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How To Turn Random Snapshots Into A Uniform-Looking Photo Series

Tina Sieber 08-01-2014

A few tricks can save you hours of editing in Photoshop Photoshop Is Overkill: Edit Your Images With These Free Chrome Apps And Extensions Although Photoshop is a great program, it has its drawbacks. Photoshop is not only very expensive, it also has too many controls for what you probably need. There are a lot of editors you could... Read More . Let’s say you have a random collection of photos. You or whoever the photographer was didn’t have the foresight to take them with the same camera or lens, but now you wish you could combine them and make them look like they were created during a single photo shoot. Rather than tediously editing each photo, you could run all of them through the same preset filter to create that desired uniform look. Let me explain…


Pick Your Photo Collection

Maybe you have a collection of family photos, taken by different people and with different cameras. Let’s say they are digital photos. I’ll demonstrate the process using photos of the family cat.

Cat Photos Before Editing

The photos I picked are not drastically different, at least the subject is the same, but they were taken with different cameras and under different conditions.

Apply Filters For Uniform Look

Now you have two options. You can either run the photos through an online tool like PicMonkey and apply filters that will create a uniform look or do something that sounds a little crazy: Use a smartphone lens app and re-take the photos from your computer screen.

The Sensible Option: Web Based Photo Editing Filters

You can create collages with PicMonkey PicMonkey: The Spiritual Successor To Picnik As you probably already know, Picnik’s days are numbered. The popular photo editing website, which was purchased by Google, is going under on April 19th, 2012. Some of the features found in Picnik have made... Read More . I went with that option, added my photos, and adjusted the exposure to receive similar levels of brightness. This can be done by selecting the Edit option of each photo while arranging the collage.


PicCollage Exposure

Then I went into Edit mode (menu option) and applied filters. Here I went with the Cross Process and the Focal Soften filters. I picked the Cross Process Red filter since one of the photos had a pretty strong red tone already.

PicCollage Effects

I applied the focal point of the Focal Soften filter to the cat’s face on the leftmost image and played with the settings a tiny little bit. And I think the resulting image has quite a nice touch to it. If I had to do it again, I would probably edit each image individually.


PicMonkey Collage

The Crazy Artsy Option: Smartphone Camera Snapshots With Lens Apps

When turning to your smartphone, you can choose between a variety of apps to yield the desired effects. Instagram comes to mind, or the iconic iPhone photography app Hipstamatic The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Hipstamatic The iPhone photography app Hipstamatic can be a little overwhelming at first, trying to understand how all the different combinations work and what kind of effects you can create using the app. When you first... Read More . Being an Android user, I went with Lomo Camera, since it allows you to save the edited photos directly to your phone and it’s also very easy to use.

Android Lomo Camera

I took each photo off my HD laptop screen. The better the resolution of your monitor, the better the photos will turn out. To avoid scattered light, turn off all lights and work in the dark. Maximize the photos you want to snap and position your smartphone camera in a way to avoid distortions. You can also play with the screen brightness. I actually played with the angle to get different brightness effects.


While in camera mode, you can also import photos from your Gallery, via the smaller button underneath the camera release button. If you don’t have the images on your smartphone, snapping a photo off the screen is a little quicker and adds an artistic edge to the result. And if you have automatic sync via Dropbox 4 Ways to Sync and Upload Photos to Cloud Storage on Android Here are the best apps to automatically upload Android photos to the cloud so you never lose precious memories. Read More set up, the photos will be transferred back to your computer in seconds.

After taking the photo, I applied a filter (Lomo), saved it, and then manually put together the collage using IrfanView, a lightweight image editing tool View, Resize, & Manipulate Image Files With Classic Utility IrfanView [Windows] We all work with image files, all the time; be they graphics for the Web, corporate images for work, or just holiday snaps. These days there are more digital images than ever before. Windows comes... Read More .

Lomo Camera Collage

This collage was easier to produce and I like it better than the one created with PicMonkey. However, Lomo Camera doesn’t offer as many filters and for a more serious project, I would recommend looking into different apps, especially lens apps for Windows Phone 4 Amazing Lens Apps for Nokia Windows Phones Windows Phone 8’s growth has been slow but steady in the months since its release, an increase that can in part be contributed to Nokia’s excellent series of smartphones and camera hardware. Complementing this is... Read More on the Nokia Lumia or Camera360, an alternative Android camera app Tested: Can The Right Camera App Make Your Phone's Camera Work Better? Did you ever stop to think that the right camera app may improve your phone's innate abilities? Is that even possible? Read More . If you have an iPhone or a Windows Phone, get Hipstamatic’s Oggl to edit existing photos with the same filters you would use to capture new ones.


Shortcuts Are Outside The Box

Instead of editing photos with your standard software, why not play with different tools and look for unusual shortcuts and effects. It may not be very professional, but if it looks cool and isn’t much effort, who’s to judge? It’s beautiful if you like it.

What’s your favorite smartphone photography 5 Nuggets of Smartphone Photography Wisdom To Live By When it comes to smartphone photography, we try to cover a bit of everything here at MakeUseOf. Sometimes though, among the sea of apps and accessories, social networks and hashtags, the essence photography can get... Read More and image editing shortcut?

Related topics: Photography, Smartphone Photography.

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  1. Ree R
    January 11, 2014 at 4:06 am

    I always wanted to be able to make collages out of my favorite photos, but didn't know how. Now I have the know-how, and the ability to do so. Thank You Makeuseof.