The journey of working on Vignettr on and off for a couple months has reached a major milestone – Version 1 is now available on the app store!
As a keen amateur photographer, I wanted to make app with some of the functions that I personally love within full featured photography work-flow products, like Adobe Lightroom. I aimed to take some of my favourites and make them accessible and easy to use on these portable devices we carry with us every day and make it quick and easy to make appealing enhancements to photos we take on the go.
In the development, the number one design principle for me was to keep the focus of the
users attention on the photo itself, and do my best not to distract with too many or overly complex user interface elements.
Here’s what’s inside Version 1:
This was obviously the source of the app name, and a technique if used on the right image can create some great results. Typically the idea of a vignette effect is to draw the viewers eye towards the subject of the image by darking the image at the edges in a radial gradient fashion. Vignetting is actually an optic flaw that is prevalent in older cameras, and gives a “retro” look and feel.
The app allows you to control the size and intensity of this effect.
Here is an example of some exaggerated vignetting (click for larger size):
ND Grad Filter
Due to the limited Dynamic Range of cameras you’ll often find a situation where in a landscape type photo for example that the foreground of beach, water, mountains etc look good – but the sky is far less blue (or often near white) in the photo compared to what it actually was. The ND Grad filter effect darkens the image gradually from top to bottom which helps to bring out the saturation in the sky.
The app allows you to control the size (top to bottom) and intensity of this effect.
Here is an example, notice the detail and saturation in the sky (click for larger size):
Letterboxing / Border
Letterboxing is an effect often used by photographers to give a cinematic feel to their shots. The idea is you add a band of band to the top and bottom of the image, and less typically on the left and right sides. This same tool in Vignettr can be used to create a basic black border around the image.
The app will allow you to either manipulate the size of the typical letterboxing, or the left and right sides – or you can lock the effect to apply a basic border to the image to the size you prefer.
Here is an example of typical letterboxing (click for larger size):
This luminance tool allows you to change the brightness and contrast to you images. This may sound rather predestration, but correctly adjusting the exposure (brightness) and black-point (contrast) of your images can often enhance or add an appealing tonal quality to your image.
Some technical info:
- The app will run on the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad (iPhone compatiablity mode).
- As you move the controls to manipulate the effect it will dynamically update the effect, except in the case of the older iPhone 3G and the 1st gen iPod touch
- In most cases you’ll be able to save the manipulated image at it’s original resolution, up to the following limits:
- iPhone 3G, iPod Touch 1st Gen: 1600px
- iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 2nd Gen: 2048px
- iPhone 4, iPad, iPod Touch 3rd Gen: 2592px
- Vignettr once had a different name but that’s a different story.
Vignettr is on twitter, please do follow for updates, sample shots and use it as a channel for feature requests, bug reports.