My Thoughts On Instagram 2.0

September 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Instagram 2.0 is out! I downloaded the new version today, and there are some things I really like and others that I have to think about.

First off, the things I like. Borders – The borders option is a huge plus. I refused to use certain filters because of their border, but now there is an option to turn it off.

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New Filters – I am glad to see that there are more filters to choose, but I cannot give two thumbs up just yet (I’ll explain later).

Black & White Filter – Thank God they changed it! The old filter was good if you had no other option, and here is why. The filter was harsh to skin tones and reds. Eyes would darken and give a sick or sinister look to the person, and red cars would turn white. Now we have a true black and white filter. Off hand it looks comparable to my favorite editing app, Snapseed. We will see.

Image Rotation – I think this is an excellent addition to the editing process. It was frustrating when an image used was sideways. Correcting it meant taking it into another app.

Now for the things that did not excite me.

The filters (except b&w) – I think all the filters have been reengineered. They do not have stark changes between the original and altered images. It could be my eyes, but I don’t think so. I used an image to test from this morning, and I tested the 2.0 version. I can see some subtle changes, so the jury is still out.

Filter Toggle – It’s still new, but it was annoying me. I did not like the filters changing the image every time I moved the carousel. I did notice you could press a filter to move them, but it was still frustrating. Not Saving Images – Instagram 2.0 does not save the images to my picture folder! I like having that option. I have to jump through hoops if my wife wants to post an actual image to Facebook and use it as a profile picture. What happens if (God Forbid) Instagram ceases to exist or my account gets deleted? What will happen to all my images? I think they need to rethink that change. (*The images I tested did not save, but the follow up images did. Check your Instagram in Settings on you iPhone, iPad, or iPod, and make sure your options are correct.)

Overall I think there are good changes to Instagram. Most issues will probably be forgotten, but there will be many who will complain. I hope there is not too much of a noticeable difference between first and second generation images. I wonder if they would bring back the first generation filters as an option? Till then we will see.

If you want to follow me on Instagram, my handle is @josephferreira

Why You Should Not Throw Images Away

September 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I started going through some of my old images from two of my first digital cameras and my 35mm film to upload to Instagram and Google+.

The first digital camera was a camera/webcam that had no view screen to see the images, but I was use to that with 35mm.

A few years later we were given a 4 mega pixel Kodak point and shoot camera which we used quite a bit. I have recently gone through and posted them on Instagram, and they look great!

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We get so wrapped up in mega pixels and glass that we forget that there are great images that have been lost or put away because they came from ‘inferior cameras’.

The truth is that the camera cannot take great images by themselves, and photographers are not limited by their equipment as much as they think they are. The myth that better equipment makes better images will frustrate many people. The greatest photographers from history created works of art from inferior equipment by our standards.

I think there are many photographers who need to put down their DSLRs and pick up a 3 or 4 mega pixel camera. Are you up for the challenge? I am.

If you want to follow my journey with my iPhone and point & shoot images, you can follow me on Instagram or twitter.

Instagram: @josephferreira Twitter: @ferreirajoseph

My Thoughts On Facebook And Instagram

August 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

There have been speculation that Facebook will be coming out with filters for it’s photo sharing. Another rumor has surfaced that Facebook is looking to acquire Instagram.
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(my daughter at the park)

Let me start with Facebook filters. I think that it is long overdue. Facebook has millions if not billions of images being posted and shared every year.

I have always thought that filters are a great way to make crappy photos look better and good photos look great. A majority of images on Facebook are crappy and good. Another reason I think this is a good idea is for all the non-iProduct users. Instagram is strictly an iPhone, iPad, and iPod application. I really feel like many people are missing out.

This leads me into the rumor about Facebook acquiring IG. I really hope and pray that Facebook does not acquire IG. Lately I have limited the images I upload to Facebook, and the terms of service has been a major factor. As a photographer, I get nervous when a photo sharing site goes through multiple TOS agreements.

Having said that, I do post my images to Facebook and twitter from Instagram. My friends are able to see my creations by clicking a link that redirects them to an Instagram internet browser page. Was my image uploaded onto Facebook? No.

I enjoy both Facebook and Instagram for different reasons, but I do not want to feel like I need to post to Facebook if I do not want to. There may be nothing to worry about, but it keeps us thinking.

Combining Single Image HDR

August 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

High Dynamic Range (HDR) combines multiple images, of the same subject, into one to create an image that simulates what the human eye sees.


A Single Image HDR takes enhanced images from a single image and combines them for a HDR image.



