It has some amazing filters, each with fine tuning, sharpening, defogging, noise reduction, blemish removal and red eye correction. I use it mainly to quickly enhance vacation snapshots.

Get it from the App Store 

 
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Superimpose

Superimpose is quite similar to Union. Layer two photos and create a mask to define which parts of the background image should replace the foreground image; but it has some additional functions like loading and saving masks, resizing, rotating and skewing either the foreground or background image.

Get it from the App Store 

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Reflect+

A really cool special effects app from Brainfever Media to add photorealistic reflections or to fix existing reflections in photos. It support reflections in water or different reflecting materials. It can also add fog and other photorealistic objects like a sun, the moon, lightning strikes or a swarm of birds. All effects can be layered.

Get it from the App Store 

 
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Lens Light

I use this one to add light effects like head- and car lights and sometimes I even use the search cone in some of my photos.

Get it from the App Store 

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Alien Sky

A special effect app from Brainfever Media to add all kinds of space objects to your photos. I mainly use the moon, sun and star sky objects to enhance photos.

Get it from the App Store 

 
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Facetune

I don't do much portrait photography, but if, then I use Facetune to enhance makeup, remove blemishes, soften the skin, whiten the teeth. I could even reshape e.g. eyes, nose or the mouth.

Get it from the App Store 

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Handy Photo

Handy Photo has lots of great functions but I use it mainly for the uncrop feature. This function magically extends a photo horizontally or vertically and uses pixels from the edges to fill the extended photo. 

Get it from the App Store 

 
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Colorsplash

Colorsplash photos are black and white photos with just a single color retained. This app helps you to create such color splash photos.

Get it from the App Store 

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Sun Surveyor

Though this isn't a photo editing app, I list it here. I use this app o determine sunrise and sunset and how shadows will be at any given time of the day.

Get it from the App Store 

Mobile photography gear I use

 

The shift to mobile photography made my camera bag obsolete. No more heavy and bulky bags. All the gear I need fits into the bags of a Jacket.

 

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Muku Shuttr

Muku Shuttr is a remote wireless shutter release that connects to a Smartphone via bluetooth. With an iPhone it works with all apps that support volume button shutter release, which are e.g. Pro Camera 8, 645 Pro MK III, Pure Shot, Slow Shutter Cam and Pro HDR X. So basically all the important camera apps I use.

Read my review 

Check price at Amazon 

Joby Griptight GORILLAPOD

Like the name suggests, it's a Gorillapod that comes with a special mounting for smartphones. I like that the mounting fits a lot of different phones like the iPhone 5S and 6; even phones with bumpers and cases.

You can even remove the Griptight mounting and use it with other tripods like the AmazonBasics Travel Tripod.

Check price at Amazon 

 

Manfrotto Klyp+

That's a bright (and I mean really bright) photo light. Using a special bumper I can mount it to the iPhone 5S. I can even attach it to e.g. a Gorillapod or other Tripods and use it for table top photography. It has a built in battery and is charged via an USB cable (so no extra chargers to carry).

Check price at Amazon 

Powerstation DUO XL

An external battery pack from Mophie with an incredible capacity of 12000 mAh. Ideal for trips and photo walks. It can charge two devices simultaneously and charges my iPhone up to five times or my iPad almost twice. 5 LEDs indicate the remaining charge.

Check price at Amazon 

 

Just Mobile AluPen

Yes, I use a stylus for sketching and retouching on my iPad. I tried many different products and sticked with the Just Mobile AluPen. Maybe it sounds odd, but I like the pen because it's heavy and thick. For me, a heavy and thick pen is much more convenient to use than one of those thin and light pens.

Check price at Amazon 

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Moment Wide Lens

The Moment Wide Lens is the first iPhone lens I keep. It's an excellent 2x wide angle lens with little to none distortion. The lens comes with a small and unobtrusive adhesive that you need to attach to the iPhone. And, I don't have to take my Apple case off to mount the lens. It works with the case!

