In the town of Huasna, there are a few dinosaurs out in the hills. There’s not much else out there besides horses and cows. We did find a couple of cool things out on a dirt road. There was a burned down house and a very old car that a field had started to swallow up.
These photos were taken with Perfect B&W. I’m going to write up a review of the app soon. Don’t buy it yet. There are some issues and, at this point, I can’t recommend it. I used the Ansel filter on the first photo. Apparently Ansel turns the sky completely black in all photos. The 2nd and 3rd photos were edited with some of the other b&w filters in the app. They really aren’t my style at all, but thought I would share anyways.
I finally was able to catch a sunset at the beach last night. We’re getting our June gloom foggy weather already, which means sunsets are usually ruined. Lucky for me, last night the fog stayed off the coast just far enough.
This particular sunset wasn’t anything too amazing. I felt like I should use a few apps to make it look more beautiful in my eyes. First, I shot with TrueHDR. If you’re new to my blog, I use TrueHDR a lot because often times it makes for a more realistic image by combining two exposures. Next, I used Snapseed to brighten a little, add contrast, and bump up the saturation slightly. Then, I used TangledFX for the painterly/fibrous look. Finally, I used Snapseed again because I felt like the image needed more contrast and saturation.
Yesterday I went out shooting with a new app that I’m going to review soon. The wind didn’t make for good shooting conditions, so I need to take some more time getting better images before I give the app a proper review. I don’t want to name it yet because I don’t want anyone to buy it before I give my opinion. Mainly because I’m not blown away by it and I’m not sure if I’d recommend it yet. I have to use it some more and see if some quirks were related to the shooting conditions.
2 apps that I used to edit were Snapseed and ShockMyPic.
So I downloaded a free app the other day called MasterFX. Its an app that allows you to add a lot of special effects to your image. I don’t think its an app I would use too often, but its very easy to use and does a very clean job of blending in different elements. There are a lot of freebies in the app, but also a lot of paid stuff. The stuff I used was all free.
I like all of the tools in the app that allow for greater control and creativity. You can resize elements, copy them, mask them, mirror/flip them, distort them, and you can even adjust the opacity.
In this image I added the sunburst and rays on the left, the white bokeh effect around the base of the palms, the hot air balloon, and the stars. It really only took a few minutes to complete the image. I have to admit it was fun to be creative again.
I finally have some time to post again! I’ve been really busy editing photos from the recent engagement shoot. Here are a few good ones that I gave a more artistic edit. There are more on my facebook page too. Also, if you or anyone you know is getting married, I not only do engagement sessions, but weddings too. I’m willing to travel to you, so contact me!
After working on people photos for over a week, I’m dying to work on some landscapes
These were all shot with my Nikon D7000.
After playing in the desert again recently, we escaped the heat and headed to the coast. It was overcast and a little chilly in Santa Monica, which makes for dull photos. I tried to spice this one up with a number of apps, but it still doesn’t pop too much.
Shot with camera+. Edited with Snapseed at first to add saturation,contrast, and to crop. Then TouchRetouch was used to remove a distracting element. Aquarella was used for the conversion to a painterly image. Snapseed was used again to add more contrast and saturation.
While I was in the bay area this weekend, I decided to stop by the Winchester Mystery House to snap a photo for a friend. I lived in SJ for 21 years and I always end up making a few trips every year, but I’ve never been to the Winchester House. I didn’t take the tour this time because I was about to meet up with friends and it was more expensive than I expected.
This was a difficult shot to get because the lighting was so harsh. It was taken just before noon with the sun shining right into the lens. Using a regular camera app blew out the sky and lost part of the roof. In high contrast scenes you can use an HDR app to try and replicate what you see with your eyes. In this case, I used TrueHDR. I was pleasantly surprised with the result, save for the beam of light on the left.
The blended image from an HDR pretty much always needs to be edited in another app to add contrast so it looks more realistic again. I used Snapseed to do the trick. Then I decided I wanted more texture and drama in the image so I used SimplyHDR. Finally, I wanted to see what a ShockMyPic version would look like (below.)
