Here’s a great example of a sunset that has been “placed” into my photo to spice up an area where it would otherwise be blown out highlights. To add even more spice to the image, I decided to make a long exposure picture to show the movement of the cars down below. I did this with my go-to app for long exposures, Slow Shutter Cam. Click here for tips on how to take long exposure shots with your iPhone.
The original image as taken from the Slow Shutter Cam app is below. I took this off of a bridge crossing Omotesando Street, looking down the beautiful tree-lined road. It was overcast that day so the camera didn’t pick up any detail in the centre of the image where the clouds were. I took this mid-afternoon so the overall white balance had more of a bluish tone to it.
You can see above how dull and flat this picture looks. To add a little more dimension and detail to the image, I imported it in Instaflash Pro, which does a great job in pulling out details from shadow areas and giving a flat image some depth. I increased the tonal values of select colours (green, yellow, orange), sharpened the overall image, and also added some clarity to it to add a little more dimension to the details. The image below looks much better now with more contrast and a kick in colour.
The next step is where I completely changed the feel of the image by giving it warmth. I use Mextures to add colour changes and subtle colour enhancements to an image. In this case, I used the Flare texture in the Radiance section to add some yellow and orange to the image. After changing the temperature to add even more warmth, I exported it out to my camera roll for the next step.
The next step complements the colour temperature change by adding a slight orange halo to the centre of the image where the clouds are shown. This boring white space does little to the image so I wanted to make this not stand out as much as it does. To do this, I an app called The Light Camera by the fine folks at Stuck in Customs.
The funny thing about The Light Camera app is, I really only use it for one thing. The A Surprise Hug light option gives the best warmth to an image than any other app that I’ve tested so far. So, this app is my go-to app for adding a touch of warmth to a localized area.
After this app, I use VSCOcam where I apply any finishing touches to the image. In this case, I applied the K2 filter at a very weak strength so as not to over-saturate the entire image. I sharpened a touch, and cropped it to a square format for Instagram.
I find this final image to be a big improvement over the dull and boring one that I started off with. So why, you may ask, did I even take this picture to begin with? I took it knowing that I would edit it in some way where I could bring out the best parts of this photo. A little thinking ahead of time does your photo a lot of good!