This episode of Featured App of the Week focuses on easy strategies for editing and enhancing your digital photos on an iPhone or iPad, using the Apple Photos app, as well as optional third-party apps, like Photoshop Express Photo Editor, Pixelmator, and Touch/Retouch.
To purchase, download, and read Jason Rich's new ebook, iPhone 12 Pro Max Digital Photography from Apple Books (to read on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac), please click here.
To purchase, download, and read Jason Rich's new eBook, iPhone 12 Pro Max Digital Photography from Amazon (for all Kindle eBook readers), please click here.
If you want to follow Jason Rich on Instagram (@JasonRich7) to see examples of the photo editing strategies discussed within this episode, please click here.
Featured App of the Week – Episode #35
Welcome back to the Featured App of the Week podcast. I’m Jason Rich. In the previous episode, I offered a collection of tips for consistently taking professional-quality photos using the cameras built into your smartphone.
In this episode, the focus is on quickly editing and enhancing your digital images using the Photos app, as well as optional third-party apps that will expand the toolset available to you when it comes to making subtle or even major edits to the digital photos that are stored within your Apple iPhone or iPad.
Whenever I’m in a hurry, but I want to edit or enhance the appearance of an image before I share it online, for example, I use several tools that are part of the Photos app.
To begin, I’ll launch the Photos app and select the image I want to edit. I’ll then tap on the Editcommand that’s displayed in the top-right corner of the screen.
Next, I’ll examine the image and make sure it’s straight. If it needs adjusting, I simply tap the Crop icon, and then use the Image Straightening tool. Depending on how the image was originally framed, I might also use the Crop and Repositioning tools to re-frame the shot after it’s been taken, in order put more emphasis on my intended subject.
In terms of boosting the appearance of an image, always start by tapping on the Auto editing tool, which looks like a magic wand.
With a single on-screen tap, this tool uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to automatically make adjustments to the photo’s Color, Contrast, and Saturation, for example, with the goal of improving the appearance of the photo.
If the image still appears a little dark or too light, I might then tinker with the Brightness and/or Exposure tool. I then move over to the Saturation tool, which is one of my favorites.
The Saturation tool allows you to enhance the vibrance of the colors within your photos. It uses a slider, so by dragging the slider to the left, you can make all of the colors in your photo more vivid. If the photo already showcases a lot bright colors, or is a landscape shot, for example, the Saturation tool will have a really nice impact on the overall image.
Based on how the Saturation tool impacts the photo I’m working with, the next editing tool I often utilize is the Vibrance tool. With this, smaller adjustments using the slider typically offer the most impressive results, while still ensuring the colors in the photo remain looking natural.
Another editing tool I often use is the Vignette tool, which subtly darkens the outer edges of an image.
This, in turns, draws the viewer’s attention toward the center of the image and adds more visual emphasis onto the subject. The Vignette tool works great on portraits of people, pets, or close-ups of objects, for example, but it can also be used creatively on landscape or other wide or ultra-wide angle shots.
After I’ve used the Saturation, Vibrance, and Vignette tools, I’ll tap on the Done option to save my edits.
Assuming I like the results, I’ll either tap on the Share icon to send the image to others via text message, email, AirDrop, or social media, for example, or launch the official Facebook, Twitter,or Instagram app to publish the newly edited photo within my social media feeds.
Keep in mind, both the Facebook and Instagram mobile apps offer their own collection of easy-to-use photo editing tools, so you can snap a photo using the Camera app on your mobile device, import it into the Facebook or Instagram app, for example, and then quickly edit and publish it online with ease.
One often overlooked photo editing tool that’s built into the Photos app works only with photos taken using the Camera app’s Live feature. When you snap a Live photo, instead of storing a still image, your iPhone or iPad records a two to three second mini-movie.
You can then view a Live photo on any Apple device - such as an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, or Apple TV – and it looks animated.
