April turned out to be smartphone filter exploration month at Dash Kitten with portraits taking centre stage. It wasn’t planned but the results from an exploration of my smartphone gave me some thrilling photos. I hope you can achieve the same exciting results when you create your own photo series for display as a canvas print (USA Snapfish) or as photo tiles (NZ Snapfish).
Filters Give Spectacular Results
Don’t believe me? Follow me down a beautiful rabbit hole of discovery using a single filter from the Photoshop Camera app. It’s called ‘Gleam and Glow‘. If you want to explore it, the Photoshop Camera app is available for your Android or Apple smartphone and is free. I include a download link to Adobe’s official site in the resources section.
PhotoShop Camera App
There are four options to choose from in this filter or ‘lens’ as Photoshop calls them.
Each has a dark shade framing the edges, with a scattering of bright motifs whose placement can add a touch of magic. There are:
- Computer Graphics and,
- a Glowing Mushroom.
Each app setting has a slightly different colour scheme and suits a different typs of photo. To see if a lens suits your image check it in the app. I have found that some photos will not succeed due to the wrong tone, brightness and the position of your cat collides with a motif.
When you open and look at the app it seems an unlikely filter to impress you. It’s dark and looks murky when you first open it. Surely it hides a lot of your cat photograph and won’t look good? I thought so too, but let me show you how this filter can surprise!
- I am adding a quick How-To for the App at the bottom of this post.
Cat Portrait Filter
Do you remember our foster cat Sam‘s time with us in 2021? He was a handsome longhaired ginger and posed for the perfect rescue portrait which I was lucky to grab with my smartphone. This was the first photograph I ran through the app.
Jethro Kitten ‘Surrounded’
Another foster who has been wrapped in butterflies by this filter is kitten Jet, now called Jethro and in his forever home. Doesn’t he look the cutest, and the positioning of the butterflies works well.
Are you seeing a similarity here? The main subject of the photos is in, or near, the centre the smartphone photo. The soft darkness pushes your attention into the middle where your cat or kitten will be with the butterflies leading your eye into the frame.
Toulouse in Blue Filter Mood
Although Toulouse is slightly off-centre the location of the butterflies is such that you think, once he wakes up he will be waving his paws as the butterflies flutter out of reach! The frame diffuses the background and centres your attention in that kitty yawn and those teeth.
I had thought his fur would be too blurry to come out in the photograph but the app’s AI (Artifical Intelligence) sharpens it and makes it more defined. This is a bonus for all photos you process in Photoshop Camera – the app ‘reads’ your image and automatically sharpens any blurs. If this is not what you want you can remove the effect using the ‘magic wand’ symbol along the top of the app window.
Bonus Filter Suprise
I want to share a couple of photographs that show that this filter will work with a lot of different pictures. One is an older photograh from a visit to Paris, France and the second a Swarovski Crystal cat I received as a gift. Neither is 100% sharp but framed by the lens they look romantic, soft and sweet.
The visual impact is much more important for a social media post that a super sharp image.
How To Use The Gleam and Glow Lens
If you want to try this effect yourself, open the Photoshop Camera App:
- Select a photo
- See if you like what the AI did your your photo.
- If not tap the magic wand top right to reverse the effect
- Tap the stars bottom left (lenses)
- If you don’t have the lens swipe to the Add More +
- Select Gleam and Glow and Download
- Start Having Fun
I hope this spectacular filter shows you that dark doesn’t mean sad or bad but that it can make a special photo look really amazing.
Let me know if you try the filter out and the results you get!
Photo Filters Resources
- Photoshop Camera App < Download. A mobile app that allows you to take photos with filters and is based on the Adobe Sensei AI system using a combination of artificial intelligence and built-in filters.
- Magic Wand Symbol – HC Clipart. Although the icon may be familiar to many, if you have not come across it before, this is a good sample.
- Our friends the Kitties Blue do wonderful filter treatments every Sunday as part of their Selfies feature. Check them out.
Marjorie is a motorbike riding blogger and award winning cat photographer who believes that everyone can create impressive cat photographs and fun movies with the camera they carry.
She is a Professional Member of the Cat Writers Association, Kuykendall Image Award winner and published photographer at the Guardian newspaper.