The film industry, and Hollywood in particular, have filled our imagination for years using post-apocalyptic visions of submerged cities in ruins and all that jazz. To achieve the effect in a sumptuous Hollywood-style would take too much money, I am afraid. Anyhow, with little effort and simple means, you too can recreate on the iPhone your own little post-doomsday scenery.
This effect works great on bold architectural details, like the top of bell towers, skyscrapers or other buildings, but it can be applied successfully to a number of other objects, so feel free to experiment.
- I choose an average photo of the Hallgrímskirkja, a local church with an impressive and unique bell tower. The photo is slightly tilted. I load the photo into WaterMyPhoto (->Photo Album). For quickness’ sake I choose this app, mainly because it’s so simple to use and you don’t have to make other adjustments apart from selecting the area of the image you want reflected. Unfortunately, the app only saves at very small resolution (a less than satisfactory 390×502 pixels). The app is free, but it displays ads. If you care to remove them, you can purchase the in-app remove ads feature for $0.99. I adjust the photo, making sure I am keeping the cross on top of the tower into the frame (I like that detail) and tap on the Crop button to confirm. After the app generates the water reflection, all I have to do is saving (->Done Editing->Save Photo).
- I open the image in Cameramatic. I adjust the image to the square cropping tool and from the Light Box, I tap on the monkey wrench button to access the edit area. From filters, I select a monochrome filter. In this case I picked Retrochrome (Filter->B&W->Retrochrome), but anything balanced, not too contrasted or faded, would have worked. Then I apply a frame (Frame->Texture->Grunge Paper 03). I save to Light Box and then to Camera Roll by tapping on the “+” sign.
- I open the photo in Infinicam because I know it has some lovely hazy effect. Autochrome, which is one of the presets that come with the app, is my personal choice. Since I like the hazy look, which makes the texture and reflection look subtler, but I don’t think the reddish hue fits the mood I am trying to convey, I apply another filter: this time it’s one of my own presets (whose code is DJX-63A0), which turns the image into a more appropriate sepia. All I have left to do is saving.
This is what I did in this very specific case. There are many other ways to achieve the same overall result. For example, you could choose other tools to apply your favorite textures and borders, to fix exposure or to tilt your subject further, for a more dramatic effect. You could go either for an uncropped image or for a different format than square, which I used here. It all depends on what makes you more comfortable or what pleases your eye.