Aviary, an intuitive feature rich photo editor.
When July showed up this year those gray skies and showers continued. But I know, as a son of the Pacific Northwest, that real summer doesn’t actually begin until July 7th. It’s one of those secret insider things, but I was fooled. They're still oscillating over the area.
Why the weather talk? Well as one who roams the Puget Sound Region for work and play, I love taking photos. Yet, looking through my picture folders for May, June, and into July, I noticed most of the pics are a darkish broody bluish gray with lots of scenes through windows and raindrops.
Meanwhile, working on a few new workshops centered around productivity and getting things done in the field, I'm focusing (no pun intended) on camera apps. Often, I wait until I get home or back to the office to get photos ready for online. How old fashioned is that? I envy my friends who get it all done on their smartphones.
The first photo app I played with that felt very intuitive and easy to use from the get go was Aviary. It’s rich with easy to use tools for all your basic (and beyond) needs. So far, I’m just using the free toolset, but you can add other effects by the pack (Grunge, Nostalgia, and ViewFinder) for only 99¢ each.
The effects are clean and precise and look intentional, not gimmicky. My favorites are the adjustment tools for cropping and sharpness, and the lighting tools for brightness, contrast, and saturation.
When you shoot under gray skies as much as I do, your work tends to lose a lot of background detail, and your field of depth is often flat. The 1st photo at the The Comic Den lacked sizzle and the reflection in the window from across the street was mirky and dull. I cropped it a little, then used the vivid effect, toned it down a little with saturation, then finished with the balance tool under Enhance. This really brought it together and the background came alive with depth.
The 2nd photo of the Seattle Public Library downtown was similar. It was flat and lacked detail. Aviary tools helped me to bring out the foreground and add detail to the background. I liked the reflection off the glass and the fact I can see through to the inside lights that become part of the composition with the window framing.
This last photo is the front display window at Renton Western Wear. It was taken late in the day after the Farmers Market a little after 7:00 pm. I was in the shadows and the result was almost a dark sepia. I was impressed that I was able to get the colors of the wagon wheel and the brass horse balanced and it didn't take away any of the detail.
Aviary has a great little demo video on their site: Aviary Demo
The app is for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7. It's a great addition to my toolbox, fun to use, and works seamlessly with my iPhone 4s camera. There’s a lot more, but I didn’t want to write a whitepaper today, just a quick review. Check it out, Aviary is an intuitive feature rich photo editor for mobile and web.