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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Seaview House Hotel - Apps- Glaze-Laminar

These images have been percolating on my iPhone since I was in Ireland this past June on tour with Peter Cox, John Barclay and Dan Sniffin, among other professional photographers such as Dan McGeorge. I had fun helping Dan McGeorge with his iPhone, showing him different apps I use.
 The Seaview House Hotel was one of those hotels that has a rich family history as well as a charming decor. One morning after breakfast I made a quick run around the public spaces to capture a few iPhone pics of the beautiful interior decor.
After running these images through Glaze and getting several versions I was going to use for blending, I chose Laminar to process these on my iPad. I must admit I have not really explored Laminar to any great degree, even though it has been in the App store for some time now.  I mostly process on my iPhone and Laminar is an iPad processing app which had some bugs when it launched. The developer updated it on August 3 this year so I thought I would give it another try. There is a feature in it I liked very the FX menu there is a filter called Lighting Engine....which allows you choose some interesting lighting options. I also liked the burn and dodge tool in the brush menu as well as the ability to add layers and mask.
I did have the app crash after a few layers and many adjustments but was able to open it and restore the edit.
Here are a few before and after images:

I will be going back to Ireland next year with my own photo tour in partnership with Peter if you would like to join my Magical Ireland Photo Tour June 2-June 11 here's the link for more info!
Also if you live in Baltimore, I will be instructing this fall at Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus, on using your iPhone for photography. Click Here for more info and registration.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dew Tour Ocean City, Md and the iPhone~ App~Camera+~ Noir

This past weekend I had the pleasure of having my niece and grand niece visit me at the beach. Morganne my grand niece had a list of weekend to do' of them was hit the boardwalk in Ocean City, Md. So last night we did. The Dew Tour was in town over the weekend and we wanted to get there but just never made it. Tonight was our lucky night. When we arrived it had just stopped raining and I decided to leave the big camera in the car in case it started again. The Mega 2.0 skateboard event was postponed in the afternoon due to rain, so when we were walking the boardwalk a few of the organizers were announcing to passersby that the last event was about to take place at 7:45. Rain clouds were still in the area but the ramps had been dried enough to host the last event. Yeah! We were lucky so we headed down the walk to the beach to watch the event. I had to give the iPhone a try at capturing images. Sports, fast action and night photography have always  been categories of photography, most photographers including my self feel the iPhone fails a bit......but I was thrilled with the shots I got last night. I was using the App Camera+ to capture the images due to its ability to select exposure and focus separately...and because the lights were extreme. I was also taking advantage of its zoom feature. After the sun went down it was a real challenge with the extremely bright event lights, but I worked with them and loved the way they cast shadows on the ramps. The zoom feature added grain as I expected but hey its just an iPhone image! If I didn't have my iPhone with me I wouldn't have these images to share with you!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Markree Castle, Ireland ~ App ~ Vintage Scene

Capture: Camera+  Processed: Vintage Scene
During my Ireland tour with Peter Cox, John Barclay and Dan Sniffin, I was making iPhone images as well as "Big Girl" camera images. It was really quite fun helping other professional photographers on tour with their iPhones. They were downloading new apps and as we drove from town to town I was demonstrating how to use the apps. After the tour was over I spent ten more days road tripping through Ireland. One of the high lights of my trip was my stay in the Markree Castle. I had intended to do some photography here with the Nikon camera but the rain never stopped for the days I was here. The morning I was leaving I did walk around the grounds in my rain slicker and made a few images with my iPhone. The age of the castle and the rain led me to choose an app that creates a look of old photos, with many options for adjustments, from color to texture and borders. Its not a new app but it is one of my favorite apps.
Capture: 6x7 Processed: Vintage Scene

I loved the architectural details of the windows with climbing roses.
Capture: ClassicPan Processed: Vintage Scene
Capture: BracketMode Processed: ProHDR: Vintage Scene

This is a shot of the bathroom window in my room that overlooked the was a great place!
I am offering the same Ireland tour June 2 - June 11, 2013 with Peter Cox of Ireland. To date there are six photographers registered with space for 8 more, so if you are interested in the South-west Ireland tour with myself and Peter Cox: click here for more info and registration.
This fall in Baltimore, in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University Odyssey program I am happy to be offering a six week iPhone class. For more information and registration click here.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

File SIze ~ App Value ~ Your Call!

