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All posts by Cole Rise

photographer, pilot

A tiny sphere, floating in space

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In honor of this week’s discovery of a moon-sized planet smaller than mercury, here’s a selection of work from 2012 of our own tiny sphere, featuring hills, craters, flats, fields, and broken flying machines. Shot with the Hasselblad 500 C/M on Kodak Portra. See more here.

Misfits: From the Moon

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Here are the lesser-known photos from NASA’s Apollo program, too sun-burned or out-of-focus to make it to mainstream, uncovered after many hours of browsing the Apollo Archive.

For more NASA related inspiration, check out the NASA tag. As an added bonus, here’s Neil Armstrong serving you some cake:

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App Review: Photoforge 2

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If you’re even remotely serious about editing photos on your phone, Photoforge 2 will quickly become your mainstay. Here’s why:

It’s the best, fully-featured photo editor for mobile.

After years of trying every photo editing app across Android and iOS, I have yet to find anything better. Like Photoshop, it gives you full control over your image with features you thought you could only get on desktop. It’s not for quick edits, so if you’re in one-stop filter kind of mood, or less familiar with terms like “adjusting curves” or “soft light,” Afterglow is probably the way to go. If you are familiar with those terms, it’s easy to spend hours fiddling away on the go just as you would in front of a bigger screen at home. Just be careful not to get car sick.

Layers, layers, layers.

If anything, layer support is what sets this app apart from the rest – you can easily overlay other photos, create 50% Gray layers to add film grain, textures & vignettes, or drag to re-arrange layers as you please. It even supports layer masking, so you can edit-out imperfections or localize adjustments similar to how you would in Photoshop.

Powerful color curves.

Yep, same color adjustments as you would expect in popular photo editing software for desktop. In fact, many of the Instagram filters (Rise, Amaro, Sierra, Willow) were initially designed with this app, using this feature.

You can always undo with the edit history list. 

As project management goes, Photoforge 2 preserves every stage of your edit across multiple projects. The one downside is how much space this takes up on your phone. Since we’re dealing with multiple versions of many full-resolution photos, this app will quickly become the heaviest app you have installed. Be sure to delete the photo projects you won’t be revisiting.

Grab the app for iPhone & iPad on iTunes for $3.99: Photoforge 2 [iTunes Link]

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Shooting Through a Detached Lens.

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Here’s another destructive photographic technique that’ll give you super shallow focus, lovely bokeh and light leaks - take your lens off and shoot while holding it to the camera body.

Commonly referred to as freelensing, it’s essentially a poorman’s tilt-shift, letting you manually adjust the angle of the focal plane by tilting the lens slightly in every direction. It’s also a great way to get dirt and dust on your sensor, so please try this at your own risk. For the unwilling / faint of heart, the safer alternative is to pick up a trusty Lensbaby.

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Photos via Flickr.

App Review: AfterGlow

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Say hello to Afterglow, one of my favorite apps for editing photos on iPhone. There are many photo editing apps out there – believe me, i’ve tried most of them – but this one stands out for a few reasons:

Usable. Flexible. Designed well.

From a design perspective, this app strikes the perfect balance between usability and flexibility. At first blush, it’s easy and obvious to use, with lots of “single-tap” filters, yet maintains a high level of flexibility for the more discerning eye, allowing you to combine filters and settings while varying their strength from 0 – 100. Awesome.

It’s a scalpel, not an axe.

Afterglow gives you Photoshop-like editing options, with fine-tuned, hard-to-over-do-it control. A good example of this is pulling the saturation bar to 200% – the effect is rather subtle, compared to other apps that would blow out the colors. Plus, you’re editing at full resolution, so your exports can be print-ready. The one thing that’s currently missing is layer support, but that’s what Photoforge 2 is for.

Real film textures.

Most of the film burns & textures come from actual film, reminiscent of these hasselblad misfits. They can also be flipped & rotated to best suite your image. Lovely.

You can grab the app on iTunes for $0.99 cents: Afterglow [iTunes Link]

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