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Welcome to the first Monday of the year (you can stop cheering now), and I thought I’d kick off the new year here on the blog with a look at my favorite iPhone Apps from 2015. Let’s jump right in! (Note: these are in no particular order).

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Enlight
Apple themselves chose Enlight as one of their Best of 2015 (in fact, it was chosen as “Runner Up” here in the US, which is sayin’ somethin’, but it was Apple’s #1 App Store “App of the Year” in many other countries), and I have to say, it’s perhaps the most robust one-app-does-it-all editing app out there.  It does just about everything — from toning images manually, to adding filters, to automated fixes, to adding text overlays to create memes, all with a very straight forward, easy to use interface. It’s one of those Apps where you can take it as far as you want to go (kind of like Snapseed, another top photography App).

Price: $3.99 on the App Store (For iPhone or iPad)

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Lucid (Perfectly Clear)
If you’re looking for an app that will automatically fix, or even retouch your images automatically, this is the one. There are other automated fix apps out there, but I don’t think there’s any that do as good a job, and the little slider that shows you the before and after is just flat-out fun to use. You can tweak things if you like, but if you’re going to do a lot of tweaking, you might as well choose another App — this one’s strength is doing it for you.

Price: $2.99 (for iPhone or iPad)

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Adobe Post
This App just came out in late December and it kind of snuck out there so not many folks know about it yet, but it’s pretty sweet. It’s really a meme creator for Instagram (since all the images it creates, at least at this point, are square so it seems like it was made for Instagram where these text-over memes are very popular). Again, this isn’t the only app out there that lets you create this, but this one lets you fix and tweak these in a really flexible way, and I think that’s it’s strength — you start with a template, but then you can tweak it really easy, and the results are great — especially for the price (free).

Price: Free

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500px
It’s one of the best sources for photographic inspiration out there, and they keep tweaking it to make it better. The App itself is free, but to get the most out of it, you’ll need a 500px account, but you should have one of those anyway. They’ve got a great community there, and this app is a nice extension of it.

Price: Free

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Photoshop Fix
This would probably get my vote as the #1 App overall, because the technology going on here is pretty serious. It’s “Photoshop quality serious” and what it does best (and it’s the best I’ve seen at it), is portrait retouching. It does lots of regular tweaking, but where it soars is the quality and ease of the retouching. We’re talking Cloning, Retouching, Liquify type of effects — Adobe really outdid themselves on this one — one of their best apps ever, which makes it that much harder to believe it’s free.

Price: Free

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Mosaic
This one is very different — it’s not an editing app. It’s a photo book app, and one that’s designed to create beautiful, hardcover photo books in literally just minutes (we’re talking 5 minutes — not 60). Basically, here’s how it works: You pick 20 images from your camera roll and it creates a mosaic of them for the front cover, like you see above top (the cover has cut outs that show the mosaic on the first page). If you don’t like the cover mosaic, you can have it instantly refresh and show you a different one. On the 20 pages on the inside, it lays out your photos automatically (though you can drag and drop them into the order you want — see above bottom); and when it looks good to you, hit the Place Order button and in a few days, you have a hard cover book of photos you would probably never print otherwise, which is why this is such a wonderful app (and the books make amazing gift — I’ve given three of them so far in just the last few weeks). It couldn’t be easier to use. The only downside? The price of the printed books are $25 each (so a little over a $1 a page), but the printing is pretty decent (you’re just using iPhone photos), and the overall presentation as a gift is top notch. Send someone one of these and you’ll be a hero.

Price: Free (for the app). Photo books are $25.

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Lightroom Mobile
You know I would have to include this App, because it’s one of my favorites, and one of my most-used apps, and it keeps getting better and better, and more powerful each time they release an update. You don’t have to use it with Lightroom desktop (that’s new — you can download it free and just use it for tweaking your iPhone camera roll photos), or use it with Desktop for extending your Lightroom workflow (that’s what I do). This is also some of Adobe’s best work, and you can jump right from LR Mobile over to Photoshop Fix, and you’ve got a seriously powerful mobile workflow.

Price: Free (for iPhone and iPad, and Android)

Well, that’s our kick-off for 2016 — looking at some of my favorite photography apps from 2015 — hope you find some gems in there.

Have a great Monday everybody. Welcome to 2016 — we’ve got a clean slate — it’s a new chapter in our lives. Let’s make it a fun, adventurous, awesome one!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’m kicking off my 2016 “Shoot Like a Pro: Part II” (Reloaded) full-day photography seminar in Richmond, Virginia on January 27th, and then in Atlanta on the 29th. I hope you can come on out and spend the day with me (here’s the info). 

Happy New Year 2016 on tablet

A friend of mind emailed me this thought a few years ago, and I’m passing on an updated version to you:

“2016 is an unwritten chapter. …Love deeply, live boldly, and go after something big!”

