When it comes to photography, you can do a lot with a little light. Adding light into your images offers many creative possibilities: add a sparkle to someone’s eyes, make highlights shine, enhance an atmospheric effect, trace a constellation in the sky, render a cinematic special effect, and much, much more. In short, you can enhance the center of attention in any image or create a new one.
Adding light into your photographs after exposure just got easier on your iPhone. Brain Fever Media makes two apps that can add light fx to your images: Lens Flare and Lens Light.
Lens Flare offers 45 different effects — mostly star patterns, some edge flares, and a few linear streaks.
Lens Light offers 54 different effects including rays, spotlights, streaks, scratches, and even suns, moons, and lightning.
Read more on The Huffington Post.
Do you ever wish you could reduce the intensity of an effect? Do you ever wish you could combine the effects of multiple Apps with more control? You can, with the App Image Blender.
Image Blender is extremely quick and easy to use. Simply launch Image Blender, load one version of an image and then load another version of the same image (or another image). To reduce an effect, use the opacity slider. To modify the way an effect is applied to an image, change the blend mode of one image and change the combined effect. To rotate or scale an image double tap on the screen, then pinch and twirl to align one image with another. Finally, save a new image with the combined effect of your choice.
Blend modes can be used to generate many creative effects. Image Blender offers most of the standard blend modes; Normal (for no special effect), Lighten and Screen (to lighten), Darken and Multiply (to darken), Overlay and Soft Light and Hard Light (for contrast effects), Luminosity and Hue and Saturation and Color (for color effects), Color Dodge and Color Burn (for combined contrast and color effects), Difference and Exclusion (for special effects), and two others Plus Darker and Plus Lighter (with self-explanatory titles).
Image Blender Provides Global Not Selective Control
Image Blender doesn’t allow you to blend images selectively with masks – i.e. in or not in one spot or from side to side or top to bottom. (To do this try PhotoForge 2.) In some cases, you can achieve similar effects by photographing subjects on black or white or painting areas of an image black or white and using blend modes like Darken or Lighten to drop out either the darkest or lightest values.
Image Blender can be used to combine two different images. When you create multiple exposures with Image Blender a few strategies are particularly useful for creating multiple exposures with Image Blender. One, make exposures that have the same background but contain moving objects for futurist motion and/or ghostly transparent effects; keep your camera still; consider using a tripod. Two, use images that have dark objects on a light background or light objects on a dark background; you can make background lighter or darker by processing them with other Apps; then you can use the blend modes Lighten or Darken to make the background disappear.
There are many things you can do to creatively enhance an image by modifying App effects. Here are six.
1 Partially restore the original state of an image.
2 Modify the way an effect adjusts an image.
3 Overlay text or graphics onto an image.
4 Add a transparent texture to an image.
5 Make moving objects transparent.
6 Merge two images into a surreal composite
Isn’t it nice to know that when it comes to the effects Apps have on your image, it’s not an all or nothing take it or leave it proposition? You can get more control, with Image Blender.
Find Image Blender here.
Find more iPhone app reviews on the Huffington Post.
Find out how to change your iPhone images from this to this or even this in less than a minute.
Splatter, speckle, and stain your images in seconds with the iPhone app Goth Pix. It generates surprisingly rich and complex weathering effects that can give your images an antique, distressed, or painterly look …
Read / View more on The Huffington Post.
Recently, during an African safari, I spent several days photographing animals. We saw all of the big five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, cape buffalo) and many other animals in one day. It was the first time I made a concerted effort to make wildlife photographs, which was excellent practice. I gained an increased appreciation for how moments of peak action (or lack thereof) can make or break some photographs. I made many competent photographs that entertained my family at home, which I have no intention of using professionally.
In between these sessions, I spent a few hours photographing the skulls of animals displayed in the camp. Initially, I photographed very freely, exploring many ways of photographing them. As I reviewed the images, I learned from both the successes and the failures, gradually refining my the point of view of the collection. I appreciate the images that go beyond direct representation and become suggestive of something more through abstraction and metaphor. Ultimately, these images, which I consider sketches, will lead to final results, which will result in professional products.
Unexpectedly, I found that these sessions helped me develop my thinking on how to incorporate the process of sketching, both with words, drawings and photographs, into the development and presentation of future professional work. In the right contexts, I might even publish, display or sell select sketches.
This session also helped me explore longstanding personal themes within my life and work. These images expand my understanding of the power of photography to transform our perceptions of a subject through close observation. They highlight for me the limitations of vision (and photography) to see beneath or beyond surfaces. They confirm how I frequently try to suggest the often unseen foundations of the things I photograph. They remind me of how much I love to draw bones, especially the human skeleton. They reinforce my longstanding desire to create sculptures, many influenced by these forms. They resurface my artistic influences; in particular Georgia O’Keefe and Henry Moore. I’m sure there are other valuable resources I can mine from this experience, if I give both the process and these results further thought.
Explorations often have many unintended consequences; often these become the discoveries we’re looking for when we engage in experiments. You’ll learn more from simply observing your creative process, without judgment, than from anything else. Awareness is everything. What makes a process of experimentation even more successful, richer and more relevant is subsequently reviewing our results and continually refining our lines of inquiry.
How could experimentation help you reveal, connect with and develop your influences?
