Seattle,WA – April 3, 2018 – Ron Boyd Design today announced new augmented reality features in three of his photography related applications. With the introduction of Apple’s version 11.3 mobile operating system comes the ability to virtually place objects on vertical surfaces like walls. The new technology allows users to view art and photographs in a variety of sizes and frames mounted on their own walls before going to the great expense of printing and purchasing products. With the Wildlife and Nature Pictures application owners that are considering a purchase of a digital download of an image can preview what the image looks like as a framed print in their own home or office. Image editors Get It Straight and Canvas Art allow users to see their own masterpieces with AR. When viewing images with AR, users have the option of three frame styles, light colored oak, cherry wood, or dark walnut, with the choice of no frame, thin, regular, and thick frame styles. Users can also choose from five different overall picture sizes to get an accurate feel for what large prints would look like mounted on a wall.
You can download a copy of the apps at the link below.
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.
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.
You can learn more and download my apps at the link below.
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.
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.
Version 3.1 of Nature & Wildlife Pictures is now available with many new images and performance improvements. NWP is a free download with most of the 60 downloadable images available at no additional cost including the one at the top of this post. There are also additional images available for sale.
Among the other improvements the app now allows image purchases on both the phone and iPad and the entire process is more robust and informative to the user. Previously purchased images are now shaded in green on both the phone and iPad and allows users to easily restore purchases they have already paid. This version is also translated into Spanish and shows local currency rates for all countries.
Nature & Wildlife Pictures is a free download for all users so if you enjoy the pictures you see on this blog you will love the application.
Many of you will already know that I used the Nikon D800 camera body extensively a couple of months ago. I think it is a remarkable piece of gear but I also wonder just how good it is for bird photography. As a bit of background, when I first started shooting birds one of my goals was to be the person using medium format cameras with long lenses. Physics and money made that an impossibility until the D800 came along. Needless to say I was one of the anxious ones wanting to see just what the mighty body can do and I would rather be a fanboy of the camera rather than a critic but there are times when the D800 falls short for bird photography. Twice now I have held back from running out and buying one.
Huge file size and good low light sensitivity are the two big draws for the Nikon camera, along with the professional build it is more than enough for almost everyone and probably the very best camera made in the $3,000 price range. Intellectually, it is a sheer pleasure having all those pixels to play with, you can make prints large enough for the Grand Hall or crop for days and still have a usable, publishable image. In real life huge images are a pain in the ass. Everything needs an upgrade across the board, memory, computer ram, data transfer technology, storage, drive read and write, buffer sizes, and software all have to be at cutting edge standards to have an enjoyable workflow when processing these large images. If you want to shoot 36 megapixels you have to be sure that every single supporting technology, everything you use after the shutter button clicks is up to snuff. In many cases that is going to cost more than the camera its self. In the process of upgrading my supporting hardware I lost something that was very near and dear to my heart Nik Color Effects Pro 3 Tonal Contrast. You see I converted over to the Photoshop cc plan and in that version none of the older Nik products can be used. I tried the latest version and it sucks to be blunt and even at the super low price is not worth the money to me. The D800 has great dynamic range, the best I have seen to date and the low light sensitivity is very good but not the best I have seen. One unusual trait I have noticed with the camera is the way the bokeh renders out in certain images. I think it has to do with how the images interact with anti-noise software and anti-aliasing. It is hard to put my finger on it but backgrounds that would render out a nice creamy bokeh are just a little bit different. Plastic like is the best description I can think of.
None of those thing is a good excuse for not using the mighty 800 as far as I am concerned but there is one and that is the painfully slow frame rate speed of 4fps (can be upgraded to 6). It is almost impossible to quantify the damage this does without doing a side by side comparison for thousands of images but I am sure there are a number of missed shots in my work simply because of the amount of time between the frames. One remedy to this problem is to be extremely methodical and selective of the time you attempt a burst of images and that is all a function of knowing the basics. Just like always, you have to know what you want and when you want it, you need to predict behavior and know the direction of light and in general be on top of your game. It is a pro level device.
