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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fine-Art Camera Phone Photography

Using a bevy of sophisticated apps, Tony Sweet shows how to expand your creativity and make wall-worthy pictures from an iPhone

This Article Features Photo Zoom

ProHDR. ProHDR is a great app for creating HDR images on your iPhone. Although I prefer an iPhone tripod holder for HDR images, this app is very good at joining the two images it produces—one for the highlights and one for the shadows—if you hold the iPhone reasonably still. Using ProHDR, I took this serendipitous image from my room in the Smokies during a workshop. I had no time to set up the tripod, as the light lasted only a few seconds. I held my arms against my chest to steady the camera as much as possible. The software had no problem combining the two images.

ProHDR gives you three useful options, Auto HDR, Manual HDR and Library HDR. The Auto HDR setting is the most used as it's good at assessing exposure values. In Manual HDR, you can choose the highlights or shadows. Library HDR can blend any two images from your library. This can be an HDR series or any two images for a wild special effect.

Pic Grunger
Pic Grunger. Texturizing and the so-called grunge look are cool and popular these days. Using Pic Grunger, I took an image from Thunder Hole in Maine's Acadia National Park and applied several effects. Clicking on the Fx selection in Pic Grunger brings up the Effects photo wizard. I clicked on Texturize to experiment with various textures and opacities. Next, I called up the Pic Grunger Aged Effect to add low-opacity grunge, which enhanced the overall texture.

Perfect Photo. One of the better ways to sharpen is in Perfect Photo because it gives a large split screen of the before-and-after effect. My initial image was shot using Hipstamatic with the John S lens and Kodot film. Using the Perfect Photo split screen, you can get in close to see the effect of the sharpening adjustments. Even on my iPhone's small screen, the adjustments are easily visible in this zoomed-in view.

Perfect Photo

Impression. Particularly if you're going to post images online, it's a good idea to imprint your name on the actual shot. To do it in a visually pleasing way, I use Impression. I can control the font, size, opacity and color of the type, as well as where it appears on the image.

Panorama Using AutoStitch, PhotoForge, PhotoStudio And Filterstorm
. I seldom use just one app when I build up an image. When I was on a trip to Iceland, I took a series that I wanted to build into a panorama. In the end, I used several apps to create the final image, each one building upon the effects of the previous app.

Using my iPhone 4, I've created stitched panoramas of up to 46 images with AutoStitch. For a sequence I shot in Iceland, I opened AutoStitch, then in the Selected Photos window, I simply pressed Stitch. To create the complete look that I wanted, I used PhotoForge to sharpen and add a watercolor filter at a medium opacity. This final move texturized the image. The stitched panorama was saved at the original resolution, 18 megapixels. I opened PhotoStudio and selected the Vintage Red Filter at a low opacity to slightly color the clouds. In Filterstorm, contrast was increased and the image was cropped to clean up the edges.


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