Add Lens Flares, Rain, Fog, and More to Photos With Lens Distortions

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For the past three years, Lens Distortions has been part of my photography toolkit. It’s an app that provides you with ways to spruce up your images. You can add lens flares, fake rain, fake fog, fake snow, sparkle effects, and more to your photos. Adding stuff like that can feel like cheating, but if done sparingly and subtly, it can enhance. As the app description puts it: Frame your subject with elegant glass textures. Punctuate your shots with natural sunlight and lens flares. Create atmospheric depth with genuine rain or fog. Lens Distortion gives you the highest quality ingredients to craft the look you want. All of the overlays are created by optically-capturing real-world elements. They are displayed in gallery view, which allows you to see all the filters side-by-side and select the best one for your image. You can easily make an effect stand out for a bold look or blend in for just the right amount of subtle complexity. Sometimes the best effects are ones no one knows you added… Lens Distortions signature effects are hiding in plain sight in the images of many of today’s top photographers. The company also provides desktop tools as well. App Store: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

Add Lens Flares, Rain, Fog, and More to Photos With Lens Distortions

ProShot Camera App on Sale for $0.99, Down From $4.99

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The ProShot camera app is on sale for US$0.99. It has plenty of features for photographers comfortable with manual controls, although there are auto controls as well. Other features include manual, semi-manual, or automatic control over exposure, flash, focus, ISO, shutter speed, torch intensity, and white balance; shoot RAW (DNG), shoot full resolution in 16:9, 4:3, and 1:1; full-res Burst and Timelapse modes, all with full manual controls; Light Painting mode with two submodes; Portrait Mode support; Zero-lag bracket exposure up to ±3, in 1/3 stop increments; Auto MAX ISO and Shutter options; manual focus assist; front-facing camera with full manual controls; zoom with just one finger, up to 10X; fully featured Camera Roll with EXIF metadata, support for video playback, media sharing, and delete; grid overlay; customizable accent color, and more. App Store: US$0.99

ProShot Camera App on Sale for $0.99, Down From $4.99

VSCO Hasn’t Released a Film X Preset Since January

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The story I’m linking to is a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at the effort VSCO puts into emulating analog film. The company releases these special presets as part of its VSCO X membership, which costs US$20/year.

Its Film X filters recreate the look of long-gone analog films like Ektar 100, Portra 400, and Kodak Tri-X (a favorite of the late street photographer Garry Winogrand). It’s a long process that involves not just coding, but locating old film stock and reverse engineering the pictures captured on it.

It’s interesting to read, but I’d also like to take this opportunity to say that I’m a VSCO X member and VSCO hasn’t released a Film X preset since January. We were promised one new preset every month. Time to cancel?

New Leica Ad Celebrates Photojournalism

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Leica is a well-known camera brand, and today it released a five minute ad that celebrates photojournalism. Called ‘The Hunt’ it shows all of the stress, fear, drive, and life-threatening situations photojournalists face as they tell their stories. It was created by Brazilian agency F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi. We see scenes of an oppressive regime in China, an African warlord, conflict in the Middle East, and more. Although the photographers in the ad aren’t real, they do represent conditions that can happen in the real world.

News+: Fixes and Enhancements With Affinity Photo

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I’ve been using Affinity Photo for several months now, and I’m still getting used to using it. In the latest issue (May 2019) of MacFormat magazine, they share photo fixes and enhancements with Affinity Photo.

As well as using Affinity Photo to fix common problems, you can produce more creative results using selection and compositing tools such as layers and masks.

Unfortunately, this magazine is in PDF form instead of using Apple News Format. So you’ll have to swipe to page 28 (As opposed to me being able to share the singular article).

This is part of Andrew’s News+ series, where he shares a magazine every Friday to help people discover good content in Apple News+.

