We’ve got quite a few new readers here since my interview was posted at iphonephotographyschool.com. The last two days have been my top two days for visitors since I started this blog. Thank you so much for stopping by. Anyways, for the new people that might not know my current situation, I moved in with my grandmother last month to take care of her because she has dementia. It’s so much more demanding than I ever imagined.
Yesterday, my aunt took grandma to see the doctor because shes had headaches for over a week now. We still don’t know what they’re from. We had a heat wave last week, she’s stopped taking one medication, and it could just be allergies. Who knows? She also got her wrist x-rayed and blood drawn. Next week she gets to wear a heart monitor because her pulse and blood pressure are low. Not what you want to see in someone that has fallen twice this year.
They were gone at the doctor for an awfully long time, so I decided to surprise her by picking up some flowers at the store. They looked very nice in the store, but when I got home and unwrapped them, one of the gerbera daises was snapped off the stem. Someone had just laid it in the bouquet anyways :(. Oh well, she liked them all the same.
Today looks like its going to be challenging. When we have a day that’s outside of her routine, like yesterday, she is extra confused, anxious, worrisome, and forgetful. Last night, she kept asking me if I ate dinner, even though I ate right in front of her. Then, this morning she asked me how long I’m staying, like I’m only visiting. Fingers crossed that she regains some clarity and we have a mellow weekend.
Shot with camera+ and edited with Snapseed. I added some pop with the drama filter and used a circular tilt shift filter to try and draw more attention to the daisy and blur out the background. It changed the image just enough to make a difference. Often times, when everything is in focus, its hard for the viewer’s eye to go where you want it. Using a vignette or blur is a great way to lead them to your subject.
I was approached last month by Emil Pakarklis, of iphonephotographyschool.com, for an interview. The timing was tough for me with the move and everything, but he was very patient and gave me all the time I needed.
As time consuming as interviews can be when you’re giving thoughtful answers, I find them to be a good exercise in redefining what you’re doing and why. It gives you a moment to stop, breathe, and reflect on what you’ve accomplished (or not) up to that point. I was forced to go through most of my iphone photos and choose the ones I felt represented my best work up to this point. Some shots still look great to me, others I had trouble appreciating because the perfectionist in me sees something I could have done differently to make them better.
Overall, I felt like I could have done much better because, although my iPhoneography is appreciated by more people than I could have ever imagined, I still haven’t taken it as seriously as perhaps I should. Most of the images are just fun, quick snapshots to me, which means I’m not taking my time to find the best possible composition or point of view. The perfectionist side of me wants to take this pursuit a little more seriously now and see what I’m really capable of. Now comes the hard part of remembering to follow through…
Yesterday I went out shooting with a new app that I’m going to review soon. The wind didn’t make for good shooting conditions, so I need to take some more time getting better images before I give the app a proper review. I don’t want to name it yet because I don’t want anyone to buy it before I give my opinion. Mainly because I’m not blown away by it and I’m not sure if I’d recommend it yet. I have to use it some more and see if some quirks were related to the shooting conditions.
2 apps that I used to edit were Snapseed and ShockMyPic.
Sometimes, if a photo doesn’t work, its because you need to be closer to your subject so it fills the frame. In the photo above, I was most interested in the clover at the bottom with balls of water on it. Unfortunately, I didn’t move in closer for the better shot. I don’t even know how much closer I could have gone with my iPhone. What I ended up with was a lot of extra space that doesn’t add to the image in this case.
To improve the image, I cropped very tight with Snapseed. Then, I used Tangled FX for the painterly edit.
On another note, I’ll be heading out of town again tomorrow. This time, I’m going to the bay area for an engagement session. Hopefully, I’ll remember to take some photos with the iPhone during it.
I finally dragged myself out of bed and decided to put some eye candy up. Better late than never. I swore I was going to take today off since I was forced to work yesterday when my mom made me do portraits of 3 babies and a family….all for free :(.
Here’s my little PSA: If you know a professional photographer, don’t ask them to shoot stuff for free, especially when they’re family and supposed to be relaxing. Also, if they’re nice enough to post the images on fb and tag you, don’t download the image, crop it, and upload it on your page with much lower image quality and a ruined composition haha.
Anyways, please enjoy this tulip. It was the first one to open up last week.
Shot with the default camera app. Edited with SimplyHDR.
I got a little creative with this one. I shot with mirrorgram and liked the image, but it was a little out of focus. I didn’t want to scrap it, so I used shockmypic for the painterly look. Finally, I used snapseed to add some contrast and darken the image slightly. The result is much better than a blurry photo, in my opinion.
I hope you’re a fan of symmetry because I’ve been shooting with mirrorgram the last few days. That means I have some cool new shots with symmetry to share with you over the next few days.
