Join Seán Duggan for an in-depth discussion in this video Recommended workflow, part of Creating Photo Composites on Smartphones and Tablets.
- With some images that you process on a mobile device, whether it be on a phone or on a tablet, you might be able to use a single app to do everything. But, for other projects, such as those where you use different effects to create a specific visual style, or for making composites, it's much more likely that you'll need to use a range of apps for different imaging tasks. The reasons for this are that not all apps have the functionality that you might need, and some apps do certain things much better than others. The process of taking an image through different apps is sometimes referred to as "app stacking." Depending on what you want to do to transform an image, there may be a specific order that you should use for adding effects.
Let's take a look at some of the things to keep in mind when using multiple apps on an image. So, the first thing that I want to mention about app stacking and the order in which you should add effects, is I wanna touch on the effects that should be used last, even if they are available in the app that you used for the first processing steps. And, those things are textures, and borders around images, or blurring effects in images. All of those things should come after your initial adjustments that address the overall brightness, contrast, color balance of the image, things like that.
So, let's just take a look at some examples of some photographs here, and we'll talk about what I did to them and also the order in which those effects were applied. So, here's a shot taken looking in through a window, and I was just intrigued by that dress hanging up on the far side of the room, so this is just the straight shot, nothing has been done to it, this is the initial processing where I made it black and white, cropped it square, really bumped up the contrast... In the next shot, you'll see that I went in and I retouched this part of the window frame, and what I did was I just added bright areas from over here because I wanted to accentuate the shape of the dress much more, I felt that the dress wasn't accentuated as much there, so I had my initial adjustments made it black and white, upped the contrast, then some retouching, then I added a blurring effect, this was done in Snapseed, just a nice vignette blur, and then, finally, the final toning was created on this one here.
So, the final step here was that the toning to create kind of a specific visual style, that really works well with the blurring, as well. Let's take a look at a composite. This is a simple image mirror, where a single shot looking out the window of an airport terminal has been reflected with itself to create this sort of strange architectural structure here. So, with a composite you want to do all of the work first in terms of any mirroring you might do, initial brightness contrast, maybe some toning if you want to add some toning, and then if you do want to add a texture or a border that should be the very last thing that happens.
Let's take a look at another shot. This is my daughter's teacher after a school play, just kind of saying goodbye to us from the stage door. First effect is adding lens light to add this look of bright beams of light coming from behind him-- we will be working with lens light in this course-- bumping up the contrast, making it much more dramatic, adding a texture in the form of grain, as well as a sepia tone effect, and then, finally, cropping and adding a textured border. Here's another example: straight shot looking down a tunnel.
I retouched the greenery in the background, just added white, and then, finally, the final styling. And, one last example here: This one's already been adjusted, and I've added extra canvas size above it because I knew I was gonna put in another photograph. So, this is kind of preparing the image for compositing by making extra room to add a new element in. It's a shot of a globe. I just was intrigued by the name of that tip off of the southern coast of Greenland: Cape Farewell.
Made it black and white, cropped it, added a texture of sky inside the image, just to sort of give a little bit of tonal variation there, added another texture, kind of more of a distressed texture plus some blurring, and some sepia toning, went back and removed the sepia toning from the water, kind of hand colored in some blue tones in the water, and then, finally, added a border around the edge. So, for composites, the rule of thumb would be to create the composite first with no special effects or customized visual styles, only add those effects, including any blurring and texture, after the final composite is done.
And, you'll see this in practice in the main projects we're gonna be working on in the course. Understanding the reasons why you should apply certain effects in the specific order will result in images that have a more cohesive and unified look to them, rather than ending up with photos that look just like they've had a quick effect applied to them. It'll also help you feel better about the images you create, since you're making specific creative decisions instead of just relying on a one-shot filter effect.
- Choosing which photos to use
- Stacking apps
- Combining two photos in a basic collage
- Using Juxtaposer's masking brushes
- Working with layers in Photoshop Touch
- Adding finishing touches with LensLight and Snapseed