Peter McKinnon “Better iPhone Shots”

Peter McKinnon “Better iPhone Shots”

Take Better Shots with Your iPhone | Peter McKinnon shares a few of his favorite tips

“I love that Light Hits don’t necessarily scream ‘presets!’ but feel more natural in that you would never know they were added in post.”

Peter McKinnon is a Photographer & Filmmaker based out of Toronto Ontario, Canada. He runs a self-titled channel on YouTube where he shares tips, techniques and favorite tools for great visuals, which includes the Lens Distortions mobile app.

What’s the driving idea behind all the content you’re creating?
I want to use this platform, this gift I’ve been blessed with to empower those who need it. I have all this knowledge from grinding it out in this industry over the past decade and I remember the days when I was working the lousy jobs wondering if I would ever get to do what I loved for a living.

I want to inspire my audience and fill them with a sense of hope and drive. I have been exactly where they are and know exactly how they feel.

What lead you to start using Lens Distortions?
I stumbled across it on a Facebook Ad of all places! The one time I actually thought, “Hey, maybe I’ll check that out.” You guys got me!

I started with downloading the Photoshop effects from your website and then moved to the app just in case I was ever on the go and needed to drop some sort of light source in on my phone. It quickly became one of my favourite things to use.

Which effects do you find yourself using most often?

Some of the Light Hits are so subtle but add such a massive improvement to photos. I love that they don’t necessarily scream “Presets!” but feel more natural in that you would never know it was added in post.

I use them for reflections in people’s glasses, I use them to enhance window lit portraits – they really are extremely versatile and when I start thinking of ways to use them that are not traditional, is when I feel the most excited about them.

See more of Peter’s work on his Youtube channel.

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Zoe Rain // Candid Storylines

Zoe Rain // Candid Storylines

Zoe Rain | Candid Storylines

Zoe Rain is a Chicago-based portrait photographer originally from Seattle. She began assisting for Jkoe Photography in 2010, and since then has shot over 65 weddings in the last five years. She has a solid expertise in capturing candid portraits and story lines in her wedding imagery.

“I really enjoy the Legacy effects, which are masked light layers made with glass textures. They are easy to use in a subtle way, without totally giving away the fact that I am enhancing the image in post,” Zoe said.

“It isn’t a stereotypical effect and I like using something for a different intention than how it was advertised and playing with blending modes, opacity etc.”

“I recently have been playing around with using Legacy to add color to shots. I think my favorite way to use these effects has been coloring backgrounds or adding a ‘colored gel’ like glow.”

See more of Zoe’s wedding work at zoerainweddings.com.

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Legacy

Legacy brings the iconic shoot-through technique to Photoshop - Elegantly frame your subject with optically captured elements, including glass and crystal.

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Narsete Photography // Dreamy couple portraits

Narsete Photography // Dreamy couple portraits

Narsete Photography | Dreamy couple portraits

“Sometimes just adding one of the effects can really give your image that wow factor.”

Narsete Photography is an international, award-winning, husband and wife wedding photography team based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
They currently use our Light Hits, Fog, and Legacy Photoshop Actions.

  • Before-Wedding Image with Lens Flare
    After-Wedding Image with Lens Flare
    Before Wedding Image with Lens Flare After

Here’s what Narsete had to say about Lens Distortions, “We love using the effects because they create a very romantic and dreamy feel to the images. We typically use them for our couple portraits and detail shots on the wedding day. Sometimes just adding one of the effects can really give your image that wow factor.

It also helps to create more of a mood, whether it be a touch of sun (Light Hits) that was added to brighten up the image or a touch of Fog to create mystery and romance. We use the Legacy effect to add depth of field/dimension to the images.

One of our favorite effects to use is Light Hit number 29 because it gives a beautiful, warm, soft light to the image. The effects are very easy to use and the final results are amazing!”

See more of their work at narsetephotography.com

Explore the effects used in this post

Light Hits

Made from actual sunlight - Light Hits features stunning lens flares and soft glows, perfect for intensifying the natural light in your shots.

Fog

Made from optically captured haze - Fog adds atmospheric depth and dimension to your overcast shots.

Legacy

Legacy brings the iconic shoot-through technique to Photoshop - Elegantly frame your subject with optically captured elements, including glass and crystal.

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Ray Santana // Fine Art Photography

Ray Santana // Fine Art Photography

Ray Santana | Fine Art Photography

“Len Distortions lets me take my photographs to the next level, yet maintain a simple, timeless look.”

Ray Santana is an International Fine Art Wedding Photographer based out of Miami, Florida. He’s been featured in numerous wedding publications and is a contributing photographer for Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine. He’s also worked with numerous fashion events in Miami (Chanel), New York, Florence, and Milan Runway Fashion Shows.

Ray currently uses our full lineup of photo effects.

Some thoughts from Ray, “Len Distortions lets me take my photographs to the next level, yet maintain a simple, timeless look.
Loving the Light Hits & Legacy!”

Light Hits… What can I say? They just add a little extra something – that early or late afternoon, sun going down, sun flare look that you can sometimes miss on rainy or cloudy days.

Legacy lets me get incredible looks, especially indoors, that I can only get with a handful of lenses.
Just a classic look and feel to my fine art photographs.”

See more of Ray’s work at raysantanaphotography.com.

Explore the effects used in this post

Light Hits

Made from actual sunlight - Light Hits features stunning lens flares and soft glows, perfect for intensifying the natural light in your shots.

Legacy

Legacy brings the iconic shoot-through technique to Photoshop - Elegantly frame your subject with optically captured elements, including glass and crystal.

