An old but very true saying: “The best camera in the world is the one you have in your hand.” The camera I had in my hand on that Sunday afternoon was my iPhone 4, and I had maybe 3 seconds to get set to capture what I knew could become a good shot of a mother on skates and her son on a push scooter crossing the street. Here was the result:
I did get lucky enough to capture a good composition (look at the triange formed by her head, her right foot and his left foot) that depicts an interesting scene and a contrast between light and dark, but let’s face it–I jiggled the camera. It’s a bad carpenter who blames his tools, and I won’t blame my phone. But as I have written before, it’s easy to take a bad photo these days, but even easier to make it look decent. So I present to you now the results of my experiments with various photo editing programs.
Color Splash Studio performs one trick very, very well. It will turn every part of a color photo into B&W except the areas you want. Worked pretty well here.
I chose the Daguerrotype setting in Flare, a program that will make your photograph look like a daguerrotype, vintage Kodachrome, or other old-tyme photos.
Sketcher, a program that will turn photos into a variety of paintings, created this “watercolor” effect. It has four settings for adjusting your picture that you can adjust from 0-100, hence the “72-100-100-40” notation. I might want to use that setting again someday.
FX Studio Pro is a more sophisticated version of Flare, with a lot more options and settings. Here I chose Pastel, and added a sort of stippling effect.
Finally, just for fun I uploaded IMG_2523 to my telephone and edited it with a few graphics programs there. First is a fun little one-trick pony called Popsicolor, which basically posterizes your picture with 1-2 colors.
I used the “Mint” and “Cotton Candy” (light blue) settings. Finally, something called Grungetastic, with a setting that had a particularly psychadelic effect called “Bleached 7.”
Of course you won’t read any silly and extravagant claims here that any of these “works of art” are masterpieces. Nonetheless, I hope this inspires you to take another look at some of your allegedly less successful photos. Perhaps you’ll see some means of salvaging a decent work of art.
Now before I conclude, be honest with me here: how many of you read the phrase “uploaded IMG_2523 to my telephone and edited it with a few graphics programs” and failed to realize just how shocking that phrase is? Think about it: I uploaded a photograph to a telephone to edit it with software found only on said telephone. Do you realize that only a few years ago, that phrase was impossible?!
Vonn Scott Bair