While I am super enthusiastic about the apps I mention in this post, I am in no way affiliated with them, and was not contacted by their companies, or any third party seller to promote them. I just love the flipping heck out of them, and you will too!
If you know me, you know I am addicted to my camera. It is by my side just as much as my two kiddos. I love it.
I love to find pretty places, interesting angles, and intriguing details.
What I DONT love is always lugging my camera.
Yep, while I love my camera, it does get in the way. Sometimes when we're out and about and need our stroller cargo room for shopping (like farmers markets) or when we're driving around and don't have a ton of time to pull out the camera and fuss with settings, I just need a more practical alternative.
Enter my iPhone.
I know, smartphone pictures aren't actually good most of the time. I really thought that too until I discovered a few great apps! While you might already be using Instagram (I have a few instagram-ed photos at the bottom of the post), I would be lying if I said there wasn't an app more loved on my phone than Pro HDR. (DROID users- Pro HDR is also available for you! Woot woot!).
Pro HDR is an awesome app that turns your images into HR photos by taking two actual pictures- metered twice for light.
And with the most recent update, you can control where you want your iPhone to light meter! So cool.
When you open the app, you'll see two blue boxes.
(forgive the dark lighting, and uninspiring views- I am writing this before bed!)
Slide the boxes to the brightest and darkest spots in your shot. For the picture below, that would be the top left (away from the computer screen), and the bottom right (the bright computer screen glow).
Finally, when you have your picture, you can adjust it for brightness, saturation, and contrast. I almost always increase the brightness and contrast of pictures, and am a bit more sparing with the saturation. Too much saturation of color can make your pictures look like you are in wonka land! For this dark picture, I also took out all of the warmth.
Can we talk about how much prettier the final picture is, please? SO much better. If this boring shot can look this good, just imagine what you can do outdoors!
Pretty much all indoor shots need the warmth removed- it is adjusting the white balance to compensate for indoor lighting. If you want a more yellow toned shot, up the warmth. For blue hues, decrease it. Tint will change your greens and reds/fuschias.
So now that you know how to use Pro HDR, how about seeing what it can do? Here are a few shots I took around the Vail Valley this weekend:
( atop a hillside looking south to Beaver Creek and Avon)
(the sitting room at the Arrabelle in Vail)
(an aspen stand in Avon, CO)
I also combined some images with instagram for additional effects. Both these pictures were taken in Pro HDR (first version), and then I added the amaro filter in Instagram.
The Arrabelle in Vail
Vail Village during Oktoberfest
Now, with all this being said, Pro HDR, in HDR mode, is NOT good for pictures of people. People move. When taking two pictures and layering them, people look blurry. Don't take a picture of a person with HDR on. Simply turn it off when taking a picture of a person- or go ahead and use your iPhone's built in camera and upload it into Pro HDR to edit the contrast, brightness, tones, etc.
How cool is that- you can use Pro HDR as a photo editor, too! Totally worth the price! And when you combine it with Instagram you get super easy to share, stylish shots! Love!
What are your favorite camera phone apps?