Sunday, December 6, 2015

My Fave Photo Apps - Vacation Fun!

I have about a zillion photo apps on my phone, but there are a few that I think are really awesome and I want to share.  During my recent European adventures, there was some downtime in airports and train stations with no wifi or expensive data plan available, so it was a perfect opportunity to play with some of my photos!

1.  First up is Percolator.  It's a "photo mosaic" app that costs $2.99 and makes serious awesomeness like this shot of Saint Mark's Basilica:
It's basically like taking your image and putting it through the coffee-making process with a grind strength and various ways to serve it--like a sweet caramel latte or like a hearty cup of thick black joe.  You can let your image show through a bit or completely replace it with the "grind."  Using shots with a big range of values can lead to a dramatic end result.  This is the same Basilica "percolated" a different way.
If you go to Flickr and search for Percolator, you'll see a ton of other wonderful works done with the app.

2.  Next up is WordFoto which can take your image and turn it into a word collage.  It comes with a lot of preset formats, but there is plenty of opportunity to "fine-tune" your particular image into something perfect.  You can create your own list of words and change up the fonts like I did with this Basilica image to make it reflect special details about my trip:
Using a photo with a nice range of values really makes for nice outlines, but there are lots of options in the app to change the font and how tightly it fits to the image.  You can also adjust how much of the image shows in the background to highlight the text in the foreground.  Here's another example from a visit to Santorini, Greece, while on our cruise:

3. The next fun one is ToonCamera, which at $1.99 is worth it for the cool images I've come up with using the various tools and styles available.  It basically takes a photo and makes it look like a sketch or a painting, depending on the "art style" you choose.   It's very easy to pick options and the strength of the look, so you can really play around with your image.  This is a view of Venice from the bridge to the Academia...
And here's a more painterly image of the beautiful blue sky over Oia on the island of Santorini, Greece.  You can play with the level of detail on the lines and the boldness of the color to highlight what you want out of the photo.

4.  Last but not least is Color Splash that allows you to selectively colorize or un-colorize parts of your photo.  Once you get used to panning and zooming around on your image, you can "brush" the color on or off the photo easily.  This probably isn't the greatest example but I like how the greyscale of the buildings on the side of the lagoon contrast against the bright blue of the waterway with a few red highlights on the boats and the docks.

For only a few bucks, you could have hours of adventures right at your fingertips...making cool artwork out of your own simple photos.  It's a lot more fun than solitaire, I swear!

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Charleston, SC, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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