Tag Archives: Snapseed

A New Look

I was playing around with some apps and found a new look. An IG friend @tesswyatt told me she thought it looked like Polaroid emulsion transfers and encouraged me to do more.

So I did. Using Snapseed to set the base, TangledFX to create an over the top version and Blender to blend detail with abstraction, I played my way through a series of close ups.

Each one turned out a bit differently depending on the level of detail native in the original photo.

I also used Shock My Pic to add texture and sometimes an Instagram filter. Warning: Shock My Pic cuts your photo size in half.

While the subject matter is similar, flowers and plants, the results of applying roughly the same apps yielded surprising differences.My next step is to have each of these images printed through Artifact uprising, assemble them into cards and send them to friends.

If you had a favorite image, would do me a favor and let me know in the comments? Thank you!

From Drab to Dynamic

Drab looking days don’t have to result in drab photos.  Often those drab days still have an energy and aliveness that doesn’t show up in our photos.  Fortunately, we don’t have to stop there.

Here’s an original drab day photo that I took with my iPhone 5 on a muddy trail run in San Francisco:

Original Photo: Golden Gate Bridge

Original Photo: Golden Gate Bridge

It doesn’t do justice to the excitement I felt for this scene. Time to edit. My first stop is Snapseed which has lots of editing functionality to “set the base”.  The below image has global adjustments to contrast, ambience and brightness.

Snapseed Edits: Golden Gate Bridge

Snapseed Edits: Golden Gate Bridge

The scene is brighter but the image is still blurry. ShockMyPic does a great job of adding definition to images like this one without adding noise.

ShockMyPic Edit: Golden Gate Bridge

ShockMyPic Edit: Golden Gate Bridge

Much better but still not as clear and sharp as what I felt. So I added texture and warmth in DistressedFX:

DistressedFX Edit: Golden Gate Bridge

DistressedFX Edit: Golden Gate Bridge (+Snapseed edit to add Vignette)

I kept playing in DistressedFX adding an HDR filter and a Pourpre texture.

DistressedFX Edit: Golden Gate Bridge

DistressedFX Edit: Golden Gate Bridge

This step gave a great mood to the image but made it too dark and the texture at the top, despite moderation to 50%, flattens the image by bringing the background to the foreground.  I backed off to the earlier version and posted it to Instagram

Arizona Cactus Garden at Stanford

Arizona Cactus Garden at Stanford by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Arizona Cactus Garden at Stanford by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

When I sang praises of the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, friends suggested that I check out the cactus garden at Stanford. Two attempts to find it and 3 different maps later, I can say it is fantastic!

Originally planted in the 1880’s this garden has some pre-historic looking specimens.

Moonrise over Prehistoric Looking Cactus by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013 using LoMob

Moonrise over Prehistoric Looking Cactus by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

As you can tell from the angle of view this thing is over 12 feet tall. If Ansel Adams was here or someone who uses 1930s contact printers, it would look like this:

Moonrise over Prehistoric Cactus by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Moonrise over Prehistoric Cactus by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

The garden has fantastical specimens I’ve never seen before:

Purple Spined Cactus by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Purple Spined Cactus by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

And some I have but which are both much bigger and surrounded by others:

Barrel Cactus by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Barrel Cactus by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

The garden is easily doable in 30 minutes and would reward a longer visit, one which I hope to make soon.

Apps used: PerfectlyClear, TitleFX, PhotoToaster, Shockmypic, Lomob, Impressions, Snapseed

Experiments in Mobile Photography

Ridge Winery by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Ridge Vineyards by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

My husband and I went to Ridge Vineyards last weekend to celebrate his birthday and enjoy the last days of summer. We found an open picnic table under an umbrella on top of the mountain and from this vantage point we looked over all the San Francisco Bay area. It was a wonderful mini-vacation.

A lone olive tree at the crest of one hill attached the ground to the sky through its roots, truck and canopy. The image proved a fertile jumping off point for a variety of experiments.

Passport to Another Place by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Passport to Another Place, Ridge Vineyards by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Passport to Another Place helps show the transporting power of space and quiet. I used apps Etchings and DistressedFX.

