iPhone Photo App Update: Dynamic Light – The Return of Dutch Light
True HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos require bracketed exposures. By combining the bracketed exposures, HDR photos can bring out the detail in shadows without blowing out the highlights in a photo. Colors are more vibrant and dynamic.
Dynamic Light By Mediachance is a fairly new app which brightens images, adds details to shadows, holds highlights, and pops color. It gives your single-exposure photos the look, saturation, and punch of a bracketed HDR photo. The new 1.5 update gives the app a UI facelift and adds (or adds back) a few new features.
As well as having a standard, built-in camera, Dynamic Light’s one-exposure workflow enables you to apply its HDR and other effects to images in your camera roll, which is great especially if shooting the photos in HDR wasn’t an option at the time.
In this update, the app gets a new interface, inspired by an old Flexaret VI camera.
In addition to the strength of the effect (from the previous two versions), you can now adjust the radius of the effect with the new Light Ball. Just click the red lever on the left side to switch between the dial and light ball. The light ball creates interesting tweaks to the filter being used. It behaves almost like a directional light or adjustable hot spot. While the light ball expands the usefulness of the app, the real magic is in the basic strength parameter.
All filters can be fine-tuned with Color Mixing Light Ball. When you apply effect (for example, Infrared), click the red lever on the left side twice to get to the EFX Light Ball.
By user demand, the popular FX preset Dutch Light is back. There are also several other new effects presets, like Overcooked HDR or Tint.
Dynamic Light is not a DRC (Dynamic Range Correction) like Perfectly Clear. The apps accomplish two different tasks. Perfectly Clear is a good first step to balance the color and light of iPhone photos to compensate for the limitations of the iPhone’s camera.
Dynamic Light does an excellent job of expanding the dynamic color range and luminosity of iPhone photos, giving them the qualities of a bracketed HDR image without the alignment problems of some HDR apps or the flat, lifeless look of most “pseudo-HDR” apps. It doesn’t work on all images, but it’s fun to experiment with and discover some surprising results.
The new 1.5 update of Dynamic Light adds some great new functions to the app without sacrificing its cool, original usability. It’s an excellent app to have when shooting HDR isn’t (or wasn’t) an option.
Dynamic Light is only $0.99. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.