Sunday, January 1, 2017

Trying to keep it simple - - -

The fire was burning in the fireplace and the family was here for the holiday, capture the moment. Don't just take a group shot, make a video of two brothers jamming.

Make it good!

Using my iPad, I want to have good lighting, good sound and not shaky! But I don't need to spend several hundred dollars on a video camera and I don't need to edit it in a computer. Use the apps: FilMic Pro and iMovie is all it takes.

The challenge here is to compare. Is this being cheap and too amateurish? Or, does it look professional? The same rules apply whether it is a smartphone or a digital camera.

With video it is hard to keep it simple.
Here's what was used:
iOgrapher with 2X telephoto lens
RodeMic Go with ipad/iphone adaptor
Savage LED-204 light

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Best way to copy from a smartphone?

Sometimes you simply need a photo of a price tag or remember where you parked your car, images that will be deleted he phone in a brief time. But now there are apps to make better copies of contracts, posters, and old family prints. Keepers! Enabling you to pull up family and friends pictures taken at those memorable events.
Print to Smartphone

Google introduced in November PhotoScan app which takes out reflections by shooting four images and stitching it together. It is also a larger image that what you'd take with a single photo.

As a former newspaper photographer, I have always been interested capturing the moment, to show/preserve a moment in history. Remember the moment! Often families only remember what they see in the photo.

I have been scanning negatives, and prints to digital images. Saving the files on DVD discs, external hard-drives and the cloud. Google is also trying to help share the images digitally, but keep it simple.

Using your smartphone PhotoScan app starts with a full frame shot, then shows four buttons for you to move the phone around. This eliminates reflections on the glossy prints. It comes down to using a flat bed scanner or your smart phone.

The smartphone is faster and the program reminds you to tag people in the photo, and if some cases the program will recognize people and automatically tag them!

Photos then get uploaded to Google Photos where they are saved in multiple servers, safe for future viewing. Now I need to get all the photos I've burned on DVD uploaded, have to get an external DVD reader/writer, the DVD is history!

Other options coming out are aimed at speed, Epson's FastFoto FF-640 scanner lets you stack prints in and then automatically scans everything in the stack. Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern said in December 21st article "FastFoto isn't perfect though. The scanner jammed repeatedly  when trying to scan older, smaller square prints."  Forcing her to scan them individually!

Other options is to pay someone to scan them, many drugstores and camera shops now offer is option. But it can quickly be more expensive than the $650 Epson FastFoto scanner.

Once scanned it is great to be able to access photos on your smart-phone, but as a back-up, take advantage of the photo albums. Some cost only $20 and don't need electricity. Just insert digital files in templates and also write some captions for future generations to enjoy.
Google PhotoScan created a 4x5 inch 300 dpi file. 4.53 meg

Flatbed scan 4.3 meg file
Closeup of flatbed scanner of same print. Took longer to input into computer, Google photo then automatically uploaded it to the cloud.(No color correction or manipulation done on these prints.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tis the season and there are gifts for all smartphones

We have new smartphones coming on the market offering better ways to capture events, but there's now added accessories for smartphone owners to improve their shooting. "Be professional" as the endcap display in Best Buy promotes.

Well, holding the camera steady is good. Not sure this makes you a professional.

Last year it seemed that everything was for iPhone only, now that extra lens, external mic, tripod mount, short table-top tripod, filters will fit on any smartphone.

Lots of little items and now the problem is how to keep them with you and find them when you want to use it.

A Domke Wrap does it! The camera bag for a smartphone Pro.

This material began some 35 years ago as a replacement to the lens pouch, it was a lot easier and safer to get the lens wrapped than having to try to fit in into a sock or small sack. Photographers discovered this "wrap" could also cover a view camera lens!

It wasn't just for wrapping either. It could be an envelop to drop all those small screw drivers, wrenches, clamps, mounts, cords, etc. For some is was their traveling tool bag.

Now with the smart phone, it is a simple way to get to that extra lens, mic, clamp, etc. Fold it together and slip it in a coat pocket, or in a bag with your tablet, in the glove compartment?

