Friday, October 26, 2012

Fun photo apps that can enhance your reporting

Traditionally, photographers got to have all of the fun.
Not anymore, kids.

Here are some of my favorite apps to use on the job to help tell a story visually.

Panorama 360
On County Line Road between Longmont and Erie.

Why? Especially in Colorado, very often you need a wider lens to capture a scene.
Try it with: Weather, concerts, gatherings, outdoors, museums.
Cost: 99 cents.

Instagram

A very cool bottle of wine, using the selective focus on Instagram.

Duh. I use this more than any other app. Be careful of the filters when using photos for straight news reporting, which tends to frown upon altering a scene.
Why: It's easy, immediate, allows selective focus like a fancier camera, can repost to Twitter and Facebook and has snazzy filters to use with discretion. DISCRETION!
Try it with: Live reporting, quick hits, community clips.
Cost: Free.

Snapseed
I took the original image on my iPad and didn't notice the distracting man walking past in the background. The lighting was bad, and it needed cropped. A few quick clicks and I blurred him out and also enhanced the contract of this street musician. I could do a LOT more work, but this is just a quick example. Took less than one minute.
My pro photog friends recommend this one, and since they know more than me, I trust them. This app allows you to do some serious editing, seriously easily. A few options: selective adjust, crop, enhance details, change the focus,
Why: To produce high enough quality photos that could potentially run in the paper.
Try it with: Everything. The learning curve is much higher than the other apps, so plan on playing around with it for a few weeks first.
Cost: $4.99

Other less essential, fun photo apps:
* Vintique allows you to add filters to your photos, like Instagram, without posting them automatically to any stream.
* Hidden Cam is a totally creepy way to take pics with your iPad but look like you are doing other work on it. Try it out but don't say I told you to.
* InstaCollage allows you to create Instagram collages very easily.
* Meme Something allows you to turn any photo quickly into a meme, which can be a creative way to promote a story.


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