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Best iPad Image Editing Apps for 2015

March 16, 2015

Whether you're in photojournalism, interior design or graphic artistry, the power of mobile technology has brought some exciting new tools to image editing. Gone are the days of manual image manipulation or being chained to a computer to perform time-consuming rendering procedures. Operations that used to take hours now can be performed in minutes with these apps and a powerful iPad. Here are your best iPad image editing apps for 2015:

best_ipad_apps_2015

Hipstamatic

The introduction of the iPad Air 2 gives users professional-grade cameras that allow click, edit and publish functions. Although the quality is state-of-the-art, the photos can be as retro or nostalgic as the user envisions, depending on the texture or feel the artist has in mind for his or her work. The classic Hipstamatic app can help with that vision because it lets you change the digital lens features to get a classic feel for your pictures. With a swipe of your finger, you can change the film, lens or flash types to get a nostalgic quality for your photographs.

Photoshop

Adobe’s Photoshop is the industry standard in image editing, so it only makes sense that its app is just as impressive as its desktop software. Instead of having one memory-sucking program, Adobe has taken its award-winning suite and divided it between several mobile applications that are function specific. Photoshop Mix lets you do most of your transformational edits like recoloring and sharpening. Photoshop Sketch offers the drawing tools, and Photoshop Express is a scaled-down snap and edit version specifically for mobile tech. The edits are nondestructive to the original photo, and all of these apps are interactive with the huge family of Adobe products.

Brush

Another offering from Adobe, Brush is the perfect tool for graphic designers. With this app, the user can select from colors, paint types and brush styles to create masterpieces. The interactive functionality also lets users paint on existing photos, use a digital pen and get live previews of their work. Additionally, it has cloud connectivity so that users can store large data file images outside of their iPads.

Lightroom

Adobe’s Creative Cloud allows users to sync all of their Adobe projects across devices. This makes Lightroom a must have app for photo editing. With this app, you can pull your existing images from the cloud and edit them in real time. Lightroom has all of the functions you would expect in a photo editor including lighting adjustment, shadow modification and exposure tuning. Because it is cloud-based, the app syncs anywhere that has Internet access and is designed to make gallery sharing easy, which is an important function for professional image artists trying to communicate with clients.

Aviary

In our world of digital technology, photographers also need to understand computer programming. Now, part of the job requires data labeling, high definition adjustments and icon linkage. This is what Aviary is all about. Aviary handles the high-end functions associated with imaging in the digital age. It places your images on the Internet for people to see and offers functions like tagging, pixel cropping and HTML color adjustment in addition to common photo editing features like red-eye adjustment.

 

And there you have it, the best iPad image editing apps for 2015.

Random, Security

Some Basic Concepts in Image Steganography

April 7, 2014

(Note: I am by no means an expert on this matter, I am simply expressing my personal experience with the subject. For more information Wikipedia Steganography or Google would be a good start)

Steganography is the art of hiding message in such way that no one beside the intended receiver will find (if done correctly). This is by no means a new idea, the history of Steganography can be traced back to the 15 century. For our purposes, I am going to discuss Steganography in the general sense in the computer world, mostly done in Images, but not limited to them. For this example I am only going to consider 256 gray and colored images for simplicity of example, this can be done however with other images and data as well.

How information is stored?

Any computer data today consists of bits of data, 0 or a 1. A bunch of them constitute a byte, which is normally 4 bits. The length of a bit depends on a number of things such as implementation, system, usage and other factors. An image is usually stored as one of two options:

1. Black & White (Grayscale)
2. RGB colors (Normal)

In both cases the image is built from pixels, or a dot in a 2 dimensional array that has a certain value. In case of option 1 it would be on a scale from 0-255, 0 being black. For option 2 there aren three values that constitute one color as output, Red - Green - Blue, each with the same scale of values from 0 - 255, 0 being black. So if we have a Grayscale image with all values equal to 255, we will end up with a white image.

How to hide?

So lets say we have the following image (Grayscale) stored in memory:

basic_image

This would give us an empty 4 X 4 pixel white image. Keep in mind that any of these cell blocks is actually stored in memory as 255 = 11111111 in binary. Now you would agree that the character ‘A’ is equivalent to 65 in ascii which in binary is equal to 01000001. You would also agree that if we change one of these cell values to 254 it would be unnoticeable to the naked eye.

The ‘Magic’ bit...

We are going to store the individual values of A’s binary representation in the least significant bits of the image values. This means we would go over the cell or pixels of the image and change only the last bit of the value, changing the color by only 1. The cells of an image are numbered as follow:

cell_numbers

In order for to be stored in memory we will used the first 8 bits, changing the values in the LSB to match to ‘A’. The result will still be a seemabliy white page, stored in memory like this:

image_with_info

Color and Extraction

The same idea we applied to this example could be applied to an RGB file or any other data type. One could also encrypt the message hidden so even if it is found by anti-Steganography software it would be useless. Based on how you hide the memory you would also need an extraction code. For our example we would simply need to extract and concatenate the first 8 LSB and convert them back to a character, which would give us ‘A’. In other cases, like in RGB images, you will need to figure out how the information is hidden. RGB adds 3 dimensions and can get complicated really fast. All that is another topic all together for another time.