Sunday, April 20, 2014

What's Here To Photograph?

Recently, Dewitt and I were teaching an iPhone photography playshop in Kona, Hawaii. On arrival day, we gave ourselves the assignment to find art on site at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel.  After all, we genuinely believe there is beauty everywhere. Here are a few of the shots I “found”. All were optimized in Snapseed and Touch Retouch.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Stealing Beauty With Color Thief

Make a good photo great by using one of my all time favorite apps: Color Thief. This app "steals" the color from another photo (or even a web page)  and applies it to the one you choose. That does not sound as freaky cool as the app really is! You have to try it. And I can't believe that you won't be as addicted to it as I am!

Here is an example of a photo I took on the beach in Ventura, CA. Now, I like this photo as is. I LOVE it in its new color permutations. Check this out.

The starfish was lovely in its imperfection, one shortened arm, twirling in the sand. All I did to the original was to optimize it in Snapseed (tune image and details.)

Then I brought it into Color Thief and started zipping through the pix on my Camera Roll (this is a highly addictive part of the process. Like slot machine wheels going past, adding color instead of coins.) These were my favorites.

My all time favorite of the starfish color renditions was this one, which I posted on social media sites. I called it Pirouette.

And now I find out that they have an app for the Mac - oh joy, oh rapture. I'm heading for the app store right now. Oh, and did I mention that of course, it saves full resolution? It doesn't get any better than this.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Instant Gratification with InstaFusion App

I love collaging and combining multiple images. I have most of the collage apps and use them in various situations depending on the look I want. Seriously, I did not think there could be another interesting app for image combining - that is, an app that offers new options other than the zillions I already have.

Then the TechBla folks came out with InstaFusion. And yes, it is something new under the sun! It has features like Unistrip (yep, puts a strip of a photo in another, very cool.) Radial Blend is another cool mode. There are too many intriguing aspects to show them all here. Here are just three made with the same two source images.

This first image combines two images of Mardi Gras past: a mannequin wears an brightly colored ornate costume and a sequined clock approaches midnight.

For a different look, I used the darker blend mode. I changed the color balance using fave app Color Thief. Finished it off with dark grit frame in Camera+.

 This is my favorite of the series, using yet another blend mode (worked so fast, I'm not sure which one) but InstaFusion lets you see thumbnail versions of the effects so it is easy to find one you like. The clock moving toward 12 lends a disturbing tension to this image.  I finished it off with Camera Awesome Frame, which has a muted effect on the photo.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Land of the Midnight Surf

One of my favorite newcomer apps is Color Thief. Basically, you choose a photo and choose another of  your photos (or theirs or a website) and the app "steals" the color palette of that second photo and applies it to the first. Sometimes, it's weird, sometimes wonderful, and sometimes you just get to "see" differently.

I was in Honolulu recently and shot this photo on the beach. I loved that the patterned surfboard tells you exactly where you are. It was a gray, cloudy day just before a storm. I just used Snapseed app for some basic optimizing.

And it is fine, as is. Then I started to flip through the Color Thief using other pix I'd taken the same day.This one was a little brighter from a sunnier photo. I like it as well.

A more monochromatic shot yielded this faded, vintage look. Notice we lost some detail in the clouds, so if I really loved this I would probably go into Blender and paint in clouds from the original after desaturating it so as to match the tone. I wasn't enamored enough of this effect to do that, however.

I actually like this one a great deal. I don't mind the cloud detail being gone - the image is already pretty surreal and it just adds to the strange and moody feeling.

Then I let Color Thief use the heavy blue purple tones from an aquarium shot to almost make a day-to-night effect. I liked it but it needed something to really make it feel like night. Laminar app (formerly called Iris) has a vintage effect called Space - I added it and used a mask so it just showed in the sky and sea area. Voila. Land of The Midnight Surf which is my favorite of the series.

Warning: it is possible (read likely) to use up a lot of time playing with this app. It is just so darn much fun to discover all the ways color can completely change an image. I have to budget the amount of time I play with this or whole days can be lost. It's that addicting.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ti-riffic iPhone Subjects

I love Ti  (or Ki as we call it in Hawaiian.) The colorful leaves of this plant never fail to seduce me into admiring them. Last week, I splurged on them - the gift that keeps on giving. Ki leaves symbolize protection from harm and many island homes (including ours)  have Ki plants surrounding them.

This is a straight abstract closeup with Snapseed for optimization and Touch Retouch to remove some debris spots.

 I love the purples in these leaves - no fancy apping except Snapseed to optimize.

These leaves were covered with dew in the morning. Snapseed and Camera+ apps.
Then I got a little more abstract and app-happy. I used Average Cam Pro - 8 exposures moving the camera slightly to get a painterly effect for the last 2 images. Since I love abstraction, these may be my favorites. (Of this shoot anyway.)

Friday, November 15, 2013

iPhone Paradise in Hawaii

Well, between family illnesses and travel for fun, the late summer and autumn clean got away from me. Still, I shot lots of photos and am just now able to start going through them all. I'm working backwards from now, so the first shots are from my time at the fabulous Creative Photography For The Soul taught by the incomparable Jack Davis. (Next year is almost full already, so if you are interested, I suggest you check out his website here.)

This experiential photo seminar takes place right on my home turf here in Moloka`i, Hawai`i. It's always a delightful challenge to photograph your own back yard in a new way. Thanks to my new iPhone 5S and ever changing apps, I feel up to it. Here's a few from the week.

These agave leaves were apped in Snapseed and Dynamic Light. Color is courtesy of Color Thief, one of my new favorite apps.

 I shot this palm frond and sunset at Kapuaiwa Palm Grove, one of my favorite haunts. I used the new HDR in Snapseed and it is amazing. The palm frond was black until it was applied. This new HDR effect is a game changer. Further optimized in Snapseed and texturized in Camera Awesome!

I love the way laua`e ferns sometimes seem to grow into an embrace. Straight shot apped with Snapseed and Dramatic Black and White.

Finally, this tropical bloom with glorious leaves was apped in Snapseed and Portrait Painter.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

An App A Day Keeps the Boredom Away

One of my favorite apps is called Foolproof Art Studio. As many of you know, I love painting on my photos. And Foolproof is an app that allows you control of the paintbrush. Unlike Painteresque or Artista Oil apps (both of which I like very much), Foolproof has you creating every brush stroke rather than having it done for you. So each rendition is one of a kind. Here are a few examples.

This boat floats just off the shore at the Kapuaiwa Palm Grove in Moloka`i, Hawai`i. It has been photographed by countless folks over the years (and in every kind of light by Dewitt and me.) This is a whole new look when painted in Foolproof.
I like abstract works of art and enjoyed "painting" this ocean scene. The color palette is striking - and all from the original photo.
Gal pal Theresa was photographing with me on the beach, so of course, I had to take a photo of her in her element. Then I painted her in Foolproof.

My favorite of our beach day is this minimalist scene of a celadon wave breaking on the golden sand under an azure sky. I liked the original photo and I LOVE the painted one. Foolproof Art Studio is my app of the day.