Today’s iPhone Post-Processing comes all the way from the west end at Colonel Sam Smith Park in Etobicoke. In fact, this is one of my favourite places in the west end to shoot since there’s a variety of compositions. It’s right by Humber College and, there’s even a skating rink to boot if you ever get bored of shooting landscapes—who would get bored of that?!
You’ll see below the original shot taken with the native camera app on my iPhone 6 Plus. It’s a little on the dark side, but that’s done on purpose so that I could get more detail in the blown out area on the top right (where the sun was setting). I still blew out the area on purpose since getting even more detail there meant darkening up the shadow areas even more. Any darker in the shadow areas and I would have some obvious noise issues there, so I tried to find a happy medium, if you will.
Original file from the native camera app on my iPhone 6 Plus.
The first thing I did was to bring back the sun in the top right corner. When taking this shot, I knew I could bring back the sun again in post, so I intentionally let it blow out a little. I brought it back in one of my favourite sun-creating apps, The Light Camera by stuckincustoms.com.
Bringing back a little bit of the orange from the sun again, using the Light Camera app.
The top right was still a little blown out so I gave the white areas some colour, using VSCOcam. This app does a great job of tinting the highlight (and shadow) areas with selective colours, so I gave the highlights a little bit of yellow to match the sunshine.
Tinting the highlight areas with a yellow tint in VSCOcam.
That tinting was a good start to adding orange to the highlights, but I wanted to bring in even more warmth to the image, so I brought this into Mextures. I’m starting to use Mextures a lot more now since I love its ability to give subtle colour and texture enhancements to the overall image.
My formula for the below is MNZNMSD in case you wanted to use it yourself.
Giving the entire image a little bit of warmth using Mextures.
When I tinted the highlights and warmed the image, I not only tinted the top blown out areas, but I also tinted and warmed the highlight areas in the rest of my photo. You can see that some of the brown shrub areas on either side of the path is punched up a little in yellow/orange. I also managed to muddy-up the snow colour a little, which I did not like. Snow is supposed to be white, so that’s the way I wanted to keep it.
I had to bring back the white somehow, so I took the image I had right after adding the sun (second photo above) and I brightened the mid-tones and highlight areas in Instaflash Pro. For this image, I made sure that I was pleased with how the bottom half of the photo looked, knowing well that I would not use the top half of the photo.
Whitened the snow using Instaflash Pro.
After I was happy with how the bottom half of the image looked, I took this photo and basically combined the bottom half with the top half of the image prior to this one. I did this using Image Blender, which makes tasks likes this super easy.
Using Image Blender to blend in the top half of one photo with the bottom half of another.
The image below is what I ended up with after blending the two together. You can see that the top half still maintains a warm feel to it while the snow is now whiter and the foreground shadow areas are less muddier.
The blended image now has whiter snow and cleaner shadow areas while still maintaining a warmth to the top half.
I always like to give my images a finishing touch in VSCOcam, where I may do anything from tweaking the colour, fade an image even more, or maybe not even do anything at all. This time, I added the F2 Mellow filter to it as it gave it a subtle fade to the shadows, giving it a subtle moody feel to it. I cropped it for Instagram and there you have it!
The final image after giving it an f2 Mellow (+12) filter in VSCOcam
The Light Camera