Try the iPhoneography App “Union”

A guest post by David Hayes

I’ve had this app, Union, since it came out but hadn’t taken the time to try it out. So I thought it would be fun to do a first look for my May article. I found the app very easy to use with lots of potential…even if it doesn’t look like it on the surface. I didn’t use all its features in this article but look to future articles once I have more of a chance to dig deeper!

union1

When opened, Union takes you straight to its composing screen and prompts you for your “Background.”  So I clicked on this tab.

union2

You’re then given a choice: a photo from your Library, a color background or a blank background. This time I opted for an image from my Background library.

union3

And…picked the one indicated in the screen shot above.

union4

At the bottom of the “Background” screen you are given aspect ratios. I picked 1:1 as I’ve been doing a lot of posting to Instagram lately so I wanted to be able to post my final image.

union5

Background in place…time for a Foreground!

union6

 As before, I went for an image in my Library.

union7

As you can see in the screenshot, I picked a simple still life that I had recently shot with my iPhone5 camera app. Keeping the “Foreground” screen active, I clicked on the magnifying glass icon in the top left corner so I could go to full screen view.

union8

Then, clicking on the “Stack” icon, I moved into a full screen mode so I could arrange this image.

union9

Using the standard pinch-and-pull finger moves, I place my foreground image at the bottom of my composition. Next up…a little blending!

union10

Opening the “Blending” menu by clicking on the icon that’s center screen, I tried out all the different possibilities and settled on “Normal.” (I also tried several different opacity settings as well.)

union11

Time for some “Masking.” I first clicked on the “Stack” icon to reopen the control panel and then clicked on “Mask” to bring up those controls.

union12

I will have to admit that I didn’t try the “Shape” or “Photo” controls–that will be in a future article–but went straight to “Erase.”

union13

Passing over the other “Erase” brush controls for this project, I chose the center opacity setting as I wanted to just erase the hard edges of my foreground…but not entirely!

union14

And so, with this in place, I moved around the still life, painting out the edges to give it a sense of “floating” on the background.

union15

This done, I reopened the main control panel as before so I could “Flatten” these two layers and then add a third layer.

union16

After clicking on the “Flatten” tab, this pop-up comes up to confirm your action. Click on “Flatten” to make it so!

union17

Union automatically will make your flattened layers your new background and activates the “Foreground” screen.

union18

This time I pulled in a piece of text that I had created using the app, Title Fx, which was taken from the book in the still life!

union19

Using my pinch-pull strokes, I placed this text about where I thought I wanted it in my composition.

union20

I then opened the “Blending” menu, and this time picked “Darken” which did what I needed for the text background to drop out! Very cool!

union21

After doing a bit of fine-tuning on the text placement, I decided it need to be a bit darker. Clicking on the “Contrast” control, I used the slider bar at the bottom to tweak up the contrast, bringing up the text a bit more.

union22

Time to save…so I went back to the main control panel and this time clicked on the “Export” tab.

union23

You can export to a number of different sources as well as to your Camera Roll. Which I did! (On a personal note, I always save to my Camera Roll even if I know I will open in another app or post to a feed. That way I know I have my original image safely tucked away for another day!)

union24

Here’s the final image. Hope you like it!

As I stated in the beginning, Union has a lot more going for it than what I used for this article. I’m looking forward to really putting it through its paces…look for future articles on what I discover!

David Hayes is a photographer, mixed-media artist, painter and explorer of life. Visit his blog at clearerreflections.com.

Photo Craft_160You might also enjoy Photo Craft: Creative Mixed Media and Digital Approaches to Transforming Your Photographs by Susan Tuttle and Christy Hydeck.

 

 

 

 

MORE RESOURCES FOR MIXED MEDIA ARTISTS
Improve your mixed media art with books, DVDs, downloads & from the North Light Shop
Sign up for your FREE Create Mixed Media email newsletter for great tips, projects & more
Get unlimited access to mixed media art instruction ebooks
Download free mixed media desktop wallpapers

You may also like these articles:

This entry was posted in Guest Posts and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply