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Adding a little magic to your photos

As a professional photographer I can tell you that most images you see these days have been touched up, air brushed or generally played with…this is called post production and now it’s your turn to have a go.

Regardless of camera, phone or device, there is some great and usually free software to take your pictures onto the next level.  I will end this article with a list of recommendations and the Internet is full of ‘how to’ videos for each one if you need further guidance.

So, let’s start with an image (all shot with a two year old HTC desire camera phone using the standard camera app)


For this first shot, I utilised a special ring light which I showed you how to make last week for less than £10…this gives a shadow less light and a nice halo if your subject is close to a wall….ideal for portraits.

To prove how simple this is, I’ll use a free app I’ve never seen before and do it all on my phone in about 10 minutes. This was all done using the Pixlr-o-matic app available to download for free.

First you import the image and simply flick thought a few preset styles until you find one you like, I want something which smooths the skin, draws your attention away from the white square bottom right of the picture and draws your attention to the to the face.

Finally you select a frame (or two) and hey presto



So, one effect and three different frames took no more than 10 minutes.


In the second example I took this landscape from the National Portrait Gallery in London through the bar window.
(It’s a hidden gem if you’re ever in London.)

This is a matter of taste, but I wanted the sky to feel richer, within the colour effects tool of the app was a graduated neutral density effect that I liked.  Regardless if it’s your bag, it shows you how quickly you can change pictures you already, improve the light quality have and with a minimum effort produce something which stands out and is more interesting.

So here’s a quick list of a few award winning post production apps and software:  (for this article, I used Pixlr-o-matic)
Why not go try these for yourself?

Apple iOS:  FX PhotoShudio  or Snapseed   or  Filterstorm

Android:  Pixlr-o-matic


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