More street photography with the iPhone and VSCO Cam [Street]

"The best camera is the one you have with you".  Truer words have never been spoken, and I have to say that I'm loving the combination of my iPhone and VSCO Cam for street photography.  The day I forgot to bring my camera with me over my lunch break was one of the first times I thought "Know what? I'll just use my iPhone.  I have this pretty cool app that I can process the photos with, so why not?"  Man, this works.

The thing that gets me the most is when I carry my phone no one pays any attention to me.  They don't know I'm taking their photo at all, and if they do, they certainly don't let on.  

I was in a forum recently and mentioned the incredible burst-mode in the iPhone, and was surprised by the response that "That's why iPhone photos have no soul". I call bullshit. 

The truth is that using some basic stealth shooting techniques and making use of the wide angle lens, I'm getting very soulful results, in my humblest of opinions anyway.

Do you suppose people would be as loose and expressive if they knew I was taking their photo?  

The honest truth is that I'm not sure that I would have access like this with a full size camera.  I don't think people would let me in.  When I walk past them, finger on the trigger, I smile, say hello, and then I'm on my way.  I haven't been intrusive at all, and the expressions I get back are honest rather than posed. 

As for the app, VSCO Cam is brilliant.

The basic app is free, available for both Apple and Android devices.  You can take photos through the app, but sadly it disables the volume control as a shutter button and doesn't support burst mode.  Because of this I stick to the iPhone's camera app then import the images to VSCO Cam for editing.

The app comes with some number (I've forgotten how many) basic presets that give you a starting point for your photos, and they look great, not hipstagram-ish.  You can edit lots of global settings like exposure, contrast, shadows and sharpness to name a few.

 I went and bought the rest of the presets that didn't come with the free version, and it only cost me $7.  Once you get your head around the editing tools and find the filters you like to use the best, image creation becomes effortless.  I've actually filled up my iPhone's hard drive already, and need to make some more room very soon.

If you would like to see more of this kind of work, feel free to visit my "Grid" at  This is a small collection of the photos that I take and share using my iPhone and the VSCO Cam app.

More updates coming soon!

Street Photos with Sackville Photo Club

The Sackville Photo Club took on a Mentoring program this year, something that I have taken part in by being a mentor.  It was a lot of fun teaching external flash techniques and I hope that people were able to get a lot out of it. 

I decided to take a break from mentoring to actually be mentored, since Glenn Euloth was going to be mentoring street photographers.  If anything, it was going to be a chance for me to get out and take some photos on the street.  

Our first trip out and I actually pointed my camera at people.  It happened very organically, and I wasn't overly nervous or wary with my camera.  I think it may have to do with having an excuse or reason to shoot people, but the thought of people's reactions didn't bother me.  It may also have to do with being in a group!

The gear used on this walk was very minimal.  I took along my 5D and a 50mm lens.  That was it.  The constraints were actually helpful in making me think about framing, lighting and composition.  I processed the photos with Aperture and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.

The cigar smoker is a point of interest, but check out the guy waiting to cross the street.  The expression on his face gets me every time.