Airport Terminal Interior

Took an old iPhone 5 snap of an airport terminal and edited it using the latest AI-powered tools to see what improvements and artistic creations were possible.

Airport Terminal Interior

Below, I'll show you the original photo followed by the enhanced version and some artistic derivations. I'll also share the tools I used.


The Original Photo

Took this snap in October 2013 with an iPhone 5. It's Terminal 1 of Shanghai Pudong International Airport at night.

The original iPhone snap of Terminal 1 of Shanghai Pudong International Airport at night in October 2013.

This terminal was built in 1999 and its architecture is quite striking, but my original snap wasn't doing it justice. Let's see what I was able to do...


The Enhanced Version

I believe I made substantial improvements that made the photo much more visually dramatic and exciting in terms of colors and lighting. It now looks a lot closer to how I remember the scene was in real life.

The enhanced version of the photo.

Tools Used

Here's what I used to create the enhanced version.

  1. Computer: I edited on a 13" MacBook Pro 2016 connected to a Blackmagic eGPU Pro ("eGPU" stands for external graphics processing unit).
  2. Apple Photos: Superb for syncing between my iPhone and Mac, storing (via iCloud), photo management, and performing basic edits. I tend to use the following apps as Apple Photos extensions so that I can keep the original version of the photo.
  3. DeNoise AI: A desktop app that examines the image and determines the difference between detail and noise in that photo. It recovers a surprising amount of detail from noise.
  4. TouchRetouch: A mobile and desktop app that is great for removing objects, damage, noise, or blemishes. I did use this a bit, but you'd hardly notice.
  5. Polarr: A mobile and desktop app that is best known for its intelligent filters but also has editing capabilities that go beyond what Apple Photos provides while still being relatively easy to use. This I used to find a filter that would act as the finishing touch and set the overall mood.

Artistic Versions

After playing around with various filters on several different apps, here is what I chose to go with.

BeFunky is a web-based image editor with a variety of artistic effect filters plus many more features. Here's one I did using its "Oil Painting DLX" filter, which has been a favorite of mine for a few years now.

The enhanced photo run through BeFunky's "Oil Painting DLX" filter.

Prisma is a mobile app that applies a variety of artistic effects intelligently. It's great for trying a wide range of filters relatively quickly. Here's the one I liked best.

The enhanced photo run through a filter of the Prisma app.

Topaz Studio 2 is a desktop app with a range of photo editing and artistic tools, filters, and effects. After going through their current selection of "Looks" (preset effect filters), I chose this pink hued one.

The enhanced photo run through a filter in Topaz Studio 2

Prints

I was pretty happy with them, so thought to offer prints. However, the images weren't large enough for printing, so I used Gigapixel AI, a desktop app which intelligently upscaled them while preserving details. I sell currently sell prints on RedBubble and Society6. There are other popular print-on-demand platforms, but they tend to cater mainly to t-shirt designs, whereas these two have substantial sections for photography and wall art.

Download

Since I had the large versions, I thought some people might find them useful as either wallpapers or for non-commercial work. So, I'm offering them as a picture pack download via my shop on Gumroad. It's a great platform — super easy to use and very flexible in what you can offer. I've subscribed to their Pro tier to get more storage and other options.

I've made the pack available as a one-off purchase but also started a membership subscription where people can subscribe to get access to my whole back catalogue plus future additions.