For my pictures and illustrations I always use size A2 or A3 paper, black fineliners of various widths, and concrete objects found in the garden, kitchen, children’s bedroom or wherever something inspiring catches my eye. However, in order for an idea and these materials to turn into a photo worth publishing, I also need various apps which I have installed on my cell phone.
I discovered the app 6×6 many months ago by pure accident. It is a simple, no-frills camera app and is supposed to remind people of the old-style cameras with the medium format 6×6. All of my Spielkkind photos are created using this app, because on the one hand I love the particular picture quality for my type of photos, and on the other hand it is incredibly simple to use. When it comes down to it, there are only two settings I can adjust with this app: where the lighting is measured and where the photo is focused. Both settings can be fixed by simply swiping across the screen. The only downside is that there is no direct link to the photo folder. This means that if I want to look at a picture in more detail or compare it, I need to switch to the general photo folder.
The second app is Snapseed, a photo editing app with multiple functions, filters and editing options. As far as I am concerned there is only one function that matters: tune image. Here I can adjust the brightness, ambience, contrast, saturation, shadows, and warmth of my photos. Exactly what and how much you want to edit is a matter of experience and taste; for me and my photos it is usually only very minimal movements in brightness, contrast, and saturation in order to enhance a particular visual impression.
Strictly speaker the photo would be completed at this point. However, through unpleasant experiences with people stealing my pictures, I have learned by now to insert a watermark before publishing and I therefore edit my finished photo using a third app. EZy Watermark is an app that lets you insert watermarks or copyright symbols. I have saved my Spielkkind logo in two different colored versions in the app and can insert them with only a few touches into my photo and position them there.
The process I have just described is more or less the same for all my photos. I have adapted the apps and my settings to my requirements and have figured out what works for me, and what doesn’t. Sometimes I wish for a slightly better camera, because for what I want to do, every now and again the iPhone 4s poses problems regarding the intricacies of lighting, e.g., the white balance. Changing to a different type of camera or more professional picture editing on the computer, however, is not an option for me. I like to keep everything in my own hands.
Teacher, illustrator, and photographer from Hanover, Germany