Blurred Lines

Boy holds Cleveland Indians baseball with Chief Wahoo logo. Cactus League, Scottsdale Arizona. March 16, 2014
Cactus League, Scottsdale Arizona. March 16, 2014

I recently blogged about Color Splash, a mobile app that allows users to wipe out color in a digital photograph, then add it back to specific sections for visual impact.  I had a blast with it, and expect to use if often now that I have the hang of it.

This weekend I tested another app: Big Lens. With a few swipes of a fingertip, it blurs or refines focus in digital images, creating the illusion of shallow depth of field.

I take a good portion of my photographs at the ballpark, with a long lens, so my aperture setting is often low to begin with.  Still, I was able to dig out a few exceptions and apply the Big Lens treatment. I got interesting results that are a bit more subtle than from Color Splash.

Big Lens also offers the ability to add focus light points in shapes like hearts and stars (Bokeh effect) to blurred sections. I only tried it in one photo here. Can you spot it?  Hint, I chose star shapes, but considered using hearts…

The biggest challenge with both apps is my lack of finger dexterity and precision. It’s difficult to stay within the borders of sections I’m highlighting — especially anything thin, like the brim of a ball cap.

If you are a Big Lens user, have you found a solution?

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Coloring Inside the Lines

Sunrise, Russian Hill. San Francisco, CA.
Sunrise, Russian Hill. San Francisco, CA.

I have a blog post inside me, just ITCHING to get out. It’s about The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg. Published to great acclaim in 2012, the book is fascinating and confidence-boosting — because Duhigg contends (with research to back him up) that once you break down what constitutes a habit, it’s easier to create those you most want, and nudge those you don’t into hibernation.

The book is also extremely well written.  I attended a writing seminar a year or so ago, where the speaker encouraged attendees to hone our way with words by reading great writing… like this.

I’ve decided to hold off, though, until I finish the book… which will be soon. The Power of Habit is 416 pages long, but if you enjoy digging deep into what makes human beings tick, it’s a very fast read.

Today I took a break from examining habit making-and-breaking to experiment with Color Splash, a mobile app that allows users to turn a color photo black and white, then retrieve color in a particular section using his/her finger.  I’m hooked.

I’ll take in my first regular season San Francisco Giants game of 2014 tomorrow night, and I guarantee you I’ll frame some of my photos with Color Splash in mind.

Check out my early works, using a few oldies but goodies as canvases.

Anyone else use the Color Splash app and love it?


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