Making digital photos look old-fashioned is all the rage on mobile devices. Apps like Instagram and Camera+ are like virtual time machines, leaving you with retro images from your modern cameraphone. If you’re also looking to go vintage with pictures on your Mac, PhotoStyler is a fun, powerful, and easy-to-use way to get that old-school look without paying a fortune on eBay for antique photo gear.
Michael Orton is a fine-art and landscape photographer. He is also the creator of the “Orton Effect”. This finish is based around a process whereby a copy of an image is blurred and then combined with the original to produce a soft, dreamlike effect. It’s well-suited to portraits, but can be used to enhance many other subjects for which you want an ethereal, romanticized look.
There’s a lot to be said for the relentless progress of digital photography. These days, you can pick up a camera and memory card for a fairly small outlay that will store hundreds of pin-sharp high-quality shots. And recent iPhones are also capable of taking detailed, impressive photos.
Elements and Photoshop have a Reduce Noise filter that looks like it offers all you need to reduce the noise in high ISO images without sacrificing too much fine detail. In practice, though, it’s not so easy, despite the sophisticated controls.
When you’re out walking and you have a camera, it’s always worth looking out for interesting skies, because you never know when they might come in useful. You don’t have to snap loads – a single sky can often be used to enhance lots of different images.
This is what’s been done here to transform a dull-looking landscape, creating a vivid sunset effect that’s quite easy to achieve. Usually when you blend in a new sky, your first thought might be how to create the right kind of selection, especially if you’ve got a complicated horizon with tricky tree lines, for example.
Photographers use depth of field to blur distracting backgrounds and make their subjects stand out clearly. It’s a very effective technique, but it’s not so easy to do now as it used to be, partly because sensors are smaller and partly because most of us use zoom lenses with restricted maximum apertures, rather than the fast "prime" lenses of yesteryear.
Black and white is making a bit of a comeback, and you can create some surprisingly effective black and white images using the adjustment tools and effects in iPhoto. These might look a little basic at first, but the interaction between these two sets of controls is very interesting.
There’s no shortage of great solutions for enhancing digital photos on your Mac, but few of them do it with the speed and grace of Dfx. Tiffen is a company best known for making the glass filters used by photographers worldwide, and now more than 2,000 of those award-winning filters are digitally re-created in the new Dfx 3.0.
With iOS 5, iPhone users finally have native photo editing. But Apple kept things simple, so all you get is rotate, crop, red eye removal, and auto-enhance doing its thing. Prior to this small selection there was nothing, so the App Store is packed full of alternate cameras and photo editing apps for your shutterbug delights.
If you can’t quite imagine what it’d look like to leap from the tallest building in Malaysia or fly over the mouth of a volcano like Mount St. Helens, consider parting with $1.99 to give yourself perspective with the 360-degree, 3D video on im360, a universal app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.