The Great Journey in Photography

Posts tagged “outdoors

Free Hi-Res Wildlife Images

NWWImage

Just a quick little reminder that the Wildlife & Nature Pictures application that I have for iPad and iPhone contains 46 free full resolution images available for download and personal use. The application is a free download too. Counting it all up that means that there are 46 nature and wildlife images at no cost to you! When last I checked, that is less than a cup of coffee.

For real.

Wildlife & Nature Pictures is available world-wide in the Apple App store and is translated to Spanish with more languages coming soon.

You can download your free copy today at the link below or search for app id #595565558 outside the US.

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#lessthanacupofcoffee

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Old Coot Makes the List

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A new version of the “Birds for Words” iMessage sticker app is being released today and it includes one of my very first wildlife photos, an American Coot. I have always loved this photo even though it is rather unremarkable and not difficult to capture. Fittingly named as “Behind” it is included in version 1.5 of the application. Also included in this version are translations to Spanish, French, and Italian languages.

You can download your own copy of Birds for Words below. Just a reminder-it really does cost less than a cup of coffee!

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#lessthanacupofcoffee


Abolish I.C.E. or Support?

Ice-or-NoIce

The hottest issue of the day is how the American government handles its immigration issues and Seattle Stickies has two more stickers to let you be heard. Building a stable of political iMessage stickers the “Abolish ICE” and “Support ICE” images allow users to stick them to any message on the Apple iPhone or iPad.

You can pick up your own copy of Seattle Stickies at the link below.

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#abolishICE #Seattle


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.

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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.

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Seattle Stickies

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Seattle Stickies is now available on the iOS app store. They are available as a free download to all iPad and iPhone owners for a limited time.

It is a collection of Messages stickers celebrating the landmarks and culture of Seattle and the Puget Sound. Great for residents and travelers. These stickers are made in the distinctive canvas art style. Help celebrate the art and culture of all Washington by using these free stickers today.

 

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Dressing Up

Fly By

280mm f11 200iso 1/800sec

So, if you were wondering what were the best ways to attract birds to your space today is your day. Be it small, big urban or rural, there are birds everywhere and it is possible to bring those critters around yours, just be careful of what you wish for. To attract birds you don’t have to reach far, just appeal to the three things birds are always looking for and are only thinking about, food, shelter, and procreation. First, the food. That is pretty easy, just buy a bag of seed for wild birds, get the cheapest you can find, I don’t see any difference in brands, they all attract the birds and will work just fine. Here are a couple of tips to make things a little easier feeding birds.
To attract larger birds buy some sunflower seeds and mix that in to the feed.
If you want to attract large numbers of birds, rather than using a feeder set a cup of seed out in a couple of piles near some bushes.
Don’t forget the water, especially if water is difficult to find. In cold environments where most water sources are frozen the liquid is gold. For desert like environments the addition of misters will make a more hospitable environment the critters will enjoy.

Have some foliage or even just places for the birds to perch and look around. Birds are always on the lookout for danger and the essential component of their behavior is sitting up high and surveying a scene before approaching. They are most comfortable having camouflage but even branches held in place with clamps help tremendously and also make great locations for making photographs.  Taller trees make great places for nesting and if birds can build nests near by all the better. Trying to get birds to nest on your window sill probably is not a great idea, you may grow weary of the noise and may not be a happy camper when some of them die and are eaten. A better idea is to make sure the birds can build nests nearby. if your space has a plethora of twigs and fibers to choose from for nest building they will be all the more likely to return on a daily basis.

Be careful of what you wish for. Birds are part of an ecosystem and they will attract other animals such as cats. If you are a cat owner be advised they will hunt the birds and cause a stress on their community. Dogs keep the cats away and generally don’t disturb the birds. Small birds attract larger birds that prey on them. Raptors eat the small birds and other birds like black birds eat the eggs and hatchings especially the humming-bird. On the plus side birds will control the spider and insect population regardless of how much food you set out.

If you have any tips for attracting birds go ahead and make a comment.

Thanks for stopping by-See you ext week.


Birds and Branches

Sparrow on a Branch

420mm f6.3 320iso 1/250sec

So you have gone out and made the ultimate effort to capture great bird photos. You have the fast glass and you practice, practice, practice but there are some things you just can’t change or make any better. One of those things happens to be the fact that birds hang out in trees and other foliage. It’s a safety issue for them. Ultimately we all have to decide wether or not it is worth the effort to try to make the shot but there are always going to be some branches to deal with. Cloning out small branches and twigs is a pain but we all do it from time to time. Having a really shallow depth of field that you get with fast lenses helps tremendously and brings a nice creamy background to the image but there is often the errant branch that is on or very close to the focal plane and causes a distraction. Rather than spending a lot of time cloning out the distraction there is an easy alternative in Photoshop. Blur it into the background.

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In this photo you can see exactly where I applied the blur. It is pretty easy, just make repeated strokes with the blur brush until you get the desired look. Use a duplicate layer for safety. Of course there is always an argument to be made about when and where to use these tools and for that matter whether or not the photograph should be shown in the first place. I am sure you all know that you should be striving to get what you need in the camera but there are always exceptions.

Thanks for stopping by everyone, I hope you find this tip useful. You can see more of my photos here.


Epic Fail

Crowned Sparrow on a wire

The plan this week was to have some video and a few stills of Brown Pelican antics that were made with the GoPro Hero 3 camera. I needed to test out the camera for another project I am working on so I figured I would try out some wide-angle video for birds. I had a good plan I knew where I wanted to mount the camera. one static spot on a rock near the waterline where Browns routinely dive for fish and also mounted atop the 300mm f2.8. I had scheduled 3 sessions figuring one of them would wash out leaving 2 good attempts to get some footage. One of the big attractions of the Hero 3 is the applications available for the iOS devices that allow you to control the camera remotely. The first morning I set the Hero 3 up in my backyard the first thing I noticed was there was a very long delay in the video to the iPad, I also saw that it indicated a low battery after I had just charged it. A short time later the camera was dead. After charging it and checking the battery it was non responsive. Checking online there seems to be a number of complaints with the same issue. I tried a couple of “tricks” to get it working but no luck. Sorry Go Pro you are a No Go, I will be looking for other solutions in my project.

Plan 2.
I have some old gear I need to sell to help finance the new years planed expenses and what can sell photo gear better than some nice photos made with said gear, plus I wanted to make sure everything was in good working condition. Even my newest gear is old and that is why I am selling off a bunch of it. To get better equipment. It is painful using the oldest stuff, cameras and lenses I once thought to be really good no longer cut the mustard and results are frustrating. I wonder about the photo above. It is not an image that I consider to be good. The day I made that picture I had numerous beautiful scenes to set up upon and I did and I waited and waited and not a single time did a bird come into view. my best shot was this little sparrow on a wire. Bird on a wire is not a classy scene in high-end bird photography and I kind of wonder why. Is it because it is supposed to be easier to make or is it supposed to be ugly? Honestly, I find neither to be true. I actually like a bird perched on a nice rusty piece of barbed wire, it highlights the whole foot area of the bird which can be complex. Anyhow this image is not great quality either, too much contrast even though the light was pretty good.
Not a great way to close out 2013, “epic fail” as the kids would say.

Thanks for stopping by everyone, I really appreciate having a chance to share my thoughts and images with you and 2014 is going to be a great year. “Epic Not Fail” right?… “Epic Fail-Not”? Whatever!