While I was experimenting with iPhone camera apps yesterday, I also decided to try out two photo editing apps recommended by elessar78 (aka, a friend of mine and a far better photographer). I also included Hipstamatic in the category of “photo editing” because the output from this app always has effects applied to it.
For ease of use, Hipstamatic gets a gold star. Although, I did not find it intuitive to figure out how to get different effects. I shot this image with the settings it had for that reason. I will have to play more with this app to figure out what else it will do–I wasn’t too impressed with the effect I got with the current settings.
Snapseed was, in fact, a snap. It had the advantage that I could apply different adjustments to an unaltered photo, meaning I could get many different looks from one shot instead of, like Hipstamatic, getting one set of adjustments that can’t be undone or redone differently. The disadvantage, of course, is that you take the photo with one app and then do the editing in a separate app, which may be more than the average iPhone shooter wants to deal with.
To create this version of the image, I changed it to black and white and then used the very simple slider to make it slightly less black and white, allowing some of the color to remain. This is the same effect using a saturation slider has, but it was easier and more intuitive for someone who doesn’t normally do any photo editing.
Photoforge has many more editing tools than Snapseed and may, for that reason, be less appealing to the photo-editing-fobes of the world. I stuck with only one menu of tools (filters) and played with some of the adjustments to get this very dark version of the image.
I like the way the detail in the weaving under the vase pops in this edit as well as the strong contrast between the light and dark areas. I also like that the background went to black and left only a partial reflection of the vase in the mirror.
The best feature of Photoforge that I used was the undo button. It allowed me to try whatever adjustment I wanted and then undo it if I didn’t like it.
A fun aspect of doing photo editing on the iPhone is that, because I use the Apple iCloud service that syncs all devices via the internet, once I saved my edited versions, they automatically showed up in my Aperture photostream on my laptop. I could have done further adjusting in Aperture easily, although I didn’t for the sake of comparing effects from the apps themselves.
Tisen remains unimpressed by technology. All he wants to know is when I will stop playing with my phone and take him for a walk. I obliged. Although the photo of Tisen was actually taken the next day–more on that later.