December 27, 2018

My left hand. Understandably so since I take pictures with my right. Duh moment. Taken with the Darkr app but this time, I selected a film before I took the shot. Did it matter? Maybe. Maybe not. It did give me the feeling that I was doing something unique and special. With Darkr, however, you can always change the film simulation setting after a negative is produced. The film of choice was the Kodak TMax 400 ISO, and the decision resulted from the fact that this film, per Kodak website info regarding it, lends well to low light conditions. Well, I was in bed and the only light source came through the mostly draped window. The room was generally dim but not so much as to render the background completely dark. The illusion above was brought about by underexposing the subject to create an image captured before a completely black background. This was all a lie.

The picture negative came out okay. One thing that stuck out though was the highlight on the skin between the index finger and the thumb. I had to burn it until I felt the contrast looked alright.

Snapseed took care of the final edits.

Top Heavy

At Seabridge Park

Below the Old Ficus Tree | Darkr, Snapseed, iPhone 6S

Framing & composition. That’s what this is all about. I really wanted to include more of the sea, and the entirety of the boats’ reflections. Problem was it was a low tide and anything below the bottom frame was … sand. I was thinking, the relatively placid water might have provided some balance to the chaotic but beautiful texture created by the foliage. Maybe. In the end, I had to make do what was available to me.

Print wise: blown-out highlights. I took the photo close to midday and though the sun does not hang straight up vertically during the winters, it was high enough to cause harsh shadows. Darkr’s camera shutter speeds do not include half-stops or anything in between (I wish it does). And underexposing the image one more stop greatly thwarted the shadows. And so, once again, I had to work around limitations.

To darken the cloudless sky a bit, I used a yellow filter. That’s it. What do you think?

Darkr Snaps!

The Old Lady Two Years Ago

Of late, I’ve been enjoying a camera app called Darkr. It has been my app of choice whenever I encounter something I feel lends well to black and white. As this entry is not an app review, I will refrain from going into the details of the app’s features; its summary in the IOS store should be enough. Nevertheless, it’s worth the price and I highly recommend it! This is coming from someone who took a semester in basic b/w photography … well, that is if you are able to stoop low enough and take such endorsement.

Below is a photo of the Old County Hospital here in Los Angeles that I took two years ago which I recently converted into b/w using the app. I’d say it turned out pretty well and I am personally satisfied.

But it wasn’t that Darkr did all the work; it had help in the form of another app. Having decided on the film, exposure, and contrast combinations, I loaded the image into Snapseed. There, little moves in Curves adjustments and little tweaks in Tonal Range were made. I might have added a vignette and possibly minute sharpening to top it off. Voilà, there it is; a very menacing and sinister version of its color counterpart! Haha.

The Old Lady in 2018

I took the photo below a few days ago. Unlike the image above where it started off as a color photo taken with the iPhone 6S native camera, this one was done entirely using Darkr. Yes, it has a camera function. In fact, it has three formats: a pocket camera (4×3?), a medium format (square), and a large format (4×5). As I did not want the outcome to be in a square frame, I used the large format. The challenge of using this is that everything is reversed on the screen! What is up appears down, left is right, and so on. It’s very disorienting, but with time it becomes fourth nature.

The early morning was overcast. Clouds mostly covered the sky and so I used a filter (akin to lens color filter) to create some separation between the two. The red filter created a very stark contrast and so I opted for the yellow one.

As expected the image lacked contrast, and so I dodged (lightened) the main focal part of it. What would be more appropriate than the front (actually rear) part of the hospital? I made the adjustment slightly so as not to appear unnatural under this lighting context. Edits in Snapseed brought home the final product.

Very gritty. Remember, this was shot using the iPhone 6S camera capability (not the camera app, as I mentioned). I wonder how this would turn out had I used the newer iPhone versions. I would have to spend money to get one, but that is out of the question. I am vain, but not that vain. 🙂