I did a fair amount of travel this week and one of the things I am really starting to take note of is how things differ so much between airports and airlines and that things are always changing. First thing I notice,with the increasing fees for checked baggage more people are trying to pack in tons of carry on luggage and a typical flight has a very large number of the carry on bags getting checked into the belly of the plane with the other luggage. Only slightly better than checking the gear in the first place. Seems to me that there is also a lot more security and scrutiny given to checked bags so maybe checking photography gear is not as big of a risk as it one was.
The idea of carry 40lbs of photo gear on your body through security does not have the same appeal as it used to have either. You can plan on removing all that stuff at least once on your journey to the gate. Clever ways of moving photography gear from point A to B are now at a premium and by premium I mean paying extra money to the airlines. I believe every carrier has an upgrade scheme in place that can give the paying traveler an additional level of comfort or convenience. Choose wisely and you can do yourself a huge favor for not a lot of money. Speaking of “not a lot of money”, the last four flights I booked I shopped extensively and the last four flight I booked were through the airline direct. In one case I saved more than $470 (about half price) on the fare over the travel sites. Using the carrier offered mobile applications also makes travel a lot less stressful too. At SFO a couple of days ago we had a last-minute gate change and the airline had a notification out to me at the same time the agents knew of the change.
Just a few thoughts gang, not really on topic but it does have a lot to do with me (and you hopefully) getting out to the places we need to be to get those great shots.
Thanks for stopping by and we will do it all again next week.
Continuing from what I was writing last week, one of the podcasts that I listen to whenever a new episode is released is the Digital Photo Experience with Rick Sammon and Juan Pons. I chose them because I like to listen to the show, it is as simple as that. There is no doubt that many of our choices are personality driven and it helps a lot to enjoy the information you are consuming.
On their last podcast Rick and Juan brought into the conversation a discussion about loosing motivation, how good photographers can get derailed and frankly overwhelmed by the competition and all the niches a modern photographer has to navigate. I thought it was a great conversation bringing up points that many others really don’t say. Anyhow, today I wanted to make just a few comments about maintaining motivation and staying away from the motivation killers.
Introspection is required. you have to do some serious thinking at some point, probably best when you are not in a funk, and id those things that can take the wind out of your sails. It is the little things that tent to trigger the downward spirals, and knowing what they are is the only way to deal with the drive they kill. For me there are a few things that often make me back slide. Probably the biggest culprit that makes me feel puny and insignificant as a photographer is seeing amazing photos from places that I really want to go to but can’t because it is just out of my reach. For example, I get a feed from National geographic that has a photos of the week section. Of course they are amazing images made at amazing places that I would love to visit but probably never will, because I just don’t have the means. After a while that gets depressing, can make one feel a little hopeless and insignificant I suppose.
When gear fouls up I lose time and opportunity to make great images and some times face financial setback. I don’t like that, it puts me in a bad mood and makes it a little less likely that I will get stuff working and get back out shooting as soon as possible.
Then there is a big one-overexpectation. I often set un-realistic goals and when I see that I am nowhere near them it can become discouraging. There is one upside to over expectation though, I am the sort who will never let go. I will keep going back time after time until those expectations become realistic and eventually, reality. It is a long hard bumpy road that always has failure and frustration, if you let it, it will slow you down.
There are ways to stay out of a funk too. Here are three things that work for me.
Take on a project. At any given time I am working on a project. One trick is to create a project that you will start and finish. I like to say it needs to hit MARC. That is, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Controllable. In general you want everything you do to meet MARC and it is essential for these little projects.
Buy some new gear. Probably the best side effect about getting new equipment is that it gets you out shooting. Testing and playing with new “toys” is always an uplifting experience.
Put together a portfolio of no more than 5 or 6 images. I don’t know about others but I now have tens of thousands of bird images and there are several that I consider to be really good quality. Going through the exercise of choosing just 5 of them forces you to review your accomplishments and the places you have been. God willing you will feel a sense of confidence and a lust to do more.
Now Go Shoot!
Thanks so much for reading. You can see more of my work at www.ronboyddesign.com