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 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.
This is a sunrise I shot last week with my Nikon. It seemed uneventful and I wasn’t too excited about the location. The beach gets old when you live by it! Luckily, the colors turned out really nice and brought the photo to life.
When editing my Nikon shots in Photoshop, I like to use Nik Software’s plugins (along with other plugins.) The reason I bring this up today is it was just announced that the entire collection has dropped in price from $499 to $149. That seems like a steal and probably wouldn’t have happened had Google not bought Nik. There’s a free trial if you don’t already have the collection.
If you’re worried that these plugins might be too complicated, there are lots of training videos on their website to help you out.
I was recently asked to contribute to another article on mobile photography. This time it was for smartertravel.com. The article can be found here. The other contributors were the people of Photojojo, Chuck DeLaney, the director of the New York Institute of Photography, and Kirsten Alana. Some excellent contributors to be sure.
Go check out the article for some tips on improving your travel photography with your mobile phone.
I was recently asked to write an article for bestbuymobile’s blog providing some tips for taking better photos with your iPhone. Yesterday it hit the front page of their site :). Pretty exciting for a guy that started this blog on a whim.
David Pasillas, a professional photographer, was in between DSLR’s when he decided to get creative with his smartphone. Since then, he has shot gorgeous landscapes, vacation photos and wedding pictures simply using his iPhone. Check out David’s work on his blog and Facebook page. If you too love snapping pictures with your iPhone, try his simple tips and tricks for taking your pictures to the next level.
You can read the tips here
Another shot from the D7000. I’m just throwing this up quickly so I have something to share today. I have “homework” to do. Best Buy wants me to write some tips for their mobile blog for taking better photos with your iPhone and I want to finish this app review for Aquarella today.
Last month, a friend of mine sent me a painterly image and told me to check out this app called Foolproof Art Studio for iPhone. There is a free version that you can play with. I was lucky enough to get the paid version while it was available for free.
Basically, you import your photo and make all of the strokes with your finger, or try the auto mode. Its very simple, you can adjust the brush size and the paint effect, and then go to work. It even saves a video of you creating your painting if you’d like to watch it back or share it.
I have a few apps that turn photos into paintings. Foolproof delivers the ability to create some dreamy paintings. I’ll be keeping this app on my phone for a while :)