Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Picturing Disney iPhone-ography Guide!

Now that I have become more acclimated with using my cell phone for taking pictures in the Disney Parks and regularly post on Instagram I feel like I have been asked more and more "what app did you use for that?" or "how did you get that effect?" so I decided to put together a little app guide for what I use on my iPhone 5 for taking taking and editing pictures.  I have left out the obvious iPhone app: iPhoto because I would like this to be a brand ambiguous as possible (nearly every app I list can be purchased on other phones) and Instagram because it is so user friendly!

1.  PicLab 

This is a great multi-purpose app because you can create unique quotation images, work with images you have, and you can spend hours working on fun and creative incarnations of your work. In particular I get a lot of comments about adding multi-font multi-color quotes and Disney-isms. 
Like this:
And the app works like this:

Crop your image to a square.  Then your screen will look like screen shot 1.  Next you enter your text, with up to 4 individual lines which can each have different fonts and colors.  For example, if you look at the middle screen shot you will see I have 2 lines (notice numbers to the top left- the "+" lets you add a new line).  Once you are done you click the blue box with the white check mark.  This brings you to the final menu.  As you can see in the 3rd image, you complete your project by clicking the orange check in the white circle which leads you to the save/share menu. :)

2. Rhonna Designs
While many other apps (like PicLab) can be used for adding texts I specifically like the pre-programmed uplifting and fun sayings on this app and the ability to "mask".
Here is an example of that feature (and the picture that spurred me to write this article): 

Once you open the app it is rather simple.
Choose the image you want and crop it to a square (see 1st image). Then choose the star symbol to add pre-made text (or the "T" to add your own text). Click "done" on top when you have positioned your text as you would like (2nd image).  Then choose the menu on the right and click "Mask" (3rd image).  Turn mask to on and change the opacity to your liking (4th image).  When you are done click done and save! 

3.  PicStitch & InstaCollage
I use these two collage apps when I am creating photo collages.  They have different strengths: Pic Stitch has the best square collages and InstaCollage the best unique collage shapes.  They both save high quality photos and have great free versions.

4.  PicFX
Although, it may be hard to see the filter differences between this app and Instagram itself, it features bokeh light filters. Here are some examples.  Its easy peasy to use this: crop your image to a square and scroll through the filters until you are happy.  You can even choose multiple layers of color, light, frame filters. 

5. Olloclip
Now this isn't an app, but instead a clip-on lens for iPhones.  Other brands exist as I am sure clip-on lenses for other phones, but this is the one I have so therefore I feel like its the only one I can justifiably discuss.  I have the Olloclip for iPhone 5 and it runs around $70.  Once you snap it on your phone, depending on which direction it is facing over the lens you either add a wide-angle or fish-eye lens.  The wide angle lens is only so-so in my opinion (and I have a wide-angle for my DSLR) so I rarely use it.  I do frequently use the fish-eye and think it's amazing! The iPhone 5 takes such good pictures that its totally justifiable for me to shell out $70 for a lens for it rather than 5x that for a fish-eye for my Sony Nex.  Here are a couple pics that you, my lovely readers, have given me great feedback on using the lens.  I like how I can tweak the amount of bending and the fact that the lens comes with a carry case so I can keep it in my bag at all times. 

Use multiple apps! I frequently use a filter from PicFX, then collage my pictures with InstaCollage or PicStitch, then add text with Rhonna or PicLab.  

Take your time! I see a lot of Instagram pics that people rush through.  Post your pics filterless if you are out and about and excited and go back to them later to app-ify them.

Use all the features on Instagram! The only app I didn't mention here is the most widely used one which has become the standard for social media sharing but people simply take their app-ified pictures add a filter and are done with it.  Use the focus area option (teardrop) to make a circular or horizontal area of your picture in focus and the rest defocus, or the brightness/clarity (sun) to really add highlights to your image.

What is your favorite photo-editing app? Did it make my cut?

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