by Joseph Linaschke
This photo was originally made using Camera+ on the iPhone. Nothing special was done there; I just have been using the Camera+ app more and more lately due to the odd fact that my iPhone 4 built-in camera has been extremely slow to respond. So, photo made in Camera+, just against a white wall under a skylight, and exported.
I transferred the photo to my iPad for editing because needless to say it's nicer to work on the bigger screen. However Snapseed for iOS from Nik Software, the app I used, works equally well on the iPad and iPhone.
The first effect I added is the one I think most people would add last; the frame. I love adding edges and borders to images like this, but this is I think one of Snapseed's weaknesses — the borders are all very harsh and precise; solid black and white. However they do make good starting points if you add them early in the process, then keep adding other effects to the entire image.
I can't outline the exact steps I took in getting to this image, but it was a combination of Frames, Center Focus, either Grunge or Vintage, Details (lots of Structure and reapplying Structure), some Tune Image and of course the Black & White at the end. The real trick, I think, to getting any of these apps to look good (and unique—very important) is layering subtle effects. One-button effects can be cool but are too easy, and if you can do it in 5 seconds, so can someone else. Take some time to build on an image, and you may surprise yourself with what comes out the other end.
The iPhone camera and the litany of iOS apps never cease to amaze me. A little creativity goes a long way here.