Before this weekend, I had two apps that I used to create reflections on the iPhone, Water My Photo and WaterBooth. Neither one did a great job, which is why I kept both. I couldn’t decide which one was worth saving.
This weekend, I found another app called Reflection. The price was right (free) so I downloaded it and started playing with it. The app offers something that the others didn’t, the ability to choose what shade of blue the water is. This little feature allows you to choose a shade that looks most natural for whatever photo you’re working on. There are also filter packs that you can buy. One of them is free, and if you use the app long enough, an easter egg will pop up and tell you that you can get another pack of filters for free if you rate the app.
The reflections look remarkably natural. In my opinion, they’re clearly better than WaterBooth and WaterMyPhoto. Plus, you don’t have to fidget with wave size or frequency. It’s all taken care of.
I took a quick pic of this statue in an art gallery in Big Sur this past weekend. It wasn’t anything too exciting, but I thought it might be interesting at the right angle, and with the blue sky/ocean background. As you can see in the original below, it was decent, but I wanted to challenge myself to come up with something more interesting.
I used Snapseed to adjust the color, add a vintage effect, and add some texture. Then, I used Rays to add the beams of light and blow out a lot of the image. For those that don’t know, blow out means there is no information in the highlights, aka they’re all white. Rays created a lot more highlights at the bottom of the image, where I placed the light source.
What do you think about the two images?
I know I’ve done this angle a few times already, but I still like it. People probably give me weird looks when I go out into the middle of a road and put my phone on the ground. Oh well. I’ve learned to tune people out and focus on the photos.
I can’t decide if the rays are adding to the image or taking away from it. What do you think?
Shot with ProHDR, edited with simplyHDR, Snapseed, and Rays.
Good news! I got published for the second month in a row in the SLO Coast Journal. Its a local online journal with a good amount of readers. Even cooler still is one of you also got published in the journal. Congrats Lace! Go check out her photos on Flickr (shes not a blogger yet.)
My photo that got published wasn’t even one of my top 3 shots for the month, but the editors sure liked it. You can see it over here on my other blog. Continue Reading
If you follow me on Tadaa, you might have seen me issue a challenge called the 10 minute challenge. The idea is you start from home or work and walk, bike, run, drive for 10 minutes and then stop where you are. This is your location to shoot something interesting. Its challenging because you don’t really know where you’ll end up or what the light will be like at that location.
I ended up right at this old garage that I’ve noticed a few times. Its not too inviting with all of the ‘no trespassing’ signs. I wasn’t sure if they were because its directly across the street from an elementary school, or because the neighborhood was sketchy. Either way, I didn’t venture far enough onto their property to find out. If I had, I’d have a much better angle on this old garage.
I really wasn’t happy with the original photo, but I decided I had to rise to the challenge and make something out of a mediocre shot. I used 645 Pro to shoot. I edited with Snapseed, ShockMyPic (review coming soon,) and lenslight. The result is so much more interesting than the original.
If this 10 minute challenge sounds like something you might be up for, go do it and share your photos on your blog. I recommend taking a few minutes to take in the sights and sounds of your location before shooting. Get a feel for whats going on there and try to figure out a way to share that with the viewer.
LensLight by BrainFeverMedia is very similar to LensFlare, but it has even more to offer.
For me, the strength of this app is creating or enhancing the lighting of your image. In my example picture of the tree below, the morning light was very nice, but not defined or gold enough for me. LensLight fixed that quickly and easily. Continue Reading
Today I woke up way too early and there actually wasn’t any fog when I looked out the window, so I thought I’d head out for a sunrise shoot. Everything was clear while I was driving to the beach, but when I got there, it was socked in with a thin layer of fog. So much for that idea.
I drove around for a while thinking I’d find some beautiful light somewhere. There were a few moments when I saw something I liked, but I couldn’t pull over on the freeway. I finally just stopped at a native garden near my house. I couldn’t think of anything cool to shoot around here. I’m pretty bored with my surroundings now. I’m even thinking of running down to LA for a day this week for the change in scenery, even though I hate LA.
The original image was ok. Kinda blah if you ask me. I tried to use LensLight to add some rays and interest. These are 3 different versions I came up with using the app. I need to play with it some more before I review it, but its cool so far.
This is the walkway out to Oso Flaco Lake. I always liked this location, in fact, I took some engagement pictures here one time. The only problem is all of the trees around the path block a lot of light, making it impossible for the iPhone to capture the whole dynamic range of the scene, even with ProHDR, which I used for this shot. The sky gets blown out everytime.
Have a look at the original to see how much work was done to this image.
Pretty dull right? First I took this into Snapseed to apply a vintage filter (I used one that doesn’t apply color,) then I added some Drama, and converted to black and white. Theres no good reason why I didn’t use Dramatic BW for the bw conversion. Snapseed did a good job this time.
I liked the new lighting of the scene, but I thought I could add a little something extra to make it even more interesting. I used Rays to add those rays of light onto the path. Maybe I was influenced after sharing Lars van de Goor’s work on my other blog. Go check out that post for some inspiration.
Rays is an app that adds light rays to your image. I’ve been meaning to check it out, but didn’t want to pay for a gimmicky app that I probably wouldn’t use very often. It is free right now, so might as well grab it and see if you can use it.
HDR FX (free til the end of April)
I’m a big HDR guy, so I’m always excited to try HDR apps. HDR FX analyzes your image and then puts a star next to the filter it thinks will look good on it. Don’t trust that star because its really hit and miss. Honestly, I think all of the filters are too wild. Select one anyway and then hit edit at the bottom. Here you can choose a filter for the sky and one for the ground. Be sure to keep the opacity low because this app likes to create wild HDR’s that people hate. Even if you don’t like HDR, you can always use this app for the textures, curves, and borders in it if your other apps lack those features.
IRIS Photo Suite
If you don’t have any image editors on your phone, Iris is better than nothing. The selective color and replace color features are pretty decent and easy to use. The polarizing filter seems to work well. I won’t go into all of the features because I’m not thrilled with the app. Free means it doesn’t hurt to have a look and see if its something you’d want. I have to warn you that it did freeze up twice in the 10 minutes I used it.
Here are a couple more images of the awesome light show I was treated to yesterday. These were taken at a rest stop near Willows, CA. I shot with ProHDR, used Snapseed to add drama (and a vintage style to the 1st one,) TouchRetouch to remove a telephone wire in the first one, and Filterstorm to reduce some noise and add tone mapping.
I was treated to the longest and most amazing display of light yesterday on my drive home. There were golden rays of light beaming through the storm clouds and painting bits of mountainside with light. It lasted for about 3 hours. I really couldn’t keep my eyes on the road, so I pulled over a few times to snap some pics.
This one is from when I stopped in Artois. I pulled over, walked over to the middle of the road and took a few pics, but wasn’t thrilled, so I got down and put my phone on the road to get a different perspective. Luckily no cars or trucks came by for the 5 minutes that I was in the middle of the road.
Although this one doesn’t showcase the amazing rays I was witnessing, it does show the dramatic sky. Also, its not good practice to put the horizon in the middle of the image, but I did it on purpose this time because I felt it was more interesting. I’ll try to post some more today that will do a better job of showcasing the light.
Shot with prohdr and edited in snapseed.