Digital Filters: Not Just for Professional Photographers

By webadmin on 01:37 pm Aug 12, 2012
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Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) shoots over Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov (25) during the second half at Staples Center. (Richard Mackson / USA TODAY Sports)

Lisa Siregar

Adding a digital filter effect to a photo can improve the look of an image, no matter what the photographer’s skill level may be.

Whether a photo is taken on a phone or a camera, the growing popularity of photo-sharing applications such as Instagram could mean the end of users ever leaving a photo untouched.

App makers have been busy creating new products for the market that let users have fun with their photos.

The Popsicolor app, available on iTunes for $0.99, is ideal for the people who like watercolors. This application allows users to color correct but also has a long rendering time. People can expect to wait about 20 seconds to see a result once they have applied a filter to an image. Each time a user chooses to add a color, it takes an additional eight seconds to process.

Picking a perfect photo to experiment with on Popsicolor can be tricky. For a clear result, choose a photo that has clear lines and shadows. The end result is up to you, but you can always adjust the focus based on the photo’s quality. The “minimal” option provides the most white space — a good option for clear outlines and silhouettes, “natural” creates vivid colors and “bold” is an intense blend of deep shades and colors.

If you’re done with painting, try to “posterize” your favorite snap. People familiar with US President Barack Obama’s famous “Hope” poster campaign, designed by US street artist Shepherd Fairey, can easily create a replicate with their own style using Poster Me HD. This one costs $2.99 on the iTunes store, but there is a free version with fewer features. Users simply select a photo with a clean background, use one or more of the 35 color schemes, and adjust the tones. Rendering is almost instant, which is impressive. Poster Me HD beats Popsicolor in terms of time saved, but it has limited color variations. Extra choices take more time.

Another option, perhaps for the more artistic-minded photo editor out there, is Artograph, which costs $1.99 from iTunes. This app blends visual art with photography and has three basic effects: Cartoon, Watercolor and Photography. It lets users combine two effects at once. There are more than 30 effects that can be combined in this selection, including sepia, grayscale and various tinting options. People can add their own personal touch by using paintbrush, spray, marker and eraser. Changing effects takes a very short time.

So dig out your best photos and get downloading. And remember, have fun.