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See how emerging artists and global brands use Lens Distortions in their projects.

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Tommy Reynolds on the streets of India

Tommy Reynolds on the streets of India

Tommy Reynolds | A british portrait photographer takes to the streets of India

When he’s not working on corporate or wedding photography, Tommy Reynolds spends his time traveling abroad and documenting the lives of local people in each destination. We caught up with him to get the details on his recent trip to India.

You went on a big trip to India recently. What’s the backstory on the trip?

The year before I left to go to India, I had travelled to Sri Lanka with a charity called ‘Take Heart Mercy mission’ where I was assigned to film the charity’s mission. While on the trip, in-between filming, I would flip my camera into stills mode and start photographing the people in the hospital I was filming in. I found out very quickly that stills seem to just have an even greater sense of story, character, and emotion. It was unlike anything I had ever photographed before. I was hooked and even ended up debuting my first photographic exhibition based on those images.

“… it would be a trip purely for photography and nothing else.”

When I returned home I was already thinking about where to go next. I knew that I wanted to go somewhere that had the same sense of emotion and character traits I had captured in Sri Lanka. The way they live their lives is so different [than my own], which is what fascinated me. I decided my next destination would be India. 

The difference this time is it would be completely self-funded, but it would be a trip purely for photography and nothing else. We paid for a guide, who happened to be a keen photographer, to allow myself and my friend Brendan access into places we would never have reached without him. I wanted the same sense of achievement, adventure, and emotional connection with my subjects as I had in Sri Lanka. 

Photographically, I stepped everything up a notch from my previous trip. Instead of a flashgun, I used a hybrid system for more power. Instead of a small soft box with a single layer of diffusion, I used a 90cm soft box with 2 layers of diffusion. I also had high-speed sync triggers and Brendan acting as my voice activated light stand. All of these lighting components were from a UK based light supplier called PixaPro.

My go to camera gear was my Canon 5D Mark III and either my Sigma 35mm 1.4 or Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. I like to capture the location as well as the subject and these lenses feel just right to capture both. I also used a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L for more flexibility. 

Tell us about the images that came out of the trip.

I am so proud of this collection of images I got in India. Using a flash really steps up the value of the images exponentially. I was able to control the ambient light to exactly the level I needed thanks to my new hybrid system. I have to stress the importance of my friend Brendan, who was a key member of the team.

“Sometimes, the head, they explode.”

Without Brendan, I probably wouldn’t have taken a hybrid system because I would’ve had to hang the battery on the light stand somehow which would have made me nervous on location. I wouldn’t have taken the soft box I took due to its big size and fear it would tower over if a bit of wind picked up. I wouldn’t have been able to fully focus on photographing my subject as I would have constantly been worried about the light placement and if it was going to blow over or not. Having someone to hold your light stand and have a basic understanding of how it the light works was critical for capturing great images.

What are a few interesting stories from the trip?

Our guide took us on a boat trip in evening along the Ganges River to witness the only public cremation in India. I was speechless. I later learned that 80 bodies are cremated at the same spot everyday and the remains are put into the river. At one point there was a big noise from one of the bodies! When I asked, “What was that?” Our guide said, “Sometimes, the head, they explode.” It was the closest to a dead body I had even been before. I waited till I was further away before taking a photo out of respect. 

One other shot that sticks out for me is when I met Priest RAM. I had the pleasure of meeting RAM while he was performing his morning prayer as the sun rose behind him on the Ganges river. He’s originally from South India, was visiting Varanasi for the first time, and was so humble and very patient whilst I shot these photos. Watching the sunrise was a truly magical moment. Many people gather at the river at sunrise to pray for the new day and it is one of the best sights I have ever seen. 

“Light Hits add a greater depth to the image and just lift the photo exponentially.”

Thoughts on how Lens Distortions fits into your visual style?

I have had the pleasure of using nearly all of the effects Lens Distortions has to offer but easily the effects I use most are the Light Hits and Principle Light Hits. Light Hits add a greater depth to the image and just lift the photo exponentially.

I have found that I can use the effects very discreetly and other times quite predominately. They add an additional focus point to the image, too. This is true for all LD effects, not just Light Hits. They can turn a flat image into a bloody cool looking image. 

To see more of Tommy’s work check out tommyreynolds.co.uk.

You can also find him on Instagram as @TommyReynolds89.

Explore the effects used in this post

Light Hits

Made from actual sunlight - Light Hits features stunning lens flares and soft glows, perfect for intensifying the natural light in your shots.

Tommy Reynolds // Timeless wedding edits

Tommy Reynolds // Timeless wedding edits

Tommy Reynolds | Timeless wedding edits

“Light Hits add a greater depth to the image and just lift the photo exponentially.”

Tommy Reynolds is a professional photographer and director based in South East England. He uses Light Hits and Principle Light Hits optically captured lens flares from Lens Distortions to intensify the natural light in some of his wedding edits.

In an interview for the Lens Distortions blog, Tommy shared some thoughts on our effects. “Light Hits add a greater depth to the image and just lift the photo exponentially. I have found that I can use the effects very discreetly and other times quite predominately.”

“They add an additional focus point to the image, too. This is true for all LD effects, not just Light Hits. They can turn a flat image into a bloody cool looking image.”

See more of Ali’s work at tommyreynolds.co.uk

Explore the effects used in this post

Light Hits

Made from actual sunlight - Light Hits features stunning lens flares and soft glows, perfect for intensifying the natural light in your shots.

Collections

See how emerging artists and global brands use Lens Distortions in their projects.

Brands

Weddings

VFX