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iPhone apps: Adding scratches, light leaks and grunge

iPhone apps: Adding scratches, light leaks and grunge

I am getting so confused with photography. When I first started out over 50 years ago, life was simple. Photography just meant a roll of Kodak Tri-X-400 black-and-white film, my old Minolta camera, and off I went. The only thing I worried about was f-stops, shutter speed, focus and composition.

But that has changed in the name of creativity. Now everyone is adding scratches, light leaks and grunge to their once pristine images. Does any of this make any sense? It seems so counterintuitive. Of course when I first started in photography, the horizon was supposed to be straight and people used the rule of thirds.

After the shoot, it was a process of developing film and making a few prints. It was a combination of creativity and science making it more difficult than today’s instant digital images.

There was a time when everyone was trying to achieve fine grain and higher-quality images. That’s why people used film such as Kodak’s Kodachrome 25 when shooting color slides. It was amazing film back then because it produced great color and detail along with super fine grade. It was the higher quality everyone strove for.

Now, it seems, everyone is a photographer. It’s so simple to take nice photographs with so much amazing access to great cameras plus inexpensive computer software and cellphone apps to create artistic masterpieces. It’s left up to you and the software developers’ imaginations to push the envelope.

So let’s take a look at some of those more popular iPhone apps that are really going to improve or make your photographs look like a vintage mess (but I guess more creative by today’s standards).

ScratchCam FX — Every vintage-looking photograph certainly wouldn’t be complete without scratches. ScratchCam FX lets you pick photos you’ve previously shot in your photo album, giving you the option to pick from a variety of scratches, textures, borders and colors. The app offers the option to share to Facebook, Twitter, email or your camera’s album. I found this app a little tough to use on my iPhone because the buttons were small, so I needed to take a very close look to read the tiny type. Using this app on an iPad may be a better option. Priced at $1.99.

Osmo Leaker Pro — Sure, who doesn’t want a few light leaks across their image? They used to result from accidentally opening your camera back or some type of bad seal in a cheap camera. Back in the day, no one was happy when this happened. It was the result of a mistake or a malfunction. How times have changed. This was one problem I really tried to avoid back then as a rule. This one is very simple; pick a photo from your camera roll or take a photo and then add a light leak. Priced at $0.99.

Grungetastic HD — Scratches, dirt, fading, film frame holes, bleaching and cardboard frames are included with Grungetastic. This app really gives the photos a vintage crusty-old-look. Priced at $0.99.

Pic Grunger — First you start by picking effects such as acid, aged, bleach spill, cracked, scratched, scuffed or weathered. Next, it’s a choice of strength, background texture selection, which includes maple, metal, canvas and wood, all of which really give your photos a distinctive look. Priced at $0.99.

lo-mob — This app is another simple-to-use, pick a photo from the album or take a photo. Styles include classic vintage, 35-mm film experimentation, through the viewfinder, emulsions, Instantmatic photography and contact mask photocard. This app does a nice job of emulating the films of the past. Priced at $1.99.

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  1. October 12, 2012, 6:32 am

    Be sure to check out LensFlare and LensLight for adding flares and optical effects your photos.

    By: LensFlareApp
  2. March 28, 2013, 4:56 am

    There are many apps available in iPhone which improve our photographs.ScratchCam lets you grunge-up your iPhone photos by adding scratches, photo damage, or vintage film effects.

    By: BrentHyde

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