Lesson 92: Heavenly Bodies

 

Every once in a while, I take my dog out after dark (which happens a lot more often this time of year), look up, and am inspired to take some photos.  To be honest, the amount of noise in the iPhone night photos continues to frustrate me, even with the iPhone 5S.

But, recently, I was teaching a workshop and I asked if anyone had seen a creative use of noise (all the grainy speckles) in photography and a couple of folks commented that it could be used to create an antique effect.  I’m not sure I’ll ever get to where I make noise a goal, but it does open up some possibilities.

So, tonight, I looked up and saw Venus chasing the moon.  I immediately pulled out my iPhone and gave it a shot.  The images in the gallery were edited using the free, iOS version of iPhoto on my iPhone (see Lessons 84, 85, 86, and 87).  As you can see, they are noisy, but Venus and the moon are worth some noise.

Although the crescent moon turns into a blob, I’m pleased that Venus shows up in most of the images.

Your Assignment:  Don’t be afraid to go for broke on night images just because you’re using an iPhone.  Don’t let any Nokia Lumia-owning friends intimidate you!  However, as you may recall from Lesson 3, zooming on the iPhone is a digital zoom, which will make the noise factor that much bigger.  Instead of trying to zoom in to get a close-up of heavenly bodies at night, try artistically placing landscape features in the scene, giving the sky some perspective.

Lesson 87: Adding Drama in iPhoto iOS

This will be the last iPhoto iOS lesson for a bit.  But, I wanted to show some editing on a “regular” photo rather than using the Paper Camera images I edited in Lessons 85 and 86.

This sculpture recently appeared in a park in my neighborhood.  It’s a pretty dramatic sculpture all on its own, but somehow the drama doesn’t quite translate in the photo taken in the Apple Camera app.  Perhaps because this was taken on an overcast day with very even lighting–as you may recall from Lesson 16, lighting makes all the difference.

In any case, I used iPhoto to bring back the drama and maybe even add a little extra.  Here’s what I did:

Your Assignment:

Choose an image that is lackluster.  Yesterday we played with the Exposure settings.  That’s a good way to add drama as a starting place.  Now try using the saturate brush and “Drama” effect in iPhoto to see if you can create an image that really “pops.”