Over the years people have asked me where I get the images used in Urban Farm Hub posts. Unless it’s a guest writer I take pretty much all the pictures used.
My favorite camera to use is my iPhone. “The best camera is the one you have with you” goes the saying and given the difference in bulk and weight between my DSLR and my phone there’s little question what I’ve got with me.
You can take great pictures with the camera that comes with the phone or I like to use the Camera+ app. With this app you can freeze the exposure or the focus and adjust the exposure and white balance. I like some of the post editing tools that come with it; especially the “clarity pro” for water reflection shots. I also find the straightening tool easy to use.
If you want to take long exposure shots of running water, lights etc.. The app I like to use is Long Expo Pro. You do need a tripod and enough light to get good shots but when the conditions are right you can get some nice pictures. I also like to use my iPod headphones with the built in volume control as an external shutter release to get as little camera movement as possible.
Here is a picture taken with this app on a moderately sunny day around 3 pm.
James Creek, Mt. Rainier
For post editing there are lots of great apps to choose from depending on what you want to do. My favorite general app is SnapSeed. With this you can crop, adjust exposure, increase ambient light, change contrast, change to black and white and even zoom in on sections to selectively lighten or darken them, (this is good for faces). There’s also a fun selection called “dramatic” that really makes your photo jump out at you.
Almost all pictures benefit from a little cropping and adjusting. Sometimes you hit it just right but often, as in the case with the birds in this shot, you are grabbing a picture quickly before it changes.
Here’s a progression of edits:
This is the initial shot. I liked the birds but not all the clutter in front of the building. It is also overexposed and needs some sharpening.
Here is the final image I wound up using. I increased the exposure, cropped the image and decreased the brightness.
My kids tell me that pulling out selective colors in pictures is sort of cheesy but I like the effect in some shots. The app I use for this is ColorSplash. I liked this picture taken in Amish country but it looked a bit boring to me. Using this app made it quite a bit more eye catching.
Edited with ColorSplash
BigLens can be a bit labor intensive but if you want to give the effect of having a short depth of field, (in focus object with blurred background) it’s a good one to use. It’s especially nice with people shots.
Here’s the initial shot with both subjects in focus.
Here is the shot with the background blurred just enough to draw attention to the subject in the foreground.
The last app I frequently use is called TouchRetouch. This one lets you take things out of a photo that you don’t want in. It does have its limitations though; if you try and take out too much it can replace your unwanted object with a weird collage from who knows where.
There are many more apps out there and more being developed every day. I’d love to hear about any that you like to use and will feature them in future updates to this post. Happy picture taking!