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Saturday 31 January 2015

Day 31 of 365 Day Challenge

We have gone on a small trip out of Sydney to a quaint little town called Kangeroo Valley and many of the buildings are just charming. My favourite picture today is the local hotel/bar which I took with the Hipstamatic app using the settings Jane and Ina's 1982. However, the perspective was slightly off so I took it into Frontview and straightened it a bit. I then re-added a border in Snapseed.

Friday 30 January 2015

Day 30 of 365 Day Challenge

We went to Lunar Park in Sydney today to take pictures and I did get some great pictures. However, afterwards we were sitting in a restaurant having a drink and a young girl with, I presume, her Granny sat on the waters edge below the restaurant window and I couldn't resist taking this picture because it was such a lovely scene.

Apps used: Snapseed, Retouch, Handy Photo, Repix, iColorama.

Thursday 29 January 2015

Day 29 of 365 Day Challenge

I'm staying today with friends and the best photography option was their dog, Monty. So I cut out the dog from an unsuitable background and put it onto a textured background. I then took it into iColorama and used the bounded brush to make the dog meld with the background.

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Day 28 of 365 Day Challenge

Today was yet another wet day in Sydney but I braved the elements and spent some time in the Royal Botanic Gardens. I took quite a few macro shots with my Olloclip macro lens and this was my favourite. Below is the flower it originates from. The picture was taken with the Hipstamatic app.

Day 27 of 365 Day Challenge

I'm in Sydney and it poured with rain all day so it had to be an indoor shot so I choose this clock in the Queen Victoria Building taken with hipstamatic using John S and Ina's 1969.

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Day 26 of 365 Day Challenge

I'm finding the days I travel difficult days to get photographs. Before I know it I find myself at the airport without having taken any photos and needing to conjure up something from the airport surroundings when I just feel like sitting and having a cup of coffee. So here is the best I was able to do:

Saturday 24 January 2015

Day 24 of 365 Day Challenge

It was difficult to choose today's picture because there were some interesting shots but many of them required further manipulation which I don't have time to do so I again choose a beautiful piece of Melbourne's graffiti. It was taken using the Hipstamatic app and the settings Helga Viking + Dreamcanvas:

Friday 23 January 2015

Day 23 of 365 Day Challenge

The City of the Seagulls

A birdwatcher would shot me down for using the word seagull (in bird lore there is no such thing as a seagull) but it sounds good with city. I think the gulls in Melbourne are Silver Gulls and they are everywhere .... in droves. So this had to be my next picture, taken on St Kilda's beach. 

Thursday 22 January 2015

Day 22 of 365 Day Challenge

I went to the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne this morning and took this lovely picture of a little boy and his mother. Can you guess how I got the shot?

Well, in the middle of the entrance hall they had this wonderful bronze roundabout and as I was watching I realised that the people were beautifully reflected in the centre column. This little boy was smiling at his own reflection and I managed to catch it. I only realised a little later how well the shot had come out so I looked around and luckily found the mother who gave me permission to use the shot. Thanks! Email me and I will send you the shot if you would like it.

I used Snapseed to crop it and enhance it slightly. Then took it into Retouch to remove some objects and finally the light created a natural division so in Pixlr (splash option) I removed the colour on the left hand side which emphasised it even more. This must be one of my favourite shots of all time.

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Day 21 of 365 Day Challenge

A great graffiti found along the famous Hosier Lane in Melbourne. Just some slight tuning, cropping and resizing in Snapseed - the artist has done the rest for me! It would be crass to change it!

20 of 365 Day Challenge

Hong Kong Airport

Saturday 17 January 2015

Day 17 of 365 Day Challenge

Going home via the Mid-Levels Escalator on Hong Kong Island, I had my iPhone at the ready for any unexpected shots and as I got to one street level there were a group of people dressed in costumes at the pub called the Yorkshire Pudding. I took a photo from a short distance but as I came up level with them, the chap dressed as a lion turned around and growled at me. Well, like I'm gonna lose an opportunity like that?? Not. So I got one snap before carrying on and although I got some good shots today it just has to be the shot of the day. Just shows you - you always need to have your iPhone camera ready!

Taken with Camera+ and then into Snapseed for cropping and to apply a grunge effect:

Friday 16 January 2015

Day 16 of 365 Day Challenge

I have been busy indoors all day today and I sudden realised, oh no, have forgotten to go out to get a photo today! So it's back to the challenge of doing still life:
Snapseed, iColorama, AremaC

Thursday 15 January 2015

Day 15 of 365 Day Challenge

Hipstamatic: John S + Ina's 1969

Last night I went to the Peak to have supper with some good friends. We first did the walk around the Peak and I was hoping to get some great photos because it had been a lovely day but by the time we reached the area where we could take good photographs it had fogged up a bit. It was also difficult for me to stop for long with other people on the walk. Anyhow, I got some quite good photos and then some lovely evening shots from the restaurant and I struggled to choose which should be my main shot but I went with the above shot in the end because it was rather unusual. No additional editing was done to the Hipstamatic image.

The shot below was also one of my favourites and was taken from the restaurant with the app VividHDR:

On the walk we went past a family with their little dog which was a yorkie. I tried to take a picture but he was quite shy and bouncing all over the place so I gave up in the end. However, when we were back in the main square, the family were sitting there and he was in his little bag and I asked if I could take a picture. The father told me an interesting story about the little dog. All of a sudden the dog became withdrawn, wouldn't eat, grumpy and they couldn't work out what was wrong. They took him to several vets with no improvement until they finally took him to a vet in Discovery Bay who worked out that the problems started around the time of the birth of their little boy and the dog had become jealous so to get him back onto the road to recovery they had give him special attention before they gave their son any. So here is the lovely little chap:

Edited in Snapseed, Handy Photo and iColorama

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Day 14 of 365 Day Challenge

Walking back from the city after a meeting, I took some city shots with Hipstamatic but I hadn't realised that my iPhone had shaken and changed the settings and most of the pictures I took were a red tinge which was just awful. I must get rid of that film, I really don't like it at all. Anyway, fortunately I had discovered this half way through my walk home and decided to walk back through a park to try and get my shot for the day.

