Cell Phones, HDR and Panoramas

Hi Folks:

This started out as an idea for a blog post, evolved into a one-hour presentation for our local camera group, and now I’ll try to compress that into a blog post. We’ll see how it goes.

There are several questions to begin with, the first of which is… why do this? The answer is to extend or expand the capabilities of your camera, no matter the camera. There are at least five different reasons that I know of to combine multiple exposures into one image. These are two of them. The second question is, why cell phones? This post doesn’t only involve cell phones, but cell phones are ubiquitous. Some people only make images with their phones, despite the technical challenges, but the bottom line is that it depends on how you’re planning to use your images.

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Creative Photography Work

Hi Folks:

Originally wrote this as an e-mail to a friend but thought we should post this as well. Our friend has mentioned that she has been in a bit of a creative slump with her photography recently, so when I came across this article, I thought of her: Explore Photoshop Mix and Fix with Visual Artist Amr Elshamy.

I do pretty much all of my cell phone processing using Snapseed, but I also have Photoshop Express, Ps Fix, Ps Mix, Prisma and some other apps installed. They’re all free. Prisma does offer an annual subscription plan but if you’re not interested you can ignore that. Prisma is pretty much a one-trick pony, but the one thing you can do is to swipe left/right to vary the amount of effect from the filter you’ve chosen. For any given image most of the filters will look terrible, but there are usually one or two that look good.

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Greeting Cards

Hi Folks:

As often happens with our posts, this one begins with a seemingly unrelated mish-mash of ideas that will hopefully find some confluence by the time I’m finished writing (and Marcia’s had a a chance to proofread it).  We’ll see!

To start with, today is Marcia’s Dad’s birthday.  He’s 90 years young today, and although he may not be quite as spry as he was in 1933 for example, he’s still quite vivacious and certainly not done with life!

The next thread in this post is our friend Bob.  Bob is an photographer.  An analog photographer.  Yes, that means he uses film.  He’s not adverse to digital and he does scan his work when required, but he’s in love with printing, with the feel of a photographic print.  While 99% or more of images today are seen on some form of electronic device, Bob maintains that there’s there’s something lacking in not being able to hold a print in your hands, feel the texture of the paper, to hold something ‘real’.  I don’t print much of my work, but I agree with him.  I read a post recently about another photographer, David Duchemin, who makes prints of some of his recent work and then leaves them for others to find.  He leaves them in coffee shops, on benches, wherever, and he has no knowledge or control of what happens to them after he walks away.  That, however, is the whole point, and I like the idea so much I’ve been giving serious thought to adopting it. Continue Reading →

Photo of the Month – Oncoming Storm

Hi Folks:

This image was made on April 7, down at Clover Point and looking back toward Victoria.  I was out for a walk that day without my camera, but the wind was really blowing and the clouds were just incredible so I made a number of images using my cell phone camera.  It was blowing so hard I had to lean against lamp posts and the like to hold the camera steady, but I think the results in this image at least were worth it.  This is a six-image panorama, stitched together in Autopano Pro and pushed around some in Lightroom.  This is the first image I’ve posted that was processed in Lightroom 5 Beta (some great new features, BTW – can hardly wait for the final product!).

Oncoming Storm

Oncoming Storm

Okay, that’s it.  Now go out and make some photographs!!

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. You can find more of our posts on photography and Lightroom tutorials here, and you can find links to over 200 other sites that have Lightroom tips, tutorials and videos here.

Photo of the Month – February

Hi Folks:

Here we are, with the first week of March come and gone already and we have yet to do a ‘Photo of the Month’ post for February!  Egads!!  I do have something to share with you, but it has less to do with a particular photograph and more to do with the way it was processed.  The image below is one I captured using my cell phone camera – nothing new there – but it was also processed in the phone using ‘Photoshop Touch‘ software for Android phones.  There are iPhone/iPad versions of the software as well as a version for Android tablets, but since my Samsung phone is what I have and use, I figured it was worth the $5 to give it a try. Continue Reading →

Photo of the Month – August

Hi Folks:

Since we profiled one of Marcia’s cell phone camera images for July, it seemed only fair to use one of my cell phone images for August.  I saw this leaf as I was walking down the sidewalk one day, and it reminded me of a little lizard sunning itself on the concrete – blended in really well with the background, too!

Leaf Lizard

Leaf Lizard

Now go out and make some photographs!

Hugs,
Mike.

Photo of the Month – Fun With Mirrors

Hi Folks:

This being April 1, I thought the image below would be appropriate for the photo of the month for March.  Back in the film days I used to do things like create photo montages by sandwiching two slides together into a single frame, but when I first got into graphics programs (CorelDraw 3) I started being more creative with a few of my images.  One technique is to take an image, cut it in half either horizontally or vertically, take one half and mirror it, then stick the two halves together again.  The results are always unknown and often unexpected.  I did a blog post a while back on ‘Making Mirror Images With Lightroom‘ that showed one way of making such images while making them look realistic at the same time but ‘realism’ isn’t always a necessary goal. Continue Reading →

Lightroom’s Adjustment Tools – Quick Tip

Hi Folks:

The impetus for this post came from one done by Matt Kloskowski over at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips.  I have a different photography style than he does and so I won’t likely incorporate the ‘super edgy style’ that he did, but it led me to consider how else the idea might be used.

Of the two images below, the image on the left shows a photo made with my cell phone camera (a Samsung Galaxy S i9000), and the image on the right is the same image after being pushed around a bit in Lightroom.  Cell phone images don’t have a lot of structure so you can’t push them very far without them dissolving into a goo of pixels. Continue Reading →

Cell Phone Cameras

Hi Folks:

One of the gifts Mrs. Claus gave me for Christmas was a Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant GT-i9000M Android-enabled cell phone.  The name is actually longer than the phone itself; I’m not sure who comes up with this stuff!  The GPS feature combined with Google Maps makes navigating the sleigh a lot simpler, but that’s another story.  The phone also has a 5MP digital camera, and that’s the topic for today’s blog post.  BTW, I checked the Apple Canada site and the iPhone 4 also has a 5MP camera, so I’m assuming they’re in the same ball park as far as comparisons go.

The reasons for this post are two-fold.  For one, up until now I’ve never really had the chance to experience making photographs with a cell phone camera.  For the second, there have been a couple of posts on Mike Johnston’s ‘The Online Photographer‘ blog recently that say that the sales of ‘point and shoot’ cameras have been steadily falling.  His suggestion is that point and shoot cameras are single-use devices while cell phones with cameras are multifunctional… so more people are simply using their cell phone cameras rather than purchasing a separate camera as well. Continue Reading →