Phone Photography – My Favorite Camera Apps

Every photographer will tell you that the best camera is “the one you have with you.” What camera do most of us have with us ALL the time? The camera on our smart phones!

Tonight I am the host for a special Twitter chat/party about phone photography sponsored by Cricket Wireless. It is from 8 – 9 PM EST and I would love for you to join me!!

Follow the #cricketchats hash tag to see all the tweets and tips. 😉 There will be some MAJOR prizes given away to a few chat attendees – including a one-on-one with me! Make sure to join in the conversation or you won’t be entered in the prize drawings.

If you are not on Twitter, you can follow along on Facebook instead. Just click this link at 8 PM EST.

Making the most of the camera you have with you!

Making the most of the camera you have with you!

Today I am going to talk about the two camera apps I most use and recommend: Camera+ and Camera 360. These tips are really only for iPhone users, but I will have a Android specific one soon (testing a newly discovered app that has promise).

There are many, many camera apps that have all kinds of awesome bells and whistles, but for ME the most important thing is to be able to get the picture I want. If I want dramatic lighting, or need to expose a subject when I have a lot of back lighting, I need control over the exposure of the image to make those things happen.

The standard camera that comes with both iPhones and Android phones base the exposure (brightness or darkness of the image) off of where the focus is set. That means wherever you choose to put the focus, that is where it will measure the light and expose for that area.

The two apps that I have found to give me control over both exposure and focus (on my iPhone) are Camera+ and Camera 360.

Below is a screen shot of what it looks like to break exposure away from focus in Camera +.



How exactly do you break the exposure and focus apart?

  • Tap on the area you want to focus on (in above shot it was the tree line)
  • Then put your finger down on the ring/aperture and drag it to where you want the exposure to be set for (in above shot it was the sky)
  • Move exposure around the image until you get the look you want

In the below comparison, you can see how drastically different pictures can be when you are allowed to pick both your exposure and your focus.


I’ve recently learned that there is an app called Camera Plus – do not mistake this for Camera+ – they are NOT the same. Also, Camera+ used to be available for Androids, but it had problems on that platform so they must have discontinued it.


Another great camera app that is available for both the iPhone and Android phones is Camera 360. Like Camera+, you can break the exposure away from the focus – on the iPhone only. Other than that, Camera 360 is a great app for the Android!

Unfortunately, it seems most Android phone camera apps do NOT have the capability to control exposure and focus when taking the shot. I just downloaded Shot Control app on my husband’s Galaxy S3 and I am experimenting with it. Once I have a good feel for it, I will post back about how much I can control exposure and focus.

Okay, on with Camera 360 on an iPhone….

You can choose where to focus, then when you see the half-filled circle, click on that and move to where you want the exposure to be measure from.


Below is an example of the different results you can get when you break exposure away from focus in Camera 360.

camera360 exposure comparisonNote: I have no idea how the blue streak got there. I did not notice it until an hour later, when it was too late to retake.

Do you use a special camera app on your phone or the stock camera that comes with it? If you use an app, I’d love to hear about it!

Remember the chat tonight! Join us for some tips on phone photography (and editing). Even if you are a pro at phone photography, we would love to have you join the conversation and share the tips and tricks that work for you! #CricketChats on Twitter or follow on Facebook at this link.

About Amanda

I am passionate about helping others learn how to use their DSLR cameras and editing programs. More information about me can be found at my About page, or by visiting my personal blog.


  1. I use Camera+ for the fact that it has two things that my in-phone camera doesn’t – the separate focus/exposure and the self timer- both of which are two things I am surprised the in-phone camera doesn’t come with!
    Other than that I have nearly 50 photo apps, my favorite for editing being Snapseed! I will have to check out the Camera 360 app now too!

  2. I love that tip for the Camera+ app. I, too, have so many photography apps on my phone that I need to play around with soon. Thanks for this tip!

  3. Lucille Matte says:


    Do any of the apps for Iphone let you add your copyright to the photos before posting online?

    I have that same question for these wifi DSLR’s…why would you want to upload from the camera to your iphone without adding a copyright to the photo first? Sorry if it sounds dumb, I have not read up a lot on the wifi capabilities yet….but wondering. Thanks!

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  1. […] I mentioned in a previous post, I really like having control over my cameras, even on my phone. I like to be able to separate […]

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