A slightly washed out look with vibrant colors is very easy to create using one or more of the many apps which are provided to iPhone and iPad users. There are tons of presets around to obtain similar results, but in some instances, the best option you have to make sure effects will go well with your photos is creating your own, fine-tuning every setting to make sure the result will be as you like.
For this brief tutorial I am using PhotoForge 2 on the iPhone, as it has everything I need for my purpose. You can follow exactly the same steps on the iPad.
1. Open your photo of choice in PhotoForge 2. I am using a random photo I have taken a few days ago while testing the macro lens for iPhone.
2. Go to Adjustments by tapping on the three-slider icon and select Brightness/Contrast. Move the brightness slider control up to around +5; do the opposite with contrast and move it down to about -50. Depending on the overall brightness and contrast of the original photo, you may want to adjust these values for obtaining the right degree of fading on the image of your choice.
3. Now let’s produce some color shifting. Remaining in Adjustments, Select Curves. Set the curves in RGB mode for each of the three colors, Red, Green and Blue. Try to achieve something close to what is shown in the screenshots.
4. For this style, we want a faded overall look, but at the same time we are looking for vivid colors. Always in Adjustments, select Vibrance. Move the slider up to +25.
As a final touch, we are going to add some vignetting. In PhotoForge 2, you can add a vignette simply using the Vignette tool included in the app’s FX section. However, I prefer the vignette to blend a little more with the photo, so I am using Layers to achieve a slightly better result.
5. Go to Layers by tapping on the three-layer icon and create a new blank layer above the photo’s; select a white fill color for it. Change the layer’s blending mode to Multiply. Leave opacity to 1.
6. Go to FX and select Vignette. Pick a vignette style that goes well with your photo. In my case, I choose Vignette 2 and I move the intensity control up to around 0.60. For a more “enclosed” feeling, you can raise intensity even more.
And that’s it! You can save the photo to your photo album or share it with whomever you like. PhotoForge2 saves the complete history of your post-processing, so you can go back in any moment and if you do not like the final look of your image you can make further adjustments to contrast, curves, vibrance, and so on.