Curiouser and Curiouser!

Posts tagged “iPhone Photography Apps

Day #75 – A Photo A Day 2013

Pre-existing image templates provide a world of creativity that really sparks my imagination. It’s fun to see what other photographers have captured and it is a challenge to incorporate those photos into my own to make a blending of two people’s creativity.

So many apps have these images available either for free or for a nominal download fee but so far my favorite has been Filtermania 2 from Dropico. I used images from their library on today’s photo, which began as some stormy clouds that were outside of Ultrazone when I was there on Friday evening:

Into the Woods

Into the Woods

Using pre-existing image templates for enhancing or completely changing an edit is something that I have frequently done but I think it’s time that I start making my own templates. I’m having fun with these pre-existing templates and they are a creative tool that is wonderful to have at my fingertips, but I would like to add more of myself into my projects, and I feel that this is one way that I can accomplish this.


Day #67 – A Photo A Day 2013

Instagram has been one way that I have been sharing my photography for two years now and in those two years I have found quite a few amazing artists that have greatly encouraged me to continue pushing the envelope of my creativity.

One of people who has influenced me the most is Sumsion – I was going to link to his Statigram page, but he’s turned off public viewing, which is disappointing to me because I would love to share his work here as well. (he is simply amazing!)

Sumsion’s latest challenge is a self-portrait challenge but the trick is to not have your face in focus. So far, this has been a very difficult challenge for me!

This is my first submission:

Blown Away - for the #7faceless Challenge on Instagram

Blown Away – for the #7faceless Challenge on Instagram

When I uploaded this to Instagram, some people that know me in “real life” were concerned because it seemed a bit dark. I explained that this is not representative of me now, but rather that it was how I felt at a certain point in time in my past – I felt like who I was had been completely blown away, destroyed and empty. I was having difficulty deciding just how to begin this challenge until a conversation I had earlier that day reminded me of that dark time and inspiration hit me.

I knew immediately what I wanted to do with my self-portrait, and after a couple of hours of experimentation, I found the right combination of app layering to actually achieve what you see here. This was a difficult one to actually upload for public consumption on Instagram – I felt like I was revealing quite a bit of myself without telling all of the personal details and I felt a bit of trepidation as I hit that upload button.

Immediately after, I felt almost a feeling of relief akin to happiness in that moment.

These challenges that Sumsion has presented to his followers have not only been pivotal points that have pushed me creatively but have also been instrumental in self-exploration and have taught me quite a bit about myself, even as far as really revealing to me how I view myself both externally and as a person.


Day #64 – A Photo A Day 2013

More fun with Tangled FX!

This is the “mountains” of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at Disneyland as seen from the queue during the nightly fireworks show.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Edit

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Edit

This pic obviously doesn’t have any fireworks, but the sky was filled with all sorts of smoke from them and it made for a strange hue when I took the picture.

I ran it through three different effects in Tangled FX and also let it color boost and WOW the effect was crazy! It almost looks like lava or something! I’m so in love with Tangled FX!


Day #63 – A Photo A Day 2013

At the risk of redundancy I am posting yet another pic edited in Tangled FX because I simply cannot get enough of that app!

I layered two different Tangled FX effects for this picture of one of the Chinese Dancing Lions at the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade.

Dancing Lion at the Chinese New Year Parade 2013

Dancing Lion at the Chinese New Year Parade 2013

I really wish that I knew exactly how this app works – it’s so fascinating! This picture was already a little blurry because of the motion of the lion so I felt that it would be perfect to use the “blurred” effect to make it a little less noticeable. That didn’t quite give me the results that I wanted so I layered the “smooth fibers” effect over it as well to sharpen it up a little and to give the picture a bit more depth and detail.


Day #62 – A Photo A Day 2013

Tangled FX is fast becoming my new favorite photo editing app – it’s so versatile and I love how other-worldly it makes my outdoor pics look!

Here is a photo that I shot in Muir Woods on Friday before any editing of any kind:

Redwood Trees - Before Editing

Redwood Trees – Before Editing

Same photo – after editing in Tangled FX:

Sunlight in Muir Woods

Sunlight in Muir Woods

Watching the photo transform in that app is like magic – it just morphs in front of your eyes! I didn’t layer two effects in this pic like I did in the last one since I felt that altering in any further would have not been as effective. Sometimes less is more.