Even if you don’t like the animated look of Live photos, if the image showcases motion, you can sometimes create some really spectacular visual effects when you add the Long Exposure effect to a Live photo. When you do this, instead of making the photo look animated, it blurs any objects in the photo that were in motion, but leaves everything stationary within the image fully in focus.
For example, if you take a Live photo of a waterfall, and then apply the Long Exposure effect, it will blur the moving water, which will typically make the photo look more artistic.
When you’re actually taking photos, most of the time, you’ll use the Photo shooting mode of the Camera app. The iPhone or iPad’s objective using the Photo shooting mode will be to ensure everything you see within the viewfinder appears clear and in focus as you take your photos. An emphasis, however, is placed on whatever appears directly behind the Camera app’s Auto Focussensor, which automatically appears as a yellow box over human faces as you’re looking at the viewfinder.
Anytime you’re not taking photos of people, however, it’s your job as the photographer to manually tap on the viewfinder screen directly over your intended subject, to make the Auto Focus sensor appear on your intended subject. This will ensure that the intended subject will appear in focus, especially if other objects appear in front of, behind, or to the sides of your intended subject.
Another picture taking strategy when you’re taking photos of people, pets, or objects - if what’s in the background is not important - is to consider using the Camera app’s Portrait shooting mode, instead of the Photo mode, to take those pictures.
Portrait mode will automatically blur whatever is in the background, which in turn puts more visual emphasis on your intended subject. On all of the latest iPhones, for example, Portraitshooting mode can now be used with the front- and rear-facing cameras.
You can also take advantage of the Portrait Lighting feature either while you’re snapping photos, or while you’re editing them. Portrait Lighting allows you to manually tinker with virtual lighting effects to alter a photo’s appearance.
The iOS 14 edition of the Camera and Photos app are chock full of powerful picture taking, as well as photo editing and enhancement tools. When it comes to editing your photos, the Photosapp does, however, have some limitations.
To gain even more creative control over your photo editing abilities and dramatically expand the collection of image editing and enhancement tools available to you directly from your mobile device, consider downloading and installing optional third-party apps.
For editing portraits of people, I definitely recommend the FaceTune 2 app. Photoshop Expressand Pixelmator are both powerful apps that work nicely when working on all types of photos.
These two apps have more elaborate editing tools than the Photos app, and they also give you greater control over their respective tools. They also allow you to add even more creative filters to your images, and at the same time, manually control the intensity of the effect filters, and even combine them, within each of your photos.
Another photo editing app that I love is called Retouch. It allows you to use a finger to paint over unwanted objects within your photos and make them literally disappear in seconds. That’s the primary function of the Retouch app, although Photoshop Express and Pixelmator both have a Heal tool that also allows you to remove unwanted objects from photos as well.
In addition to experimenting with the various Camera and Photos app tools on your own, one of the fastest and easiest ways to master using these two apps is to read my new eBook. It’s called iPhone 12 Pro Max Digital Photography.
This eBook has been fully updated for iOS 14 and the newest iPhone models, and it’s now available from Apple Books, so it can be purchased, downloaded, and read on any iPhone, iPad, or Mac. The eBook is also available from Amazon for all Kindle eBook readers.
The link to acquire iPhone 12 Pro Max Digital Photography can be found within the Episode Notes, or on my website, which you can reach by pointing your web browser to www.JasonRich.com.
My new eBook explains all of the latest features and functions of the Camera app, plus offers dozens of strategies that’ll help make you a better photographer, so you’ll consistently be able to take professional-quality and more creative or artistic looking photos using the cameras built into your smartphone.
In addition to knowing how to take photos using the Camera app, understanding some of the creative fundamentals of digital photography and how to utilize light, while taking into account what surrounds your subject as you frame your shots, are some of the skills covered within the eBook that’ll help make you a better photographer.
Well, that’s it for this edition of Featured App of the Week. As always, a text-based transcript of this episode is available at www.FeaturedAppPodcast.com. If you found this information useful, please tell your friends about the podcast, post a positive review, and don’t forget to subscribe.
Until next time, I’m Jason Rich. Thanks for listening.