Why Manual App Became a Social Marketer's Best Friend
If you are a social media marketer who takes photos for social media on your phone, my guess is that you have encountered some problems using the iPhone camera. Whether its too dim, too bright, or any other myriad of problems that you might have encountered, there may be a solution now.
The iPhone app Manual just released a new feature that iPhone photographers and social media marketers should be ecstatic over. You can now take RAW photos on your phone. Manual has always been an amazing app for iPhone photography because it allows the user to adjust the exposure with much more control than the standard iPhone camera tool. It has a manual focus slider, and even allows you to adjust the ISO and shutter speed. All of that is useful if you are someone who knows about all those various settings, however the new update is useful to a lot of other people who have never even heard those terms before.
RAW files are a type of file that cameras create that have minimal processing on the various aforementioned settings. This allows for a much wider range of post processing to the photo without having to damage the contents of the photo. What does that mean though? Well to put it simply, RAW files allow a photo editor to manually adjust things like how much light is in the photo (exposure), how much contrast there is, what temperature and tint settings should be, all after having taken the photo; whereas with a standard JPEG photo, you have to manually adjust it before taking the photo, or risk damaging the photo later on when it is edited. Photographers have been using RAW files for quite some time, but they are generally limited to cameras that most consumers who aren't photography fans wouldn't have. Now your phone can take them, and it will change the game.
Many social media marketers taking photos on their iPhone have encountered the lighting issues that come with taking photos on an iPhone. IPhones really aren't the greatest at adjusting to lighting in dim light or bright light, which can be a problem if you are covering an event or your company has a physical building when it's sunny. That is what is great about the RAW format - you can bring back some of those pieces that might be lost initially. In order to fully utilize the RAW file though you need an app that can actually individually edit those qualities.
Currently there isn't a numerous selection of photo editing apps on iPhone that can deal with RAW files, however they certainly are on their way. For now, if you have a Adobe Lightroom, you can download and use the Lightroom App on your phone or iPad. The Lightroom mobile app is really nice as it is basically the full Lightroom from desktop but on your phone. This app, mixed with the power of Manual's RAW file, can take most photos and enhance them however you want. Mastin Lab's Filmborn app announced that they will be supporting RAW in the future, as well as a few other reputable editing apps, but those updates haven't been released yet.
Gone are the days of it being too dark to use your iPhone camera at the next client event, too bright because of the sunny day, or photos with too much contrast. Together, these apps can allow your social photos to most accurately portray your brand through all the abilities to edit the photos. For anyone not familiar with photo editing, this may seem daunting, but it really only requires a little reading to know the controls and what is important. It is also worth noting, that even with RAW files, you should aim to get the settings right when you take the photo if you can to ensure quality. If you have one of your employees taking photos for social, or if your company utilizes Instagram frequently, it would be to your benefit to get these apps so that your photos are always on brand, and look great. Even if you don't take photos for a client for social, this is a great opportunity for your own personal photos!