Big Lens: App Breakdown
One of my favourite app discoveries has to be Big Lens. Its a fun app that lets you create DSLR like (specifically DOF) effects for your photos without the DSLR camera price (its £0.69 in the U.K). Since a lot of my photos are street photography based, I find it handy for making the subject I am photographing stand out by enhancing the depth of field.
As with all apps, everyone has their own tips and tricks and prefered way of using them. This is one of mine:
First, I take my photo and load it into the app. Once I come to this screen, there are two options, advanced or basic. For this photo I will choose advanced
Now I use the brush tool to mask the area I want to remain in focus (or as I like to call it, colouring in!). You can be as specific or as rough with the edges as you like and it certainly depends on each photo. If you make any mistakes, you can use the eraser tool to rub out and re mask or use the ‘back button’ at the top of the app to undo any mistakes. Trial and error is the key.
When I am happy with the area selected, I will click the arrow in the top right corner and it will process the DSLR effect.
So, now I have my photo, I can play with the depth of field in the background. You do this by clicking the aperture button on the bottom left. This gives you a choice of aperture from F3.5 to F1.8. The larger the aperture, the more blurred the background becomes. Have a play with each setting until you get your desired look.
At this stage I like to turn on the HDR+ button in the top middle of the app. I find this really makes the photo pop out. Take a look at any before and after to see which you prefer. Again, its all about personal preference.
Once I have got here, I would save my photo minus any filters and then continue to edit further with my favourite black and white apps but its worth mentioning that Big Lens already has some great built in filters. I have chosen the black and white one for this tutorial.
This is the end result. When you are done, you can save it to your camera roll or share via email, Facebook, Picasa or put it in your drop box.
You can of course play with the other features like the different lenses and you can amend the blur and focus too. If you’ve never used Big lens before, I’d love to hear from you if you have a go. Let me know in the comments below how you got on and if you are already an expert, feel free to share your favourite Big Lens tips with me!