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Using apps to add a unique look

From: iPhone Photography, from Shooting to Storytelling

Video: Using apps to add a unique look

Richard Koci Hernandez> Let's talk a little bit about going beyond the default camera app to create a look. I'm going to show you a few apps out there that allow you to do that. So we can start at a very basic level. Let's say you just want very minimal control, you want to create a little bit of a look, a little bit of a style. Let's say you want to have the image be black and white as you shoot it. You can launch an app like Hipstamatic and you can actually choose the film that you want. There is many films. Maybe it's not black and white, maybe that first layer, that level of processing look/feel that you want is a reddish glittery gold, right.

Using apps to add a unique look

Richard Koci Hernandez> Let's talk a little bit about going beyond the default camera app to create a look. I'm going to show you a few apps out there that allow you to do that. So we can start at a very basic level. Let's say you just want very minimal control, you want to create a little bit of a look, a little bit of a style. Let's say you want to have the image be black and white as you shoot it. You can launch an app like Hipstamatic and you can actually choose the film that you want. There is many films. Maybe it's not black and white, maybe that first layer, that level of processing look/feel that you want is a reddish glittery gold, right.

There is a film for that, so you can go ahead and choose something like that. It's gives you kind of very entry- level level of control over your image. You can also switch between different lenses, so you can have different lenses bring a little bit of look. So when you go ahead and shoot that image, it'll already come into your camera role with a little bit of processing on it, but you might want to take it to the next level or this might not be the right app for you. You can take it to the next level by going to another app. There are many of them out there.

I like to go to an app like Camera Plus it's going to give you the second level of control in terms of apps. So we can actually use it as a camera and if we use it as a camera we can lock our exposure, lock our focus, and do all those things. Or the great thing about an app like this is that you can pull in an image that you've already shot with this app or any other one, and you can began the post processing step, right? And you can begin to do that and we'll go ahead and get an image here.

All right, simple image. Qe've got it in here now and we can go ahead and edit it, which is really good. Now the level of control is that next step which I really love. There is one, all of these different kinds of filters that might suit your scene are called Scenes. So if you wanted to play with the flash scene, the backlight scene, all of these kinds of things, you can already see the level that this app is playing on is the next step and this might be for you. There is a great filter while we're in here called Clarity. I just added it.

You don't have to understand what clarity is or what it does; just click it, play with it, look at what it does. This is amazing, I love it. Crop, we understand what Crop is. I'm going to go ahead and crop this. I happen to like my images to be square. Crop it up, drag it over, love it. We can flip it, flop it, do all of those kind of things. Again another level of control that our previous app didn't have. This one does. Now here is a beauty. Now we can go and create other post processing effects, looks, or styles.

We've got normal color ones, Vibrant, Sunkiss'd, Magic Hour. I mean the list here is pretty amazing what you can do. We can go all the way back to the beginnings of photography and hit Pinhole. Right, of course that would be and look it. Beautiful tones, beautiful imagery. I don't have to know anything about this, here we go. I've got this. We can even change our level of intensity if we want. So you can begin to see the power of apps and also the power of why you want to get apps and why you want to play with apps? So they're going to have features in them, combinations, things that you might not know that you want to play with.

I love this image, I'm done, and I've just did a simple post-process. I've taken a raw image I shot with Camera Plus, I crop it, I've add a little post process filter called Pinhole, which is great, and I've made it square. Go ahead and save that, because I actually like what it did. But if you need more we can get into another app and there's plenty of them out there that will allow you that professional level of control if you want it. Now right now we're in Filterstorm. I'm going to pull up an image, okay.

Right away we can see all of the control that we have and we can go into filters. You look at these filters. These aren't pre-baked filters that have funny retro names with them. These are things that are professional photographer might understand. Listen if you're not a professional photographer, doesn't matter. Get in here. Press the button, play with the buttons, see what they do. It's a lot of what I do. I don't know the particular names or what they're doing. I know sometimes it gets me where I want in terms of my style and my image. Other people are going to go right to something like Curves and know what curves are and begin to play with the curves here and see the histograms, see the luminance, see the add point, the reset, all of these very deep things that you can get into.

So I'm just going to go ahead and change the curves a little bit here and go ahead and do that. This is an image. Right away I know I would want to crop that image up, so we're going to go ahead and hit the Crop button there and I'm going to pick a lovely square and I'm going to square there and I'm going to pinch that image. I'm editing by feel, right? You don't have to know all the rules of photography. It's great if you do without the rules. I'm just editing by feel right now and that feels very good to me, that kind of crop.

So even in app that's as very complicated as Filterstorm I could go levels and levels and levels deep beyond this to add things. Right now I've adjusted the curves. I've added a crop to it. I could add a text to it. I could do Tone Mapping, Vignette. I can even do double exposures and this is wonderful to have the power to do that. So you have the power to do that in the palm of your hand, if that's something you want to do. So I love the idea of levels. There is a level here you're comfortable with. Get in there, play with it, make it your own. You're done with that and you move on to the next.

That's what's wonderful about iPhone photography, is absolutely what you can do. It doesn't matter what app level you're at. Find the one that is comfortable for you. We went through a few, from basic to intermediate to really advance. You're going to find the one that just singes you, where you're going to working there, you're going to play with it, it's going to feel comfortable. That's where you're going to find your style, that's where you are going to find your creativity. Ultimately it's where you're going to be comfortable. But don't limit yourself, right? Go in that really high level app and play in there. You don't have to know what Curves is. Pay with them anyway, right.

You're professional photographer, you've been doing this forever? Don't fear Hipstamatic, don't fear the filters in there. Go in there, play with them. You may find a part of yourself, of your photographic creative part, that you didn't know existed. Ultimately this is about having fun, this is ultimately about just listening to the muse. It's ultimately about creativity. You want to get into these apps and find your creative home, the place that really sings, right, the place that's really allows you to come out as an artist.

That's what this is about. This isn't an about Curves. It isn't about those things. Ultimately that's really what's important.

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