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Combining apps to further refine photos

From: iPhone Photography, from Shooting to Storytelling

Video: Combining apps to further refine photos

Richard Koci Hernandez> Apps themselves are great and they have tons of power. I've found that they have even more power if you stack them on top of each other, or use one app over and over and over again. So that's what we are going to do. We are going to play a little bit around with something that I call app stacking. It's really fun and I'm going to show you what I did with this image. Straight-up image here and it's not me. It's not my style. I want to play with it, I want to app it. So I brought it into an app. I brought it into an app called ScratchCam, a great app, grunges it up really well.

Combining apps to further refine photos

Richard Koci Hernandez> Apps themselves are great and they have tons of power. I've found that they have even more power if you stack them on top of each other, or use one app over and over and over again. So that's what we are going to do. We are going to play a little bit around with something that I call app stacking. It's really fun and I'm going to show you what I did with this image. Straight-up image here and it's not me. It's not my style. I want to play with it, I want to app it. So I brought it into an app. I brought it into an app called ScratchCam, a great app, grunges it up really well.

Then I saved it to the Camera Roll and I brought it back into Camera Plus. I made it black & White, so I made another adjustment. Why? Because I am trying to get it to my style, to my feel, something that feels good for me. Still not quite there, right? So it's got a few more stacks, a few more layers to go. Then after that I brought it into an app called Pic Grunger, which adds another layer of grunge. So right now we've got two layers of dirt and grunge, which is probably two layers too few for me.

It probably needs a few more, right. So now it feels like somebody stepped on this photograph a few times, it was sitting in the street, which is where I want to be. That's my style. So we are already, right, one app, two apps, three apps, that's four layers of fun already. Now we are another layer. This is back into Camera Plus, using what Camera Plus is good at, right, so making it black & white again. So three times in Camera Plus. Finally, brought it into an app called Lo-Mob. Lo-Mob is an app that I love because it's got really wonderful retro borders and little bit of a texture that I like.

When do you stop? Sometimes you don't, sometimes you can go on and on and sometimes you know. In this instance I knew this was done. It was stacked four or five times, five or six times, six or seven times, who knows, but I was done. This really feels like something that's close to my style, something that I'm ready to share, something that I am ready for the rest of the world to see. So what we are going to do now is, I've just glossed over it. Now we are going to get in to actually taking an image from its raw state and stacking that puppy up and just bringing all the layers and bringing it to my style.

So I am going to grab one of the images that I shot in downtown LA. It's a reflection of City Hall in another building across the street. It's got this person in the foreground silhouetted, strong compositional lines going on here, but I am going to stack this. This isn't quite where I want it to be. So the first step in my stack is to take that image and bring it into Camera Plus. So I am going to go ahead and bring that image there.

So here it is. We are just going to hit the Edit button. Now we've got it. My first step is to crop it. Again, the great thing about this app is it has all of the features that I want, all right. So now it's square, and somebody might be saying that the image uncropped was decent, good, had all of the lines of composition. And that's true photographically speaking, but stylistically, it's not where I want it to be. And I played around with the crop of this image until it really felt right for me.

And so I found right about here, that this is really where I want to crop it. Okay, I am going go take back and click back on the scenes, because the next thing I am going to do is add a wonderful little feature here called Clarity. I don't know what it does. It just makes my image look way better, which is really where I want it to be. So now I've added a level of Clarity, I've cropped the image, we're still in Camera Plus, there's one more thing I want to do in here, is get it again closer to my style, right, and I am going to make it black & white.

I am going to pick the preset which they lovingly called Ansel, right, a little tribute to the wonderful photographer that was Ansel Adams. Now we've got this image, you can think about as being done. For me it's not done. We've got some more levels to put on this. So I am going to go ahead and save it. It's going to save it to the Camera Roll. It's not done. So I am going to go into an app called ScratchCam. Now ScratchCam is going to give us some scratches. So we are going to go ahead and go in there, we are going to go to our Camera Roll, and we are going to pick that image.

And the great thing about ScratchCam is it had a lot of levels. We talked about apps that are pretty basic; you just go in there and you press some buttons. ScratchCam have tons of control over different kind of textures, borderers, levels. Once you apply them, it also allows you to play with the intensity, which I think is good. The only way I found out about that wasn't reading the manual. It was playing with the app, which is essentially what I am going to do, is go in here and continue to play with this app. So I've created a little thing here called a Favorite.

And a Favorite is just something that allows me to start with this image somewhere where I like it, right. And I am going to show you the process of doing that. So we are going to go ahead and go to Scratches, and look, again, the beauty of this is that look it. The potential for how I can scratch this image is amazing. And I randomly picked one and I am already in love. I don't even want to press another button, I love this so much. But I am going to, because that's the beauty of playing. Now I love that too, right,. This is where you get to that point where you have to figure out what it is you love, what it is you like, what is it that really speaks to you? This is the part where you're looking inside, where you're really thinking, what is the story you want to tell with this image, right? So, for me this image, I want it to have a little bit more of a classic noir feeling.