Read my review 

Check price at Moment Store 

 
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Moment 2x Tele Lens

As I'm very satisfied with the Moment wide lens, I also ordered the 2 x tele lens. Like the wide lens, it's an excellent crafted lens that mounts to the iPhone the same way as the wide lens. 

Read my review 

Check price at Moment Store 

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AmazonBasics Travel Tripod

As the iPhone is a lightweight camera I don't need a heavy tripod anymore and I bought the AmazonBasics Travel Tripod. It weighs just 2.4 lbs and folds to just 12.5". Fully extended it's 52".

Check price at Amazon 

 
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Memory Flex Cables

I'm not good at storing long cables. They always get tangled and I have to untangle them. Those memory flex cables are small, flexible and available with a lightning and micro USB connector.

Check price at Amazon 

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Sony QX1

The Sony QX1 has replaced the QX100 that I used previously for special occasions. The main advantage of the QX1 is that I can use my wide angle and zoom lenses that I used with my Nex 7 with the QX1.

Check price at Amazon 

 
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Manfrotto Klyp+ Bumper

This case was part of the Klyp+ set I bought and I love it and still use it with my iPhone 5S. It's one of the few cases with a wrist strap and I can mount the Klyp+ lights to it. Even the Moment Lenses work with the case.

Check price at Amazon 

 
 

I used the gear below for some time but replaced it with other photo equipment from above. Still, the equipment is a great value and you'll probably get it cheaper than I bought it when it was released.

 
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Sony QX100

The Sony QX100 was one of the first attachable lens style cameras from Sony. It has an excellent Carl Zeiss Lens and I used it on several trips. I replaced it with a QX1. With the QX1 out, you can get the QX100 at a great price.

Read my review of the Sony QX100 

Check price at Amazon 

 

Canvas prints and more

I've curated a selection of my favourite shots from which you can buy canvas prints, posters, throw pillows, iPhone and Galaxy cases and so on. I call it "The first collection". The illustrations below are examples using my favourite "Eiffel Tower" shot. 

See the first collection 

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Canvas Prints

You can order canvas prints in different sizes ranging from 7" to 20" with either glossy or mate finish and you can choose from a variety of wrappings like no wrap at all or gallery wrap.

The canvases are stretched on a wooden frame of 1.5" x 1.5" stretcher bars (gallery wrap) or 5/8" x 5/8" stretcher bars (museum wrap) and come ready to hang.

The curated photo collections from which you can buy the canvas prints won't be available forever. Would't this canvas look beautiful in your home or office?

See photos available for canvas prints 

 

Throw Pillows

You probably don't want to use those for your next pillow fight (though you can).

The unique throw pillows come in sizes from 14"x14" to 20"x14". (I recommend to order a square format pillow).

The pillows are printed on both sides and include a concealed zipper and optionally a removable insert (which I recommend) for easy cleaning. 

Sweet dreams!

See photos available for throw pillows 

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Framed Prints

Of course you can also get a framed print if you prefer that style.

Framed prints are available in the same sizes as canvas prints, which is up to 20"x20".

As of now, you can choose between dozens of frames in more than 15 colors, another dozen of paper colors and 8 different paper finishings. Your possibilities are close to endless.

And they come ready to hang, too.

See photos available for framed prints 

 

Greeting Cards

Want to say hello to someone special or invite special people to a special event? Use a greeting card that you won't find in any store.

Each card is printed on 110lb. paper stock and is 5"x6.7". If you want, enter the message right away and order the card ready to send. Discounts available if you purchase 10 or more cards. 

See photos available for greeting cards 

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iPhone (and Galaxy) Cases

The special iPhone and Galaxy cases are available for the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 5/5S and even for the older iPhone 4/4S or if you're from outer space, get a case for your Galaxy S4 or S5 smartphone.

All cases are impact resistant, slim profile, hard shell cases with the camera and all buttons and connectors available to operate.

See photos available for cases 

All products are produced and shipped by Fine Art America, a pixels.com company, and come with a money back guarantee. See the above websites for details.