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Monday, January 21, 2013

Pixlr-o-matic: Swipe: 6x6

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of judging a photo competition at the Manassas-Warrenton Camera Club. I met a few friends ahead of time for a little iPhone shooting in The Iron Horse Antique Store.
Today as I was watching the 2nd Inauguration of President Obama, I was working on a few images I shot last week.
Pixlr-o-matic is not a new app, it was launched in August 2011, and I have had it for quite some time but never really used it. So today I decided to check it out in depth. When it launched it was not a full res app, but it is now and has been since its first update in the same month as it launched! It has been through numerous updates and now supports the iPhone5 as of the last update in mid December.
It is basically a filter app with film looks, frames and light effects, but has some cool filters, especially if you go into the in app purchases and buy more than the preloaded filters.
After processing the images, I dropped in on Marty Yawnick's site Life In Lofi, a site I like to visit as Marty is always testing new apps and honestly reviews them. He reviewed a new app Swipe, for adding text to your images. I like to add text to my images on occasion so I bought it for .99 and used it to test on the images I processed with Pixlr-o-matic. Swipe saved my images at full resolution and has a large selection of fonts, as well as colors. The font size, placement, opacity are options. It would be nice if a drop shadow was an option. (Maybe in the next update) I will be using Swipe its a fine app! All the images here were captured with 6x6.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

National Portrait Gallery iPhone workshop~ Autostitch ~ BracketMode~ Snapseed

Last weekend, at the National Portrait Gallery, I had a great group of eager to learn iPhone Photographers in my workshop. We worked through setting up and using a few shooting apps and processing apps before we went into the gallery and began making images. As I was working with students helping them to make shots and use apps, the window at the end of the Modern wing caught my eye. I loved the whimsical stools arranged in front of it on the square tile floor, as well as the light in the window that was filtered by translucent blinds. I wanted to capture the whole scene and in order to do that I had to make 38 shots using the BracketMode app which captures two shots rapidly, one capturing the highlights in the scene and one capturing the dark areas in the scene. I then blended the shots together in Autostitch. While I was showing a student the process I began to process the shot in Snapseed and he and I both liked the way the image was developing. The new RetroLuxe filter in Snapseed is great for creating a moody feeling in the image.
This scene made me laugh! It was so real you just had to look twice. The artist who created this was so creative.  I used ClassicPan to shoot the vertical image eliminating distracting elements on the left side of the scene. Then I processed the image in Snapseed adding a RetroLuxe filter effect, border and toning.
This is also a 38 shot panorama made with the same process as the opening image, using BracketMode for the capture and Autostitch for the stitch. I just loved this scene with the red sofas, tile floor, green carpet and window. When the stitch was done it was a little short on the left side so I used Anti-Crop to add to the image on the left. It was not a perfect add so I used a little Glaze, after processing the image in Snapseed to obscure the issue.When making stitched images it is always a good idea to begin and end the shooting series well beyond the area of the scene you want and overlap images by twenty percent to get a good stitch.
In this image you can see where Anti-Crop added image area on the left side behind the red sofa, but only in a fair way. If I had not told you would you have noticed? I will be conducting more iPhone workshops with Capital Photography Center in  Baltimore, Washington, DC and Horizon Photography Workshops in Chesapeake City, Md. I hope you can join me for some iPhone fun! Learn about creative apps and make some great images!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Getting Square ~ Hipstamatic Tinto Pak and Topaz photoFXlab

Toned with Topaz Labs photoFx
Original Image
Just before Christmas Hipstamatic updated to Version 261 and launched a new pak called Tinto 1884 Lens with two films C-Type Plate Film and D-Type Plate Film. I like to keep track of Hipstamatic on their blog as they often release interesting film/lens paks for a period of time and I don't like to miss a launch! This one is pretty cool right out of the box. All the shots here were made with the monochrome D-Type Plate film. I made several test shots at an old farm I like and processed them with different photo FX from photoFXlab from Topaz, a plugin for Photoshop, not an app. Why, because! Of course there are apps that could apply similar FX but I wanted to run them through photoFXlab. I have tried using photFXlab on Big Girl Camera files and have not found it to particularly pleasing, but I loved the toning it gave these Hipsta shots. 
The C-Type Plate Film from Hipsta (not shown here) has color and is equally as cool to work with! I have a few iPhone photography workshops coming up in Chesapeak City, Baltimore and Washington.......hope you can join me on one!
Original D-Type film

Topaz adjusted
Original D-Type Film

Topaz Adjusted

Topaz adjusted

Original D-Type film