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Tuesday 31 March 2015

Day 90 of 365 Day Challenge

This week really has been a week of flowers and the city. I was back in Central Hong Kong again and wondering about today's picture when I passed a shop opening it's doors for the first time today (shops change in Hong Kong like people change their underwear!). When a new shop opens there are always a bunch of massive flower arrangements outside the door from various organisations congratulating the shop on it's new venture. I smile because hey, photo opportunity.

So today is yet another flower. The decision is then, do I photograph the flower with Hipstamatic and leave it as it is or do I pimp it up in one of the fabulous apps I have on my iPhone?

Well, I can't resist can I?! So I thought I would take you through the process I went through.  Here is the final result:

So I started off with the original flower that I took using Hipstamatic (Helga Viking lens with Kodot XGrizzed Film):
I decide to take it into Stackables to grunge it up a bit. I touch the star formulas button and the first one is Happiness and I rather like the metallic quality that it produces and wonder what this would look like blended back with the original.

So I take the original into the iColorama app and then choose Effects>Blend and then for Photo choose the Stackables version above to blend with the original. Going through the presets Negation looks interesting. I turn down the Feature opacity to about 70% and apply it. Then I decide to vamp it up slightly be going to Adjust>Vibrance and upping the Vibrance slightly. I save it and this is the result:

I want to accentuate the flower more so I take this version and choose Style>Edges>5 with maximum size to get a black and white outline. I apply this and then go to Style>Coherence>5 to give it a smoother look. The final result is this:
Now to blend the last two together. So in iColorama I bring in the colour version, choose Effects>Blend and then using the preset Multiply, I blend them together to get this:

It's a little bit dark so I decide to lighten it just a tad in Snapseed using the Tune Up option.  Here is the result:
But when I compare it with the original I see that the lovely bright yellow stamens are dark so I have a brainwave. I take the original into Superimpose as a background, I bring in the above version as a foreground and I zoom in really close and mask out the black stamens so that the yellow shows through and Voila, I have what I want which is the first picture.

Here is a picture of all the large flower arrangements outside the store:

Monday 30 March 2015

Day 89 of 362 Day Challenge

Was in Central Hong Kong today to meet friends and decided to stop by Exchange Square to take some photos because the reflective surfaces there are fantastic. Lucky me, there is a new art installation there at the moment so got this interesting picture:

Saturday 28 March 2015

Friday 27 March 2015

Day 86 of 365 Day Challenge

I was busy at home today and thought I would get my daily picture in the evening on my way to meet some friends for supper. Of course I ended up leaving later than I wanted to so rushed through Hong Kong Park looking for something to take. Luckily when I got to the fountains I see that they have planted tulips. Yay, something different. So I have yet another flower in this week's lineup.

The picture was taken with Hipstamatic (Helga Viking and Kodot XGRIZZLED) and I thought I would run it through all my auto painting apps to see if any of them produced anything special. By chance I put it through Paper Camera and liked one of the options so I blended it back with the original in SketchClub and got what I liked. It was a tad dark so lightened it slightly in Snapseed. So here is the end result:

Thursday 26 March 2015

Day 85 of 365 Day Challenge

I went to the Hong Kong Flower Show and although it doesn't compare with the likes of the Hampton Court or Chelsea Flower Show in the UK there were a couple of interesting exhibits. Also at only $14HK it's a steal and flower shows are always a great venue for adding pictures to your photo library. It is the second week so some of the flowers are a little wilted but it was definitely worth the visit for the pictures I got.

The first is my picture of the day and the second a close runner up.

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Day 83 of 365 Day Challenge

I'm still playing around with my iPhone 6 telephoto lens and took a picture of a little sparrow.  It wasn't entirely focussed so I took it into SketchClub and traced the edges in black. Once I had done this I took the picture into Repix and posterised it. Then I took a texture of mine into iColorama and used the Brushes>Artist option to make a painterly background. I then used this as a background and used Brushes>Bound to bring in the bird and then the background at a lower opacity. I textured it slightly in Stackables and then back into iColorama to add a border.

