The Great Journey in Photography

Posts tagged “arts

Pride Sticker Added to Seattle Stickies

prideforads

Language and how we communicate has changed a lot the past couple of years and we are encountering new forms of communication that eliminate language and geographic barriers. Using stickers and emoji when texting and using other forms of messaging can eliminate entire paragraphs of written word and since they are visual and can also be interpreted by anyone with out the limitations of language or education. Applications like Seattle Stickies and Birds for Words are, I believe, first steps to creating comprehensive, universal form of communication.

Version 1.2.0 of Seattle Stickies was released today and it includes the new Pride sticker. This new sticker goes beyond the bounds of being a Seattle centric application and I think it deserves a few words. First and foremost I want Seattle Stickies to be successful. I did not put the work into it so it could fail and yes people no matter what you may believe, a lot of work is involved with developing and marketing an application. In addition to that, I want my applications to be inclusive and in this case adding the Pride sticker is the right move. Following the basic philosophy of what I think Stickers should be, not including a pride sticker would tend to be exclusive.

I also want to point out that Seattle Stickies is not a progressive application and I have no intention for it to become one. If you look carefully notice that a “9/11 Memorial” and “No Tax” stickers are still part of the pack.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Download a copy of Seattle Stickies at the link below.

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40

Advertisements

Evolving Augmented Reality Experience

Born from the desire to make better screenshots all the photography applications will get an enhanced AR experience on the next round of updates. The trio of apps will soon be able to save and share a snapshot of the augmented reality experience and return to viewing artwork in AR on the same screen. Users will be able to save the snapshot to Photos, other storage services, and social media. Now users can see what their own artwork looks like mounted on a wall and easily get an opinion from others.

Also included in this update will be a larger range of image sizes with a maximum of 1 meter (about 36″) sized artwork. Planned for an update later this Summer the apps will also have the capability to free stand on table and counter tops.

You can download all of the apps at the links below.

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40  Canvas Art

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40  Get it Straight

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40  Wildlife & Nature Pictures – Free Download


Seattle Head Tax Stickers

 

One of the hot issues in Western Washington is the new Seattle Head tax to fund homeless relief. Seattle Stickies the Apple iMessages Sticker application for iPhone and iPad has four new stickers that lets users show their opinion when texting or sending a message. Stick it and send it so those in power know how you feel.

If you are not aware of what a Stickers App is here is a great explanation from iMore.com

Apple has made it possible for you to make your messages a lot more interesting with the help of apps and stickers in iMessages. You can use stickers as stand-alone images, or slap them right on top of someone else’s chat bubble (or sticker, or picture). Apps integrate information so you can, say, book a table at a restaurant or share movie times with others. Your friends can also change dates and times in some instances so everyone can collaborate together.

Download a copy of Seattle Stickies at the link below.

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40


Canvas Art – A Different Filter

One of the things I try to do when developing an app that is plentiful (and usually free) like a photo filter is to build an application that is a little more complex and produces an effect that is unique. While it is pretty much impossible to look at all the iOS photo filters available I am fairly confident the work I create is different from most other filters. This week a new and improved version of Canvas Art was released. For those who may not already know, several years ago I developed a technique in Photoshop that makes a photo look like a canvas painting. It is a complex process and takes many hours to create but the results are quite stunning and detailed.

Pair of Bald Eagles Art-

With Canvas Art I am trying to create a similar effect for the iPhone and iPad. Amazingly, the iPhone and iPad have pretty much the same capabilities as using Photoshop on a computer. The big difference is that the entire process is touch based and that simply does not allow the same level of precision. Also, the total time spent editing should be less than a minute on a mobile device. That is my personal rule of thumb.

The Canvas Art – Photo Filter application allows users to create art ranging from a sketch or line art style a water-color type look to a crisp canvas painting with just a couple of easy steps. You can see the range of looks in the three images below.

And that is what is different about Canvas Art. It is one filter with an infinite number of results. Another thing that makes Canvas Art different is the built-in augmented reality experience. Most other photo filters are a bit older and are not capable delivering an AR product but with Canvas Art things are always up to date and reflecting the latest technology. So with this application as with all my other photo related apps users can see the finished work in a variety of picture frames and sizes mounted on their own walls using augmented reality.

