Hit the Slopes With Your iPhone: Snow Sports iPhoneography
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Magicians have a knack for making things appear or disappear. With nothing up their sleeves, they’ll pull a rabbit out of a hat. A physician, however, will apply a subtler approach – healing patients with a gentle touch. Whether you’re creating an illusion or slightly altering your image, the Heal tools found in Enlight give you amazing flexibility.
Digital cloning, patching, and healing have been around for a while in many high-end desktop applications. In a nutshell, this technology allows you to duplicate areas of your image, or cover and blend specific areas that may be distracting and/or out of place in your composition. The truth is, the majority of mobile photography apps on the market today typically feature filters and special effects to merely enhance your photos. Few apps offer the capability of true image transformation and manipulation like cloning, healing, and patching. As I said, with this technology, you can remove objects from photos and/or seamlessly blend them into your photo. However, you can also use cloning and healing to create magical special effects! I’ll get to that shortly, but first, let’s explore the technique of digital patching in Enlight.
Often, you’ll take a photo that at first glance looks wonderful. Yet, once you start to analyze the image, you may discover a distracting object, or maybe two, that you know will draw the viewer’s gaze away from your intended capture. A perfect example of this concept is the photo bomb. During a perfect day at the park, you snap a picture of an elderly man surrounded by pigeons. As you make your capture, two pigeons get spooked and take flight just above your subject’s head. Your composition looks great, except for those two annoying pigeons flying from your subject’s head. No worries, we will correct this with Enlight’s patch tool.
Once you tap Patch, you will notice two circles have appeared on your image. One circle has an arrow pointing to the other circle. This is the active patch area that will replace the area contained in the circle that it points to.
If you tap and hold on either circle, you will notice that you can move them anywhere on your image. So, for example, try moving the circle with the arrow around your image. Notice that the circle being pointed to will change based on where you move the circle with the arrow. Try reversing your experiment. Move the circle that is being pointed to around your composition. Notice that wherever you place the circle, the area within its circumference takes on the look of the area within the other circle. That’s the essence of understanding how patching works. Back to our goal – removing our pigeon photobombers. To do this, we’ll patch and clone the leaves in the trees to cover our nefarious pigeons. Position your patch circles so the correcting circle is over the first pigeon just behind the man’s head, and your sampling/cloning circle is in the upper left area of the tree.
The next step is to apply your patch edit within your session. You do this by tapping the arrow with the underline in the bottom right area of your screen. This is the Flatten button, and only applies the active edit to your image, which allows you to apply additional patching edits more easily. In other words, the check icon in the upper right corner of the screen applies and saves all edits in a session and exits the Patch tool. Since we need to edit out the other pigeon, we want to use the Flatten button on the bottom right of screen to move to our next edit within the Patch tool. So, go ahead and tap that Flatten button.
Now, tap on the other pigeon. What you might notice is this pigeon’s wingspan is large, so you may need to adjust the circumference of your patch circles. You do this by pinch-zooming with two fingers on the screen, and either pinch-zoom to expand or pinch-zoom to contract your patch editing area. Once you have adjusted your editing and patching area, tap the Flatten button to apply your edit.
Once you are happy with your patch edits, tap the blue check button in the upper right corner of the screen to save all your edits and exit the Heal tool.
Now that you have a basic understanding of patching, let’s move on to healing in Enlight. Healing areas of your image in Enlight works best with continuous or monochromatic color tones and/or areas of similar patterns, colors and shapes. Essentially, Enlight’s Heal tool samples the surrounding area, and edits/heals the focus area contained within your edit circle.
To begin healing your image, tap Tools and select Heal. Next, Tap Mode and choose Heal. Enlight adds a Heal circle to the center of your image. Move the circle around your image to the area you want to heal, which in this case is the fish swimming in the deep blue water in the upper right area of our image. The goal here is to remove (Heal) the fish from the deep blue area of the image, giving our photo a sense of minimalistic contrast. As we move our Heal circle over the fish in the upper right, they begin to blend into the deep blue color of the ocean.
But, in order to blend/heal our three rogue fish into our blue ocean background, we will need to pinch-zoom our Heal circle (like we did before in our previous example) to encompass a larger area of our image, and effectively Heal out our rogue fish.
We are going to repeat this process with our large “fish-friend” on the top left of our image and Heal him out of our ocean landscape. We may have to apply incremental “patch-edit” sessions as we did in our earlier example by using Flatten to apply our sub-edits before saving with the check icon and committing to our full edit. In the end, our goal is to successfully “Heal” and edit the fish in the upper portion of our image.
And Now, Magic…
Up to this point, we have been using the Heal and Patch tools to remove objects from our composition. Now, we want to focus on creating some special “magic” effects. As with most of the editing features within Enlight, there is a Tools menu where adjustments can be made on various parameters. For this magic example, we want to duplicate the lizard in our photo, and blend him into our composition. One key adjustment which allows us to achieve this seamless blending is the Fuse option, located within the Tools menu. To simplify the explanation, the Fuse option magically blends or “fuses” the image into the background. When you tap on Fuse, you will be able to swipe right to adjust the power of its strength, or left, to weaken its effect.
Here, I tapped Heal> Mode > Patch, and positioned the edit so the circle with the arrow pointing out was over my subject – in this case, the lizard. Next, I adjusted the Fuse option to 100. This option blends the background image to match the same element being scanned, Furthermore, if you tap on the edit circle, you can then pinch-zoom-resize the area being edited to further blend or enhance the object being overplayed in the other systems.
Just like magic, we manifest another lizard from thin air. And, just like magic, Enlight’s Heal tools allow you to edit amazing compositions. Now, it’s your turn!
Written by: Michael Clawson of www.BigFishCreations.com.
Contributing photographer (b&w pigeon photo): Ronen Goldman. Check out his work here.