The panorama feature on the iPhone is Apple’s way of saying, “Go out and have fun with your phone, and use your pano in whatever situation you find yourself—and your photographs will be remarkable.” As fabulous as it gets on the iPhone, though, there’s even more fun to be had with photo editing apps.
Nature deserves to be treated as spiritual: A panorama view of a stunning mountain landscape, with a lone tree in the flats, gets the Photo fx Ultra treatment. Various effects were used, but Glimmer Glass Edge Blur had gave the image a more ethereal feel when applied using an iPad mini, with further edits on an iMac in Adobe Lightroom.
Even as secluded woods beckon, they can be mysterious: Curiosity can be evoked on a hike over a running creek on a fine day can when the distance turns dark, with Photo fx Ultra‘s softening effects and darkening filters; no further post-processing needed.
Vistas are meaningless without visitors to view them. For visual interest, hikers looking off into the distance show us what to appreciate; and the vista can turn ominous with some moody filters applied in Photo fx Ultra.
Mountainous mountains need people to show off their peaks. Landscape panoramas gain depth, and show size better, when there’s a happy skier placed off to one side. Edits made in Google Snapseed for shadow detail, highlights, sharpness and color will improve images made in the snow. Big plus: a panorama puts an end to the boring vacation shots at the summit.
People belong in panoramas. Whether it’s a mudbug-eating contest in Louisiana, or a group of friends across the dance floor, large groupings can usually be better photographed with a panorama than with a stationary horizontal shot. No need to worry about movement; the effects of motion add life to an image. The contestants put away more than a few pounds of crawfish, and were edited in Adobe Lightroom on an iMac. (The winner, a blind DJ with her own cheering squad, is seated just to left of center.)
Still life setups beg for panoramas, too: A tabletop of favorite castoff Christmas decorations, ready to go back in their boxes for another year, can make a sweet memory as a pano, with various Blur and Glow Effects applied in Photo fx Ultra. Any still life will do, though: try a before-and-after scenario when a table’s set for dinner guests, and after the guests depart.
What’s a city skyline for, if not a panorama? City skylines always beg for panoramas, and when the light is divine, they won’t need much tweaking in any app (though I did use Snapseed for a few edits here). I much prefer Adobe Lightroom on my iMac when there’s lots of detail to see—as there is with the Austin, Texas skyline, when seen from across the river at the performing arts center’s huge plaza on a stunning Sunday afternoon. ♣
Have your own favorite apps for pano fun? Add to the list of the apps I used:
- Google Snapseed is free on the App Store, and has it all. There’s really no need to get any other photo apps, unless you’re after even more artsy filters and features. Start here.
- Photo fx Ultra is $4.99 on the App Store, and is made by Tiffen (the people who make SLR camera filters, so they know their photo filters); it has typical editing features along with plenty of filters for layering effects.
- Find more apps used by the creative contributors to Lens and Pens by Sally, where the focus this week is on editing and processing with apps.