Author Archives: WZ_Spondicious
Two versions of the photo merged together
Using iColorama to turn a photo into art. Amazing what you can do with the app. You get all sorts of settings to use with the massive number of adjustments, filters and effects. It is an app for creatives because creativity is all about using the tools to create something new and exciting or interesting. I can’t help myself – I have to punish pixels.
Super new application for working with photos called Affinity Photo. I’m really enjoying it and it seems like it is a proper alternative to Photoshop. I’m sure there are not all the facilities as you can find in the Photoshop application, but you probably don’t need or use most of what’s in PS anyway.
As much as I love using my NEX 6 Sony mirrorless camera for the quality and the experience of using a proper camera to shoot photos, sometimes it is very quick and handy to whip out the iPhone and take the picture. I do find that it is faster to get to the point where I can shoot a photo with the iPhone. There is a little slider that you can use from the lock screen which will take you directly into the camera application so that you can be ready to shoot within seconds. There are times when I could have the iPhone out of my pocket, picture taken and the phone back in the pocket before I would have got the proper camera booted up and ready to take the picture. Photography though is not just about quick snapshots, it is also about considered photos capturing a specific scene, a delightful composition, a special moment that needs to be set up just right or a piece of photographic art. There is absolutely no reason at all why you shouldn’t use the iPhone to do this sort of photographic work in many situations.
ShoulderPod S1 for iPhoneography
When to use the camera on the phone and when to use the big sensor camera
Seeing as photography is all about catching light, the first question to be asked is about how much light do we have for our photograph. If we have the best light where we know we are going to get a great picture whatever camera use, then why not use the megapixels on our camera phone. We can take advantage of the touchscreen where we can set focusing and the exposure control using our fingers on the screen. Yes, I know there are some cameras that do have touchscreens also.
Always in the pocket.
Another advantage of the iPhone camera is that you always have it with you. I know that my iPhone is always in my pocket and it is good to know that photography is always with me. Well, not always because if the light is low then I know I’m not going to get a good picture from my iPhone. The images get very grainy, very quickly. There are some applications that you can use which will give you more control such as Camera Plus and it is very easy to change from shooting photos to shooting video. With Camera Plus I like the way that I could set the camera up to connect with my iPad. I can put the iPhone in a specific position where I would not be able to see what the camera is seeing, but then connected to the iPad over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth I would be able to control the iPhone camera from the iPad. It is another creative option available.
Camera apps I have on my iPhone and iPad now
- Camera Plus
- Pencil Camera
- Paper camera
- Apple iOS camera app
- Is the gram
- Slow Shutter
- ProCam XL
- FiLMiC Pro
Some of these applications on the list are more suited to or dedicated to shooting iPhone video. The application I use most of all would be the Apple iOS Camera App and this is because it is the application most easy to get at. It is also the application most used because I am accustomed to the way it works. It is also easy to use and I would have to spend less time researching what each of the settings can do.
Getting the settings correct.
One of the problems of using different applications for different photographic situations is that it is very easy to mess a photo by having the incorrect settings. This could be that the last time you used the application you changed some of the settings to suit a specific purpose. The next time that you pick it up, those settings that were saved from the last time no longer apply to the type of photo you want to take. What would be really handy on any of these photo applications would be to have a button that would quickly take you back to default settings.
The Photosphere and also the HyperLapse application are specific to a specialised branch of photography. I really enjoy taking the photos where it is as if you were inside a bubble and you can do a 360° view of your situation. It is great to be able to post these onto Google+ so that other people can see what it was that you saw.
## The joys of iPhone photography
I won’t be giving up my Sony NEX 6 camera any time soon. In fact, only yesterday I took it to my favourite beach nearby and used it for taking photos. I was able to shoot with a long lens of surfers out on the waves. The iPhone 6 camera is good but would not have worked as well for that photo event. What is really good is to have choices of which kit to use for whatever situation and the iPhone 6 is good for that. It gives me extra creative options as well as being the camera that I always have about my person. Long live iPhoneography!
Summertime Blues and other colours
A lot of people look forward to the summer time for various reasons, such as having some time off from work and being able to enjoy better weather. The better weather and the longer days meaning that it is possible to go out and do more things than you are able to do during the wintertime. In some ways, it is the other way round for me during the summertime because I work during the summer in a camping site and I won’t get any time off until October. Working six days a week it becomes quite difficult to find the time and the energy to go out and shoot some photos with my Sony NEX-6 camera. I often find that at the end of a shift of working I’m quite tired or very hungry and all I want to do is to get home and to scratch whichever itch needs scratching. Quite often it will be a case of getting some food and then some snoozing time on the sofa! Last Sunday though, was a good day because I went out to the market and I hung around with my camera amongst all of the people and the fruit and vegetables.
My photographic plan for the market
I had to make a choice between the wide-angle 16mm lens and my 55 to 210 mm zoom lens. With the wide-angle lens I’m able to take pictures of people close up and sometimes they don’t know that I am taking the picture because it is such a wide angle being captured. On the other hand, I can use my zoom lens in a situation like at the market and not necessarily be noticed because people are busy looking at the goods and other people around the market. For this particular trip to the market I decided to go with the long lens and my aim was to do close-up portrait street photography with getting in as close as possible to faces. It turned out to be a particular good choice and the only problem I had was a Moroccan market trader waving at me because he didn’t seem to like having his photo taken. I waved back to him and I moved to somewhere else. I spent a couple of hours, maybe less, taking photos and I was quite pleased with the results when I got back home and put them into Aperture on the iMac. I also did take a few photos of the produce available on sale by themselves as well as the colourful fruits and vegetables being included in my street portraits. See more Spondicious photos on Flickr.