Monday 23 March 2015

Day 82 of 365 Day Challenge

I bought myself a a no-name brand x12 telephoto lens for my iPhone 6 and had my first opportunity to use it today. I didn't have huge expectations of it but I have been hankering after one for a while and it is not always easy to get top quality iPhone accessories in Hong Kong unless they are produced by Apple.

I was down by the City Hall and opposite they have some massive tents up for an exhibition. There were men harnessed to the tops getting ready to give it a wash. So I set up my little tripod which comes with the lens and iphone cover and took a couple of pics. I found it quite difficult to get the focus right on the lens at such a distance. My eyesight isn't the best anymore and I perhaps needed some reading glasses to do it better. I also took some pictures of the tents without the lens and in the end I choose the picture that was taken at a distance as the composition was better. The telephoto lens brought the subjects in just a fraction too close so I couldn't get the whole tent top in as well as the man on the harness. Anyhow I have included both.

Apps: Hipstamatic, Enlighten, Stackables (Repix instead of Stackables for the second picture)

Sunday 22 March 2015

Day 81 of 365 Day Challenge

I have been messing around with the new Enlighten app which is supposed to be an all round photo editor on the iPhone (later to be introduced on the iPad). I like it as a possible competitor to Snapseed but without layers and good selection tools it still doesn't fulfil the 'all-round' category for me. However, it does have some neat options that aren't available elsewhere.

Photo taken with Hipstamatic and manipulated in Enlighten:

Saturday 21 March 2015

Day 80 of 365 Day Challenge

I have a friend staying with me at the moment and we went to the Tai O fishing village. As we were walking amongst the stilted houses, I managed to get a picture of an old Chinese lady and when I got home I thought, well I'll be it looks like exactly the same lady that I took a picture of in July LAST year when we visited the village for the first time. I know it's the same place, but I'm sorry that's uncanny. Here is this year's and I have included the shot from last year.

So here are two shots of the lady from this year, taken with Hipstamatic and manipulated with Enlighten, a new all round app that has just come out on the iPhone:

Last year's picture

Friday 20 March 2015

Day 79 of 365 Day Challenge

I'm back in Hong Kong and took my friend to see the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Gardens. I find the Nunnery and Gardens very peaceful and it was a relaxing visit.  Here is a picture of the Pavilion of Absolute Perfection in the middle of the gardens.

Apps: Hipstamatic, Retouch, Stackables, Snapseed

Thursday 19 March 2015

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Day 77 of 365 Day Challenge

We are up early to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat.

Apps: Camera+, Snapseed and Retouch.

Hipstamatic (Helga Viking + Claunch 72 Monochrome)

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Day 76 of 365 Day Challenge

Our first day of viewing the temples in Angkor in Cambodia. Here is a picture of the main temple covered with the roots of giant trees used in the movie Tomb Raider. Taken with Camera+ and textured with Stackables.

Monday 16 March 2015

Day 75 of 365 Day Challenge

I am in Cambodia at the moment so have been a little behind in my posts. This is another fascinating country and the Angkor Temples have been astonishing. On the first day we got ourselves settled in and took a tuk tuk drive into the city. What scares me in these countries is how precariously children are carried on the available forms of transport so today's photo reflects that as well as a picture of the kind of tuk tuk that got us around.

I cropped and tuned the picture in Snapseed and saved it. I converted it to black and white still in Snapseed and then added a blur in iColorama. I then took this into Superimpose as the background. I brought in the coloured version and masked out the background leaving the mother, child and bike in colour and the rest grey. Finally I took this into Stackables and applied one of my own formulas.

Apps: Camera+, Snapseed, iColorama, Superimpose, Stackables.

Saturday 14 March 2015

Day 73 of 365 Day Challenge

Apps: Hipstamatic with slight tweaks in Retouch and Photoshop Touch. The text was added in iColorama with an imported brush.

