So, you’ve been hanging out in the zone, and you’ve captured some cool images using those useful tips from your ever-expanding bag of tricks. Now, you’re celebrating in a dive bar or parked on the couch with some time on your hands. It’s a perfect moment to look through your photographs, decide what’s worth taking to the next level, and attempt to perform some technological hocus pocus.
Yes, you may have some SOOTC (straight out of the camera) miracles on your hands, but those are rare, and for the most part, an extra touch of love and care can take a good image and make it better. No my photo friends, this is not magic I’m talking about, simply a bit of app alchemy. Umm, well maybe it is magic.
Check out these lines of thinking you might consider, when you’ve opened an image in your favorite app and you’re flummoxed about what to do to make it shine. For the record, my go-to app is Snapseed. Of course, if you already have your own preferred apps, that’s perfectly fine.
MAKE IT BLACK AND WHITE
Taking the color out of an image can reduce distraction and bring focus to your subject for increased dramatic effect. And though the temptation might be great, it doesn’t mean you should desaturate everything in your photo library.
HDR (high-dynamic-range imaging) can really make your images pop. Beware, you might find yourself turning this bad boy up to eleven and using it like peanut butter. HDR can be a bit of a double-edge sword and give your photographs an over-stylized look. Use carefully and sparingly.
Straightening up those crooked lines will make your viewers feel more comfortable and grounded. Of course, there are exceptions and sometimes you can make a case for intentionally causing discomfort by leaving things squonk.
Use a selective color app such as Color Splash to accentuate areas of your image and bring an element of drama to your story. Again, this is an effective little trick that should not be overused.
Retouching an image to remove pesky bits of bric-a-brac can make all the difference and really help give your subject the prominence it deserves.
UP THE CONTRAST
Upping the contrast, particularly when working in black and white, is another way to bring a touch of drama to your images.
While I prefer to compose using the viewfinder on my phone, sometimes circumstances dictate that I use the cropping tool to craft my final image. Finding a hidden gem in a messy photograph can be wonderfully rewarding.
Reducing the brightness in an image that relies on a direct light source can help maximize the drama and focus the viewer’s attention. A simple snap shot may contain something epic and memorable.
Ready. Set. App!
With the thousands of apps that are available in the App Store, there’s so much you can do to craft your photographs to that point where you’re happy to show them to your family, friends and the world at large. However, tools are just tools, and it’s the photograph that should dictate how they should best be used.
Got some cool post-production pointers? I’d love to hear about them. Please share in the comments below.
Dubbed “LA’s iPhoneography Wizard” by Forbes Magazine, Alon Goldsmith is an award-winning photographer who has been featured extensively across media and exhibited in galleries around the globe. His recent achievements include Honorable Mentions in the Mobile Photography Awards, a category win in the Hipstography Awards, publication in the Los Angeles Times and Reader’s Digest, features in Snap Magazine and Mobiography, a one-man show in Brentwood and San Diego, and a group show at HaleARTS in Santa Monica.