What’s in NatGeo Photographer Jim Richardson’s iPhone?

What’s in NatGeo Photographer Jim Richardson’s iPhone?

“In the camera bag” columns have been a staple of photo industry journalism for years, and we certainly haven’t been immune to showing off the goods for luminaries like David Burnett, Sandy Huffaker, and Sven Doornkaat. But the popularity of the smart phone demands an evolutionary shift. Therefore, we introduce our first column of “What’s in the Phone” with National Geographic’s Jim Richardson who famously photographed a trip to Scotland only using an iPhone 5 in 2013.

Not only is Jim an expert photographer and iPhonographer – he’s also amassed over 243,000 followers on Instagram putting him in the upper echelon of social media savvy photographers. Let’s take a look at his iPhone.



Jim gave us his top 5 apps with commentary:

#1 Apple’s Camera App. Very boring, I know, but it does all the basics very well. Standout feature is panoramas, which at times verge on the phenomenal (and that coming from someone who has slaved to produce stitched pans with all the cult hardware known to man.) Love the slo-mo video, too.

#2 Snapseed. Longtime favorite and standby for both the basic adjustments stuff, but sophisticated in the way you need when it comes to things like selective adjustments (the old Nik u-point technology first seen in the lamented Nikon Capture NX2) which is indispensable. Then there is Grunge! Thank God they brought it back after a brief hiatus that saw photographer mobs coming at them with pitchforks. Lots more but now you know my main weakness.

#3 Hipstamatic. What can I say, this is fun. Yeah, I know, purity, purity, blah, blah, blah. I don’t care, I love some of the images I get out of Hipstamatic. Latest update went near the cliff with “improvements.” I dunno. Not sure I want quite so many options. I do, however, really like D-Type Plate film with a Ray Mark II lens. (Well actually, several other lenses, too.) And then of course, the Loftus lens with DC film for food shots. (No surprise here.) Hipstamatic has got me, I buy every new lens and film combo that comes out.

#4 VividHDR. Don’t know if this is the absolute best HDR app out there but I’ve really seen it produce some stunning images. Slower to work with than the standard camera, but it can pull out some beautiful tonality at times; some images really sing. I’ve sold fine-art prints shot with this app.

#5 Filters (from Tap Tap Tap) This might be my favorite filter/grunge app at the moment (though I’m also exploring Filterstorm Neue, Mextures, PhotoCopier, DistressedFX, and… many others.) Of course nobody uses just one, the whole art is in the experimental mixing and matching of effects layered on between different apps.

#BonusRound Obviously Instagram (follow me @JimRichardsonNG) because it’s 2015 and, well, that’s where everybody is at. Meanwhile for following Instagram I really like InfinitGallery, which has been with me for a long time. Of course I go to IconoSquare for stats.

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This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. djurbino at 4:40 pm

    “Not only is Jim an expert photographer and iPhonographer ”

    Bastardizing the language to inject the Apple brand.

    He is a photographer, full stop. Is someone who shoots with a Canon a Canonographer? Is someone who shoots with a Nikon a Nikonographer? Is someone who shoots with a Samsung phone a Samsungographer? No. They are a photographer.

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