August 24, 2015
Steve Jobs prophesied the revolution of photography in his biography. “He had three things that he wanted to reinvent: the television, textbooks and photography. He really wanted to take these on,” revealed Walter Isaacson when he wrote about Jobs.
Smartphones have changed photography as we know it; notwithstanding the continuous improvements over time of the camera apparatus, the intuitive touchscreen canvas has opened up developers to create an abundance of apps that let us edit photographs captured by these tiny lenses and sensors– performing ceaseless post-production tweaks and edits.
One’s first thoughts when thinking about photography apps are vintage filters; on the contrary, whilst many apps do offer preset filters that aim to look like old-aged photography, there are many apps that provide fine-grained control to edit and adjust all the aspects of light taken in an image, along with some unique tools that capture images that real cameras cannot accomplish.
Every photographer has their own way in which they edit photographs; likewise, I have my own preferences. Here are three examples of photo editing apps that I have come to frequently use and personally recommend for smartphone photographers and avid Instagrammers.
It’s all too easy to think that filters are old-fashioned and unnecessary, but there’s a lot to be said for using filter effects- they can take an image to a whole other level.
New on the scene, FilterBaker is an IOS app that lets you edit your photographs with advanced tools. For smartphone photographers who don’t want to feel restricted with a preset filter options, FilterBaker offers a wealth of options so that you can influence the image and change it according to your needs. In this way, you can create your own filter and save it for future edits. The app lets you take creative control over your artistic conceptions– with each filter you can change the size of your picture and edit color, lighting, and sharpness to get the perfect aesthetic. The app attracts advanced photographers with more complex tweaks of shadows and highlights, color dispersion, and refining tools.
A pet peeve experienced by certain photographers is the inability to control everything within the shot when capturing an image. With event photographers, especially, their clients want the photographs from their special day to come out flawless, such as the removal of a blemish or an unsightly object.
There are many apps that offer the ability to remove unwanted elements from a photo. TouchRetouch is one of easiest and most effective apps that I have come across. By using your finger, you can simply highlight (in red) the part in the image that you want to remove. Once you have clicked ‘Start’, the app erases the unwanted object and fills in the missing space with pixels from the surrounding area. If there are more complicated elements that need to be removed, this may take more time and precision to get it perfected. Nothing is permanent and the app makes it easy to start over if you’re not satisfied with the end result.
Many photography apps claim to do it all, but they may not do it all very well. This is where specialty apps come into play. AfterFocus is one of these examples, as it focuses on one key thing. The app is beneficial for focusing attention to the main subject of the photo when the background is overcrowded. The app lets you replicate the shallow depth of field effect that is achieved when shooting with a larger camera such as a DSLR. This effect is when you want only the main subject in focus and the background to appear blurred.
As technical as this may seem, AfterFocus provides a user-friendly way to produce this effect- by marking the image between the foreground and background and which areas to blur with finger indications. If you’re looking to take this to a professional level, you can even add the bokeh effect where the background highlights are rendered as soft circles/hexagons.
Whether you’re an amateur or advanced photographer, these apps should all come in handy for both professional or personal use. The trick is to utilize a handful of the best editing apps and learn to maximize their full potential.
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