iPhone Life magazine

From Nice to Dramatic

The original in color.

While walking through a lovely New Jersey Park with my wife, we came across this lovely scene. I quickly took the (color) picture and we continued along. Many lovely photos were taken that day.

When I came home I liked this one in particular. The problem was that while it was a nice picture, it just wasn't as good as I'd like it to be. I tried some simple color enhancements and still wasn't satisfied. I even tried a psychedelic look, but it just looked silly. So I put it to the side. 

While preparing a recent iPhoneography workshop for a local camera club I revisited many of the photos I took this past summer and stumbled across this one. It came up just after I was looking at the Dramatic Black & White ($0.99) app. I hoped that the change from color to black and white would be beneficial. When I opened the image in Dramatic B&W this is how it looked. Although I could have made alterations, I decided to leave it alone. Sometimes, less is more. 

The dramatic version in black and white.

This image is a reminder that black and white photography is far from dead. An application like Dramatic B&W can change a nice photo into one that looks really striking. Although it may not be up to Ansel Adams standards, I like it.

When looking for interesting black and white apps, I came across several that I had forgotten about and some that I'd never encountered before. I'll be writing about some of them in upcoming posts. It's a lot different from the days of using the old Beseler Enlarger, trays full of chemicals, and the rest of stuff in the old darkroom. I must admit, it wasn't the good old days. The iPhone has eliminated the odors and mess of the traditional darkroom and substituted a virtual darkroom that is just as good...if not better!

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Joel Heffner is a writer and speaker. He has been writing about photography for about thirty years, ever since his book Amphoto Guide to Wedding Photography was published. Today, he mainly uses two types of cameras, pinhole cameras and an iPhone, a photographic odd couple of sorts.