Friday, April 20, 2012

old photographs

With Facebook purchasing Instagram (although is it really worth $1 Billion dollars?), I think it proves how this iPhone app has resonated with so many millions of people.  I think the appeal is can instantly create a visual story using filters that age a photograph. It brings us back to the memory of when the photograph was taken....a story, a place in time. 

Some of the most beautiful photographs evoke or represent a feeling, like a time capsule. I still think National Geographic and Life Magazine had the most expressive photos that have inspired me to improve my own photography. I've discovered some simple techniques to create depth to an help me create stories with my own images.  

Here's a list of my favourite "photo editing" techniques that enhance the "mood" of my photos.  Three (easy!) techniques when I use my good old Canon camera, and three (FREE!) iPhone "other" camera that I use when I don't have my main camera to capture those unexpected moments.  

For photos taken with my Canon camera

1) Place your sunglasses in front of your camera lens. Yes, it's THAT simple. Doing this apparently polarizes the light, so the UV rays are filtered.

without sunglasses
Photograph with sunglasses in
front of the lens

2)  Using this free online program,, all you need to do is upload a photograph from your computer, and choose a filter.  Then save it back on your computer.

Original photograph

Photograph using the "Madison" filter

3)  Just the good, old fashioned "sepia" tone on photo storage programs (like Picasa or iPhoto).  I know this isn't new, but I often find when using the black and white or sepia filter, it just makes the photo seem like it lacks in colour. The trick is to use this function on photographs that have high contrast, with minimal details.  One object of focus.  

Original photograph

Sepia toned filter on Picasa

For photos taken with my phone

1)  Instagram (of course!): I love the "Rise", "Earlybird" or "Nashville" filters.

I used the "Rise" filter on this photograph.

2)  Vintage Camera:  I like the "Caffe Mocha", "Pirate" and "Dark Knight" filters.

I used the "Dark Knight" filter here.

3)  BeFunky:  I like the "Instant", "Vintage" and "Retro" filters.  There's a lot of interesting ones here. 

I used the "Vintage" filter for this photograph.

No matter what I photograph, I want it to convey a message, story or just evoke a memory...and hope these tips help you enjoy creating long lasting photographic memories too.

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