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    • Are there particular photo apps you use that allow you to in-phone edit and enhance a great shot? Or are they all crap and you always do your editing in the desktop?

      If you’d like to join this panel, react to this post with a 🙃 emoji and I’ll send you an invite.

    • @apm I accepted your invitation but I have an Android, not an iphone. If you want to keep this to iphones I won't post (not sure what I can add since I do most of my editing on my computer or tablet!). If this panel isn't specific to phone type perhaps a title change would be good.

    •  I accepted your invitation but I have an Android, not an iphone.

      In my head, I thought “smartphone apps” but botched it up in the typing.

      I’ve updated the title to reflect my intent.

      Sorry for the confusion!

    • I hope this will be a long workshop—trying out different apps, talking about which tools are actually helpful and which tools are just gimmicks, maybe posting some examples showing side-by-sides (or maybe cake doesn’t do that well with just one image per post), discussing reasons for altering photos and the ethics of that...? Or maybe I just want it all in one spoon-fed thread. Hahaha. 🤪

    • Over the last few years I've narrowed down to editing photos in just two apps: Photos and Darkroom. I've tried many others like Camera+ and Afterlight but none of them stuck with me.

      The default Photos app on iOS has come along way since its original version and is now sufficient enough for 90% percent of my editing needs. The quick "Brilliance" slider does a great job of bringing out the shadows, recovering the highlights (sky) and adding a pop (vibrance) all at once. I play with that slider first before making any other edits.

    • Immediately after playing with the Brilliance slider in the Photos app, I open up "advanced" sliders and fine-tune each slider. One of the biggest drawbacks with having multiple sliders shown is that they obscure the image and I have to open and close them to see the results. I'm hoping that in the next version Apple will do it right.

    • The Darkroom app comes in when default Photos app isn't enough. It has so many advanced sliders, curves and even split tones. There are built in filter presets that are easy to tap through and which you can then refine further. It also allows me to save my own personal presets that I can reuse later.

    • In my opinion, this really depends on what you're trying to achieve. If you want to edit a high-res photo to later print on a large canvas, nothing beats a desktop photo editor that allows you to zoom in, mask, save in high quality, ...

      However, if you want images that look good on a screen but don't necessarily need to be printed, there are great apps. On Android, I'm mostly using two:

      If it is just a quick edit - crop to a different format, perhaps increase brightness and contrast a bit, add a filter - then Google Photos does that and already comes pre-installed on many devices.

      For anything beyond that, I found that Snapseed is a very capable editor. In the below example image, I applied a mask to the image so that I could have two different edits for the tree and its reflection. In the upper half, the image was converted to black&white with a certain color filter for increased contrast, then some grain was added. In the lower half, increased saturation, a color filter and some glow for an opposite effect. Snapseed allows all of that and more with an intuitive interface.

    • Darkroom looks like an app that could provide some extra fine tuning for smartphone photos to really shine on Cake and elsewhere, @Vilen .

      Can you explain what the Depth slider does? I’m unfamiliar with this editing option.

    • Thanks for the invitation, apm.

      I am not a great app user on the iPhone but I do shoot a lot of images with mine, and I did spend a weekend at a workshop with Rad Drew -

      Rad is a fellow Hoosier and is a dedicated IPhonographer as are a couple friends of mine. The link to Rad's site offers a number of app suggestions especially for B&W conversions. His site also has an extensive list of apps he uses on his iPhone XS Max

      One app I love and use very almost every day, is PhotoPills

      which is avalible for both iphones and android phones. It tells you the times of sunset, sunrise, moon phases, exposure tables, and helps plans shooting sites and times. For $9.99 it is a real bargain and I recommend it highly - for phone photography and regular photography.

      Snapseed has been a mainstay for phone photogs for a very long time - it allows image selecting and editing on a small device like a phone - both IOS and Android.

      I must confess that I prefer to do my image editing on a large Hi Res monitor - on my iMacPro - so I Air drop my iphone files to my desktop, and then import them into LightRoom and store them on my external RAID device, and then edit them in LR and or PS, or other image editors as needed, like Topaz, SilverFX, ColorFX etc.. Works well for me, but not very mobile. But maybe more precise and controllable for me.

      Like Vilen, I use the native iPhone Photos editor for minor exposure and tonality edits to my images, and if I need more I will move on to Snapseed on my phone. A great app if you have little fingers or a big screen.

      A few apps Rad mentions that he uses frequently, in addition to the ones I mentioned above, include Dramatic Black and White, Noir, Simply B&W, Provoke, Image Blender, Vintage Scene and others.

      I should mention that there are two separate types of apps - some are editors or blenders that allow one to edit an already captured image. Others are apps that allow you to use and control the camera in your phone in a different manner than the basic photo app that comes with your phone. Provoke is a camera app, named after a B&W photo magazine in Japan in the 1960s.

      I should also point out that I find I really do like the Portrait setting on the iPhone - the ability to capture a close subject and really blur the background is really a great trick that I find myself using often.

      Darkroom looks very interesting - I will have to try it out, although it looks like it could easily cost $20 bucks of more in in app purchases. I think Darkroom has been upgraded to Darkroom 4.1 for iPads also so that might be very interesting - bigger screen to work with than a phone for those who prefer a larger screen image for precise editing

    • The Depth slider is a unique feature in the Darkroom App and allow me to adjust the depth of field (what's in focus) captured by the iPhone's portrait mode. It is really easy to adjust the focus by seeing the masked area that is going to be blurred out. The only prerequisite is that the photo has to be taken with the Portrait mode.