Shot with mirrorgram and edited with simplyHDR
I barely noticed this guy as I was browsing the plants at the local nursery. Not an amazing photo, but cool to be this close to a hummingbird and get a decent pic.
For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive. -David Herbert Lawrence
What I like about this photo above is the way the flowers seemingly transition from perfection in the front to faded glory in the rear.
Yesterday was grey and ugly all day, which is great for garden pics. I decided to give 645 Pro another try after the recent update. These are a couple of the images I was happy with.
Both of these are unedited shots from 645 Pro. I’ve been putting off that review because I wasn’t happy with the app and the pictures I was getting with it weren’t very exciting. It looks like the update may have made a difference.
We added a bunch of plants to the garden this weekend. At least it seemed like a lot when the cart was full, but getting home and planting them in the half acre yard made it seem like we barely got anything.
I shot this with camera+ and edited with snapseed, filterstorm, and imageblender. There was a natural glow on the plant that I wanted to enhance with Filterstorm. To do that, I added blur and set the blending mode to soft light. Then I lowered the opacity to something like 40%. It was still a bit much after I’d saved, so I used imageblender to blend it with the original because its a hell of a lot faster than trying again in Filterstorm and waiting for the 5 minute save process.
If you don’t have filterstorm, you can add blur with another app and use something like imageblender or superimpose. Just set the blurred image to soft light blending mode and adjust the opacity til it looks good.
I went out to the fields yesterday for the sunset. One of the lettuce fields had just finished being harvested. Its amazing how many heads of lettuce they actually leave behind on the ground. Seems like such a waste.
Above is the ProHDR/Snapseed version. I like this one because its kind of dirty and gritty, just like the scene before me. Below is the ProHDR/Shock My Pic version which I like because its artistic. I’ll probably write up a review for Shock My Pic soon because its going to be a lot easier than reviewing the few other apps I have to get to.
I bought a bunch of flowers a few weeks ago for my moms garden as a mothers day gift. Its better than buying cut flowers right? You get way more flowers for a much more reasonable price. I grabbed a 6 pack of the biggest cosmos, but it turns out they are the seashell variety….oops. Still cool looking though.
Shot with Camera+ and edited with Snapseed (still free!)
Before I end this short post,I have to thank Heather (bitsnbooks) for being so sweet and giving both my blogs the reader appreciation award. I’ll make a proper post on my other blog later :)
If you haven’t done any research into file types and the advantages for each, let me briefly tell you about JPEG’s. They suck…for many reasons (I’ll leave the serious discussion for my other blog.) I have no love for JPEG’s, but I didn’t have much choice on the iphone. At least, not until 645 Pro introduced their “developed RAW” files. Really, they’re TIFF files.
Yesterday was the first time using this app. It saved a TIFF and JPEG version of the few photos I took. The difference is very clear to me. Below are one set of pics. Not very interesting or pretty (not every pic can be a waterfall,) but its a good example of the difference in file types.
Neither one has been edited by me.
JPG – looks how I’d expect it to, given the conditions. Plenty of contrast and saturation. Its slightly cropped, for whatever reason.
TIF (dRAW) – much less contrast and a noticeably wider dynamic range. Notice there is more data in the shadows and highlights.
Which photo has more potential? The one with more data to work with, the TIFF file.
These clovers were growing all over the place at Limekiln State Park. They looked especially cool as a carpet underneath the redwoods. I don’t remember what I shot this with or what I used to edit. I’ve been doing too much editing to remember.
I got a nice email yesterday from the marketing manager at Nik Software, the people who make awesome plugins and Snapseed, thanking me for the support of their product and telling me I’ve done great with it. =)
Yesterday afternoon I posted a photo from Limekiln SP to my other blog, but it got a whopping 10 views. Go have a look because its a good photo from my Nikon and an example of long exposure which is the new collaborative effort Nick and Shannon are hosting. Be sure to folllow my other blog if you want to see more stunning shots from Big Sur in the near future.
One of the places I stopped at today, while I was out, is a nursery that always has amazing ambiance. They feature a lot of creative things made by local artists. A few examples: large snail shells with some soil in it with a tiny vine growing up the string its hanging from, butterflies made from old light bulbs and colorful wire, things made out of driftwood and sells, and a wreath made out pages from a book and a succulent in the middle (I really should have just taken a picture of that one cuz it was very creative and cool.) I think you can catch a little inspiration/creativity just by being around other peoples art.
I also think talking things out with you guys helped quite a bit. If nothing else, its very reassuring to see that everyone goes through a creative dry spell now and then. I’m also proud to say that I have a lot of awfully kind people reading my blog. I appreciate the efforts you’ve made to pick me up with your thoughtful comments, email, and even an offer to meet up for coffee :)
Shot with camera+ and edited with Tadaa.