Its a great way to keep the growing number of accessories in one place and easy to find. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Mobile Apps Buyer’s Guide

Finally  guide to find apps and get in control of shooting with your smartphone! this is for the professional

Mobile Apps Buyer’s Guide

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The camera sees you.

Article in Wall Street Journal, Selfies Proves a tool for IDs, tells of how a Russian start-up NTechlab offered photos of people showing them at a big electronic music festival. "they didn't have to bring a camera or even their phones."

Just send them a "selfie" and they'd find you at the concert!

Founder Alexander Kabakov says, "simply owning a smartphone means you can't opt out of surveillance. There is no private life."

Ntechlab beat Alphabet in 2015 identifying celebrities in one million photos at University of Washington's Megaface Challenge.

Readers have made some interesting comments online, suggesting we watch Tom Cruise in his movie Minority Report and/or we all need to start wearing a burqa!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Moto Z gives you a choice

New Moto Z offers a range of clip on features, want to listen to music the get the JBL Soundboost, and get a zoom lens for your pocket smartphone with the Hasselblad True Zoom!

Moto as in Motorola was sold to Lenovo, a Chinese company and who the largest computer maker in the world.

They should be showing up in stores this fall! About time

Monday, September 19, 2016

Talking and snapping with the iPhone

New Apple iPhone has two lens, a wide angle and a telephone. Now get optical lens rather than simply enlarging, digital lens, and cropping into the image. Who'd of thunk?

The smartphone does it all!

But I missed getting a photo this morning. Going on my morning walk I saw a lady wearing  big hat and leading her two dogs, one large the other tiny, the sun was just coming over the trees and highlighting the path. Looked like a nice moment, lets take a photo. First, need to get my smartphone, sign in, push the camera app walk closer to get a better angle and look up. She's walked out of the bright sun, and I missed the shot.

Sure, it's nice always to have a camera with me, but maybe if I had my mirrorless DSLR camera I could have captured the moment. Maybe not, I still would have to turn it on and would lose a few seconds. Street photography is hard in the digital age. With the old mechanical film camera, I just had to raise the camera up and click. Hopefully, and most probably it was already set at the right exposure (daylight bright sun) but it was quick and easy to stop down or open up on the lens barrel. Manual focus set the lens at 15 feet and you had enough depth-of-field to get everything from 5ft to infinity in focus. Quick and in control. Didn't have to fight the camera. Those were the days.

For me the problem would have been that I probably had black and white film in the camera and this morning shot with golden sun hitting the ground. Oh well, another missed picture.

I recently had my network crash, using Western Digital "MyCloud," external hard-drive ensured lost data from desktop computer, downloading photos from my tablet and smartphone. I could see it and didn't have to worry about the data being manipulated, lost, stolen, etc. when I upload to the online cloud! Better be safe, you never know whether Google, Microsoft, Amazon or Apple will change things and compress all the files.

But then the on light in from of my WD My Cloud, turned yellow. Was this because of a software upgrade and compatibility with Windows Anniversary upgrade? Finally called Western Digital customer service and went through diagnosis. Changed cords, unplugged from modem and into the computer. The light stayed yellow.

The tech rep concludes the 3 Gig external drive couldnt be fixed. Can I crack it open and pull the data off the hard-drive, like I did with another external drive? NO! I had it hooked up to my Windows machine, BUT the external drive translates everything into LiNUS Lexus OS!?!?  To get to the files I need a computer operating on Lexus!

I'm now a big fan of uploading your photos and video to the cloud, save them on Dropbox, Google, Apple iCloud, Microsoft One Drive, etc., etc. That appears safer than having something to hold like a DVD or jump-drive or floppy disc.

Wondering about preserving the images brought back worries in the past, where once you had a negative, now the digital file can quickly disappear. and hard-drives crash. We have to constantly upgrade.

There is also a case for playing it safe and taking printing a album, do it online and pick it up from the corner drugstore in a few hours. Now you can see the photos without worrying about the computer, tablet, or smartphone crashing. A safe back-up.