Palm Tree, Lithuania
Cotton Coulson is a contributing photographer to National Geographic Traveler and nationalgeographic.com. He is based in Denmark.
The iPhone has created an entirely new school of photography, and the reason for its success has been the proliferation of creative apps distributed through Apple’s iTunes store. A dominant characteristic of the apps I've chosen to feature is their ability to re-create the look and feel of analogue film with the conveniences of today's fast and easy digital workflow. This is a look that I also like to achieve when shooting with my more expensive professional cameras and lenses by using plug-ins with my photo editing software, like Apple's Aperture. What's wonderful about iPhone apps is that the process is so closely integrated with the picture taking itself.
Note: The photos in this gallery were taken with an iPhone 4 running iOS 5.0.1.
One of my first cameras was a 6x6 (2¼ inch) Rolleiflex. I loved shooting 120 black-and-white film and processing it in metal Nikor developing tanks using Kodak Developer D-76. When I saw this app, I immediately downloaded it and started shooting square photos again. There’s something attractive about how simple this app is to use. It can even virtually replicate the waist-level finder experience on the twin-lens reflex as you look down into the camera while you shoot. Also, it offers a custom setting that provides the full Rolleiflex experience, in which the image in the finder is flipped. The beauty of this app is that it helps you look and think more about simple compositions. And you can incorporate traditional and retro techniques to create very contemporary photographs. In Lithuania I was drawn to the bright-orange palm tree sitting in the middle of a vacant parking lot. I wanted to emphasize the contrast in color between the orange leaves and the blue sky. The puffy white clouds also add to the simple yet dynamic composition. —Cotton Coulson