Most of my photography is composed in the viewfinder or on the LCD before I ever even shoot the picture, by where I position myself and how I frame the picture. Since most of my work is nature photography, rarely do I ever do much more in post processing than just crop and increase the brightness a little or saturate the colors just a bit. I am cautious not to alter the lighting or the color in an image very much for fear of making it look “wrong”. I don’t want the viewer to immediately describe the photograph as “Photoshopped.”
But there are many photography applications which anyone can use, and they are fun to play with. I use two on my iPhone, for fun and experimentation. One is called Value Viewer, and it is a useful tool for seeing a value study of a composition before shooting it or painting it. It also enables a lot of manipulation to create images that are strikingly different from the original. The image below, left, is a dramatic piece in 3 values. Beside it is the original rather non-descript photo of some random grasses beside the Bay. Unfortunately, for some viewing this post on their smart-phones, one of the images may be appearing sideways, which makes it difficult to compare the two. I don’t know how to correct that for phone viewing.
The image below left is enhanced using the iPhone app called Snapseed. The original shot is on the right. I sharpened it as far as the app would take it, and also increased the “drama” a little, to produce the image on the left.
In my last blog entry, I griped about people “borrowing” some of my images from facebook and uploading them as their own, so you will see that I am experimenting with watermarking my finished pieces that are posted here on my art blog. Should someone wish to purchase the image, the original of course does not have the watermark. I am using the iPhone app Impression for simple watermarking.