Tag Archives | editing

my 5 favourite iphone photography apps

black and white photo of parsley flowers

hello, my name is Tasha and I’m a DSLR snob

I fought upgrading my bog-standard mobile phone for ages for this very reason. The camera’s in a mobile phone simply can’t be as good as my camera. Simply. Can’t.

Well, it turns out they can. Which in turn made me into a bit of a camera and editing phone app junkie there for a while.

And 18 months on, I’ve landed on my favourites. The apps I turn to whenever I pick up my phone to take photos… which is becoming more often.

just don’t tell my big camera I’m cheating on it

Camera+

Camera+ ($4.49) helps you use your iPhone to shoot the best photos you possibly can.  The app uses your existing phone camera but allows you more control over the settings.  While you are still able to take pictures in automatic mode, if you feel like you want more light and speed control, then you are able to independently change focus and metering points, allowing you to meter based on a different part of the scene and/or focus in a different area of the frame.

Camera+ is more than just a camera replacement, though, with advanced editing in exposure, brightness, contrast and saturation tools (to name just a few) letting you tweak your photos to your heart’s content.

VSCO

If I’m totally honest, it’s been a while since I’ve used VSCO (Free). For a long time, VSCO was my go-to for editing, with a great selection of image adjustment tools and quite a range of high-quality photographic filters (the app was originally developed for the serious photographer who was looking to emulate film).  They’ve upgraded the interface since I’ve used it last – it’s now very sleek and modern – but it’s still an app that I will go back to when the time calls.

Filmborn

Filmborn (Free) is my latest app acquisition….  I use Mastin Labs presets for all of my photo editing – both personal and professional – so adding Filmborn to my phone was a bit of a no-brainer.  Designed to give you a genuine film look in 3 steps or less, the app lets you take photos with your in-phone camera, then edit them without having to import photos like some of its counterparts.  I love that you are able to view the presets in real-time and the kicker (for me) change between three different focal length crops (31mm, 35mm, and 50mm).

Lenka

Lenka (Free) is a dedicated black-and-white app, developed by professionals, for both amateur and professional photographers alike.  The app is stripped down to the bare essentials. You can only use the rear-facing cameras, your picture mode options include normal and high-contrast, and you can choose to turn the flash bulb on or off for a source of continuous lighting in dark environments. No unnecessary controls, filters, colour… It forces you to focus on what matters most in photography – the light and your composition. Plus you get a real-time preview of what you are shooting.  Minimal, but a lot of fun.

Later

Later (Free-$US49/month) allows you to plan, schedule and publish your visual content.  Personally, I use the free version on both the desktop and iOS versions to schedule my photos for Instagram.  It has a lot more capabilities – with more to come – but being able to schedule my IG posts, particularly if I’ve used my DSLR to take the photos, is what makes this app a winner for me.

And a bonus hardware favourite for you as well.

Moment

I added a Moment ($US30-50) case to my phone about 6 months ago. After much research, I decided on this particular case as it is designed to mimic a “real” camera shutter release, with a two-stage camera button, which means you can lock focus and exposure with a half-press before pressing fully down to take a shot.  Originally launched as a Kickstarter campaign, the Moment app is more about the camera than editing.  The reason I love this case and app so much – I can hold my phone one-handed and take a photo using the shutter button.  Not having to try and tap the screen or use the volume button to release the shutter on the camera on the phone, means that I keep a steady hand each time I take a photo.

Whether you’re new to phone photography or looking for a new photography app to add to your collection, I hope this list has given you some ideas.  The key is to use just a handful of apps, but learn to use them to their full potential.  Regardless of what apps you use, though, to quote one of my favourite photographers  – “You can’t polish a turd.” – so always start out with the best image possible.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

What are your favourite phone photography apps?

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{photography} Study of a Mushroom

It’s been wonderful to pick up the camera again after an absence of my Muse for the last couple of months…

i tend to forget the pleasure that photographing an ordinary item can bring

A mushroom, poking through the grass after the rains, and 10 minutes of joy.

i really should remember to do this more often

mushroom-1

mushroom-2

mushroom-3

mushroom-4

I’m enjoying playing around in Lightroom 5 as well… having recently done the Lightroom Lush course with Heather (recommended, by the way!).  Still trying to find my editing style, but as I look back at my last {photography} post – a study of a little bird – I see that the Flypaper Glass Plate 3 texture is in common.