I think that’s fantastic advice for starting off this New Year. :)

Here’s wishing you all a Happy, Safe and Prosperous 2016!!!!

All my best,

-Scott

First, I can’t believe I made this list!
OK, it looks like I Photoshop’d myself into this list (below), but I promise I didn’t (though I did add the red circle). Believe me, no one’s more surprised than I.

It’s based on social media reach and stuff like that and apparently the calculation has to do with everything from your Klout score to your Twitter presence, and a bunch of other stuff. Anyway, here’s the link to the full list: http://richtopia.com/people/500-ceos

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2. Get your whole year on Instagram analyzed immediately for free!
This is really pretty cool — you just go to this web site (called Siftr); enter your Instragram handle, and it prints out of a page of stats that is really helpful/awesome.

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It automatically calculates everything from which photos you posted had the most engagement to which hashtags you use the most, to which type of photos you post the most, and so much more. It’s a wealth of background knowledge delivered in just a few seconds right on-screen, and it’s presented in a really clean, clear layout. Definitely worth doing (I’ll be you’ll be surprised at some of what you learn). :)

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3.  I’ve got a cool tip if you use Lightroom Mobile!
This is one of those little-known tips, but man will you find it helpful. Here’s the link (we post stuff like this all the time over at LightroomKillerTips.com).

fenderamp

4. The wifey got me a cool little amp for Christmas!
It’s a small, portable Fender Tube Amp (the Fender Super Champ 2X) — I had been wanting something really clean to use with my pedal board (my Marshall tube amps are awesome, but even when you’re using the “clean” channel they still sound “dirty”). So, I’ve been playing it quite a big and super digging it! Thanks sweetie!  (BTW: I’ll make you guys a tape when I get a chance). BTW: That’s a Snark Tuner on top — I talked about it in our 20-days of Christmas.

OK, I gotta run
By the way — what happened to the Giants last night? It was a weird week in the NFL this past week, with weird plays (like that Giant’s 3rd Quarter onside kick debacle, and the Redskins take a knee weirdness), but how ’bout those Flacons stopping the Panthers’ undefeated streak. Crazy right? I love the timing — I shooting with the Falcon’s next weekend. Time to bring out the remotes! #riseup

Have a great Monday everybody (and by everybody I mean only those folks who are actually at work — I know a lot of folks are off this week), but whether you’re taking time off for the holidays, or you’re bringing home the bacon, I wish you a very fun week. :)

Best,

-Scott 

 

Art Christmas invitation background

To kick off this Christmas week, please join me in being “lame” and sing the following to the tune of Bing Crosby’s “I’ll be home for Christmas:” 

“I’m laming out for the Holidays
You can count on it.
There won’t be posts, or any news
It’s a present just for me. 

Christmas Eve will find me
Far away from this blog.
But I’ll be back again next week
I’m off to watch TV”

That’s right folks, I am totally “laming out” (laming rhymes with flaming) and kicking back and relaxing with the family. I’m not working, blogging, breathing, eating, posting; there’s no Grid episode this week, no guest blog Wednesday; just joyous rest, relaxation, and the sounds of distorted guitar between football games.

So, take a brief moment to soak in all the wonder and magic that is a stock image with text I added in Photoshop, and then let’s not think about any of this until next week. Deal? Deal!

Here’s wishing you and your family a safe, happy, healthy holiday and all the joy His season can bring. :)

Merry Christmas!

-Scott, Brad and his magical beard, and the entire crew here at KelbyOne

It’s definitely one of our best episodes of the year, thanks to our guest Daniel Gregory, who was just outstanding. Our topic was how to determine the order the images in your portfolio (which to start with, which comes next, etc.), but Daniel covered all sorts of stuff and he’s really just so fascinating.

You’ll get a lot out of this one (such a great way to wrap up the year).

Also, if you’re looking for something else to watch this weekend that will really impact your photography, watch Daniel’s class on KelbyOne on “Visual Literacy.” It’s one of our top-rated classes of the year. Here’s the link. 

Hope you have an absolutely awesome weekend, and we’ll see you next week. :)

Merry Christmas!

-Scott

GreerInterview

Inspirational Interview with Professional Dog Photographer Kaylee Greer
Join Mia McCormick and Kaylee Greer as they sit down to discuss Kaylee’s fast and fabulous rise as a commercial pet photographer. Kaylee’s passion for dogs is contagious, and her energy, love, and compassion for dogs just radiates from her work. Her unique approach to dog photography has resulted in growing list of commercial clients and her pet portrait calendar is booked out a year in advance. Over the course of this hour Mia and Kaylee discuss how she got her start, where she gets her inspiration (hint, the dogs), how she creates much of her signature look in-camera, and so much more!

This class will be released later today, so keep an eye out for it at KelbyOne.com. Leave a comment for your chance to win a 1-month KelbyOne membership so you can watch this class for free!

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