HarrisCamera: Three Color Filters, One Shot.

When I first saw HarrisCamera in iTunes I wasn’t entirely sure what it did. I pulled up Wikipedia and learned about something I’d never heard of:

The Harris shutter is a strip device with three color filters, invented by Robert S. “Bob” Harris of Kodak, for making color photographs with the different primary color layers exposed in separate time intervals in succession. The term Harris shutter is also applied to the technique or effect.

The effect is produced by re-exposing the same frame of film through red, green and blue filters in turn, while keeping the camera steady. This will generate a rainbow of color around any object that moves within the frame. Some good candidates for subjects include waterfalls, clouds blowing over a landscape or people walking across a busy town square.

HarrisCamera for the iPhone lets you easily achieve this effect. The app will let you snap three photos in an automatic mode where there is 1, 2, 5, or 10 seconds between each snap, or you can use a manual mode where you will press the shutter when you want to.

HarrisCamera: Walking Person

HarrisCamera: A Walking Person (cropped to show this area)

For the shot above I was using auto mode with a 2 second interval as a person walked along the street. My iPhone was stationary on a window ledge, and he was the only thing moving.

You can also take shots with your iPhone moving around a bit and you can get some interesting shots. Here are a few that I snapped. Click on them for a larger view.

Used HarrisCamera to capture image of a sunny fence.

Used HarrisCamera to capture image of a sunny fence.

Used HarrisCamera to capture image of a building.

Used HarrisCamera to capture image of a building.

Used HarrisCamera to capture image of a humidifier.

Used HarrisCamera to capture image of a humidifier.

This app is very simple, and very functional. It does exactly what it says it does. The final image is in full resolution on my iPhone 4S. If you like getting unique images of this sort I’d highly recommend this app. I recently bought one of those cute little Joby GorillaPods so I’ll probably try a few more of these Harris effect shots from time to time. There are some amazing shots on this FlickRiver.

In a future version I’d like it if there was a one or two second delay before the three images start getting captured when using automatic mode. Since a stationary camera is important it is pretty easy to bump the camera as you press the shutter button. Right now it takes the first shot as soon as you press the shutter button.

HarrisCamera is currently $0.99 on iTunes.

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