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Monday, February 20, 2012

Sometimes Simple is best~Apps: BracketMode~Sanpseed~ProHDR~TouchRetouch~Photo fx

I posted this iPhone, shot and processed, image to a few social sites including InstaGram, GooglePlus and FaceBook. I received many positive comments from viewers. So much that it made me think about why; What is it about a simple shot of the sun rising through the mist over a body of water? Was it something universal in our human experience that we so loved and related to?
The mystery of fog, the renewal of a new day, the calming effect of water, the suggestion of land, the soft colors of blue and yellow....a combination of elements that must be universally appealing and appreciated.
It also made me want to share the process for this simple yet emotion invoking image. Honestly, it was a hand held grab shot...pointed the iPhone lens toward the sun, made a composition and then made two exposures using the shooting app BracketMode: it is amazing how well this app works for capturing the dynamic range of light in a scene.
BracketMode Exposure 1 for the darks

BracketMode Exposure 2 for the highlights
I then blended these two shots in ProHDR: (making adjustments in the app to achieve this image)
ProHDR processed image
I wanted to make some further image adjustments so I brought the image into SnapSeed and made adjusts to saturation white balance, sharpness and added an off center blur effect.
Snapseed Adjusted image
I didn't like the contrail reflections that appeared in the water and the dark speck of land in the upper left so I used an app called TouchRetouch to make a selection and get rid of the undesirable elements. Touch Retouch is another amazing app, and functions much like content aware in PhotoShop when using the Lasso tool.
TouchRetouch adjusted image removed contrail reflections
I was happy with the tone of the image at this point and removing the contrail reflections helped but I wanted more fog, the image to me was still too harsh. I opened the app Photo fx on the iPhone and applied a fog filter adjusting the opacity to my taste. I also made further adjustments to the color tone in the image to achieve the final image. As a photographer I am still amazed with the shooting and processing possibilities of the iPhone and Apps!
Final image adjusted in Photo fx for tone and fog.
I will be conducting a day long advanced iPhone workshop on March 16 in Gaithersburg, Maryland and will be demonstrating apps and techniques I use to shoot and process images. If you would like to attend click here for registration and more info.

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