Camera+ 2 Gets a 2.0 Update With a New Design

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Camera+ 2 has been recently updated to 2.0. The main focus is the camera itself. In the new design, the app is divided into three categories: Presets, Shutter modes, and Settings. Presets give you instant access to specific shooting modes, like Action Mode, Slow Shutter, and Macro. Shutter modes define how you want to shoot, with a timer, stabilizer, and Smile. Settings give you preferences like showing the grid and horizon level. Besides the new updates, Camera+ 2 offers RAW capture and editing, manual controls, depth capture and editing, and integration with your photo library. You can read more about it on the company’s blog. App Store: US$2.99

Camera+ 2 Gets a 2.0 Update With a New Design

How to Take a Good, Impromptu Portrait

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Have you ever been somewhere and had someone walk up to you and ask you to take their photo? Aimée Lutkin has some tips to help take a good, impromptu portrait.

You can get better photos with a little direction and a few adjustments. If you have a terrible photographer in your life, forward this post to them. If it don’t, you might be (probably are) the culprit. Here’s how to improve your flattering photography game.

Manage Faces in Apple’s Photos App

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David Murphy has a nice tip out on how to organize photos by Faces on iOS. It’s a great way to manage photos of people.

On the three platforms you’re most likely to use to store your smartphone pictures—Apple Photos, Amazon Photos, and Google Photos—machine learning can categorize your photos by the faces in them, rather than rudimentary details like when or where they were taken.

Pixelmator Photo iPad App Available for Preorder

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The team behind Pixelmator, an alternative to Photoshop, is coming out with an iPad app called Pixelmator Photo. You can preorder it today for US$3.99, and it will launch on April 9 for US$4.99.

With powerful, nondestructive color adjustments like Levels, Curves, Hue & Saturation, Selective Color, and Black & White, it lets you edit the colors of your photos in any way you want. And the Repair and Crop tools let you perfect all the details.

I have to say, I’m kind of disappointed with this. I use Pixelmator Pro every day, and I was hoping it would be ported to iOS. But Pixelmator Photo is just another photo editor, and the graphic design features won’t be available.

Darkroom 4.1 Adds Photos Extension, Editing in Files

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Darkroom 4.1 adds more ways for users to edit images, including a new photos extension and the ability to open photos directly in Files. What’s new: Photos Extension: Edit your photos with Darkroom right within the Photos app; Import to Darkroom: As an alternative to the Photos Extension, hand over your photos from apps using the new Share Extension; Copy to Darkroom: Easily copy your photos from external storage services like Dropbox or the Files apps to the camera roll and edit in Darkroom; Drag and drop to Import: Photos now can be dragged and dropped, on iPad only, to Darkroom to be copied and edited; Imported Smart Album: One convenient place to track all the photos you imported and/or copied to Darkroom; Open: Right from the album picker you can tap on the “Open” to access any photos accessible through the Files app, and 3d-party services that integrate with it. App Store: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

Darkroom 4.1 Adds Photos Extension, Editing in Files

It's Easy to Shoot and Edit Videos with Nizo

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I’ve had the opportunity to test Nizo over the weekend, and I think it’s a cool app that makes it easy to shoot and edit videos. It offers nine presets you can use in real time to alter the tones and colors of your video. My favorite is KC1. Each preset also adds a bit of film grain for that old-age cinematic look. Once you’re done shooting, you can edit your video with simple drag and drop. Trim, duplicate, and reorder clips, or move a clip to a different video; add and trim music from your library, or delete a clip by flicking it away. Nizo offers: Auto or Manual modes: ISO, Shutter Angle, WB; 4K video recording at 24 fps or 60 fps; 1080p at 24 fps or 120 fps slow-motion; Toggle wide-angle or telephoto lens; Shoot natural or with a cinematic preset; and 16:9 ratio at 24 fps for motion picture quality. App Store: US$4.99

It’s Easy to Shoot and Edit Videos with Nizo

Fauxtography, or Manipulating an Image to Tell a Story

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Nice piece on photography and fauxtography by The Verge. It talks about certain automated actions in photography but I think it speaks to photo manipulation in general. Long before smartphones and Photoshop were invented, some photographers still manipulated their images in the dark room. These were under the category of fine art photography, and it helped a photographer use the picture to tell the story in their head.

For the longest time, we’ve had a seemingly clear dividing line between shots straight out of the camera (colloquially referred to as SOOC) and examples of fauxtography where the shooter has indulged in applying some after effects like filters, vignettes, recoloration, or masking and inserting objects in the frame. Phones are now stampeding over that line.