iPhoneography: How I Edited Toronto the Beautiful

Today’s photo editing process comes from a photo that I took during one of my sunrise shoots. It was an absolutely beautiful morning with just the right amount of clouds and light reflection to give off a spectacular image. Or was it?

Here’s the original image that was taken with my iPhone 6 Plus. It was an 8 sec. long exposure using the Slow Shutter Cam app.

Original image (scaled down in Photoshop). 8 second long exposure using Slow Shutter Cam App

Original image (scaled down in Photoshop). 8 second long exposure using Slow Shutter Cam App.

You can see that all the ingredients of a great looking photo are here, but just isn’t punctuated enough: the orange glow near the horizon, the ominous clouds rolling out, the long exposure water, and the rocks seen beneath the water. I wanted to show all of these great features in my final edit.

To do this, I used the Filterstorm Neue app, which I had, but hadn’t used in a long time. It has great editing features like curves and masking, and those are what I used for this photo.

The first thing I did here was accentuate the orange and blue glow of the sky. I did this through a number of procedures like saturation, colour temperature, and tone, all within the Filterstorm Neue app.

I then used the curves tool to give it more contrast, which heightened the colours a little and accentuated the rocks in the foreground from the snow. It looks a lot better now than the original photo, don’t you think?

"S" curve in Filterstorm Neue to increase contrast

“S” curve in Filterstorm Neue to increase contrast

With all this editing done on the overall image, the snow had also turned a blue hue, which we all know is not the norm. I wanted to keep the snow white to make things look more natural. Using the same app, I applied another curves adjustment. This time, I selected the blue channel and reduced the brightness of it by pulling the curve down in the highlight areas (the snow). Since I didn’t want this adjustment to affect the overall image, I used the mask tool to select only the snow in the image.

Lowered the blue and increased brightness only in the snow, using a masked curve tool in Filterstorm Neue.

Lowered the blue and increased brightness only in the snow, using a masked curve tool in Filterstorm Neue.

This made the overall photo more natural looking, which was my goal. I was happy with this image, but wanted just a little more pop in colour.

I therefore brought it into VSCOcam where 99 percent of my photos undergo a finishing touch. In this case, I applied the KK2 filter (+12) which boosted the colours overall-in particular the right side of the water-making it a standout image, and one of my favourite iPhone sunrise images this season.

Final image after applying KK2 filter in VSCOcam.

Final image after applying KK2 filter in VSCOcam.

That’s it! That’s all there is to this iPhoneography editing.

Have you ever used Filterstorm Neue before? Let me know how you use the app if you do. Would you like me to do a Filterstorm Neue app review? Let me know below as well!


Apps Used:

Filterstorm Neue

Filterstorm Neue

VSCOcam

VSCOcam


 

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