Photo editing using photoshop and efex pro

Studio Session-048 Hi, long time no post! sorry been busy with work and haven’t had much time for blogging or even photography!! Today i’m going to show my workflow for one of my selfie images. This was taken on a nikon d90 in my bedroom with just window light from a window facing me. The camera was on a tripod and tethered to lightroom on my laptop. The image was taken in raw for maximum info.

Studio Session-048-2 In lightroom i cropped the image and adjusted the contrast and highlights and shadows as well as boosting the clarity, i then opened the image in photoshop cs4. Here i created separate masks to lighten and darken areas of the image without degrading the image.

EYE CONTACT by craigpoltocklclass1.jpg prints Finally i opened the image in silver efex pro and used the high structure filter with slight adjustments to highlights and shadows. I know it a kind of basic explanation but i just wanted to show what can be achieved with just a few editing techniques. The image took about 45 minutes to create and i think looks a lot better for it. I will try to post a more detailed explanation in the future when i work out how to take screen shots!! thanks for reding and as usual i will answer any question or comments,

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Street Photography using the iphone

Hi all, took a trip to London again yesterday for some street photography using just my iphone4 and iphone5. Had mixed results! I started off at the Barbican Centre on the overhead walkway and managed to get some atmospheric images using the hipstamatic app with the Lowy lens/Blackeys supergrain combo. I handheld all the shots and because it was quite dark there under cover some of the shots had blurring! I need to either rest the phone on a wall or other solid structure or make a conscious effort to keep my hands steady!! Anyway here are some of the better shots firstly from the barbican centre..

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The first image is an overview of the Barbican centre, taken from one of the walkways. The second image is of one of the stairways leading down to a restaurant/leisure area.

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These two images were taken on the walkways where it was quite dark. The day being overcast didn’t help either!

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Two more “grab” shots from the walkways themselves.

From the Barbican I took a leisurely walk to Brick lane via Leadenhall and Aldgate. Stopped off at old Spitalfields market before heading home..

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Two images from Brick Lane..

IMG_6505 IMG_6528 IMG_6529 Old Spitalfields Market…

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Finally the Underground back home. All these were Taken on the iphone which I would not have attempted 18 months ago, and although I had some blurring issues and exposure problems these can be overcome and with patience and practice the images will get better ( at least the quality, if not the content!!). So  take the plunge go somewhere with just your smartphone and see what can be achieved! thanks for reading and as usual please comment..Bye


Categories: apps, Hipstamatic, Iphone editing, Iphoneography, Photography, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Iphone Manipulations

Hi all, I thought I’d share some of my iphone images today. These are all part of a series of images that I have created on the iphone5 using the phone as the camera and editing tool. I haven’t named the series yet although I have toyed with a couple of titles ie Echoes, Memory. They are all set in hallways or corridors and have people in them walking away from the camera as ghostly figures or memories of what the hallway itself would remember if it had the ability!!

IMG_2797 IMG_2637 IMG_2128 These were the first three that I created using the iphone and where the idea first sprang to life. I was fascinated by the concept of buildings having memory and what events or stories they have silently witnessed over their lifetime. Especially school corridors where countless generations of children have been left by their parents on the first day and of the emotional responses that involved.

LEFT BEHIND by craigpoltock class1.jpg digi 20-2 IMG_6343 beyond corridors by craig poltock class 1. print print echoes

All these images were taken on the iphone and blended using an app called superimpose where you can have a background image and paste onto that other images and effects. I then developed the image further by using Snapseed primarily and other apps like scratchcam, icolorama and distreesed fx for finishing touches.

Final Destination Memories of Light  by craig poltock class1. prints IMG_5321As you can see most of my models are repeated in the final images as they were saved in superimpose as already edited and they suited the overall theme well. This is an ongoing project that I have no idea where it heading or if it will change or evolve in some way. I will hopefully keep you posted as and when it does. Thanks for looking and please comment if you have any input. 

Categories: apps, Iphone editing, Iphoneography, Photography, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments



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Creating images using Iphone editing and blending apps

Hi, today I thought I would share some more editing techniques and effects with you. I have a pretty standard way of doing things generally but do like to shake it up a bit or try new techniques/apps as well!  These next few images were edited using a variation of these apps, Snapseed, Scratchcam, Superimpose and Icolorama. My workflow is usually snapseed for basic edits, superimpose for blending, then snapseed, icolorama and scratchcam for filters and effects.

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 I will now walkthrough the final image with my blending and editing workflow..

