Every year I make the journey to MacWorld in San Francisco, because at my core (pun intended) I’m a 100% Apple Fanboy. While I enjoyed walking around the exhibit floor and discovering all the really cool Mac/iDevice software and gadgets, this year’s trip was a little different since I had the opportunity to speak about iPhone Photography in two iWorld sessions.
On Friday morning I presented my first session Tips For Creative iPhone Photography, (click her for my outline) and was truly impressed by the audience, who asked some really great questions during the presentation. One of the key concepts I tried to leave them with was the idea of a master shot. The master shot is a foundation shot that can be used as is, or added to by applying crops, special effects, multi-layer blending, etc. Having a master shot as your base shot gives you more flexibility as an iPhone photographer because it allows you to experiment with different creative ideas in other applications without destroying your original shot.
I have prepared a few examples of the master shot idea below. The first shot (see image 1) is a picture I took at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco with ProHDR, my goto application for most of my master shots. Android users take note, this excellent HDR app is also available for your device too! The final shot (image 2) was processed in Dynamic Light, a great HDR simulation application for the iOS that enhances the overall dynamic aspect of your shot through sharpening, gamma correction and saturation. It offers great presets as well as manual adjustments. Now, I have also included a third shot (image 3) which I processed in Camera+ to demonstrate the difference of post-processing a master shot in a completely different way. With this shot, I used the Clarity enhancement and the Purple Haze FX filter to produce a very different feel from my original Master shot. The point is, your creativity is limitless if you produce and save a master shot from the very beginning.
For my second example (see image 4), I grabbed a shot I took in the built-in iPhone Camera application. As you can see, this shot was a bit under exposed. To fix this, I employed a really cool application called Camera Flash to apply a simulated flash adjustment to my underexposed photograph and enhance the original lighting to bring out the underexposed areas. (see image 5). For my final processing of this image, I imported it into Adobe Photoshop Express and applied the reduce noise filter (see image 6). Adobe Photoshop Express has an exceptional noise filter that removes the noise inherent in digital photography but maintains much of the original quality of the image.
Other concepts I covered in my first presentation included the Rule of Thirds, which is essentially an artistic theory of dividing your photographic composition up into a 9 spaced grid and placing emphasis within the intersecting lines of the 9 spaced grid. Historically, artists have applied this theory to paintings, but the theory holds true for photographs as well. By applying this theory, your photos will be transformed into a more artistic format. Give it a try and see what you think.
My last presentation was more or less a ‘free-form’ presentation where I demonstrated enhancing iPhone photos inside of desktop applications like Adobe Bridge and Photoshop as well as a handful of iOS photo enhancement applications. I was also joined by Sally Cox, an Adobe Certified Instructor and Adobe User Group Manager from Kreatable. Sally demonstrated Adobe Photoshop Touch, which will soon be available on iOS devices. This application employs the masking capabilities made famous by the desktop version of Photoshop, in particular the extraction masking tools, which give the iOS end user real flexibility in photo compositing and masking. I can’t wait until this application is available for the iOS platform!
One thing I really felt during MacWorld 2012 was a real sense that iPhone Photography was moving forward into an exciting direction. I’m excited to be part of this new movement and hope to share some of my creative discoveries with you. Stay tuned!
Michael Clawson is Chief Fish at Big Fish Creations. Specializing in branding across multiple media platforms, Michael’s diverse repertoire includes a hybrid combination of designer and developer with emphasis on graphic design, branding, photography and communication. As a speaker, Michael has presented at several industry-specific conferences including Adobe Max and MacWorld.