Resolution 2592 x 2592 6.7mp
I recommended the new App I like called "Glaze" in one of my e-mail newsletters to my mailing list and received back a comment from one client that they were going to buy the app until they read the online reviews, where someone had left a derogatory comment on the web developers site regarding the resolution. They then said it was too small a resolution to buy and small resolution apps should be banned, therefore they were not buying it. OK well that's fine I don't get any money from recommending an app, but in my workflow I often use an app not for the absolute file that app produces but for the effects it might generate for blending. The largest file size that "Glaze" delivers for a rectangular image was detailed in my original post.
The square file size "Glaze" delivers is 2048 x 2048 or 4.1mp.
The image above began as a 6x6 App shot with a file  size of 1936 x1936, so Glaze actually upsized the original file by choosing the save as menu and "Print" as a size choice. (I still shoot with a iP4 5mp cam, anxiously awaiting the iP5 release)
Here is the orignal file image:
Image 1
Image 2
Here is the version of the "Glaze" rendered file I chose to use as the beginning of my "new" image. 
The next step in the process was a run through Modern Grunge which maintained the 2048 x 2048 resolution.
Image 3
Now that I had this file saved I wanted to go back into Modern Grunge and make further adjustments to the image, which are below, maintaining the 2048 x 2048 file size.
Image 4
The next thing I wanted to do before going any further was to remove the black lower right hand corner, so I used the Touch Retouch lasso tool, to add back color into the corner, again maintaining the current file size of 2048 x 2048.
Image 5
My next idea was to minimize the ripped white edge achieved in Modern Grunge so I opened Juxtaposer and masked out and blended down the file with Image 3, maintaining the 2048 x 2048 resolution. 
Image 6
Then I wanted to run it through Snapseed and recolor the image with the Grunge Filter. The image then developed into the one below maintaining the 2048 x 2048 resolution.
Image 7
 Now I was getting where I wanted with the tones of old Asian Paper or Tapestry, but it needed some Chinese letters. So I opened the App "Custom Kanji Wallpapers" and decided to apply the Chinese letters for "Life" "Love" and "Wisdom". Which the downsized my file to 640 x 960, as this app is truly a "SMALL RES" app. But it has Chinese letters! And I only wanted the letters so I rendered files with the letters on them, knowing I was going to blend them back with another APP of larger file size.
Image 8

So now that I had my Chinese letter files to work with I opened up ImageBlender and used image 7 with a resolution of 2048 x 2048 as my base image ( the left hand image selection ) and image 8 as my top image then masked out the top image except for the Chinese Letters, Voila now I had my 2048 x 2048 image file back with the Chinese letters on it.
Image 9

But I wanted more texture and more interest, so I ran this file through "Glaze" and used the file below for texture.
Image 10
Once again I used ImageBlender to blend and mask image 9 with image 10 selectively.
Image 11
But I wanted more......texture color so I went into Pic Grunger...and added texture Pic Grunger has resolution options up to 8mp or 3264 x 2448. So I saved the file at a largest resolution possible delivering a square image file of 3264 x 3264 or 10.6 mp which would make a nice print sized 10" x 10".
I lost file size again when adding the frame on it in Crop'n'Frame for purposes of displaying on the web, but ended with a file sized 2592 x 2592. So don't throw out an app because it has a small file size unless that's all you want is a straight file delivered from the app in which case I would say 3mp is a pretty small file, but its still bigger than the first iPhone camera which started this whole photography ~ art movement! Can you believe this started with a straight shot of a beautiful lotus? ;-) Sign up for one of my iPhone workshops and gain more insight into the art of iPhoneography! I am very excited to be offering a six week course at Johns Hopkins University in the fall. The app I use to check file size through my workflow is called "Photosize" it makes it easy to keep track of whats happening during the process.
Image 12