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Big Lens app blurs out backgrounds in iPhone photos

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October 24, 2011

Big Lens is an app that allows users to add a simulated bokeh effect (a blurred-out backgr...

Big Lens is an app that allows users to add a simulated bokeh effect (a blurred-out background) to their iPhone photos

Even though much ado has been made about the high quality of the iPhone 4's camera, when it comes down to it, it's still a point-and-shoot. As such, photos taken with it tend to have a fairly deep depth-of-field - that's nice for getting as many things in focus as possible, but not great for getting those fuzzy-background professional-looking portraits and artsy shots. One solution is to use something like the iPhone SLR Mount, which lets you use SLR lenses on your smartphone's camera. A much less costly alternative, however, is to use Reallusion's Big Lens app.

To use the app, you start by taking a photo as per normal, focusing on the main subject. Once it's been taken, you then select the part of the shot that you want to stay in focus. This is done on the touchscreen, and can be accomplished by completely finger-brushing over the subject, using a lasso tool to define its outlines, or using a pinch-and-pan function to center a matching geometric shape over top of it.

Once the subject is defined, you apply the app's Smart-focus, which automatically blurs out all the other parts of the picture. If the background is too soft, or not soft enough, you can change it by adjusting the simulated aperture of the shot - on manually-adjustable cameras, larger apertures result in a shallower depth of field, which means fuzzier backgrounds. Should you be into overkill, you can also select one of nine virtual lenses, that render fuzzed-out background light points into geometric shapes such as stars or hearts.

If you can't wait to get the image into Photoshop, the app additionally includes 18 filters that allow you to adjust qualities like color and contrast, or to apply artistic effects. You can also use the Instant Focus and Blur tools to tweak the focus - both of the main subject and the background - as desired.

Big Lens is available on iTunes, for the standard 99 cents US. The video below shows more examples of what it can do.

Source: Wired

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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3 Comments

Seriously? Who uses their iPhone for real photography. C'mon

Rocky Stefano
25th October, 2011 @ 05:28 am PDT

awesome, downloading it right now. iPhone photography is a fun side hobby. plus, i save the original and play around with it more on PS.

Gabriel Grove
25th October, 2011 @ 11:03 am PDT

I am very impressed. It really brings big camera depth of field appearance to the iPhone. Love it.

Ted Coombs
25th October, 2011 @ 01:48 pm PDT
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