iPhone Vision

iPhoneography by Shan Lu | I capture every moment in life and process them with those amazing iPhone Apps. This blog is to share, and learn from you.

First Video by iPhone | Pros and Cons | Snapshots of San Francisco

I do use iPhone to take pictures ALL THE TIME, but not video, I finally made my first video by an iPhone.

Here are some thoughts I want to  share.


  • Easy to carry
  • Very handy to take videos on the street
  • HD Video, quality is great, can focus (better than the MINO I had before.
  • No zoom
  • Hard to hold it still
The cons are the killer, makes it looks more like a home video,
Overall, iPhone is not my first choice in terms of video for fine art subject, unless I don’t have my video camera in hand. There are also couple of Apps for video, but it runs pretty slow on my iPhone (too much stuff?).
You are welcomed to share your experience.


Know more about Shoot video by iPhone4.


iPhoneography | Simple Happiness | Hipstamatic | San Francisco

Bush St, San Francisco 

I *can’t* miss the moment like this, which touched me and “forced” me to take a picture, your pictures are always related to your life, your thoughts, your experience. when I took that picture, I thought about my hobby! also I thought about my parents (who are not that old, yet!), this is the simplest happiness in life, but also the hardest – to live with someone you love, to have someone to rely on when you can hardly walk, to have someone to share, to be safe, healthy.

App: Hipstamatic

Lens: Jon S,  Film: BlackKeys B+W

This setting was totally random when I get this shot, no time to think which film I should use, it turned out perfect, I just wish the fence on the right corner was  not there, it didn’t ruin the picture but it would definitely be a better picture without it.

iPhoneography Skill | Shoot how you feel

iPhone, or cellphone photography, is a way to express yourself, never mind the technical stuff, just go, shoot how you feel.

Create a series of self-portraits at least once a month for a year, also join one of the many online groups in Flickr to share your self-portraits. self portrait don’t have to reveal your face to say something about you.

Beyond the simplicity of subject matter selection, consider ways you can use color, composition, perspective, lighting to express how you feel.

Try this, scan through your image library and select couple of your favorite images, study each image and ask yourself these questions:

  • How did the time of day, season, weather impact your mood?
  • What were you doing moments before you made the image?
  • What was in your mind when you press the shutter?
  • What inspired you to make the image?
  • How did you feel about that moment?
  • How does the image make you feel now?
  • If you can reshoot this, what kind of differences would you make?
Try to think about these questions when you shoot, but not too much, always keep in mind : shoot how you feel.

iPhoneography | Hipstamatic | San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

A foggy day that we can hardly see the bridge, taking pictures need luck sometimes, like this one: I was playing with Hipstamatic app, randomly press the shuttle, and amazed by the result, just play with it, you’d be amazed, this is the magic of iPhoneography.

App: Hipstamatic

Film: BlcaKeys SuperGrain

Hipstamatic is amazing! The ability to combine various lens, film, and flash effects gives you a lot of creative control over your photos.  the problem with Hipstamatic is you don’t always get what you see on the screen, which is also the fun part of this app, it provides one of the more “genuine” photo experiences that an app can provide.

iPhoneography | Sunset | Plastic Bullet | Beijing

Summer Palace, Beijing, China

I was tired of shooting this city a few years ago, not to mention a touristy spot like Summer Palace (Did I even care to go?), last winter, I went back to Beijing after have lived in San Francisco for a while, I discovered more beauty of Beijing, where I always truly love no matter where I am.

App: Plastic Bullet

Great App with amazing light leak and color variations, you never know what you will get, but always have surprises, with variety of vintage plastic toy camera filters.

iPhoneographer | Valerie Ardini

Valerie Ardini was born in Italy, she has been living in The Netherlands since she was 2 years old. I currently live and work in Deventer. She started iPhoneography journey since 2009.

She is now working on her second 365 project (1 picture 1 day) using the App Filterstorm to make it consistent, all black and white, same style, this is a good tip for iPhoneographers, instead of having thousands of Apps, fliters, stick on one and do a good photo journal, a 365 day project.

For more of his photography, please see her website. or 365 project.

iPhoneography | Self Portrait | Hong Kong

Metro Park Hotel, HongKong

First day in Hongkong on Dec 2010, waiting for the sunset and blue hour on the roof top, you’d never go wrong with back light, I always love to shoot this kind of self portrait rather than a “big face”. lighting always makes different, it would be such a boring photograph without the light shining on my face.

App: Instagram    Filter: Toaster

Back light during golden hour (1 hour before sunset) is always my favorite time to shoot, on the rooftop at our hotel in HongKong, I got this great self portrait. The filter makes the light more red-ish and warm.

iPhoneography | cityscape | HDR | Sepia | San Francisco

Financial District, San Francisco

Being raised  in one of the biggest cities in the world, I just love and comfortable being in the city, in the middle of concrete jungle, to feel “I’m alive”, this image captured this mood perfectly. anybody understand this feeling?

Look up when you walk, no matter where, you’d be surprised by the different perspective.

App: Dynamic Light + Bad camera

I used Dynamic Light  to HDR the image, the buildings in the original picture is dark, by brighten it, the image has far more information than before, then use “Bad camera” app to add the sepia tone, just play with it and have fun!

iPhoneography | Street photography | Mexico City

Metro, Mexico City

Overall, I was a little scared by Mexico City, was a little afraid of taking out my DSLR, especially in the subway (looks like bad thing can happen anytime!), so iPhone is the prefect tool to shoot from the hip, to get the most natural moment on the street.

App: Instagram    Filter: Hefe

This is probably the most popular photo App!


☆ 100% free custom designed filters and borders such as XPro-II, Earlybird, Lomo-fi, Sutro, Toaster, Brannan, Inkwell, Walden, Hefe, Apollo, Poprocket, Nashville, Gotham, 1977, and others.
☆ Linear and Radial Tilt-Shift blur effects for extra depth of field.
☆ Instant sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, and Posterous
☆ Unlimited uploads
☆ Interact with friends through giving & receiving likes and comments
☆ Works with first generation, 3G, 3GS and iPhone 4
☆ Full iPhone 4 front & back camera support
☆ And much much more…

iPhone HDR | Landscape | South Dakota

Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA

In general, rainy day is not a good weather for photographers, but for generating HDR image and special emotion, it’s sometimes good, this shots were taken in the car that I can use the rain drops as the foreground.

Badlands National Park is amazing in many ways, a great place to take awesome pictures, I was there in sunny days most of the time, the pictures are good but not “special”, the weather has changed in the morning right before I leave, it created the ghost like scenes, I got some of  the best pictures of my trip in the car, with camera, or simply with my iPhone, I instantly shared them online.

App: Dynamic Light

Dynamic Light gives you the best and most vibrant HDR-like look on any mobile platform. And this is all accomplished from just a single image using only a single dial. Rotate the dial to the right and you get the very same HDR look you had admired on many photographic sites.