Day #53 – A Photo A Day 2013

Goodness, my internet connection has been SO HORRIBLE this week, and it has only gotten worse! Much thanks that Philz Coffee here in SoMa not only has the best coffee that I have ever tasted (and tea!) but also has free WiFi access that is enabling me to write this post!

My horrid connection that (insert well-known broadband provider name here) has been providing to me lately has made me want to escape into a fantasy world where there is no packet loss and I don’t have to pay for my plentiful lightning-fast internet access. At this moment, I would also like this fantasy world to look nothing like this coffee shop – although it is decorated tastefully, I’d rather be in a moody forest right now, cavorting in flowing dresses and uploading photos to my hearts content, sweet breezes gently wafting through my hair and perhaps a bit of hauntingly beautiful music beckoning me toward it’s source…

Erm, back to the post…

Since there is no such place available, I have created this place – in photographic form – for my eye to wander to and in turn inspire sweet dreams to escape the reality of this daily purgatory fraught with continual internet connection disruption.

Dark Forest Beckons

Dark Forest Beckons

Again, photo taken with my iPhone 4s – I began by doing a few things in Photo FX – I often start in this app to tune the pic up a bit, if I feel that it needs it or if I want to enhance a certain aspect of the photo, before I begin layering other apps. Some of the current reviews of this app are less than stellar, but it seems that all of those have to do with the new version released for iOS 6 – I refuse to upgrade my iOS because I read and hear so many disparaging things about it that it doesn’t seem worth my while. So, I’m still very very happy with Photo FX.

Next, I layered effects in Filtermania 2 juuuuust hints of layering there – I didn’t want to alter the base picture too much but rather enhance it (and hide a few modern details that I didn’t want there) – next came Iris, which has apparently been re-worked by the creators to be called Laminar. I use Iris all of the time – easy to use and so many choices for editing. I’m afraid that I won’t like the new version after reading a few of the reviews – again, this is for iOS 6, so I don’t have anything to worry about as long as I don’t “upgrade”.

Lastly, just a hint of ScratchCam. I have played with the free version of this app enough that I now know that I really need to get the full version! I don’t know what I would do without you, ScratchCam!

Sometimes when I create a piece with one of my photos I am too critical. With this piece I can wholeheartedly say that I am really very happy with the way it turned out, and I hope that it pleases others as much as I seem to have pleased myself. (a rare thing!)


Day #47 – A Photo A Day 2013

Mass transit is definitely one of the best ways to get around here in San Francisco, other than using my two legs to get me from point A to point B and the various options available here is a source of endless fascination.

There is the Muni which is the bus system here – that’s not so unusual except that they run off of electricity so they have connecters that go up to lines suspended above the city streets – similar to what you’ll see in Seattle.

Of course there are the Cable Cars that are the quintessential mode of transportation that you see in connection with San Francisco all of the time. They’re beautiful, and I have yet to ride one – can you believe that? I need to start doing all of the touristy things!

There is BART – the Bay Area Rapid Transit which I use often and is very convenient since there is a stop not too far from my apartment.

There is Caltrain, which takes you places in the Bay Area outside of the city – oh goodness I need pics of those trains! (I am in love with trains! I totally understand Sheldon Cooper’s obsession)

Then there is the bus-type-cable-car-ish-on-rails-thing – what are these things called! I love them! They look so retro, like 30’s or 40’s or 50’s retro. Sleek and colorful, they really add to the fun atmosphere of the city and I HAVE TO RIDE ONE!

Retro-Bus-Thing

Retro-Bus-Thing

This was taken near Market Street and The Embarcadero – I’ve obviously altered this photo, as there are not that many stars visible in the skies above San Francisco.

Don’t these things look romantic! They make a lot of noise going down the street – they’re on rails and derive their power from electric lines above the street. I need to see the inside of one! I’m guessing that I’ll be as impressed with the inside as the outside. Ha. It takes so little to please me.


