Looking Behind the Curtain

This week I saw a british band called Keane in concert at a small local venue called the Crystal Ballroom.  They put on a fantastic show and it is refreshing to see a top band without having to take out a second mortgage, they charged $30.  If you haven’t heard of Keane before I highly recommend checking them out.  Their last album “Strangeland” is my personal favorite.

Being a keen photographer I usually snap a picture or two at a concert and since we were about 10 ft from the stage Tuesday provided an ideal opportunity.  Like many people I take a look the next day and then generally forget about them as they adding to my ever increasing Photo Stream on my iPhone.  Since this was one of my favorite bands I decided to do some post production work on them and see what I could create.  I often get asked what camera should I buy and this depends on what you want to do with it but often I respond you already have a great camera in your pocket.  The iPhone and Android phones pretty much all have very good cameras and with the available software you can get some great results.

Since I am prone to advising folks to use the camera you already have, I thought I would share three pictures from the concert and show you the before and after pictures once I have edited them on my phone or iPad using the same app.  Just in case you think I have some expensive special app, I use a free one called Snapseed from Google/Nik and it is available for both iOS and Android operating systems.  Also note, these pictures were taken in what I would describe as very poor conditions for pictures, with little light and lots of jostling in the crowd.  You can do much better in daylight taking a picture of your family!

Anyhow, down to the action, here is the raw picture from my iPhone.  It is very good considering the conditions but we can do better.

Keane Original


Now I have opened the picture in Snapseed.  The first action is to straighten and crop the photo.  Cropping means to remove the parts of the original you down want.  The crowd were great but I didn’t need so much of them in my picture.





At this point I start adjusting colors and going for a different look.  I wanted to reduce the light in the picture and give it a darker more moody feel.  I have also changed the colors to be more blue, I like how the lights now jump out from the background.



To finish off I applied a grunge filter and played around to see if anything looked good.  I ended up with an even darker and rougher finish and the software added a texture.  Now this looks very moody, matching my view of a great music club.  I also like how the main light creates an outline of the singer separating him from the now dark background.



Total time for editing this picture was about 10 mins and I have a picture that really reminds me of the show.  Here are some other before and after pictures all taken with my iPhone and edited with Snapseed.

#1  #1A


photo 5  photo 2-1

photo 4  photo 2

I look forward to hearing how you get on with Snapseed!  Give it a try and if you are brave post your results!

3 thoughts

  1. Andy, did I ever mention to you that your photo of John and Esther is on the header of their wedding site? You are credited on the home page. Take a peek. :)http://johnandestherwedding.com/

    Have a great weekend! Evelyn Evelyn Shoop | Editor | Writer http://momsicle.wordpress.com | @momsicleblog


  2. Wow, thanks Evelyn for letting me know, you have just made my week!!! There is nothing more satisfying for me than creating a picture that is particularly meaningful for others! Whoever did the crop and finish for the website did a fabulous job!

  3. Andy, I love these! I love shooting with my iPhone… it can capture and process what my $10,000 in equipment can’t capture.. hmmm….. it is a great tool for an event like this.

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