Visual storytelling is what I do. It is my career, my art and also my happy. While I absolutely love my proper camera system, I also like to play around with the many other tools in my kit. Last night I was getting the twins wound down after and exciting week and saw the opportunity to use the light and a camera app I had downloaded to document our mini-adventure to the park. It was just too pretty out to not take advantage of the remaining moments of light and energy. This month during our Photographing Happiness project, we are looking for light. Sometimes that means finding the shadows too. I wanted to show what one can capture in just as little as 20 minutes with only a cameraphone and the setting sun when you add moments (our January focus) and perspective (what we looked at in February).
Recently I have been playing around with more filmmaking techniques to add moving stories to my repertoire. I will share that in a different post, but the exploration of a new medium had led me to discovering many different apps. One I particularly liked for its ability to record in filters and with a dreamy concentrated focal point was Camu. I can’t find much written on how to get the most out of the app, so I am trying to learn by doing. As I learn, I thought I would share with you. This is a free app with the option to buy all the filters in an additional in-app purchase. I always get the full app when I like the free app even if I don’t use all the features as I think of it as my support for the developers. I don’t love all the filters on this app especially since you can’t directly reduce their opacity, but I did purchase them.
There are three icons for the the recording of images. One is for video and one is for stills, but the other one looks like the stills camera, but with added stars. I could not see a difference between the star and regular camera at first, so I went between both. After a bit of investigation, it seems the “stars” option brings up a panel of other editing choices after pressing the shutter button linking to their retouching app (which I do not have) and things like an Instagram square border, text, tags and the store link. Beware though as you will have to press Save, Share or Trash then to complete the capture process. If you use the non-star camera, you will automatically save the images you take as you take them. That is my choice as I do not want to stop and edit photos as I am enjoying the moment. As the new Instagram feature of ten image albums in one post is limited to square shots at the moment, I selected the option to capture images in square as I was shooting with the Camu app, but you can easily shoot in the more conventional format. I also picked the blur option to be on when shooting, but later found out that it can be applied after capture by editing still images with the Camu app. There is only the radial blur similar to the effect created with the lensbaby equipment with no option for the linear blur. As you are shooting, you can increase or decrease the “lux” of an image which seems to be a combination of contrast and vibrance. You are also able to change the filter applied as you shoot. In my limited experience, I have found very little consistency in adjusting both options. The third adjustment I found is the aperture of the blur. It seems to lighten and darken the image, but again, I could not get it to be reliably the same from shot to shot in the same lighting. Overall, Camu is a fun camera to play with for toy-like image effects and my suggestion is to shoot without a filter and add those effects after you capture the shot by editing with the Camu app.
I need to let go of perfection often to see that the real beauty lies in the moments seen.
What is your happy? Show us by using the #photographinghappiness tag on Instagram and Facebook.