IMG_6023 IMG_6024 After basic edits in snapseed my first port of call is superimpose. This is a powerful and amazing blending app and my number one choice. There are other great blending apps out there so feel free to use the one your most comfortable with as I believe the principles the same. In the first instance import your background…

IMG_6025 It will allow you to crop and choose your constraints. I normally work with the square crop. Once this is done I import the foreground..

IMG_6026 IMG_6027 I can make this the same size as the background by double clicking the image in transform mode. I then enter masking mode where I click on the mask item to hide the background.

IMG_6028 IMG_6029 From here there’s a brush palette where you can adjust size and softness, select an eraser or magic wand tool as well as a lasso and a color range masking tool. As you can see it’s quite easy to paint on the mask and you can zoom really close for fine details. I normally use a stylus but your finger works just fine. There’s even a blur icon where you can feather the edges.

IMG_6030 IMG_6031 IMG_6032 Once finished with the masking filter you enter the transform filter where you can resize the image, rotate and use blending modes to change the appearance…..

IMG_6033 IMG_6034 When you have finished you can merge the images (ie flatten) and save to your camera roll..

IMG_6036 IMG_6037 IMG_6038 Next it’s back to snapseed for some fine tuning, a slight HDR effect and a conversion to B&W. Again I save this to my camera roll. Next I will open up icolorama which is a  fantastic and very powerful editing app..

IMG_6040 IMG_6041 Here I can select the image from my camera roll and even have a choice of sizes to edit from. I nearly always go for the largest so I can print later..

IMG_6042 IMG_6043 IMG_6044 There’s so much to learn in this app that I could go on all day, you can mask and manipulate to your hearts content and even add scripts and different filters to an image. I just went for a simple style effect called sketch which I then reduced the opacity of it to give a more subtle finish.

IMG_5957There are some great Videos on youtube that walkthrough some of the icolorama effects and are well worth checking out. There’s also some links in sites like the appwhisperer.

Thanks again for stopping by and I hope this helps some of you. Feel free to comment below and have a great Xmas and New year…bye..


Categories: apps, Iphone editing, Iphoneography, Photography, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Hipstamatic’s Tintype

Hello again. I’ve been using Hipstamatic’s new Tintype app recently and it produces some great images as well as being fun to use. It basically gives the same effect as the Tinto/D-plate and Tinto/C-plate combos on the Hipstamatic camera app but with more control! It’s brilliant for portraits but can be used for other types of images as well. Here’s a short work through on using Tintype although it’s very straight forward..First here’s the start screen..

IMG_5659 It then takes you to it’s own camera set up where you can take pictures with either the front or back lenses…

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You can save the image as it is or edit it!! The second screen shot shows the an editing tool which allows you to change from the B&W image to the C-plate colour image, you can also crop to a square format although i prefer to do this in another editing app with more control..

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The next screen shot is where you adjust the plate grain effect and where you can also use a different frame theres quite a big different in the adjustments so it;s best to use slight moderations. The next editing tool is the eye intensity edit screen where you can adjust how intense the eyes are going to be!! This is great for portraits as the eyes are so important.

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The final screen allows you too effect the depth of field in the image, again go slowly with this as theres a large range of adjustment!. So you can see there’s quite a few useful editing tools to mess around with. This was the final image in Tintype. I then saved the image and imported into snapseed and scratchcam for a little bit of fine tuning!

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And here’s some more tintype images…

IMG_5629 IMG_5646 IMG_5601 As you can see it produces very distinctive images. I will have to try some other genres like landscapes and street to see if it can produce something interesting…Thanks for looking and please leave any comments as usual..




Categories: Hipstamatic, Iphone editing, Iphoneography, Photography, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Photographic Musings on the technological

