Exploring iPhone 4S Photography: Apps and Techniques

Approximately 14 months prior, I ventured to Northern Arizona for a photography excursion, exploring the visually stunning Canyon de Chelly and the famed Monument Valley that lies on the border between Utah and Arizona.

During that journey, I primarily used my Canon 5D DSLR, but also captured several images with my iPhone 4. Recently, I retraced my steps with an iPhone 4S and noticed significant improvements in the quality of the photos taken with the newer phone model. While the Canon remained my primary camera, the iPhone 4S proved excellent for quick shots to share with friends and family.

For most of my iPhone photography, I continue to use Pro HDR, which is quick and supports the phone’s full resolution. Additionally, the new iPhoto for iOS has been invaluable for editing and creating journals.

Another great tool is Snapseed from NIK software, which offers powerful yet simple editing capabilities.

I also utilized a free app named Magic Hour that predicts the optimal lighting conditions for photography.

One issue I encountered was the lack of connectivity. In Monument Valley, I found no Wi-Fi and spotty phone service. However, in Chinle, near Canyon de Chelly, the situation was slightly better with available cell service and EDGE network access, though uploading photos was slow. The local Best Western and Holiday Inn offered free Wi-Fi, which helped in sharing some of my photos online.

An interesting tidbit from my visit was that I just missed seeing Johnny Depp, who was in the area filming the new Lone Ranger movie.

Additionally, I tested the Place Tagger app, which syncs GPS data to your DSLR images. The iPhone, of course, automatically embeds this information. A detailed review of Place Tagger will be available soon.

It was also notable how many tourists used iPhones for photography. While the iPhone 4S is not my primary camera, it seems to be the go-to choice for many.


George is a dedicated writer for TUAW, your go-to source for all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail and a love for technology, George brings the latest news and insights on Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch. His articles are both informative and engaging, making complex tech topics easy to understand. When he’s not writing, George enjoys exploring new apps and testing out the latest gadgets.