Sometimes, if a photo doesn’t work, its because you need to be closer to your subject so it fills the frame. In the photo above, I was most interested in the clover at the bottom with balls of water on it. Unfortunately, I didn’t move in closer for the better shot. I don’t even know how much closer I could have gone with my iPhone. What I ended up with was a lot of extra space that doesn’t add to the image in this case.
To improve the image, I cropped very tight with Snapseed. Then, I used Tangled FX for the painterly edit.
On another note, I’ll be heading out of town again tomorrow. This time, I’m going to the bay area for an engagement session. Hopefully, I’ll remember to take some photos with the iPhone during it.
In a funny coincidence, I have a photo featured on photobotos today. The one featured was actually shot up on top of the rock in this photo here.
This cave/arch thing is just a short drive from where I live. I didn’t even know about it until I saw another photographer post a photo of it recently. All I had to do was walk down a mountain of stairs to get to it. Maybe thats why I didn’t find it sooner.
The great thing about this beach is its at a hotel, so the crowds don’t know about it. I had the beach to myself most of the time until a couple came down to watch the sunset. I’m happy to have found another secret beach that the tourists don’t know about
This time out, I was mostly just scouting the location and observing the light at sunset. I don’t think the sun will ever rise or set through the arch, which is too bad. I’m still trying to figure out what time of day will give me the best lighting. I guess I’ll just have to do sunrise, sunset, and stormy. My guess is storm clouds will make the best scene.
Shot with ProHDR because TrueHDR was making the sky grey. Edited with Snapseed.
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to take a photo with your iPhone after the sun has gone down, but it’s a challenge to get a shot like this. You absolutely have to use an HDR app that takes multiple exposures and merges them. If you try to use a regular camera app, you’ll end up with either a nicely exposed sky and a very dark foreground, or a white sky and a properly exposed foreground. Sadly, neither one is like what you were seeing in person.
For this shot, I used TrueHDR. Ideally, you’d set your phone up on a tripod for HDR, especially at this time of day. It’s very important to keep the camera as still as possible so the HDR app can merge the images more cleanly. If you click on the image to view it larger, you’ll notice the the trees in the middle of the image are slightly off, as well as the hill on the right. Luckily, its not too noticeable if you’re just sharing a smaller version with your friends. You may not have even noticed it if I hadn’t pointed it out.
I edited this one with Snapseed. The image straight from TrueHDR was very flat, meaning it needed more contrast and some pop.
Sometimes you have to get dirty for the shot you want. Sometimes you’re not dressed appropriately to get the shot you want and you have to make a note to return soon.
I was hiking in the woods near my house a week or two ago and saw lots of these little mushrooms around. At the time, I didn’t want to get the clothes I was wearing all dirty, so I told myself I would just come back soon in something I didn’t mind getting filthy.
I think getting on my hands and knees on some damp soil that was covered in dead leaves was worth it for this perspective.
Shot with camera+. Edited with Snapseed and ShockMyPic
To answer your question, yes, the water was that blue.
This is one from my trip with Shannon to Big Sur, CA. We camped at Limekiln State Park, where this was shot. Early on, there is a fork in the trail. To the left is the waterfall and limekiln. This is off to the right. I hadn’t gone that way before, so this was a wonderful find.
I took the easy way out on this shot, but it still came out great. Instead of hopping across some rocks and onto a log like Shannon, I stuck my tripod in the creek from the bank and used the LCD to set up the shot.
In other news, I was recently asked by Topaz Labs to share some photos for their online gallery and be a guest blogger, so I think I’ll be sharing how I edited this lovely shot with their plugins.
Today I couldn’t figure out how I wanted to edit this photo of wildflowers. I played with Snapseed to add saturation and contrast. I tried aquarella and autopainter. In the end, I couldn’t decide between the Snapseed edit above or the autopainter styles below.
Which do you prefer?
This was shot out in Sacramento a couple of months ago. We stopped in Old Sac, for a break, on our way from Oregon to the central coast. There’s a high concentration of candy shops within a few blocks of each other. That’s mainly what I remember. That and the cool architecture of the old, haunted buildings.
I don’t really remember the apps used. I think it was TrueHDR for the camera. I’m not sure if I edited with another app.
May this photo bring you some peace today