There’s something about late spring and summer that brings the cameras out: Memorial Day picnics, your nephew’s graduation, a day at the beach, the kids’ first trip to Disneyland. Capturing memories with your digital camera or camcorder has never been easier -- if you had told us a few years ago that we’d be snapping 5-megapixel stills and shooting 720p video with our iPhones, we would’ve bet a whole box of Drumsticks that you were mistaken.
I’m obsessed with collecting cameras from before my time. I’m by no means a pro photographer; I just like the look and feel of the photos from these nearly extinct shooters. It’s as if there’s more substance behind their faded colors than the picture-perfect, high-res digital images that my DSLR produces. But between film, processing, and the cameras themselves, shooting on vintage equipment can turn into quite an expensive hobby. Thankfully, desktop applications like Lo-Fi can at least emulate the look of these vintage cameras—though unsurprisingly, nothing is ever as good as the real thing.
The late, great Ansel Adams once said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” With Filterstorm 2, universal for iPad and iPhone, you can “make” just about any photo your imagination conceives. It’s so good, in fact, that it may -- for everyone but a true professional -- obviate the need for desktop editing suites.
Last year, photographers interested in Apple’s software had to choose
between Aperture, a pro-level image organizer and editor, and its
farm-club counterpart, iPhoto ’09. It was a tough decision because
power users needed the editing tools in Aperture but were tempted by
Faces, Places, and other iPhoto-only tricks. Aperture 3 rebalances the
roster, adding those iPhoto functions while also juicing up with
high-end tools like Brushes. It’s an impressive update, and Aperture’s
streamlined, iPhoto-esque interface welcomes intermediates while
meeting the demands of power users.
Pixelmator offers a Photoshop-esque experience for those who don’t know
the ins and outs of Photoshop. While it lacks the depth of niche
features that distinguish Adobe’s offering, it matches, and often
beats, Photoshop when it comes to interface, usability, and speed,
offering an extensive feature list of its own.
I love spending my afternoons peacefully lying in a field, staring up
at the sky and looking at the figures and formations my mind conjures
up from the clouds, from cats to dragons to my boss’s face asking me
what the heck I’m doing lying in a field and not in the office on a
Monday afternoon. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create your
own images within cloud formations without ever having to leave your
desk. We’ll use Phoenix, Aviary.com’s Web-based image editor, which is
akin to Adobe Photoshop but doesn’t require you to install any software.