Dream by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Dream, Ridge Vineyards by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

For Dreams, I used apps Retromatic and Instagram to take the image in a new direction that’s a bit more design oriented.

A Surreal Place, Ridge Winery, by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

A Surreal Place, Ridge Vineyards, by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

In A Surreal Place, I used Repix and Snapseed to add a layer that looks like the scenery, water stains on a photo and pixelation.

A Digital World, Ridge Winery by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

The Digital World, Ridge Vineyards by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

The app Decim8 helped me introduce an allusion to The Digital World in the Silicon Valley below. Ridge is much more tranquil than this but it is in part made possible by the high-tech valley success.

Grapes by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Grapes and Earth, Ridge Vineyards by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Lastly, by combining apps Etchings, Moku Hanga, a Japanese woodblock printing app by JixiPix and Instagram , I created this softer look with a cool grape and warm earth contrast, hence Grapes and Earth.

It’s amazing how one scene gives so many ways of exploring what the time meant, what the place looked like and what it represented. A few hours of fun on a mountaintop translated into a few hours fun on an iPad editing a photo. Not a bad payoff.

Iron Daffodils

I never expected to see daffodils formed in wrought iron. The soft supple saturated yellow petals with tender folds that last a week seemed beyond replication by something so solid, gray, burning red hot then stiffly cold and lasting as wrought iron. But on my morning neighborhood run, iPhone in hand for mobile photography, I discovered, it is possible:

Iron Daffodils in Gray by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Iron Daffodils in Gray by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

When I took the photo with the app Camera+, I had to resist cleaning out the spider webs and pine needles nested in the center cups.  After basic editing and cropping in Snapseed, I used the Infrared filters in the app Dramatic B & W to emphasize the painted grey color. Without brilliant yellow color and soft texture, what you’re left to enjoy are the lovely folds and overall form.

There’s no one right way to interpret this image (just like there’s no one right spaghetti sauce) so using my iPad and various apps, I went on to find another, finally settling on this:

Iron Daffodils by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Iron Daffodils by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

I used the Oil Painting filter in the app PhotoForge to add warmth and color, then Aquarelle to add  softness and Glaze to add texture, then Distressed FX for more texture and brightness. Overall the effect is softer, more painterly and more dreamy than the iron gray version.

Daffodils, of course, look nothing like the iron version, nor the black and white version nor the dreamy version. They are a beautiful thing all of their own. Regardless, it is a delicious surprise to see someone try to copy that flower with a material that is so antithetical in every way. I’m so glad I had my “camera” / iPhone / mobile photography with me!

If you’d like to see some other image interpretations and editing apps try these pages on my blog:

Interpreting Images: Agapanthas and the Night

When the poet Emily Dickinson wrote, “Tell all the Truth but tell it Slant,” she was talking about writing. But she could have also been talking about photography.

Sometimes looking at something, even when improved and beautiful, is not the end. Here’s an agapantha blossom, improved and beautiful.

Agapanthas The Way They Are, Improved by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Agapanthas The Way They Are, Improved by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

There are more ways to look at this. More moods to evoke. More ways to interpret the bones of the image, the dried tea leaves. Before long, instead of a beautiful purple flower rejoicing in the sunrise, I’ve got this:

Moonlit Nile Night by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

Moonlit Nile Night by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

A secret meeting, now or long past, night blossom fragrance (brugmansia or datura) in the air telling, a witness restless in the shadows, ears listening to the conch shell of night.  A flashlight sweeps and circles, searching for the lost, the shadow limb.

Here’s to Emily Dickinson and the many ways we can interpret our images.

Related Posts:

Tell it Slant

Mobile Photography on a Run

Once again, the camera you have with you is the best one particularly when you are mobile. When I’m out for a jog, my Canon is just too big to carry but my iPhone is the perfect size for mobile photography.

I used my trusty Camera+ app to capture this intimate porch nook among the agapanthas, the bench just waiting for someone to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning sun.

202 in the Morning Sun

202 in the Morning Sun by Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson ©2013

After importing the image to my iPad using Photosync, I used Snapseed to position a square crop using the rule of thirds, adjusted the brightness, contrast, ambience, sharpness and structure and added a vignette. I added my signature using the app Impressions and resized to a smaller image for web using the app iResize.