Monday, January 7, 2013

Apps for Creative Types Part 1 - PHOTOGRAPHY

I’m a bit of a hodgepodge when it comes to technology. I love gadgets, software, and apps, and I use multiple devices. I have a PC for gaming, a MacBook Pro for writing, photo-manipulation and recording music, an Android phone because I prefer its slide-out keyboard, and an iPad for additional portability and entertainment value – with full Bluetooth keyboard / case.
I don’t buy into the, one operating system can do it all, mantra - just as a single plotting method won’t work for every single writer. Sometimes you need to utilize several methods to generate the best product possible.  As a creative person, I don’t limit myself to just writing fiction. I dabble in photography, tend to sketch, I sing and write music – I play. 

The iPad is my latest adventure and I’m having a blast figuring the thing out. Here are a few of the photography apps I’m obsessed with – note – they may not be free, but they’re worth every cent:

Never has taking a wicked photo been this fun. Much to my professional photographer brother’s chagrin, you don’t have to know what the hell you’re technically doing to generate a striking image – just scroll through the options and choose the style that matches the mood you’re going for. It’s art for the masses and I’m all for it.

I know what you’re thinking – just wait - there’s a writing connection here. I often take pictures during trips, or just of life / architecture / anything that catches my eye – and use them as story starter images or fodder for future tales. A picture, I figure, is worth at least about 1k of a WIP, or can help develop a character, or even inspire an entire manuscript.

So, my writer friends, let’s get snapping…

CameraBag: This product is easy to use and yet has many advanced features if you’re willing to spend a bit of time playing with the settings to get a handle on the possibilities. I enjoy this app so much - I purchased it for both my iPad and my MacBook Pro.

Below is a sample before and after image of my pup, Grimm. I wasn’t happy with the discoloration around his right eye in the original and decided black and white would add more drama. Thanks to adjustments with the settings in CameraBag – the discoloration is gonzo.

TiltShift: Choose the focus of your images with this flexible blur tool you control by pinching in or out, or even rotating. You can also adjust color saturation, contrast, and more. Great for portraits.

Below sample is a picture of the woods behind my house. I zooped up the saturation and focused on the morning sun, resulting in a soft blur around the edges.

PhotoToaster: Another cool app that rivals Instagram, enabling you to select various filters, boarders, effects, and more.

Paper: The uses of this app are endless, from taking notes, jotting down ideas, photo-manipulation, quick sketches, or creating masterpieces. I confess I still haven’t mastered all the various brush components - a bit more playtime is definitely needed. This was my first sketch, done in the car, with my finger. I’ve now progressed to using a stylus pen for greater control. I snagged this two-pack at Chapters.

 I should mention that the compilations I’ve made for this post are via the Photo Collage Free app by Li Teng Fei - great for blogging.

Next time, I’ll feature a few writing apps you might want to consider. It’s a brave new app world out there with newbies coming down the pipe every day. Please share - what are you using?

~+~+++~+~  Judith Graves 

 ...YA fiction to die for...


  1. This sounds like so much fun! I love playing around with photos. I've got to try these apps.

  2. Thanks, Heather - it can be addictive, that's for darn sure. ;) Go for it!

  3. Thank you for sharing. Btw, Binfer is a great tool for sending entire albums to someone. The site is