One wonderful thing about being an artist: Adding color to a black and white world. Isn’t that awesome? By the way, that statement is true in more than one sense. In the literal sense, as in my photograph today, as an artist I get to choose to add color to my work or not. I can leave my photograph as a direct interpretation of what I saw or I can change it, just with color.
And in the figurative sense, artists often add color and move outside of the lines of conventional rules of life. Who challenges the cultural norms of how we are supposed to act? To live? Historically, it’s the artists. And that adds color, lots of color, to a world that can otherwise seem black and white. You may or may not like the color, but that color enables our culture to continue to evolve and grow.
But enough of these deep thoughts… how about a mobile tutorial today, hmmm? It’s been a while! I created this piece a couple of days ago and thought it would be a perfect one to share with you, both for the relative simplicity of the steps compared to many of my edits, as well as I can share a new app I’ve been enjoying.
We start with the photograph, captured using ProCamera 7. As I mentioned in my blog post on Tuesday, I was feeling the urge to get out and photograph, and Tuesday morning was wonderfully foggy. I left for work early and spent some time photographing the trees in the fog on campus. There was this little tree with interesting lines I had never noticed before:
The photo looks a bit underexposed, which often happens in fog, even with the exposure control I have in ProCamera 7. The first step of the edit was pulling it into Snapseed, where I increased brightness and used the grunge filter to add color and texture. The nice thing about the way the grunge filter works, the bits of trees along the bottom, which are a bit of a distraction I thought I might have to clone out, end up blurred so there is no cloning work required. Bonus! And this is the first step to adding color, with the purple tint.
Next, the image went into Distressed FX. There are some great filters in this app for adding color! I use it all the time, playing with the different options and seeing which looks best. I love the range of color blends after using Distressed FX:
The next step is running the image from Distressed FX through a couple of other apps. First, the Autopainter app (I use the HD version, on my iPad) using the Benson filter. The great thing about this app is that you can stop it mid-processing to get different effects. I stopped the app at the end of Step 2, before Step 3 where all the detail strokes get added. It gives the image a rougher, more painterly, feel.
I also took the image out of Distressed FX, and ran it through a new app I’ve been playing with called Waterlogue. This simple app gives fantastic watercolor effects! I used the Soaked filter, set to Dark, and turned off the border. Love it!
The final step is blending the two images in Image Blender, to get more softness in the branches and a greater depth of color. I believe I used the “Darken” blending mode.
And that’s it! A very simple edit, but a wonderful result, adding a great depth of color to the black and white world I experienced that morning.
I’m going to be adding something a little extra to these mobile tutorials in the future! A map of the process I used, which I’m calling a “mobile recipe,” so that you can more easily follow the steps and try them out on your images. You can save these recipes and refer to them in the future when you’re looking for a little editing inspiration.
I know I’ve said there will be a Smartphone Art eCourse this year, but writing an eCourse takes a lot of time and energy, and as I move into 2014 I’m just not seeing when I will have that much available time and energy. So instead of a full-on eCourse, online I’ll be continuing these mobile tutorials, and will help you use the resources I already have available to learn more about mobile photography. Stay tuned.
And in person, I’d love to bring the Smartphone Art workshop to your area! This is such a fun class, and absolutely the best way to learn this material is in person. I’ll be adding a second day with more great content and we can make it a weekend thing. Contact me and let’s chat!