Day #46 – A Photo A Day 2013

This past week has been a fun one! So many photos shot, and so many that I need to sort through and edit… and certainly many that I’ll need to trash too. 🙂

Today I’m posting a pic that I shot and edited on my 4s on Thursday when I was at the Raygun Gothic Rocketship. I just can’t stay away from that spot – I have already taken SO MANY pics of this thing, and I’m sure that I’ll probably continue the trend of redundancy with more. Perhaps I should apologize in advance for too many rocket pic posts in the future.

Raygun Gothic Rocketship Up Close

Raygun Gothic Rocketship Up Close

I ran this pic through Photo FX, then Iris, then back to Photo FX again. I REALLY wanted to do a grunge-y effect on this one, but I was so happy with the results of my tinkering that I felt that any further modification would have displeased me.

Every time I visit this awesome piece, I want to climb inside and see what’s there – there IS a door!


Day #37 – A Photo A Day 2013

Epic clouds today! It’s been so sunny this winter and I have LONGED to see some epic fluffy clouds like we get back home in Portland, Oregon – today did not disappoint!

I was working away at my desk and glanced out my window when I noticed the clouds… grabbed my iPhone and started clicking when it hit me… I could get a really cool effect with the Slow Shutter app if I held the phone instead of setting it on a stable surface or using a tripod for the long exposure.

So, I held my breath, tapped the screen and the seconds ticked by… 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… ahhh done!

Wow! I was pleased – it looked a little like a painting, and I wanted to enhance that a bit so I pulled up Iris and started editing…

Balcony View - Slow Shutter and Edited

Balcony View – Slow Shutter and Edited

Rather sort of an impressionist painting, dirty gritty look – I like it! I am really having fun experimenting with the scratched gritty looks that you can achieve. It’s interesting to see how it can transform an every day sort of photo into something a bit more unusual.


Day #29 – A Photo A Day 2013

Proximity to San Francisco Bay is one thing that I love about living in this city – just a few short blocks away are seabirds, seawater, a huge bridge, restaurants, people watching, tourist traps and photo opportunities galore.

Today’s pic is one that I snapped two days ago on a walk with Chris – the Bay Bridge again, but this time by day using, again, the Pro HDR app.

Basically, I like this picture as far as composition goes, but I do think that I over-adjusted the saturation and I am not completely happy about it. I share it here so that I can look back at it with more objective eyes later.

In the future, I may have to heavily edit this one and see what I can do to make it a bit more to my liking.

The Bay Bridge

The Bay Bridge


Day #27 – A Photo A Day 2013

What a beautiful day it was today! The sun shines here in San Francisco very often, but today was just extra special despite the cold biting wind!

Chris and I decided that we NEEDED to get a coffee from Phillz Coffee so we threw on our coats and started the short walk to the Berry St. location.

We tried Phillz for the first time three weeks ago and we are hooked! BEST. COFFEE. EVER. Hands down, the best coffee experiences we have ever had have come from this place. They grind your coffee at the time you order it so it is fresh fresh fresh – also, it’s not weighted down by heavy syrups and sugar. They’ll add as much, or as little sweetening as you want, and they have many sweetener choices to choose from – even Stevia or honey!

From Phillz, we decided to continue on to AT & T park to go walk near the marina. Right next to the park is the Left O’Doul Bridge, which I find to be an endless source of fascination.

Lefty O'Doul Bridge

Lefty O’Doul Bridge

It’s a fascinating looking thing… I had never seen a drawbridge quite like this one, and I am from a city that is filled with bridges – Portland is affectionately called “Bridgetown”.

I figured those concrete “things” on that one end were counterweights, and turned out that I was correct. The link posted above is where I found some of my information – it turns out that the bridge is “a heel trunnion type bascule drawbridge” and “A heel trunnion is a pivot mounted on bearings and a bascule bridge has one end is weighted to counter balance the structure on the other end when the bridge is open.” They used concrete as the counterbalance because it was a less expensive option to iron.

My only disappointment about this bridge: there were no rusty spots to photograph. Oh well. You can’t always have what you want.

Photo taken on my iPhone 4s with the Pro HDR app.


Day #12 – A Photo A Day 2013

Today I give you TWO pics, simply because I could not decide between the two!

Again, using the Pro HDR app for iPhone, I have re-visited the “Seasons of the Sea” at Yerba Buena gardens…

Seasons of the Sea HDR

Seasons of the Sea HDR

… and close-up:

Close-up Seasons HDR

Close-up Seasons HDR

Holding still for these shots was difficult at best – if I’m going to use this app much more, I need to invest in a tripod.