Friday 13 March 2015

Day 72 of 365 Day Challenge

I took a friend from the UK to Sham Shui Po market today. It's a fascinating place full of little stalls which specialise in particular items. For example there is one stall that just sells second hand remote controls and another that sells second hand drills. The streets too are specialised with one street full of fabric and another dedicated to beads and buttons. The food markets are particularly interesting with some of the meat and fish stalls probably not suitable for the squeamish.

You also see some interesting characters there so this is today's picture. A old man in traditional old dress. It was taken with Hipstamatic and altered using Snapseed, Superimpose, iColorama and the grungework was done in Stackables.

Thursday 12 March 2015

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Day 69 of 365 Day Challenge

Went through Hong Kong Botanical Gardens again but with my Olloclip macro lens this time.  On day 67 I managed to get a bee on one of the flowers and I went back to this plant to see if I could get a close-up with my macro lens. It was quite tricky as the bees didn't stay long and if I got too close before they dived into a flower they would 'buzz off' but I got a couple and this was the best. Taken with the Hipstamatic app using the Helga Viking lens and Kodot XGrizzled film. Snapseed was used to rotate the photo.

Monday 9 March 2015

Day 68 of 365 Day Challenge

Hong Kong at night.  Strange that buildings and lights can be so beautiful. Taken with Hipstamatic App on iPhone 6.

Sunday 8 March 2015

Day 67 of 365 Day Challenge

I went through the Botanical Gardens in Hong Kong today and all of a sudden it looks like spring! Lots of different flowers that I hadn't seen before so I was spoilt for choice. So here is today's picture and a couple more that I took all with the Hipstamatic app on the iPhone 6:

Some others:

Saturday 7 March 2015

Day 66 of 365 Day Challenge

Hong Kong has some wonderfully gnarled trees which have spider web roots over walls. The secret is taking a shot which looks interesting. I took this shot with the Hipstamatic app on the iPhone 6, using the Lucifer VI lens and the DC Film. I usually find this option too red but thought I would give it a go as much of the wall and tree were grey although there was some lovely yellow looking moss on parts of the wall. No further manipulation was done.

Day 65 of 365 Day Challenge

Another grey day in Hong Kong and I am back home without my daily photo. So it's back to being inventive. Oh well, not my best but tomorrow is another day!

Friday 6 March 2015

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Day 63 of 365 Day Challenge

It's nasty outside today - rainy, grey and foggy - and I haven't got my daily photo yet and it's 4pm! I went out this morning and had the opportunity to photography some beautiful cut flowers but was distracted and then forgot. Now what.

I was at the library this morning and took out a book on etching because I thought some of the ink outlines were interesting and wondered if I could incorporate this into my photo manipulations.

Here are three variations of the end result and I think the first is my favourite although I quite like the third one which looks a bit like a watercolour. Below that is my process.


I decided to take a photo with my iphone of the roofs that we look down on because I thought sketching buildings would be interesting. I squared the photograph in Snapseed and tuned it up a bit and then took it into SketchClub. I created a layer above the photograph and proceeded to draw the outlines. Sometimes I was careful and sometimes a little scrappy but fairly accurate and just detailing the bits that stood out to me.


Sketched Outline
I then took the original picture into Repix, I used the harsh Posterise and then Freshen to get this:

I took the sketched version into Photoshop Touch and removed the white using the magic wand. I then took both of these pictures back into SketchClub, overlaided the pen work and saved the result.

I could have left it at this stage but it didn't feel finished to me so I took it into iColorama and tuned it a bit using the Adjustment options. I then tried various transformations and the ones you see at the start are in order: Coherence>2, Painterly>Shock and Simplify>7 with opacity reduced by about a third.

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Day 62 of 365 Day Challenge

I'm stuck at home today. So what to do about a photo? This is when you are pushed to be inventive. Don't want to just put up any old picture so I trapse around the flat looking for an idea and find myself in the kitchen. And then the lightbulb goes on. Now for something completely different!

Apps: Superimpose, Snapseed, SKRWT, iColorama, Repix, Stackables.