So, I want it to be grunge, but I don't want it to be too grunge. So I think that this scratch here that I put on is really good. So the next option is Textures and Borders. Again, really wonderful amount of playfulness that can go in here. Ah! One, I feel like maybe I've never clicked on before that I absolutely love. What I love about it is there's just a little subtle border around it, that's a little irregular, so it doesn't feel so perfect. Sometimes for me, perfect is boring. A perfect sharp image, a color image, is just boring.

I want it to have a little bit more characters and that added a little bit more character. In fact, that added a lot more character. It added this huge scratch in the middle, which I absolutely love. So the last thing I am going to do is go to Colours. So I can look for a color here. There is all kinds of tints. There is just a normal black & white color here that I like. I'm done. I'm done with the edit. Now in this app what I would do is, I would just click on Favorites and I would save that. So a lot of this app stacking that you're doing, you are able to save presets, and sometimes saving presets will help you with some steps along the way.

So I've saved that preset. Maybe there's an image that I bring in later that I want to add that preset to, but I'm done. Added just about everything I want to this image in this app. Saving it to my Camera Roll. I've probably got a few more apps to go before I'm happy. Now one thing I want to do now for myself is maybe just bring it back into Camera Plus. Okay, let's bring it back in here, let's have a look at it, okay. Let's add the Clarity filter one more time, right.

Whoever thought, I could save it, I could bring it back in I could add the Clarity filter, add ten filters on an image that I had not thought about, right. No, I like that. There is a little bit, a little bit clearer, a little bit crisper, but maybe I am not happy. Maybe I am going to play off, just when I though I had it, Darken is better, right. So this idea of playing, this is real time. I'm trying to give you a real good example of what's going through my head and my heart and my mind as I work up an image.

So I really like Darken. I don't know that it needs another effect, but I am going to look. Maybe I want to Pinhole camera and just have a look. Sometimes it's about a look and a feel. I don't like that; it blurs the edges too much. So I'm not happy with that. I might look for another one. Let's go under Retro, let's go into Color, let's go into the general black & white. I think that's good. I think that's very, very, very close. Notice I said very, very close. It's not done yet. Somehow I feel like it's just not done.

The image is there; maybe I just need to put a frame around it now, right. So I am going to save this and I am going to open the app I talked about called Lo-Mob. What's beautiful about Lo-Mob is for me it has a lot of retro styles that I really like. Lo-Mob is an app, one of many, that puts a lot of frames or borders around things. So we are going to go ahead and open that image that I just saved to the Camera Roll. We are looking at our Camera Roll now. We're seeing three different versions already saved of this image.

Now we are going to bring in that last image and we've got Classic Vintage. We've got the 35mm Film Experimentation section. I love it. You can make it look like a slide. You can do all of these things. There's a section here called Through The Viewfinder, which I absolutely love. And there is a setting here called 6x6 TTV Noir, right. I mean, this is perfect for me. I added the filter. There it is, love it. I'm ready to save this image and be done with it.

Maybe now it's ready. It's ready for the world to see, it's ready to share. If I wanted to, and I want to show this because, again, I only found this little feature by playing. If I click on the image, there are all these other features that were hidden to me before. And I didn't know they were there, and all I had do was touch on the image. In fact, I can pinch this image and re-crop it a little bit if I want. I can turn on the Blur or I can bring up a little bit more contrast to the image.

So sometimes in apps you're going to find things by simply playing around, which is how I found this particular feature. Now it's done. I'm going to go ahead and save it, back to the Camera Roll. So here we are with the image right from Camera Plus. It's got a square format, it's black & white and it's got a Clarity filter on it. That's the first level of app stacking, right. Then the second level was to bring that image into ScratchCam, so that added a little bit of grunge to it, kind of this little gritty feeling that I wanted to it, but it wasn't done yet.

After that I brought it back into Camera Plus, added a Clarity filter to it, so Clarity filter twice, added another Black & White filter to it that added a little bit more contrast to it, and then finished it all off with another stack, with another app. So four different times, bringing it around, stacking these apps on top of each other to get the really look and feel that I was going for. So, this is my final image. This is my app stack.

I took some apps. I stacked them on top of each other to create something that I'm happy with, right. I broke out the box of crayons. That's what's beautiful about the iPhone; it's this new creative way to express yourself. I stack some apps. Apps are just crayons, right. I pulled them out, I played with them, I was coloring outside the lines, I just created something I was happy with. I'm ready to post this image on the refrigerator. I'm done with it. You need to find the apps, pull out that box of crayon, fill it with the apps that you like, get out there, color, have fun, be creative. That's what it's all about.

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