Camera Awesome is Awesomely Creative

Camera Awesome image by Rick Sammon
I downloaded a new iPhone app this morning: Camera Awesome by SmugMug. Above is my first Camera Awesome image, created from the original iPhone photo below of the New Croton Dam.

Original dull and boring iPhone photo, with really boring sky, by Rick Sammon
Awesome, indeed.

The free app (with paid options) offers unlimited creative control over photos you take with the iPhone, as well as photos that are in your Photos gallery on your iPhone.

Getting back to "unlimited" creative control, the app has almost 300 presets, filters, texture and frames, but you can tweet them and combine them for endless, and original, effects. Thirty-six of the effects, more than enough to start your photo fun, are free. You can buy other effects in groups of nine for 99 cents.

For the opening image for this post, I used the More Wang effect, one of the many Presents. Other cool effects/options include: Awesomize, Transform, Filters and Texture.

By the way, I chose More Wang because I wanted to add an aged-photo look to my photo of the dam, which was under construction from 1892 to 1906. It's an aged, and aging, dam. I lead a workshop here in fall, which is an awesome photo experience.

While at the dam, I emailed the pictures to myself. Uploading pictures to SmugMug (at full resolution), Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Picasa and Photobucket are other options.

As illustrated in the above screen grabs, adding effects with a tap of the screen or swipe of a slider is fast, easy - and fun.

Camera Awesome image by Rick Sammon, from Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 100-400mm IS lens image.
Among the many cool feature in Camera Awesome is one that lets you apply a favorite effect to several images. For example, if you have several photos of big cats, you may want to apply the same effect to each cat.

No! I did not take the photo of the lion and jaguar with my iPhone. I used my Canon digital SLRs and lenses. Yes! As I mentioned, you can enhance any photo from your Photos gallery on your iPhone with Camera Awesome, too.

Enough reading already! Download the free app and awaken the artist within.

Explore the light,

P.S. I have a few of my own apps, for both the iPhone and iPad, too. Check them out here - to get some good tips on taking and making pictures. Read about the iPhone accessories I use and recommend while you are there.

Death Valley Photography Workshop: Dunes Part Duex

© Rick Sammon
Today is the last day of the Death Valley workshop organized by The Digital Photo Workshops.

Following a basic composition technique, compose with an "S" curve in the scene, we all made a beautiful image from atop one of the sand dunes.

I enhanced the image with Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro.

For more on composition, see my latest Kelby Training class: Composition, the strongest way of seeing.

Scroll down for more posts from the workshop.

Explore the light,

Death Valley Workshop Day 2 - Perfecting Panos

© Rick Sammon
Today we shot panos. Here's a five-shot, hand-help pano I took with my Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 17-40mm lens. I stitched the image in Photoshop's Photomerge.

I added the color in Nik's Color Efex Pro with the a Graduated filer and a Film Nostalgic filter.

When it comes to color, think like an artist.... make your own color.

Click here to learn more about Nik and the other plug-ins I use.

Below is my original pano minus the color I added.

© Rick Sammon
Explore the light,

Death Valley Workshop Day 1 - Telling the Story

© Rick Sammon
As always, my advice to my workshop students is to "tell the whole story" of a location.

One story-telling technique is to shoot both wide-angle and close-ups views.

© Rick Sammon
Try story-telling on your next photo trip. You'll like it.

Click here to see the gear I am using to tell the story here in Death Valley on the workshop run by Randy and Jeff who head up The Digital Photo Workshops.

Scroll down for more Death Valley posts.

Explore the light,

Death Valley Workshop Day 1 - Bad Water

© Rick Sammon

It's still day one of my workshop with The Digital Photo Workshops here in Death Valley.

We had a blast this afternoon photographing at Bad Water.

When shooting into the sun, shoot HDR. And, use an aperture of f/22 to create the starburst effect.

Here I used Photomatix to create the HDR image. Click here to learn more about the creative plug-ins and HDR image programs I use.

Scroll down for previous posts from Death Valley.

More images to come.

Click here for my iPad and iPhone apps that offer how-to info on lighting and HDR.

Explore the light,