IMG_0115

Next time I will show you just how easy using Canvas Art really is.

You can download a copy of the Canvas Art – Photo Filter application at the link below.

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40


Seattle Stickies Updated

seattle

Today version 1.0.4 of Seattle Stickies was released. This release adds three new stickers to the collection bringing the total to twenty-two stickers. Seattle Stickies is a collection of  Messages stickers celebrating the landmarks and culture of Seattle and the greater Puget Sound.

Seattle Stickie stickers are made in the distinctive canvas art style. With twenty-two stickers to choose Stickies owners have sporting stickers, Mt Rainer, Seattle Ferries, 9/11 Memorial, hand blown glass, local eateries, wildlife, and other landmarks.

For everyone who is not familiar with Messages Stickers here is the explanation directly from Wikipedia.

A sticker is a detailed illustration of a character that represents an emotion or action that is a mix of cartoons and Japanese smiley-like “emojis“. They have more variety than emoticons and have a basis from internet “reaction face” culture due to their ability to portray body language with a facial reaction. Stickers are elaborate, character-driven emoticons and give people a lightweight means to communicate through kooky animations.

Stickers are commonly downloadable for free, while online stores provide wider alternatives for a price. Sets may be devoted to specific themes, characters, as well as popular brands and media franchises such as Hello Kitty, Psy, and the Minions of Despicable Me.

Note: Seattle Stickies has a description in the app store stating it is free. While it was free for a period of time it is currently sold for 0.99usd. This error will be corrected at the next update.

You can download a copy of Seattle Stickies at the link below.

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40


Get it Straight App bug

GISImage

I just want to mention that I have been seeing a few crashes in the Get it Straight application when users are trying to save their edited images to the Photos Library. I want to let everyone know that I have identified the problem and it has been fixed for the next update. The next update will come out when iOS 11.3 is publicly available which should be in about a week. Until then anyone who wants to save their edited masterpiece to the Photos Library can do that by using the Photo Editing extension right in the Photos app. Just hit the edit button then the circle with three dots inside it and you will see the Get it Straight icon where you can perform the same tasks and it will be saved to the Photos Library.

Thanks for your patience.

You can download a copy of Get it Straight at the link below.

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40


Augmented Reality Update

A quick note to let everyone know that testing is going well for the inclusion of augmented reality for three of my applications. I have a few screenshots to share. Please allow me to apologize in advance for the quality. It turns out making the screenshots is more difficult than I had expected. Rest assured that it looks much better on your actual iPhone or iPad.

IMG_1106IMG_1108IMG_0074IMG_0075

You can learn more and download my apps at the link below.

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40


Augmented Reality Coming to Photography Apps

 

Coming soon to the iPhone and iPad augmented reality becomes more powerful and will bring a new dimension to the three photography related applications I sell. Specifically, the next version of the iOS operating system, version 11.3, will include vertical plane detection in it’s ARKit framework. What that means for all you non-nerd folks is that your phone or tablet will soon be able to detect walls and place objects on them like paintings and pictures.

For the free Nature & Wildlife Pictures app, users will be able to use AR to preview the for sale images in a variety of frames and sizes in their own homes, on their own walls before making any purchase. Get it Straight and Canvas Art users will be able to use their edited images to mount in a variety of frames and sizes so they can see what their completed art looks like on the wall before going through the time and expense of printing the image.

Augmented Reality was first introduced to the iPhone and iPad in September of last year. At that time horizontal plane detection was fully functional and placing  virtual objects on floors, table tops, and counters was all the rage. I have been testing the vertical experience since it has been available and I can say it works quite well and as soon as the feature is available to the public new versions of my apps will be released. I am anticipating this to be in about 4-6 weeks.

You can download the Nature & Wildlife app or Get it Straight app today.

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40


Get It Straight

GISImage

Do you know what camera makes the most pictures in the world? It’s not a Cannon or Nikon, the camera that makes the most images around the world is the camera built into the Apple iPhone. But you probably knew that already. The thing is, good cameras on good phones are a great way to make images. Granted there will be no great bird photography on a smart phone in the foreseeable future, but because high end smart phones have so much computing power it is very possible to take high resolution images, edit them, and store or share them all from the same device with quality comparable to expensive DSLR cameras.

