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Jessi Loerch | jloerch@heraldnet.com
Published: Friday, February 14, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

App turns outdoor photos into little works of art

  • A photo of Mount Rainier at Paradise, with the brush stroke effect applied.

    Jessi Loerch

    A photo of Mount Rainier at Paradise, with the brush stroke effect applied.

  • A daisy with the swirls effect applied.

    Jessi Loerch

    A daisy with the swirls effect applied.

  • A beaver pond at the Big Four Ice Caves trail, with the black and white etching effect.

    Jessi Loerch

    A beaver pond at the Big Four Ice Caves trail, with the black and white etching effect.

  • A beaver pond on the Big Four trail with the bloom effect applied.

    Jessi Loerch

    A beaver pond on the Big Four trail with the bloom effect applied.

I'm a mediocre photographer, but I'm enthusiastic. I take countless photos while outdoors, with the assumption that something will turn out nice. And something always does.

It's fun to play with those photos later (when I can't be outside) and lately my favorite toy is Tangled FX, an app for iPhone, iPad and the like.

Tangled takes your photos and manipulates them to look like oil paintings, pencil drawings or other works of art. It's pretty stunning what comes out of a simple photo. And sometimes photos that look mediocre in their original version are stunning when an effect is applied.

I've also used it on photos of people but, frankly, I find the results a bit creepy. Nature photos, however, shine.

The app is pretty simple to use. Open up a photo, click on an effect and watch it work. All of the effects can be manipulated precisely. You can choose how much you want to alter the photo and play with different variables. You can also make and save your own filters.

I'm particularly fond of the swirl and the black and white effects.

Now, on days when I can't hit the trail or find some snow, I can play with my old outdoors photos to tide me over.

Learn more about the app here. Or download it for $1.99.

Click through the photos above to see a few examples of the app at work.

Story tags » PhotographyOutdoors

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