One of the big differences between a photo shot with a cellphone and one shot with a DSLR camera is that the former will always look “flatter”.
Your iPhone camera is made so that photos are taken with a deep depth of field: this means that almost every part of your shot will look sharp, and what is not in focus will look only slightly blurry. On a DSLR, on the other hand, you can use aperture settings and different lenses to achieve a human-eye-like effect where only the main subject is in focus, and everything around it is blurry.
There are many apps that try to fill this gap and provide a way to selectively blur your photos and Big Lens is definitely one of my favorite.
This app emulates the behavior of a mirror camera, by letting you pick the area you want to keep in focus and applying fake “aperture settings” on everything else.
This software works in two modes. The Basic one is very similar to what many other apps do: you just apply a linear or circular gradient. With the Advanced mode things get more interesting, since you can paint the area to keep in focus, and you also have a nice edge detection algorithm that makes things easier.
In both modes, after establishing the mask area, you can then apply aperture settings, change the lens shape (this will affect the “bokeh”) and also add some filters to your image.
The Lens settings will let you change the shape of the bokeh artifacts.
The Advanced mode requires a little bit more work, but it can produce better results.
In the end, Big Lens delivers what it promises: a good way to make cell phone pictures look more like DSLR ones. This app is universal and it’s quite cheap: I definitely consider it a “must have” for any iPhoneographer around.
PROS: Great results, good set of features, Universal
Check also: BlurFX, TiltShift, Tilt Shift Generator
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