The last couple of years I have made a lot of pictures with my iPhones and often they are just fine after the edits I can make right in the Apple Photos application. But, there are times when I make a panorama or architectural photo and there is the lens distortion we see on most wide angle shots. You know what I am talking about, trees that are at an angle or windows that are not straight. It is common and easily fixed in Lightroom or Photoshop but I became really bothered that I needed to send images to the evil Adobe to make just one edit. I set out to build a better way to fix that distortion right on the phone and even better right in the app where the photo is stored. That led to the birth of Get It Straight tagged as The missing link to mobile photo editing. That’s because I really do believe it provides the one editing feature the native application does not have.

The standalone application offers users the ability to import images from many sources, adjust the horizon, adjust the perspective, set a crop, export and share the edited image. As a Photos Editing Extension users are able to jump into the extension while editing the image and adjust the horizon and perspective while making all the other light and color edits the application offers.

Get It Straight is available for a one time price of $1.99USD on the app store for iPhone and iPad. You can download it here.


Digital Editing Basics

split view Brown Pelican

Before and after basic RAW image processing

I always say that given the choice you should almost always shoot RAW. RAW is a format, usually proprietary  to the manufacturer, that holds much more data than the optional Jpeg format. RAW images however are minimally processed. What does that mean? Well it means that your new image is not tuned, it will almost never look the same as it does on the back of the camera, and sometimes it means that you will pass on processing the photo because it does not look very good. RAW images contain more data though and in the end will process to better quality than Jpeg images. Processing RAW data is a pretty straight forward procedure all you need is some sort of converter. Manufactures often bundle a basic converter with the camera and sell stand alone editing software for additional cost, and there are the big third party processors, Adobe and Apple Aperture. I use two Adobe products Lightroom and Photoshop, they both have Raw image converters built in with software known as Adobe Camera RAW (ACR). I use them both in concert and often use ACR features of both on one image. Allow me to explain.

I always import images into Lightroom, that is an organizational thing, I want my images stored, tagged, and key-worded right off the bat. Light- room has presets upon import and if you want to see your image just like it appeared on the back of your camera you can set it to display that way on import. I don’t often do that because most of the time I plan on processing to a bit more creative level and I am better off starting from the same baseline every time. You can also adjust one image and quickly apply the same adjustments to some or all of the other imported images with the click of a button. I do that sometimes but not really too often. What I do very often is pass the raw image off to Photoshop and start processing in the ACR module. I do this for one big reason, most of the time my bird photos get a dusting of NIK Color Effects Tonal Contrast and that is in Photoshop. Yeah, I know there are other ways to access NIK filters that may seem easier but this is what works best for me. So in ACR I do all the basic stuff, exposure, color temp, blacks, contrast, saturation, I also manually adjust highlights and shadows with adjustment brushes and will often enhance the blues and browns with luminescence adjustment. If the image has a lot of water in it I will usually set the white balance on the cool side at this point, then I save the adjustments and move back to Photoshop. There I will mask and paint in a warming filter on my subject and any highlights that are to be kissed by the sun. Those color balance changes are very subtle and a little bit goes a long way but it can really make a good photo great. Then it is off the the Tonal Contrast, starting at about one third of default settings and then only applied to the subject in most cases. Tonal contrast applied to water backgrounds looks really bad so be sure to use the selection tool to keep those parts original. Then it is back to Lightroom for a few last checks. This is where I will look at vibrance, sharpening, noise reduction, and any minor adjustments to make the histogram just right, then export as needed. This all may sound like a long convoluted way to process an image but I like it because at the end it is loaded in both Lightroom and Photoshop and it is in  Photoshop’s recent items list and that means I can do any additional editing from minor adjustments t big Photoshop projects in a snap, I can also save many of my clean up and color balance adjustments on separate layers that can be changed later. This whole process can be done in just a few minutes once you get it down.

I often hear others say things like “I only allow myself five minutes to process a photo” implicating it is not worthy of processing if it takes longer than that. That is a big load of crap, any one who limits their edit time, for what ever reason, is a fool. It takes as long as it takes and if you consider your work as art you need to work on it as long as it takes till it is finished.

Thanks for reading everyone, I am really glad you were able stop by. Live well.

You can follow me on Google+