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Friday, July 19, 2013

Another great Beach Day..Hipstamatic~ Brighton HipstaPak ~ Glaze ~ Snapseed ~ ImageBlender

So maybe you are getting tired of seeing this little beach series??? But I never get tired of watching folks at play on the beach on a summer day! Its just the most fun..not to mention personally being at the beach and enjoying the ocean water too! What a wonderful color palette to work with...Blue skies, yellow sand, punctuated by bright summer clothing and beach gear! Sadly, today is my out day! Renters coming in tomorrow and I have a private photo tutoring session planned for Saturday morning. So I am saying goodbye with a few more pics I captured yesterday from the shore. Glazed them, yes! I admit I am addicted to that app, it really suits my personal aesthetic, if I were a painter this is how I would paint! The "digital art" process saves a lot of money and lugging around paint supplies! Now I gotta' pack it up! :-(
My next iPhone workshop, sponsored by Capital Photography Center, is August 10 in Washington, DC at historic Union Station. For more info and registration click here. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Perfect Beach Day! Beach Walkers ~ Hipstamatic~ Brighton Pak~ Glaze~ Snapseed

Yesterday was a perfect beach day, so shortly after 1:00pm when the sun starts to move to the west, I packed my gear and walked to the beach.
The beach is a great place to people watch and make iPhone pics...although its very hard to see the iPhone display in the sun! I managed to get the horizons pretty straight...with maybe a little lens or earth bow.
I wanted to try out the new Brighton Pak with the Doris Lens and Sussex film, from Hipstamatic as I perceived it to be perfect for beach images. I put my chair and umbrella near the water and far enough away from the snap some unsuspecting beach walkers. The ocean was flat and the waves barely created any surf...perfect for me just walk right in and swim was hot and not a cloud in the sky!
I watched people as they came toward my space on the beach, looking for interesting attire or relationships. Then of course I processed them with Glaze~ utilizing the custom feature tool. (I have to send the developer a note....I want a save this combo feature!) I had to shift away from the bold combos I had been using for flowers and objects so that I could still maintain some features of the smallish people relative to the beach landscape. I enjoyed the color rendering of the Brighton HipstaPak and for .99 is worth every penny! I never hesitate to buy a new HipstaPak! Like my friend Tony Sweet says,  "Just buy it!"
I tried to capture people as they walked into the scene but that was not always possible based on the direction I was looking when I first saw them, so I snapped anyway if the people were interesting. I never left my chair for any of these as I was really trying to be inconspicuous. I also tried to make shots where there was separation between the walkers. The other compositional idea I tried to achieve consistently was looking straight ahead of me to render the shoreline level. Looks like its going to be another perfect beach day..maybe more images to come!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer at the beach!! Hipstamatic~ Glaze~Snapseed~Mextures

Every once in a while, in the summer, I am able to get to the beach in between renters.
I left the "Big Camera" at home this time. I only have a few days here and yesterday I did not feel well, but by evening I was wanting to get out to the beach and walk a little as the heat of the day subsided into the 80's!!
So along came the iPhone. It is really hard for a photographer NOT to take pictures! Almost feels like an addiction when I want to give myself a break....
The beauty of an early evening walk is empty chairs, less crowded beach and low angled light casting shadows. The opening image was a test of Hipstamatic...I pointed the iPhone right into the sun looking west. I loved the scene, and wanted to see what I could do with it in post. So I took the original unprocessed image below...and went to work...starting with Snapseed, I applied the ambience filter to the max, brightness adjust, saturation adjust, contrast adjust and then also sharpened and added some structure. I pushed the image more than I would if I was working with a "straight" image file as pushing creates pixel issues, but when I know I am going to "Glaze" it, then it really does not matter....pretty fun stuff!
After running the image through Glaze, I went back into Snapseed and made selective adjustments to the chairs, brightening them as I saw them on the beach, illuminated by the sun!

Call me the beach walker, stalker...looking for a great subject! This couple walked the beach for a good stretch looking for beach treasures, bending over picking shells and then walked holding hands! I loved their presence. So I kinda, walked behind them...making a few images along the way.

Surf fishing is a "thing" here in Delaware, folks pull their trucks on the beach in certain licensed areas.
They make great subjects when they actually have their lines in hand...the long shadows on the gentle surf were a great bonus.

Not all beach umbrellas are equal! This one had the colors of summer in it! It was alone on the beach, its owner probably gone for dinner....

Then there was a beautiful black lab, endlessly jumping into the sea for that green tennis ball!
So that's Summer by the sea!!
Hipstamatic just launched a new Pak...Brighton HipstaPak...if you are a Hipsta fan...time to go shopping! Click on the shopping cart in the app and download it. I look forward to trying it out at the beach as I love the tones in the pak examples. Check out the Hipsta Blog here!
My next iPhone workshop is August 10 in Washington, DC at the historic Union Station...sponsored by Capital Photography here for more info and registration.

