It’s no secret I love black and white photography. Recently, I found out about BLACK App, by Peter Stojanowski, and fell in love. I have a hard time using anything else now, so much so that recently, my husband glanced over while I was editing and said, with his tongue in his cheek, “oh, you’re editing yet another photo in black and white? Shocking!”

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BLACK just does something extra-special when converting iPhone photos to black and white, and it does it so much better than the other apps I’ve used. It truly looks so much like film: it’s dynamic and gorgeous. I feel kind of like I’m cheating, because I just use one of their 10 black and white film presets (my favorite is the GP3 100 Shanghai, followed closely by the NEOPAN 400 Fuji–I like high contrast), maybe slightly adjust the curves, and that’s it. It’s so easy.






The app itself isn’t expensive, and yes, you have to pay to access the tools to adjust past the presets, but it’s well worth it. The one thing I wish it did have is a sharpening tool, so if I feel like my photo needs a little bit of sharpening, I’ll just use one of the other myriad apps with tools that do that, before or after using BLACK to complete my image. Although, I kind of like how limited the options are, the app is so beautiful in its simplicity, and it does such a good job with such little tinkering to the image needed, if any at all.




I really can’t say enough good things about this app. Hopefully my photos helped say it for me.

As (almost) always, all photos were taken with my iPhone 6, and all in this post were edited with BLACK App.


Hurricane Ridge


Having a 1 and a 3 year old at home means we aren’t doing as much travel as we’d like these days, although we do try to get out for quick local trips in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. A couple of weekends ago, we took our girls and went on a day trip to the Olympic National Park, and spent some time hiking Hurricane Ridge.



Saying it was foggy, is an understatement. We could barely see well enough to drive. But, I loved it, because I knew the fog would make for some really cool photos–especially black and white ones. I was so excited, I started snapping photos through the fog, out of my windshield, on the drive up the mountain.




Once we got there, we loaded the girls into the stroller and took off up the mountain. I’m convinced it was kind of hilarious to see us taking our made-for-city-streets stroller up all of the not-so-stroller-friendly steep paths, but it was so fun, and the girls really enjoyed it. We also saw many deer, which made my little animal-lovers squeal with delight.

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From above the fog, it felt like we were standing on top of the world. I used my iPhone 6 to capture all of my photos, and also used the panorama feature for a few shots. It was fun to try it out– I don’t use panorama much. This was the perfect opportunity.




It was really fun to get out and take some photos of beautiful scenery, since I usually focus so much on portraits, and of course it was fun to capture a few photos of my girls exploring a new place.

I can’t wait to go back.




I’ve been using a new (to me, I’m about a year late) app to edit my iPhone photos, called Litely, and I love it. At first, I was unsure: I’m so addicted to VSCO Cam that it was hard for me to be open to a new app. But, I kept playing with it, and realized that Litely makes my iPhone photos look deeper, with more texture, more similar to the way film looks. Some of my photos end up having so much texture I can’t believe they’re not film.


It’s really simple to use, you just select a filter, slide if you want a change in intensity, and then you can make small adjustments to the sharpness, exposure, vibrance, etc. For those of us who aren’t pros, it’s really easy and user-friendly. I think it’s aptly named, because it does give a lighter touch, and it’s absolutely perfect for an already-great shot, to just subtly enhance it and make it look even more beautiful.



I definitely think the additional filters are worth purchasing– I purchased them all– because they are beautiful, and not expensive. Being partial to black and white, I do wish it had more black and white filters available, perhaps one with more contrast (though you can adjust contrast in the app). For me, I prefer editing color photos with it. I like a high contrast black and white photo, but for some monochromatic photos, the subtle tones in Litely look lovely.



Sometimes I need a little more help for my photos than Litely can give, so I’ll keep VSCO Cam around, but Litely really is a lovely app and welcome addition to my phone’s “photography” folder. It’s nice to have an option for editing photos in a natural way, that doesn’t scream “filter.”