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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Apps You’ll Love For Nature Photography

Oh, the images you’ll make with these little software gems!

Labels: Gear

This Article Features Photo Zoom

The iPhone doesn’t have a flash, but there are several apps you can use to lighten the dark areas of your photos. My favorite is iFlashReady (99 cents). It has two settings that open up the shadows of a given shot and one High Flash+ that adds a faux HDR look to your image. This app will make a huge difference in your photographs.

TrueHDR ($1.99) works much like Photomatix, an HDR program we use in conjunction with Photoshop on our computers. Touching the screen of your iPhone on an area to meter will lock in the correct exposure and focus. When confronted with a scene of several stops of latitude, take two shots of the same scene. In one, expose for the highlights. In the second, expose for the shadows. Combine them in TrueHDR, and you’ll be amazed at the resultant image.

Photo fx
There are more apps in this category than any other, but let me give you a few of my favorites. Photo fx includes most of the great photographic filters made by the Tiffen Corporation—everything from Color Grads to Split Neutral Density, Star filters to Polarizers, Night Vision to Infrared. I own most of these wonderful filters in glass from film days and I would hate to tell you what they cost me. Now you can have them all for $2.99.

ArtCamera ($1.99) is another app featuring wonderful effects. My personal favorites are those imitating famous artists—Monet, Matisse, Bacon, Degas and Picasso. You certainly don’t get Woman in Front of a Mirror when you use the Picasso filter, but what you do get is quite remarkable.

Another app that emulates painting is ShockMyPic (Free). Only one effect in this app, but a great one. It instantly makes any photo look like a van Gogh.

For those of you who truly want to turn a photo into a painting, my favorite is Artist’s Touch ($4.99). Use the app’s digital brushes to paint over one of your favorite images, and it magically transforms into an oil painting, watercolor, charcoal sketch or a mix of several such media. If you like this app, you might consider getting a stylus to help you paint, my favorite being the Pogo Stylus by Ten One Design.

Artist's Touch
AutoStitch Panorama ($1.99) and Pano ($2.99) are my two favorite panorama apps. With Pano you make the panorama in real time. Shoot one photo, wait for it to process and show up in the iPhone, add another to it. It works very well, especially at balancing exposure differences. The downside is that it takes time and battery power to stand there and make the panorama.

AutoStitch Panorama
Panorama allows you to shoot overlapping photos with your iPhone camera and then bring them into the app later to make your panorama. This allows you to work very quickly in the field. It’s truly an excellent app. Both provide a great way to show the “whole enchilada,” whether you’re a pro on a scouting expedition or sharing a vacation with friends and family.


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