    • I have used Snapseed in the past but I think I'm sort of a throwback to a previous era.

      I take occasional photos on my phone but I usually do my editing on either my tablet (using Adobe Lightroom CC) or on my computer (using Adobe Lightroom Classic).

      I typically edit a shot or two a day on my tablet when I am traveling; photos are then shared on my blog. Most of my editing is done on my computer.

    • I use my camera more often than my phone. While there is a camera app on my phone that allows me to specify which settings to use at the time the photo is taken I tend to only specify focus point - where on my camera I am more precise about the settings I use (to attempt to match my desired result).

      I also prefer the full Lightroom Classic when I edit the photos. The set of tools in Lightroom Classic is more full-featured than those in Lightroom CC.

    • My edits are usually simple ones and primarily conversion to B&W then contrast, higlights and shadow sliders. I find that Snapseed is a very good fit with what I do. The ones I really like I re-edit on the computer using Alienskin.

      I’ve been trying another app called pic-tap-go which for quick colour edits has a nice collection of filters(B&W filters are not that great though)

      B&W using Snapseed

      Colour using pic-tap-go

    • discussing reasons for altering photos and the ethics of that...?

      You raise an interesting question that certainly has a place in this workshop. From an advertising standpoint, there are certainly ethical questions in regards to the illusions created to sell a product. But otherwise, are you creating visual art or are you providing a history? Is a brightness slider equivalent to an external flash unit or an assistant holding a reflector?

      What are your concerns or hesitations in editing or enhancing your pics beyond simple cropping or re-sizing @lidja ?


      One of the feedback comments made from our last workshop was that there wasn’t much back and forth conversation between panelists.

      I’m a genuinely curious creature, hence my questions. However, any panelist can comment on or ask questions of another panelist’s posts.

    • While I have dabbed at using my Olympus desktop application viewer to look at and edit RAW files, I have to admit, in this group I have least experience editing images, and none using smartphone apps. But I am looking forward to learn, and change that.

      The reason I did not spend time with apps yet is that after perusing online forums for a while, I noticed apparently some prefer viewing images as they are (if quality is great), and consider a less pure form of photography when images are edited, such as when applied HDR like effects.

      I don't really think that's always a point valid, as I have seen some I'd consider quite works of art, done by digitally touching images. But I also realize it is a fine line, and one that relates to preferences too, between making an image too "digital effects heavy" on the eye, and just gently enhancing it or changing colors in a creative and even brilliant way.

      Edit: I remembered someone mentioning the "Mix Photo App" and found this interesting way it can make an image into a tiny planet?! It of course does other things as most apps do in applying filters.

    • Don't take many photos with my phone either. Mostly I download 'em and edit with Photoshop on my desktop if I do.

      I occasionally play and add filters with Photoshop Express on my iPad pro. That's quite funky.

    • Seems easy enough to use, but how exactly we get to understand and appreciate the available filters?

    • Dracula, I would submit that well done editing should not be discernable to almost all but the most discerning viewers of prints, or online displayed images. If the editing is "noticeable" to most viewers, I would then think it is not that well done. JMO. I agree that "HDR" images that are strikingly modified to be apparent - ala Trey Radcliffe - may not appeal to all, altho I freely admit to liking a lot of Trey Radcliffe's and others "HDR" images. I can also point folks to images shot and processed as HDR images that are not apparent as such except maybe to the most discening of image editors, let alone lay viewers. I shoot many HDR images that no one would ever realize were bracketed exposures.

      Here is a TED talk by Trey that displays lots of his images, and gives him a chance to explain his vision of the world.

      The idea that an image "straight from the camera" has had no editing, and that an edited image is less accurate or even dishonest, is just not true in either event. All images have to be processed, whether digitally with image editing software or with film with various different chemical film developers and processing. JPGS straight from the camera were "edited" by the software built into the camera by the camera manufacturer.

      I do understand that if one is shooting images for a courtroom as evidence, or a museum as an historic document, then a certain standard is present that is not present for art created in a camera - but even for documentary images somewhere along the line from photons captured in the sensor as bits to the final image file, there is some "editing" done to render an image whether color or black and white. Even the choice of color temperature of the lighting plays a role in the appeareance of the final image.

      Anyone who thinks an image "straight" from an iPhone hasn't been "edited" truly does not understand how modern digital imagery works. The question really is are you satisfied with the image as edited by the camera or can you do better? Despite the fine quality of modern cameras, phone or otherwise, one can frequently make the image "better", more visually appealing, or a more accurate repesentaion of what the photographer envisioned when they pressed the shutter.

      I think of a digital camera as a very fancy "camera obscura" as used by painters in the 16th century, a means to capture a framework for the image I want to finally create.

    • I hope this will be a long workshop—trying out different apps, talking about which tools are actually helpful and which tools are just gimmicks, maybe posting some examples showing side-by-sides

      Okay, I want to do a head to head comparison of what you can do with each app.

      Would you mind taking a photo of the same subject, editing it with your favorite app, and then sharing it for a “What can you do with it” comparison?

      Take a photo of a stop 🛑 sign during magic hour.

      Then post your results after editing with your favorite app.

      Here’s the photo apps people are currently using:

      Darkroom @Vilen

      Snapseed @Factotum @JeffersonGrahamPhoto @Pathfinder @Francis

      Adobe Lightroom @JeffersonGrahamPhoto @Denise

      PhotoPills @Pathfinder

      pic-tap-go @Francis

      PhotoShop Express @DangerDave

      iPhone Camera app @lidja @apm