Well, there was a little girl going around and around the fountain on her little scooter and I just had to have a picture of this. I am always a little reticent about taking pictures of children but they are wonderful subjects. So I chose a spot and waited for her to come around again. At the same time a little boy ran into view and as she came around he peaked out and looked at her. It was such a cute photo I had to try and do something with it.

The children were quite a distance apart so to make the picture square I first had to take it into Handy Picture to increase the top with the resize option. I am always enthralled by the way it just adds onto the top to match the picture. It made a couple of mistakes but this was easily corrected with the retouch button. Next, I went into Snapseed to use the Tune Up option.

What next?? From now on it was all iColorama. I wanted to give it more of a picture book appearance because there were children in it so to do this, I first chose Style>Edges and choose the Edges option I liked.  Then I returned to the original and used Style>Simplify>, number 2 but I put a mask over the children so that they remained sharp and applied and saved it. Then I blended the two with the mask still on so that the children were still the original but the background was more 'cartoonish'.

Then came the clever bit. While keeping the mask on I went to Preset>Borders and choose number 6 I think and turned down the opacity slightly. This made the children look as if they were on the fringes of the scene. Lastly I just blurred out the little boy's face in Repix as he is a child. Here is the result:

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Flower Power

I took a picture on the iPhone on Sunday which I would have preferred to use as my Day 11 picture but I used a building instead because it was more of a challenge for me.

Anyhow, this is the original picture and the enhanced one. I first sketched it out using the Artomation app then I pulled the original and sketched versions into iColorama creating lots of new versions and then blending them all back. Finally, I used a Deform option under Forms to change the look and added a vignette.

Day 13 of 365 Day Challenge

It's a miserable day outside and I don't intend to go out so what to do about my daily iPhone picture??

Well, we have a magnificent view from our apartment and I guess this will be the subject of many of my day challenges this year so the secret is to make it interesting.  While trying out loads of shots I noticed that the window in our bedroom is steamed up with the cold and rain so I decide to make use of this. I am using the camera app VividHDR for the first time so experiment with a couple of the options and the best turns out to be Dramatic HDR.

Once I have taken the picture I bring it into Snapseed and Crop it and Tune it a bit. Then into Stackables and layer it with the layers Ancient Sky and Sundance. Finally, I take it into iColorama to add a vingette. I find the Preset>Border, border #3 with lowered radius and opacity has become my favourite vingette for finishing off a photo.

So here it is:
Window to the World

Monday 12 January 2015

365 Day iPhoneography Challenge

I have started a 365 Day Photo Challenge which means you need to take and post a picture every day. This challenge is on the Mobitog Community Site but I have decided to post to my blog as well so here are the first 12 days:
Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Thursday 8 January 2015

Olloclip Macro Lens iPhone 6

I have never done macro photography before but have been dying to do it for a long time so was very excited to learn that I could get a macro lens for my iPhone 6. After doing my usual research I decided to go for the Olloclip 4-in-1 which has a fisheye, wide angle, and 2 macro lenses all in one. I haven't tried the other two lenses yet because I am really interested in the macro lenses.

Well, what fun and the results are superb. It requires a very steady hand and a tripod is obviously the best but none of these were taken with a tripod and although it sometimes takes a couple of attempts it's not that difficult. You do have to play with them to get used to how far away you have to be from the subject but then the results are astonishing. At first I used the Olloclip app that you can use with it but frankly I found the native camera app and the other camera apps that I have like Camera+ or even Hipstamatic much easier to use.

This first picture of a grasshopper was a little boring so I jazzed it up on my iPad using Repix, iColorama, and Snapseed.

The next shot was taken using the Hipstamatic camera app. It's actually a tiny flower about half a centimeter in size:

Jane + Ina's 1982
The final pictures have had no processing except reduction in size and metadata:

Poinsettia Stamen
Piece of Coral from the Beach
Cicarda Beetle Head
Bug on the Beach

Who would think you could do all this with an iPhone!

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Hipstamatic and the iPhone 6

Hipstamatic is an iPhone camera app which applies filters to the pictures while you are taking them to give them a vintage film look. There are all sorts of combinations of camera and film. Some of the cameras and film come standard with the app but most you need to purchase as packs.

So I decided to buy the app and get a couple of the combinations after reading the June 2014 issue of the Mobiography Magazine which was a Hipstamatic special edition. By the way this is a great magazine especially if you are starting off in mobile photography. Lots of help and tips and inspiration.

I have to say that there are quite a lot of filters that I don't like and I read a lot of the recommendations on the Mobitog forum before buying some of the packs. Unfortunately the makers sometimes only have the packs available for a limited time which I find quite irritating as some of the ones I wanted are not available at the moment. I am sure it is to force you to buy others. Don't get sucked into buying them all. It really isn't necessary and you will probably find you only use 25% of them.

It was fascinating using the filters while you are shooting. You really need to try them out and get a feel. Some I really didn't like and others were good in some instances but not in others.  However, I got some stunning shots that really don't require any further manipulation at all. The titles show the camera and film combinations. Apart from reducing the size and adding metadata only the last picture was slightly enhanced in Snapseed:

Jane + Ina's 1982

John S + Ina's 1969

John S + Ina's 1969

Helga Viking + Ina's 1969
Loftus + DC

John S + Ina's 1969
John S + Ina's 1969