Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Phone as a Creative Tool

My continued push into Photography has taken on two different approaches.  One being more use of the phone as a camera (the topic here) and the other using a new quad copter (the Phantom) and getting photos from on high (subject of a soon to be published post).  Not that I do not carry a camera (well not as much).  I still use it for some of the family photos (the quality is still better).  I am just finding having the extra processing power on board (the case of the phone) allows some new artistic freedoms that I am exploring.

This is not to say that I could not duplicate any of these with a regular camera and photoshop (indeed I could probably improve on the end product quite a bit).  However, working in camera, I can go from idea to finished product in a matter of  minutes.  Lets get started, you will get what I mean.

This photo was taken for another project.  Normally I would have used a camera, but the goal was to see what I could do with the phone.  These are two super heroine statues in front of a white sheet and a light behind it.  The color was added quickly and easily in snapseed.  The whole thing from capture to upload took only a few minutes.

This picture is another setup one I was doing as a project (like above).  I have a Cuckoo clock hanging on a knotty pine wall.  The processing was done in PicsArt Pro.  Again it only took a few minutes.  I was looking for a look that made the scene more rustic (to go with the old fashioned clock and knotty pine wall).  

The above is a picture from Johnny Rockets.  It is an old fashioned Burger and Shake joint.  They have juke boxes at each table all with the older songs.  When the fries come, they give everyone a small bowl for ketchup (and start you with a smiley face).  Mine sort of looked like it had a black eye, so I wanted a picture.  To go with the old fashioned theme, I applied a filter to match.  I went from snapping the picture to having it setup as I wanted in a matter of minutes.

Here is a picture outside of Johnny Rockets taken with Pro HDR.  For pictures taken in the dark, that are lit as the restaurant was, you get a nice glow.  This picture required no editing, it was HDR (High Dynamic Range - allows a greater span of lights and darks by combining multiple photos) right out of the phone (no blending photos in photoshop).  I find HDR to be especially effective for sunsets as well, just look at the next two examples.

This photo is straight out of the HDR program with no more modifications.  If I could have been ready a few minutes earlier, I would have had alot more color, but no matter what you are using as your camera, obviously timing is important (and if you look back at the older posts, you will see how big a difference a few minutes makes for sunsets).

This one is almost straight out of the HDR program.  I did use Photoshop Touch to play with the curves (basically effects the lightness/darkness).  The HDR program really allows capture of the colors of the sunset to occur very easily.

The above picture was taken at Steamtown.  A nice old train, in need of a bit of love.  By reducing the saturation, I gave it the old time feel (without dropping to direct black and white).  Again, this took very little time from capture to upload (on Google+). 

In addition to the setup pictures, or trying to get the phone (err camera) to capture the scene the way it feels to you, you can also have some fun with it.  If you look down a bit, you will see the memes of Florida.  Well you do not need to do a meme to have fun, sometimes a picture is all that is needed.

Seems Q does not get enough sleep.  Just walking out to the elevator, he needs to stop and nap in the chair in the lobby.  Well to show just how hard it is to wake him, I decided to add some fireworks (lets see him sleep through that).

Walking around in the woods, there is a new tree that is down (mostly).  As I had Q with me, I figured it would be a great time to make a hulk picture.  Here he is appearing to lift the tree.  In Photoshop Touch, all I had to do was duplicate the layer, make the bottom layer green, and then erase the face and hands on the top layer.  This was extremely easy and a really fun photo to share.

Finally we have a fun picture that took no post processing.  I was sitting (in a mall) across from this fountain. The color lights were changing on it constantly.  I decided to use the HDR camera to get a combination of multiple lights (and that worked, and I took a handful of those pictures and they are all a little different based on timing).  So I figured, have Q walk in front during the exposure (if timed right, he would only be in one of the three exposures and we would get a ghost image of him).  As you can see it was timed right.

So this has been a fun look at using the phone as a camera.  Not all phones are equal (I think Denise gets better pictures out of her Sony compared to my Motorola Atrix 2, but with a little work, I think I do pretty well anyhow).  This blog will continue to have more and more pictures from the phone as I am really not taking as many with the camera anymore (but trust me I still have some camera pictures I might post).

Next up however will be some high flying pictures.  No, not from the Parrot Drone, but from the Phantom (with GoPro mounted on it).  The quality of pictures is much better than the Drone, and the altitude is also much higher.  Stay tuned, that will be next.

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