Day #9 – A Photo A Day 2013

Flights to San Francisco have been delayed due to weather (I am guessing most likely fog or a really low ceiling) so I am still sitting here at the Portland Airport, listening to live music entertainment! (I think that I’ll post the video I took in another post – it’s amusing!)

So, having time on my hands I decided to play with the Pro HDR app again. There is a steady stream of people walking by so I thought hmmmmm, wouldn’t it be nice to get a longer exposure and see them as a blur?

I decided that it would be fun to see how long of an exposure I would get with this HDR app, and wondered if that movement would translate well into the picture:

Portland Airport - HDR with Movement

Portland Airport – HDR with Movement

I am pleased with the outcome! In fact, I have a few apps that have “longer shutter speed” so that you can get longer exposure times out of your phone, and I feel like Pro HDR did a better job of that than the apps that I have which are specifically designed to do that.

To be fair, I have not tried out those long exposure apps with night time exposures – just daytime, so before I write them off completely, I have a bit more experimenting to do.

For now, it’s Pro HDR for my long exposure needs.


Day #8 – A Photo A Day 2013

HDR is an aspect of photography that has intrigued me for quite some time now, and I am finally beginning to dabble in it a bit with my SLR.
Although I haven’t had the results that I have hoped for, I continue to experiment and I am not going to give up until I get the results that I am striving to achieve! Perhaps I need to read more on the subject.

Just a few days ago, I came across an app for my iPhone that claims to do the HDR work for you, so I decided to give it a go based on a plethora of good reviews.

Here is the result of my first experiment:

HDR Experiment

HDR Experiment

The app is Pro HDR and it is really easy to use. Set your phone on a stable surface or attach to a tripod and it does the bulk of the work – first it analyzes the light/shadow in the room, and then it takes two pictures to layer. That process takes around 20-30 seconds – that’s just an estimate as I didn’t actually count how long it took to finish.

Once the processing has finished, you then have the opportunity to adjust various levels of the picture: Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Warmth and Tint. Beyond that, there are also crop, frame, text and filter options to add to your photo.

It’s easy to use, and I think that it’s an app that I will be apt to use very often which means that I am going to have to invest in a Joby tripod! 😉


Day #7 – A Photo A Day 2013

At the risk of seeming redundant, today’s pic is another one that I snapped with my iPhone the morning of January 1st.

My mother-in-law has a nice garden which supplied endless opportunity to capture shadows against the morning sky. This pic didn’t start out quite as vivid, so I helped it along a little in Photo FX – my go-to app for photo editing on my iPhone and iPad.

I darkened the shadows a bit and added a layer of color to the sky to make the shadows pop a bit more to my liking, and I’m happy with the result.

Suquamish Sunrise on Jan. 1, 2013

Suquamish Sunrise on Jan. 1, 2013


iPhone Photo App Review Series

Disneyland's Matterhorn Heavily Modified

Okay, I admit it… I am a photography app junkie. I am always looking for a new app ESPECIALLY if it’s free – I know what I like when it comes to photo manipulation, so I don’t want to shell out $1.99 – $10.00 each time I want to try a new app on a whim.

Many developers make new apps available for free for a short time at the beginning of release to entice people to try it – sometimes these are full versions off the app and sometimes they are a scaled-down version.

This seems like a great way to market your product and get people hooked into buying the full version – it’s worked for me a few times!

One of the free apps that I have been using the most lately is Filtermania 2. I first downloaded it in September, just before my wedding so it’s only been in the past month or so that I’ve really put it through it’s paces.

I’m in the process of writing a full review of the app, but for now I am going to share this pic, because I’m so happy with how it turned out – a little taste, if you will, of what I’ll be showing you in the next few days:

Disneyland's Matterhorn Heavily Modified

Disneyland’s Matterhorn Heavily Modified

Just wait until I show you what the picture started out as! Is this a view of Disneyland’s Matterhorn or are we in The Alps?! I’ll show you how this pic originally looked vs. this edit – Filtermania 2 is pretty user friendly, and I think it delivers stunning results.

First review is coming soon!