Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   


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Photo Round Trip

Your smart device and its apps can serve as a processor for enhancing images from your camera or desktop.

By Earl Nottingham

So, you’ve got that new high-dollar digital camera with a gazillion megapixels and you’d like to take those big, beautiful photo files and do some basic color correcting or creative photo retouching on your desktop computer.

The problem is that you don’t have access to a full-featured image editing application such as Photoshop. And perhaps all you would really like to do is achieve the same creative (sometimes cheesy) photo effects that your friends are getting from a plethora of mostly free photo apps on their simple camera phones.

Wouldn’t it be great to have access to that same variety of creative potential for your larger DSLR or point-and-shoot camera?  No problem!

The trick (and it’s an easy one) is to transfer those higher-quality/resolution images from your digital camera or computer hard drive to your smart device (phone or tablet), where they can then be opened with any number of popular apps, such as Instagram, Photoshop Express, Perfectly Clear, Snapseed, Hipstamatic, Camera+ and ProCamera.

Once there, they can then be enhanced with a seemingly infinite variety of filters, styles or preset “looks.” Some apps, such as Perfectly Clear, excel in basic corrections like sharpness, contrast and color balance, while others allow you to create your masterpiece from a palette limited only by your own artistic vision.

There are several ways of transferring DSLR or point-and-shoot camera files to a smart device. Many newer cameras now include wireless connectivity that enables the uploading of photos directly from the camera to a wireless device. Alternately, if your images reside on a desktop computer, they can be transferred to your device via a synchronized file hosting service like Dropbox, iCloud or Google Drive. They can then be downloaded and saved to your device’s camera roll or photo album.

Another option is to send yourself an email from your computer with the photo attached; open the email on your device and save the photo to the camera roll or photo album. Be sure to email the photo at its highest resolution, if given the option.

You can now open the photo on your device with your app of choice and perform the desired tweaks and enhancements. You can then save your new version of the photo to that device and share it as you normally would by email, messaging or social networking; or it can be sent back (called “round-tripping”) to your desktop computer for storage via the same method you used initially to transfer it. The beauty of this process is that your photo will retain its original (larger) size and resolution characteristics throughout its journey from camera to computer to device and back. What a trip!

The lack of expensive photo editing software is no reason for a digital image to be robbed of its artistic potential. While it may seem counterintuitive to edit a high-resolution camera file on a smartphone, the results can be amazing.

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For more on TP&W magazine photography, go to our Photography page


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