iPhone and Olloclip clip comes together for this x10 macro shot of a common Ladybird found in a common garden.
The iPhone can produce some wonderful images straight out the box. Sure, theirs limitations. ISO is not controllable, optical zoom is non existent, but their are a number of work around options available.
The second edition to the new Adobe Slate software blogging tool with creativity in mind.
Adobe's new app for the iPad is all about creating a story directly from an iPad. But is it the answer to easy story telling from the iPad? And can it replace blogging tools already available on the iPad?
Their are plenty of ways to blog from an iPad. Use the Wordpress app, Googles blogger app and even other apps that integrate with Wordpress once you've entered your password. But for me, these apps lack in design and easy of use when writing. For example, when I upload a picture on the Wordpress App, the picture is represented with a html code. It's not really much of a problem, but surely it's not impossible to be able to display the picture inline while your writing?
Using this host (weebly) has it's difficulties. Using a PC / Mac is great but the iPad version doesn't even do blogging, the iPhone version does. This is fine and great when one wishes to add an image taken from the phone and post it directly on the blog then and there.
I'm beginning to enjoy the my new creative tool in the form of The Big Stopper. So why not add another one, maybe a Graduated ND filter to help further that creative process.
In my last post I wrote how I'm starting to enjoy the new creative addition to my photography tool kit. The Big Stopper. I'm a busy man. I work in the outside broadcasting industry whereby most weekends I'm working somewhere around the country and weekdays preparing for the next forth coming event. I may have time to fit an Advanced Mototing session in during the week - another hobby I'm involved with. I’m also a family man, which keeps me busy in between work. Finding time to be creative can be difficult.
However I'd managed to set a couple of hours aside the other week and drove to the nearby village of Aylesford. The village here has a medieval footbridge crossing over the River Medway. Built around 1000 - 1599 and until recently had been opened to road traffic it has a very picturesque feel about it. From the road bridge next to it one can see the full view of the bridge, the church and the rear gardens of the property that's located along the river.
Celebrating your own birthday is always a joyful experience but it's also great when a birthday gift becomes a useful tool for creativity.
I’m a very lucky man. Not least because my partner puts up with me and my hobby. In fact she encourages me somewhat in so many ways. Back in October, for my Birthday she presented to me as always, many fantastic gifts. One that I've been after for a while now has be ’The Big Stopper’
For those who don't know what ’The Big Stopper’ is, it's a piece of glass that fits in front of the lens using a holder system all made by Lee Filters. The glass is almost non see through if you hold it up and look through it. It is an ND filter - 10 stop ND to be precise.
The glass is square and comes in a nice little metal box with a card for exposure adjustment. This card is important as the metering system on the camera simply can't coup with the heavy ND that will be placed in front of the lens and besides, you won't see much in the viewfinder once it's in place.
Around 60% of Brits will have made a New Years resolution at the turn of 2015, 2% fail in the first day, most fail before the end of January – I failed in the first week.
29th January 2015 was seen as the day most people give up on their New Years resolution. And the day has of course been given a name – fail Friday. It will come as no surprise that loss weight comes top of the list of promises that people try and keep to. Stop smoking is another in the top 10 list too. I for one don’t smoke, never have. I’ve put on a little weight, but I’m not a big lad. Tall yes, but not fat. So I never felt the need to make such resolution. But I did make one? Yes I did. It was to take more pictures. In fact, take one each week and post it online.
Photoshop has become an expensive piece of software over the years. As an amateur I couldn't justify the cost of such software, especially when Lightroom and Aperture was released. Lightroom meeting most of my needs along with NIK software suit, which cost me in total around the £200 mark.
Over the past few days I decided to give Adobe's creative cloud a go. This was prompted by the release of their iPad app. The App is very good and hopefully Adobe will update it to be able to title and keyword images and sync back to the desktop. I was reluctant to install Lightroom 5 on my 6 year old iMac. Lightroom 4 was slow and buggy on my machine, and I moved some of my processing workflow to Aperture, not that it was any faster. Thankfully Lightroom 5 hasn't suffered the same issues as 4 did on my ageing iMac.
The maths for the photographer makes sense. Creative cloud costs just under £9 per month. Over the year that's less then £108. You get the use of Lightroom - so the subscription pays for itself. But you get the function of syncing to your iPad and what's more the use of Photoshop.
I decided to give Photoshop a go. It's been around 7 or 8 years since I last played with Photoshop. (Version 6 I think - on a windows machine) and a lot has changed. I found it a complicated program back then, so I know I wouldn't really get on with it that well to begin with. Thankfully You Tube is full of tutorials and help. I thought I'll give the Merge photos into panoramic a go. I had a series of images which I took in 2006 while working in Doha. I snapped 7 images, tripod mounted to be able to stitch together at a later date. And another wide angle image which I cropped to be a panoramic.
Sending the seven RAW images to photoshop I thought might take some time. I was expecting 5 minutes maybe. But in about 45 seconds the result appeared. I was blown over! Yep a 200meg image file is not quick to handle, but the old iMac is doing well
The above image shows the cropped panoramic. A nice shot and one that I've always liked. But it's never been wide enough. I know that I had a wider version that just needed the correct software and skill to be applied. Photoshop CC now seemed the answer, some eight years later.
Photoshop CC on a six year old iMac was never going to be fast. Although it is a quad core, and the first iMacs with 64bit processing power I can only max the memory to 4 gigs. Not a lot in today's standard. The tech spec of Photoshop from Adobe says a minimum of 1 gig. That surprised me. Sending the seven RAW images to photoshop I thought might take some time. I was expecting 5 minutes maybe. But in about 45 seconds the result appeared. I was blown over! Yep a 200meg image file is not quick to handle, but the old iMac is doing well, and since I had Lightroom open, I thought further adjustment could be made in their.
It's been eights years since I took this image. And now I've processed it. A wider view of Doha and it's city lights. An image I am now proud of...
Last weekend I had the task of digging out some old family photographs. I have in my loft a box full of images in print form as well as a folder full of negatives nicely laid out in a series of Kenro negative sleeves. I also have a black folder full of slides, nestled also in Kenro slide holders. As I took a page out, held it up into the widow light I was wowed by the array of colour that I was holding all in miniature. All the colour slides simply looked stunning and during my time with film I had a go at the AGFA monochrome slide film, so I had a page of black and whites - which looked unusual but just as good. I couldn't help but compare my digital collection with the slides (as pictured) and I must admit, the slides looked, from a distance, much better then the digitals.
I must admit, the slides looked, from a distance, much better then the digitals.
However, I'm not moving back to film anytime (if not - at all) soon. Most of the slides had some information about them, exposure information and basic location. That is, if I wrote them down and spent the hours matching the data from my note book and writing the down on small labels. In the Digital world, all this information is saved with the picture - otherwise known as EXIF data.
Slides also had an half stop latitude, so you really had to be spot on with your exposures. Where as digital has 2 to 4 stops, depending on the camera. This doesn't mean you can be lazy with exposure, but with RAW data on the digital images, details can be extracted from the darkest scenes.
On top of that, I would have to wait around a week to develop the images on slide film, have them scanned to digital before I could tweak them and output them either on my blog or website or even social media sharing sites. With digital images, it only takes a few clicks.
Maybe digital imaging has taken the fun out of photography? However, with many of my slides never seeing the light of day, I think digital is the way forward - and has been for a while. But it's still good to take a look at the old slides once in a while.
Some chores just have to be done. So way not have a little photography fun while your waiting for the iron to heat up. Here I snapped this image on an iPhone 5 using the Instagram app.
More images like this can be found on my Instagram page.