Sitting at the water fountain in the St. Feliu de Guixols marketplace
I bumped up the ISO on the NEX-6 camera even though it was quite sunny because some of the shots that I took, the subjects were in the shade provided by the stalls of the market. This also allowed me to get a fairly high shutter speed while I was shooting in aperture priority mode. There was a guy sitting on a stool in amongst the fruit boxes and the crates and he was just looking around, not working terribly hard. Maybe he had done as much selling for the day as he wanted to. He was just lazily looking around at people in the market and was a perfect subject for some street portraiture. At first I did have the camera set to take multiple shots on pressing the button and this can be quite useful when people are moving, but I found that I didn’t really need it so I turned that feature off.
Although it is possible to stay in one place and wait for the people to go past, which is good if you have a particularly good background to work with, I do like to have a wander around and to find new positions. When I do this I end up with a more varied set photos than if I was to stay in one place. What I was looking for was to find expressive faces that were going to give me an interesting story to tell with the photo. These sorts of expressions tend to occur more when there are two or more people together taking part in a conversation. I saw that there were two old guys having a chat animatedly using their hands as part of the conversation and I was very pleased with the photos I got of these fellas.
What! Very little or no postprocessing?
My photos were getting uploaded to Google automatically and I found that a number of the photos were good enough that I didn’t need to crop them or to fiddle with them in any way. All I did was to add a few words to the picture and posted them to various places in Google+. Street Hunters Community is a good place to send some Street photos. Usually I like to do some postprocessing in order to give the photos more umph and power. With a good number of these photos taken in the market I didn’t feel the need to work on them further in Intensify Pro or even use some of the tools available within the editing facilities in Google+. I did crop a couple of the photos where there was a person or even just somebody’s elbow poking into the shot in order to tidy things up slightly.
Shooting for the moon
As I was coming back from my walk with the dog I noticed that the moon was looking quite large on the horizon. If you want to get a good picture of the moon with it as big as possible this is the best time to take your moon photo. So I ran inside the house and went to the upstairs terrace and shot some handheld photos of the moon. I didn’t have time to go and find the tripod, but what I did do was to steady the shots by holding the camera next to something solid. Also during the process there was a point where I could put the camera steady on the wall and that kept it good enough for a slightly longer shutter speed setting. I got a number of shots so that I could get the exposure correct for the moon and it could have been a good idea for me to shoot it as a HDR with the three exposures each of them 2 stops apart. What I did instead was to alter the exposure settings manually setting it at -3EV stops. This was the one that gave me the best image for the moon although the background was completely dark. As I was working with a camera RAW image I was able to pull back some detail from the shadow area.
Getting the moon photo to work
First of all I used the application Intensify Pro and although the application is helpful, it wasn’t so good for doing some masking on just the moon. Even though I set the edge of the brush for the masking as a hard edge it wasn’t working quite quite as I thought it should. So it was time for me to get into the bitmap editing application for the Mac called Pixelmator. This is a really good application which I should use more for all sorts of reasons. There are a huge number of tools for making adjustments to photos and plenty of tools which are good when you want to make some digital art. It doesn’t have some of the very specialised photo editing tools that you get in Intensify Pro, although it does offer more of a creative process for editing any sort of bitmap, digital art.
Using Pixelmator for photo editing
What I needed to do was to isolate the moon so that I could get the exposure setting correct and to get the contrast as required. This is easily done in Pixelmator by using the magic wand type selector. All you have to do is to click and drag until you have all of the area you want selected. With a light object on a dark background this is very easy to do. Once I had the moon just the way that I wanted it, I was able to invert the selection and then to start work on the background with the controls for the levels. I was able to get this so that the outline of the trees showed up really well.
The next problem that I wanted to sort out was that the colour was not really as I wanted it to be. I needed to get more of a blue sort of background and within Pixelmator there is a tool which allows me to alter the colour as I see fit. You can easily put in the hue and then decide how dark or light you want the colour to be.
Copying and pasting
I think it is in a Star Wars movie where there is a planet that has two moons. I can’t remember what that planet is called, but it came to mind as I was editing this photo. I thought it would be interesting and a little bit of fun just to add an extra moon to my photo so that there were two. All I had to do was to use a copy of my selection of the moon and to paste back in on a new layer. Just so that it looked a little bit different I made it a bit smaller and added some colour to it. Just a bit of fun with Pixelmator and I ended up with a photo that was edging more towards digital art.
One photo on top of another.
It can be quite fun and handy to use one photo on top of another using layers in Pixelmator. You can take a photo that will give you a textural effect as I did in this photo. I wanted to make it so that I had a grungy sort of texture on top of a floral photo. There is nothing wrong with pictures of flowers, but sometimes I think that there are just too many of them and I would rather do something a little bit more interesting. The thing to do is to alter the opacity of the top layer and also to change the blend mode and with some experimentation you can come up with some interesting and exciting effects.