The direction of sunlight is not something that a photographer can control. At noon when the sun is directly overhead is not the best lighting for photography, and there is only so much that one can do with the aperture, shutter speed and white balance settings. And if the subject is something that is only visible for a few seconds, who has the time to fiddle with the camera’s settings?
So, there’s such a thing as post-processing. Before there were cam phones and matching apps, that usually meant Adobe Photoshop. These days when most people take photos on the go with their phones rather than with bulky dSLRs, apps are everywhere and some of the good ones are free.
The photo above was processed using XnRetro, a desktop app available free on Apple. Compare the photo with the original, below.
What does XnRetro do? It has filters that give photos a retro look, as its name implies. In addition to the retro filters, there are filters for light, vignette and frame. Each filter is highly configurable in terms of brightness, contrast, gamma, exposure, saturation, red balance, blue balance, green balance, noise, vignetting and light opacity.
The filtered photo at the beginning of the post was customized using only the retro and vignette filters. I was able to make the colors more subdued which gave the photo a softer look. I like it better than the original.