Sn’App Happy: Confessions Of An iPhone App’dict!

Hi, I’m Laurie and I’m Appdicted to iPhonography!  There, I said it!  Whew, that felt good.  Those who follow me on Facebook know how App happy I’ve become over the last few months and I am proud to admit it.  My iPhone camera along with several creative Apps have brought me back in touch with my “out of the box” creative side and yielded hours and hours of pure fun…

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iPhone 5s, in-camera Pano, Snapseed HDR, AutoPainter, Blender

Let me back up a little… Late last year I signed up for a workshop with DeWitt Jones.  I followed his Celebrate blog and Facebook pages, I read his articles in Outdoor Photographer about the pure joy of photography and seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary and I simply felt drawn to his seeming love of life.  I also had a visit to Molokai, HI on my bucket list so when I saw that DeWitt was teaching a workshop (along with Rikki Cooke and Jonathan Kingston) on Molokai at the Hui Ho’olana.  I felt a strong pull to sign up for the workshop and soon found myself winging my way to Molokai! I had toyed around with the camera on my iphone in the past.  It was fun to text photos to friends and family and I would post an occasional photo on Facebook.  My favorite App was Pro HDR, an App that took two photos and combined them in camera, oh I was cool, to be sure.  DeWitt put an emphasis on the fact that he would be using his iPhone a lot!  So, I arrived in Molokai with all the recommended Apps on my iPhone 4s (last years model) which I thought was fine…until I found out about in camera Panos, Slo Motion Video, SlowShutter speeds, and on and on in the current 5s.  I still didn’t think I needed a new iphone 5s with all the above features plus an 8 megapixel camera.  I made a couple of images…

Succulent iphone

iPhone 4s in camera capture, no processing

 

…learned to process them and began to experience the magic of App’ing…

iPhone 4s, Snapseed Crop, HDR and Frame

iPhone 4s, Snapseed Crop, HDR and Frame

 

My iphone soon became more than just a record maker, I was making art, my creative juices were overflowing, I was enjoying the sheer fun of photography like the days when I first picked up a camera; not worrying about the details, just shooting peaked my interest.  To be sure, I composed, exposed and processed the images using my creative vision…but this time I did it all in my iPhone!  

I came home and continued to turn to my iPhone 5s (yes, I had to get the newest, coolest, toy…I mean tool) for not just a documentation of a current moment in time (a rare snow storm on the coast) but, with the intent of making images that matched the mood of the scene along with my creative vision…

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iPhone 5s with in-Camera Pano, Snapseed HDR, Tune to Darken for Mood

 

The more I explored my plethora of Apps, the more fun I was having and I soon found myself getting in touch with my inner Van Gogh…

iPhone 5s, Snapseed Cropped & Tuned

iPhone 5s, Snapseed Cropped & Tuned

 

Van Gogh in AutoPaint

Van Gogh in AutoPaint

 

Original and Van Gogh combined using Blender

Original and Van Gogh combined using Blender

 

A revolutionary discovery for me is the ability to move from one App to another taking an image whatever direction I choose; from slight enhancements…

iPhone 5s, Snapseed HDR

iPhone 5s, Snapseed HDR

 

…to creating an abstract version of an image with new Apps like Waterlogue I learn about from fellow App’dicts (thanks Celie Placzek)…

Painted in Waterlogue

Painted in Waterlogue

 

I finish the image by blending the first version with the Waterlogue version and tuning to my desired results!…

Snapseed Version and Waterlogue Version combined in Blender

Snapseed Version and Waterlogue Version combined in Blender

 

I love the creative control packed into my phone.  What a smart phone it is indeed.  It’s great fun adding artistic touches to an image and then having the ability to  control  the amount of any effect or even mask out parts entirely.  A current favorite style of mine includes just enough of an artistic App to add a surreal look and yet maintain a photographic feel at the same time by blending enough of the photograph to keep a degree of realism.  The artistic twists and turns I take and just how far I go is totally up to me on any given image.  I feel that anything I can think of trying is fair game, and oh, how much fun it is to simply let go and see where an image ends up…

iPhone 5s

 

 

Koi cropped and HDR using Snapseed, Painteresque

Cropped and HDR using Snapseed, finished with Painteresque

 

 

Seattle Union Station iPhone 5s in-Camera Pano

Seattle Union Station iPhone 5s in-Camera Pano

 

 

Snapseed B&W and Vintage

 

 

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall iPhone 5s

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall iPhone 5s

 

A Touch of Van Gogh from AutoPainter added

A Touch of AutoPainter Van Gogh added with Blender

 

I can even use a Mask to creatively paint the color back in to a Black and White image like I can using Layers in Photoshop CC…

B&W Conversion in Snapseend plus Tune Image, Color and B&W Images combined in Blender and Brush in Trees

B&W Conversion in Snapseend plus Tune Image, Color and B&W Images combined in Blender and Brush in Trees

I’m just now experimenting with enlarging images from my iPhone.  I am finding that some Apps are very small files and thus reduce the file size of the finished image while others are providing a file large enough to make an 8X10 at the native file size with the ability to increase the output size even more using software such as Perfect Resize from OnOne Software.  For now I really don’t care what output size I an get from my iPhone images or whether I can find a market for them.  What I do care about is how much fun I am having and the creative spillover effect this is having in all aspects of my photography.

I recently returned from my third visit to Cuba and have some crazy fun images I made with my…you got it…my iPhone (as well as the thousands of image I made with my big girl camera.  More images, stories and App’tidotes to come.  Stay tuned