......and iPhone images make great prints! I would be happy to sell one if you are interested please shoot me an e-mail! or leave a message on the Blog comments.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Bouquets ~ Hipstamatic ~ Snapseed ~ Mextures ~ Glaze

Summer is in full bloom in my neck of the woods with the Hydrangeas, Daises, and Day lilies brightening the landscape! The garden has really been beautiful as a result of early and frequent spring rains. So now I am on to making images with flowers. I started a week ago at the beach with some beautiful hydrangeas, and now at home with a broader assortment. I picked a couple vases worth of flowers and decided I wanted to create iPhone images of them.
The opening image started the idea. I had picked a few daisies, Hosta and Loosestrife in the morning from my garden to adorn the kitchen window sill and selected a simple vase. I enjoyed looking at them every time I went to the kitchen sink and then I said, I wonder what I could do with them and the iPhone. I decided to take them into my living room where the walls are painted a deep Wedgwood blue (backgrounds matter) and sit them on top of my tall Polk vintage speakers by the window (light matters).
After arranging the flowers, (composition matters) I made two shots and was satisfied with the images from Hipstamatic using the  Jane Lens and Inas 1969 film with no flash, just window light. Then the processing began...into Snapseed for a little saturation, ambiance, white balance adjustment, sharpening and structure. I knew I was heading toward getting a few images out of Glaze so I really pump up the image before running it into Glaze. I make several iterations in Glaze and use the custom feature to come up with some interesting looks to begin blending and masking in ImageBlender..then maybe back into Snapseed for some more color adjustments, selective adjustments, and sharpening. Then I will add a texture from Mextures and run another Glaze file and blend what you see here is many blends and many different files to get the look that suits me. I posted this on FB and many of my friends liked it. I was encouraged to create another image. So back out to the garden....with another vase, clipping a few more blooms Astilbe, Goldenrod, Hydrangea, Lavender and Geraniums. Once again staging the vase in the same place in my living room I captured another file to work with. Now I wish I had more blooms to work with...but as the garden progresses I will continue to work on using this place in the house for a stage to capture a few more bouquet images. If you live in the area I will be conducting an all day iPhone workshop in Chesapeake City, Md on July 13...have a few more spots open if you would like to join me click here for my iPhone Workshop.
Original Capture

Processed file

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Crop'n'Frame sale this weekend

Just had an e-mail from Tracy fhe developer of Crop'n''s 50% off this holiday weekend....and there are some new features in development. If you like custom frames on your iPhone images check it out in the App Store. The image below is an example of what the app can do. The interior frame treatment was customized in PhotoToaster. The image is a Giant Blue Cantanache from my garden, Glazed of course!  If this post looks a little different its my first time trying the Blogger Mobile App. but I wanted to let you know about the Crop'n'Frame special! Happy 4th of July!!!!0

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Image Processing ~ Where to begin?? When to stop??

This is the final result I achieved....or where I was satisfied with the "look" of the image.
Lately I have been tutoring a couple photographers on image processing...both on the iPhone and in Photoshop. One of the questions I get repeatedly is: "How do you know what you want to do with an image?" What a great question!!! The answer however is sometimes elusive.....but hopefully this post will give a little more insight into answering the least on this one iPhone image I played with yesterday.

Part of thinking about processing actually begins in the field for me. I spotted my neighbors Datura blooming in the morning and after running some errands I went back to get a few shots...well guess what I was too late. The blooms had wilted and only a few budding blossoms were left. I had the OlloClip with me and as I always do I asked myself what I loved about my subject? Well I loved the curl and folds of the blossom I used the macro lens on the OlloClip, knowing I probably would not get a totally sharp shot because I had to hold the bloom up while making the image. I made several shots and landed on the one below to start my processing. I chose the app 6x6 for its clarity and square well as its ability to delivery a tiff file with a 300 dpi resolution. Once I have a shot I ask myself, "What do I think needs to be done with this image?" My answers were....
I would like to get rid of the green corner in the upper left and I would like to get rid of the brown area in the lower right....I like to take care of spots before I begin any process.
So in iPhone land my go to App for removing or adding in areas of correction is Touch-Retouch. Below is the resulting image after using Touch Retouch to make those initial adjustments, using the brush, lasso and clone stamp I was able to acceptably make those adjustments.

Now I asked myself "What I thought the image needed, to enhance "what I loved" about the subject.
So because my answer was the curls of the bloom, I thought they needed more definition by increasing the depth and light of the curls and maybe a little more I then went to Snapseed and added Ambiance, adjusted White Balance, added a little sharpening and some structure and saved that file. With just a few adjustments it was beginning to fit my "vision" of the image I had in mind when I captured it. I was not sure about the little triangular peek of my blue jeans in the bottom center of the image but I decided to leave it there for the moment.
My next thought was to further define the furls of the blossom by running the image through Tangled FX adjusting the filters there to get the look I wanted to use as a "blend" file with the now adjusted Snapseed-Touch Retouch file. I landed on this image from the App Tangled FX because it maintained the softness and added a glow to the image I wanted to convey. Now it was time to blend this back with the Snapseed-Touch-Retouch adjusted I used ImageBlender to make the blend.
 The result of blending the two images is the image below.
Now I wanted to run it through Glaze to get a painterly effect (did I mention I love painterly effects? and Glaze?) I made many iterations in Glaze and several blends in ImageBlender...that stayed true to my intent, to enhance the furls of the blossom..
After making several blends with ImageBlender and Glaze I landed on the result below as my final blend. I also went back into Snapseed and used the Selective adjustment feature to enhance the color and brightness in the center of the blossom, as I thought it needed attention drawn to it...Because when I asked myself in the field what I loved the answer was the blossom folds so I continued to work toward enhancing what I loved about the subject. Now at this point, I knew I did not want to keep that peep of blue in the lower center of the I went back to ImageBlender and used this image twice, arranged and masked out pieces to fill in the blue area as desired.
The last question I asked was how about a little I went into PhotoToaster and added a very subtle border to frame the image and considered it done!
Below is a screen shot of the files I made on my iPhone during the process of getting to the "Final Image."  So what do you think???
My next all day iPhone workshop is July 13, in Chesapeake City, Md at Horizon Photography Workshops...Click here for more info and registration.