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Sunday, 14 September 2014

Living Planet and iColorama

I discovered that the photo app Living Planet was going free today so couldn't resist downloading it to see how good it was. The app is by Samer Azzam who has also developed Stackables, another photo app that may well enter my 'A' list.

I think this app will definitely have a place on my iPad to use occasionally when I want to use the special effect that it produces which is putting photos in a circle.  Here is what I came up with. It was a photo of the main city area of Hong Kong Island from my apartment in MidLevels. In iColorama I blended it with a sunset picture of the Big Buddha (which I had created earlier in Superimpose) and added some text.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Snapseed, PixlrExpress, iColorama

I'm still trying out loads of photo apps and really starting to narrow down the ones I want to use.

I love Snapseed for the initial cropping and subtle enhancing but I find the filters and effects quite limited so I tend to move onto something else after that.

I have been looking for another free app to use in my courses that will fill this gap.  At the moment I think Pixlr Express by Autodesk is the one although Adobe Photoshop Express is a possibility too. My concern about Pixlr Express is that this current version is a little buggy. Sometimes I load a picture and it shows nothing and sometimes it crashes on a save but it does have some nice effects.  I manipulated this butterfly picture using the adjustment>stylize>watercolor option and then applied a border:

It's useful to know that Autodesk also have an online version and a free Windows or Mac App that you can upgrade to Pro.

The app becoming my absolute favourite is iColorama (sorry, I know I keep on mentioning it but it is just awesome). By the way make sure you download the right version. When I was watching some tutorials online I couldn't understand why the features were different and then discovered that I was using the iPhone version (iColorama S) on the iPad and the iPad version has a little more so needless to say I have bought both!

I therefore couldn't resist trying out some of the options in iColorama I haven't looked at yet. Here are two results:

I got this by going to Style>Edges and then putting a mask using the Brush Mask on the butterflies and flower to make them come through.

The next one was a big surprise and I got it by going to Form>Tiles and trying one of the tile options:

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Chinese Lady

I took this wonderful picture in the fishing village of Tai O on Lantau Island. There was a lot of clutter around when I took the picture so I wanted to make it fade into the background leaving her as the central point. I also wanted to give it an old look but still maintain her colourful garb.

Apps used on the iPad: Snapseed, iColorama S, Image Blender.

Monday, 1 September 2014

iPhonegraphy: more iColorama S

Wow, this is a seriously good app but not so easy to get your head around. I think it will take some time before I can say I am proficient but here is my latest try. This was a picture of a Bali Starling taken with my Samsung Ace in the aviary in Hong Kong Park. The original picture was not the best and I am really happy with the result. I first cleaned the photo up a bit in Snapseed and then used iColorama S. I started with Style>Simplify using the option #1 on a middle opacity. Then I added a bit of noise under Effects.  Finally I went into the Brush and using Bound just painted in the areas you see here. Magic!