I’ve been thinking recently about the journey photography and we as photographers have taken especially in the last 10 years or so with the advances in technology and the ease of which we can communicate our visions or ideals now. I have been wondering if this is a good thing or not? We are and always have been a visual society and in some respects photography has come full circle. during the 1930’s through to the late 1950’s we had magazines like Picture Post and Illustrated, and in the 60’s and 70’s great supplement magazines from the Observer and Sunday Times where there was a strong emphasize on photojournalism. Television became dominant then and photojournalism went into decline and even more so when the internet hit. But here’s the strange thing, photography has become dominant again, there are thousands of blogs and posts from professional and amateur photographers and websites like Instagram and facebook have literally billions of photos on them. Cameras are now so sophisticated that they came cope with almost any situation especially with the sensitivity of their sensors and “brain power” of their chips. The trouble i have now is keeping up! and I know it’s probably an age thing. I can almost tell anytime now when somebody has stopped their own technical journey and have decided no more! Usually their operating system is two or three versions old, they are using CS4 or earlier and their camera is an older model. And thats fine, I love technology I love the way it has liberated millions of people who never would of dreamed of taking up photography as a hobby or career. I disagree with those who say that we are losing something in translation that photography was better, more real when we had film and the mystical dark arts of the darkroom. I hated the darkroom and so did many others, I didn’t enjoy waiting for my 36 exposures to come back to me only to find the images were rubbish or technically weak. It didn’t make me a better photographer! I look now and see some truly amazing artists out there who wouldn’t be known or their work wouldn’t be seen if not for the digitalisation of photography. There work is inspiring and just as valid as any of the photographers who came before, it’s just more difficult to sort through all the stuff thats out there! But if you persevere you can find them. My greatest photographic love at the moment is the iphone and all the amazing apps out there. I still can’t believe what can be achieved with this relatively small and simple camera attached to your phone! Some of the images out there are mindblowing and the work that goes into them inspiring. So I think the futures bright and the advances made and being made will only help us, it’s natural to be secure in the present and to not want to learn new things and it’s easy to say “it was so much better in my day” or “all this technology makes it easier to cheat” and so on and so forth. Truth is we are all on the same playing field essentially and are all capable of making the same decisions and mistakes as each other. The cream will always rise to the top and the greats will always emerge from us lesser mortals. So enjoy and take pleasure in our hobby and essentially if you like what you do then thats all that matters, it’s a nice bonus if others like it too!

Here’s Two recently Manipulated iphone images. Edited in superimpose, scratchcam and snapseed. Thanks for reading and as always look forward to any comments. 

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Categories: Iphone editing, Iphoneography, Photography, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Iphone editing and blending techniques

Hi, i’ve been using the new improved superimpose blending app again recently. This is a fantastic blending app where you can create some stunning effects. You can combine two photos layered over each other and with different transparencies or blend textures, borders etc or just superimpose or juxtapose by removing parts of your image and replacing backgrounds etc. I normally start all my edits with snapseed which just about does everything you need as well as some great effect textures as well.( see my earlier post on snapseed for more information). I then import into superimpose, starting with a background. I will then add the foreground image and use the masking screen to erase all unwanted areas. You can zoom in super close so your level of detail will be stunning with plenty of fine tune and blending options. When i’ve finished with superimpose I will normally import the image into scratchcam or noir( for mono). Scratchcam has some spectacular effects and is a firm favourite. I will then import back into snapseed for some fine tuning and normally a border as well. Here’s two images I’ve recently worked on….

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The first I called scream & shout, the second Echoes#5 part of an ongoing project about memories and experiences. Scream & shout is made up of two iphone images both taken using the hipstamatic app..

IMG_3306 hyde park 2013 137

As you can see they had different combo’s (film and lens combinations) as well. I used superimpose to blend background and foreground, and then scratchcam to add a filter effect. Next I imported back to snapseed, got rid of the border and added a new skinnier one and adjusted the effects like brightness and warmth.

The second image Echoes#5 is made from three Iphone images taken again with the hipstamatic app…

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Once again I blended together in superimpose, positioning the man in separate locations and making him slightly transparent to give the effect of something remembered or witnessed. I then imported to scratchcam and added one of their effects…

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The first image is the scratchcam effect and the second is after I took it through snapseed and altered the overall tone and colours. The Final image was completed in snapseed using the great HDR filter and finally a border from their frames filter…


Thanks again for Looking and please leave any comments you wish to make..



Categories: Hipstamatic, Iphone editing, Iphoneography, Oggl, Photography, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Oggl by Hipstamatic The Social Photo Sharing Network

Hi today I’d like to share with you Oggl by hipstamatic, their social photo sharing network. It’s similar to Instagram but I tend to find that more serious photographers post their images here, with not so many selfies , food or advertising posts. Don’t get me wrong Instamatic is great and I use it a lot, but I much prefer Oggl and it’s unique way of cataloguing and sharing images. You can join for free and use a limited number of Hipstamatic Film + lens combos or pay £1.99 for 3 months or £6.99 a year and have access to all your Hipsta combo’s by importing them over. Once you’ve downloaded the app and opened it you will see the home screen…

IMG_5122 IMG_5123 This screen acts a bit like a news screen for oggl, showing things like people you’re following and fresh photos uploaded recently it also gives a link to recent instagram images. The search screen allows you to look for specific people or friends and shows a few more collections, profiles and interesting images as well……

IMG_5125  This is my home screen on oggl. It’s shows the number of people following me, my profile picture, my shared images and my collections. You can edit your screen image and change your profile here. My collections are images i’ve either favourited and reposted or separate collections that i’ve created i.e people portraits and moody streets. This is a great way to keep images of separate genres together and other people can subscribe to your collections as well….