What experiments would be most helpful to you?
These images were made in Mala Mala, South Africa during my recent South Africa Photo Safari (sponsored by NIK).
Apps used were PicGrunger and Snapseed.
See more images and find more posts on The Huffington Post.
Wow! Cool! Amazing! Fantastic! Beautiful! Great image! I love it! You can feel the love online — on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, Picasa, Instagram, 500pix, BestCamera, and countless other image-sharing services, social networks, blogs, and websites. It feels good to give and receive praise. It can be motivating!
Ask For It
Do you want more love? Ask for it! There’s an implicit request for feedback when you post an image online, where people can comment on what you post. But, when you post images without a request for feedback, the number of responses you get goes down. Without an invitation, people may be hesitant to give you feedback. Or, they may not know how far to go and end up not going far as you’d like them to. So, if you’re looking for feedback when you post your work — ask for it. You’ll find people are quite happy to share their opinions with you.
Be More Specific
Love may not be the only thing you’re looking for. If you’re looking for more than love, there are many ways to find it. The way you ask for feedback can make a big difference in the kind of responses you get and how useful they are. If you don’t make a specific request, the responses you get will be general and unfocussed. Conversely, you can qualify the type of feedback you’re giving someone. State your approach before giving your feedback.
Ways To Give Feedback
There are as many ways to direct the kind of feedback you get as there are ways to give feedback. Here’s a list of eleven different kinds of feedback and ways to ask for it. You can ask the questions of either single images or groups of images. (You can even use this list to easily copy and paste questions when you post images online. Or make your own!) …
Read my full post on The Huffington Post.
Read more related posts on cell phone photography on The Huffington Post.
Finding it hard to choose between so many photo editing iPhone apps? Here’s my short list of essential photo editing apps. Get these ten apps and it’s likely you’ll only buy other apps for specialized effects or participating in specific social networks.
Snapseed, PhotoForge 2, Pro HDR, Auto Stitch Panorama, Liquid Scale, iResize, Photo Fixer, TiltShift, Image Blender
Read my full review on The Huffington Post.
While guiding me on my Iceland photography workshop, Ragnar Th Sigurdsson rediscovered iPhone photography. He got obsessed with the App Hipstamatic, which produces photographs with terrific lo-mo effects. He started seeing differently. In addition to making many images with higher end photography equipment, he produced over 1000 new iPhone images in a few days.
We discussed the differences. Here are some of our thoughts.
The iPhone is smaller than most cameras. This makes it easier to position it in places you couldn’t place a DSLR. (Plus, the iPhone’s depth of field is very large and it can be focussed at very close range.)The iPhone’s small scale also changes interpersonal dynamics between the photographer and human subjects; people feel more at ease with what’s perceived as a more casual act, you can make contact with both eyes, and allowing the subject to see the picture while it’s being made (instead of after) provides a dynamic feedback loop of action and reaction or pose and repose.
The iPhone’s screen offers a large sharp preview and allows simultaneous comparison between an unaided view and the view as rendered by the device, in low light. In bright light, it’s often difficult to see image details on screen, producing a change in perception; broad structural relationships are seen without embellishment. (Low fidelity or distressed images emphasize this quality. When done well, they become perfectly imperfect. And the novel look generated elicits viewer responses which are markedly different than high fidelity renderings.)
Results are almost instantaneous. Images are processed in seconds or minutes, often on the spot, allowing a direct comparison and contrast between the scene and the image produced.
The practice of cell phone photography is significantly different enough that it encourages a great deal of experimentation. I recommend it to anyone who’s passionate about photography.
Cell phone photographs and the process of making them can be delightfully spontaneous.
Here’s a selection of Ragnar th Sigurdsson’s iPhone photographs made with the App Hipstamatic.
Find out about my 2012 Iceland digital photography workshop here.
We have a lot of fun in my workshops. Often, we use our iPhones to stimulate creativity. We try all sorts of creative experiments. This trip, one of the experiments I tried was creating cartoons of participants as superheroes or supervillains. It all started when our guide Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson put a luggage label on his chest with a fragile icon. I made a not sign on it with a Sharpee pen and he became Captain Unbreakable. Then I made an ironic cartoon of him with my iPhone. (Apps used are Toon Paint, Pic Grunger, and Label Box.) Everyone was laughing. Everyone wanted to play. We laughed our way through Iceland.
Because we were playing this game, we thought frequently about what text could/would accompany our images – titles, captions, essays and more. Frequently, a little levity can lead to useful creative insights.
Here are some of the images from these ongoing hijinks.
Find out about my 2012 Iceland digital photography workshop here.
Frequently, old ideas and feelings surface in the midst of our creative process. Tracking our own fixations and chains of association can be both revealing and rewarding.
The paintings of Morris Graves made a big impression on me at an early age. Ever since, I been interested in photographs of dead animals, particularly birds. I even made some of my own.
I stumbled into this territory, once again, by chance, while photographing on the side of the road in Iceland. I quickly made this sketch with my iPhone. I knew what was happening while I was doing it, because I’d already done a lot of observation of my creative process and soul searching. I recommend you do the same for yourself. You’ll be richly rewarded with highly personal insights.
Find out about my 2012 Iceland digital photography workshop here.