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My 2 Favourite Photography Apps

As I mentioned last week, I’ve gotten back into the world of Instagram over the last couple of months, which has led me on a merry hunt for the best photo apps currently available.

As a (previously) dedicated DSLR user, I’ve embraced the camera in my iPad, and continue to be amazed at the quality of photo it is able to produce.  So today, I share my two favourite apps with you.

Camera+

I take all of my photos with Camera+.

Why?

I love that you can set the focus and exposure points independently.  Simply tap on the square for focus and the circle for exposure, and you can control where you want your camera to focus and how light or dark your shots will come out.

camera+

your focus button is the purple square and the exposure button is the orange circle – to activate them you tap on the square and circle in your menu

The macro function gets a workout with me, and the clarity function (you’ll find 2 of these – one in Scenes, which is the automatic one and one in The Lab, which is Clarity Pro and lets you be a bit more selective with its impact) can really breathe life into your photos.  Scene modes – which is like playing with your white balance – is also another favourite function of mine.

There are dozens of 1-touch effects to experiment with – my personal favourites are Ansel in the Retro effects and Mono, Tonal and Noir in the Standard effects.  An added bonus here is that you can head into the Advanced Settings and play with the slider to decide on how much of the effect you want on your photo.

the Ansel effect

the Ansel effect

All of your pictures end up in the Camera+ Lightbox, which makes it easy to keep track of your photos. where you can quickly and easily skim through them and get rid of bad shots. You save only the photos you’re satisfied with so that your camera roll stays neat and clean.

This is seriously just the tip of the iceberg with this app.  My recommendation is to download it and play.

Just a heads up here too.  I’ve got the iPhone version.  The iPad version doesn’t seem to have been updated since January 2014, so consequently the reviews are all that great on it (lovely Camera+ developers, please feel free to update me here!) .

VSCO Cam

My other go-to app for photography is VSCOCam.

I mainly use this one for editing my photos with the presets that are available (both free and paid), which are honestly stunning (again, I have my favourites – Minimalist and Clean being two I quite frequently use).  They have been developed to look like film stocks that photographers still widely use – to replicate the tones and colours – for an authentic and beautiful rendition of your photo.

Processed with VSCOcam with t2 preset (and some others I can’t remember!)

Again, this is just scratching the surface of the functionality of this app, and if you want to get a better idea of just how much you can do with VSCO Cam, head over to this post – The Complete Guide to VSCO Cam.

The VSCO crew also have an awesome community with inspirations and, best of all, tutorials!

If you’re new to the world of iPhoneography, I hope this really short and sweet post helps you out (honestly, there are far more comprehensive posts on both these apps out there, from people who have been using them for a lot longer than I have).  The best thing you can do is muck around with these apps – and any others you have in your arsenal.

and please share any of your favourites with me – I’m always on the lookout for the next best photography app available!!

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To Edit Photos or Not to Edit Photos: That is the Question

For those who’ve been following my photography journey, you’ll know that

I’m not big on editing photos.

A little crop and contrast is usually as far as I go, preferring to capture the moment – a bit of a straight photographer, if you were.

So the other weekend when we visited the skate park and I took a portrait of Daughter that I really liked, I was faced with an editing dilemma.

the original

I loved the photo.

Daughter on the other hand hated it and informed me that I wasn’t ever to print it (she’s going to string me up by my toenails if she finds out I’ve put it up here).

It’s not that she actually hated the photo.  She likes it.  She hates the fact that she’s breaking out so badly (anyone else remember those delightful teenage years!?) and didn’t want her spottiness preserved for all to see on our piano (I am so dead if she finds out it’s up on the blog for all to see!).

So I pulled up the photo in PicMonkey and used the Blemish tool to prettify her and make her happy.

edited with the PicMonkey Blemish tool

It’s the first time I’ve played with the Blemish tool and while I’ve not done a magazine worthy job I did get the thumbs up to print the edited version.

It was a valuable lesson learned for me  – that it’s not only about my desire to capture the moment as is.

Editing is more about making the person photographed feel comfortable and wonderful about themselves too.

So how often do you edit photos?
And how far are you prepared to take your editing?

I know it’s one of those chicken-and-egg-type arguments, but I’d love it if you shared your thoughts on the topic with me here.

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