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IMG_5126  This is where I can see all the likes and favs for my images, I can easily go to their page and like their images from here as well. Unfortunately there no comment facility but some people get over this by giving a mention in their caption space when they upload an image. You can see these mentions by looking them up in your settings on your home screen!..

You can import images into oggl from your picture library or directly from Hipstamatic, and of course take pictures from oggl’s own camera as well!!

IMG_5129 IMG_5140When you select the camera, you have the choice of using any number of combo’s for your picture taking. You are able to save your favourite combo’s or mix and match from any of the different lenses and film’s you have imported. The second screenshot is from Hipstamatic and shows their sharing option so you can import to another app.

IMG_5132 IMG_5133 IMG_5134 The first screenshot is of my photo library where my pictures are stored or I can import from my camera roll by tapping the + button on the top left hand corner. The second screenshot is of a selected image that I want to publish in oggl. I can change the filter at the bottom of the screen as shown in the third screenshot.I’m now ready to tag and share this image…

IMG_5135 IMG_5136 As you can see from the first screenshot you are able to share with facebook, twitter, instagram etc by pressing the corresponding icon. You can enter a location and a caption i.e title, editing and even a thank you to another person by hashtagging their user id.. Now I’m ready to share on the oggl community..

IMG_5137 IMG_5138 IMG_5139 After pressing the share button my image will appear in the latest fresh photo stream where people can look at it, like it and repost if they want. You can simply like by double tapping the image or by tapping the like button at the bottom…

I hope this explains Oggl a bit to you, as i’ve not found too much on the web that explains it very well. Give it a go, it does take a little bit of time to get used to it but that effort is well worth it.. Thanks again for reading and let me know your thoughts…






Categories: Hipstamatic, Iphoneography, Oggl, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hipstamatic combos and images

Hi, I’ve recently realised i’m shooting with the hipstamatic app more and more! I have about four or five different camera apps loaded onto my iphone including camera+, camera pro, 645 pro and others, but the go to app seems to be Hipstamatic time and again and here’s some reasons why.. Firstly variety! there’s so many different combinations of lenses and film it’s pretty mindboggling! you can customise your camera with different coloured cases and even different styles! and you can even save your favourite combos too. you can shoot with a low resolution (640×640 pixels) for web use right up to high res (2448 x 2448 pixels) for print quality. Just be careful you’ve got the high res switched on as it’s easy to knock the lever back down to low res as i’ve done in the past!! 

ok here’s some of my favourite combos and some images to show you..

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Lowy lens and Uchitel 20 film. Old fashioned look!

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Lowy lens and Robusta film. Lovely colour rendition..

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Yoona lens and Blanko BL4 film. I love this effect!!



iphone4 051  iphone4 006 IMG_4966

Tinto 1884 lens and D-type plate film..Old plate type effects..


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Sergio + maximus LXIX..Warm image rendition..

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Lowy + Claunch 72..For B&W lovers..

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John S + Blackeys supergrain. For gritty B&W lovers..

The combos go on and on so I won’t bore you with anymore. I just wanted to give you an idea of how good this app is. It’s free to download from the app store with some basic combos, but you can purchase loads more from 0.69 pence!! …

IMG_4969 You can share your images from the app onto Oggl, instagram twitter etc.. If you have Oggl ( a hipstamatic sharing site a bit like instagram) you can download all your combos there ( for a small fee) and share directly online even using it’s own native camera!!

I import my hipsta images into all my different editing apps and blend with other images taken from different camera apps to create all sorts of various effects so there really is no end to your creative urges!! I also print many of my hipsta images 10″ x 10″ and have even won some competitions with the finished prints so quality is first class! I will post about Oggl in the near future as this is a great sister app for hipstamatic with a growing fanbase and some stunning images there. Until then thanks for reading and hopefully be inspired to give Hipstamatic a go!!..


Categories: Hipstamatic, Iphone editing, Iphoneography, Oggl, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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