App Stacking for Variations

One of the things that excites me about working with the iPhone and apps are the variations you can create using the same image! No need to fear not being able to get out and shoot!  Just look at the riches you already have and apply various and serial tools or apps to it.

Here’s an example:

HDR taken in Bracket Mode and merged in Pro HDR

HDR taken in Bracket Mode and merged in Pro HDR

I took this shot originally in an app called Bracket Mode.  It’s an HDR (High Dynamic Range) app that takes a dark version (that has highlight detail) and a light version (that has shadow detail) but doesn’t merge them. The advantage is that you don’t have to spend valuable processing time “in the field”.  I merged the two versions later in an app called Pro HDR.

Surprisingly, Pro HDR has some filters.  This 4-up shows, clockwise starting at the upper left, Normal, Soft Focus, X-Pro and Antique. These filters give 4 very different feelings to the same scene and 3 more feelings than the one I had when I was there.  What’s your personal favorite?

Pro HDR filters with different effects

The image has good bones so I decided to see if I could get it right without color.  I shifted to Black and White using Snapseed. At the same time I worked on Selectively Adjusting the Brightness, Contrast and Saturation of various bright areas, increased Structure and Ambiance and cropped for a more pleasing image architecture.

Black and White Photograph of Venice Canals taken with iPhone4

Converted image to Black and White using Snapseed.

The image feels good.  The black areas are black and there are true whites in the image.  But I’d like to see more texture overall.  Not so much a grunge texture but the kind you get from pencils or charcoal. Moving clockwise from the top left I experimented and played with I Sketch Pro, Painteresque v1, Painteresque v2, and a 35%/65% blended version of the I Sketch Pro and Painteresque v2 using Blender.

Introducing a drawn quality to the image

Introducing a drawn quality to the image

I like this feel but the walls are too tilted for me.  I switched to FrontView to straighten out the perspective for the last version.

Final signed version with perspective corrected.

Final signed version with perspective corrected.

It took me longer to write this post than it did to go through all those experiments stacking the effects of apps one on top of another on the iPhone.  What are some of your favorite apps or combinations of apps?