I took pictures at a car show Saturday. It was overcast which turned the sky into a giant softbox. The image below of this old Hudson was taken with my iPhone. It is not a bad image, but it is lacking some depth.

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I loaded the image info an iPhone app called Dynamic Light, and it created the HDR image below. This is still a great image, but HDR can give a cartoonish look to an image.

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Another application I use is called Pro HDR. I combined the image above with the original one. By adjusting the levels, I created a base image (below) that will be darker than the HDR image.

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Dark images have details light images do not and via versa. With Pro HDR, I combined the HDR image with the base image to add a little more realistic look to the image.

There may not be a whole lot of change, but all I wanted to do is add clarity and realism to the image.

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Give Dynamic Light and Pro HDR a try, and you will find average images come to life.

Why I’m On Twitter…And Other Thoughts

August 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

For years I avoided Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites. But first, let’s go back 12-15 years to when I avoided email, pagers, and cellphones.

When I was in high school, in the mid 90′s, pagers were very popular. Cellphones were in existence, but they were typically used by doctors and others who could afford that technology. Pagers were the cellular of the masses.

I remember everyone, my age, jumping onto the pager bandwagon, and I tried to avoid it. My parents forced me to carry one because I started working and they needed a way to get ahold of me. Pager code was a popular way of communicating (an art form in itself), and it birthed text messaging. People were finding new and easier ways to communicate, and today we can thank them for the innovations we have.

Why did I usually avoid these innovations? Mostly because I did not understand nor value them. Email was one of those innovations. Most people I knew did not have email, so why should I have one? Would it not be easier to pick up the phone and call them?

Today, I have more email addresses than I really want, and I would not know what to do if I did not have them. I find myself still avoiding trends that pop up mainly because I have not found the value that will benefit me and my time.

This year I got a Twitter account, but I was unsure on how to use it. I did not want to be like many who would broadcast every waking moment of their lives (simply because I did not care – example: what they were eating and what their stool looked like afterwards), so I decided to limit it to photography.

I first started searching for photographers who’s podcasts I followed. I would read their articles and thoughts, and if I thought they were good, I would retweet them. If they asked questions, I would try and participate. This is a great way to learn from the best and enter into their community.

The second thing I did was find a way to contribute to twitter. Many people tweet or retweet interesting articles, blogs, and tips, but I wanted to be original, not a Johnny-Come-Lately. I search articles (about 600-800) all day long for content that I am interested in, and what I think others would be interested in also. The title needs to catch my attention first before I read it, and if it is worthy I will tweet it.

My latest step is to create my own content. As I learn and participate, I find it easier to contribute. I do not want my feed to be The-Stool-Sampling-Broadcast, but I do want to have valuable news, tips, and information. And, hopefully I will find new innovations to avoid and talk about.

Bowater Line

July 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

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I have been playing with my apps, and it has produced a few majorly processed images. This one looks like a photo from the 19th century when they use to color the monochrome prints.

Dynamic Light App

July 28th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

My previous post introduced a HDR application that combined two images into one. This can sometimes cause problems because it can take too long to photograph a scene. The other issue is movement either by you or the scene.

I downloaded an app, called Dynamic Light, that can create HDR images from a single photograph. Here is an image of the USS Yorktown with the Ashley River Bridge in the background.

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As you can see, I post processed the image for the background and not the foreground. My goal was to direct the viewer to the bridge.

Dynamic Light took that image and created a HDR image.

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I purposefully took the image to the extreme to show you the detail of the applications potential. A great HDR image should leave your audience wondering if it is HDR or not.

Dynamic Light is going to be one app that I will keep in my arsenal. I highly recommend this app.

HDR – Why Is It Important As A Tool?

July 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

What your eye can see is very different than what the camera sees. Let us look at the first two images. The first one is good except for one thing. The sky is blown out.
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You cannot see the clouds because the camera has compensated for the shadowing in the trees.

Image two is not a very good image at all.

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The only redeeming feature is the detail in the clouds that the first image left out. The shadows have lost their details.

Why is HDR important? Look below.

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HDR (High Dynamic Range) gives you the opportunity to capture a scene as if you were looking at it with the naked eye. Our eyes have the ability to capture more dynamic range than most cameras, and HDR can bring us a little closer to reality.

I uses an iPhone app called Pro HDR for the image above. It is a very easy app to use, and it brings an added feature to your arsenal of tools on your iPhone.

Honoring Fallen Hero SSGT Thomas Dudley USMC

July 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

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RHPD Traffic Detail – SSGT Dudley Funeral Procession

July 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

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