Hipstamatic: “No brainer,” he says. If you have the internet and you have friends, you know what this app is.
HDR Fusion: “This takes two or three images and merges them together. If you have an underexposed, dark image, it’ll bring the light up or it’ll balance out an overexposed image.”
Slow Shutter: This app takes long exposure photos that will show streaking lights, blurs and movement. Purcell describes the effect as psychedelic and suggests it for bike rides or action, fast moving activities.
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Snapseed: This app allows you to tweak images. “It’s phenomenal,” he insists. “It’s a few bucks but the results are just amazing. I tweaked an image that I took at Boneyard, Arizona [a storage field for retired aircrafts] and this guy saw it and said, ‘I want this as a print.’ I said, ‘Uh, this was taken with an iPhone,’ and he was like, ‘I don’t care. I want it.’”
As a former surf photographer (and current commercial photographer), Purcell has got tons of experience photographing the natural world and the subjects in it. For the best results, he suggests snapping shots first thing in the morning or during the last part of the day.
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“There’s so much you can do with the sun behind your subject—silhouetting—or lighting your subject.” But even more importantly, Purcell says, “Do anything that you wouldn’t do normally with a camera…because you can. You don’t have to fiddle around with lenses or flashes that a normal photographer would have to lug around. It’s the best thing in the world right now.”
Find a camping spot and document your adventures.