Pro HDR iPhone App

September 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

My review for today is Pro HDR. There are a varying array of opinion when it comes to HDR among photographers, but for the most part, HDR is quickly becoming a tool that a lot of photographers are using.

I have been using Pro HDR for a while, and it was my go to app when I wanted to pull detail out of an image.

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When you open the app, there will be a few options to choose from. Below you, at the top is grid on/off and the HDR Auto feature. The app allows you to create an image just after you have opened it.

At the bottom is a zoom slider, hide (removes grid and HDR Auto), and settings. The camera icon starts the HDR process the same as tapping the screen, and the settings gives you options to turn on/off different features or choose the format of your images.

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Let’s select the HDR Auto. As you can see below more options will appear. Included will be Manual, Off, and Library. I hardly ever use manual. I recommend trying it and using a tripod for stabilization. If your images do not line up, ghosting will appear in the image. Ghosting is the same as placing two transparencies on top of each other. You can see both images at the same time. People or moving objects will appear as if they had faded into or out of the image.

Off gives you an option to capture an image (as if you were in camera mode) without going through the HDR process.

The last option is the one I use the most. I will select images from my Library that I have already chosen for to be processed. Another application, called Dynamic Light, is what I use for creating those images, but that will be another blog entry.

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Loading photo library…

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Once the library is open, you can select your first image. It will prompt you to select the darkest, but you can try the lightest first for a different result also.

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Select the second image…

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As you can see below, the two images were not drastically different from each other. That is alright. Experiment with different images to find the perfect blend. HDR is subject to the photographers design. It can be drastic or subtle.

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After it has blended the two images, multiple sliders will appear. You can fine tune the image to your liking. Do not worry about making a mistake because you can always start the process over.

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Finally, after you find the right settings, hit save.

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My next review will be on the Dynamic Light App. If you want to see my images, you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter. Instagram is @josephferreira and Twitter is @ferreirajoseph.

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

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.