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Maddy on the beach

Maddy on the beach

Golden Retrievals

BY MARK DOTY
Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attention
seconds at a time. Catch? I don’t think so.
Bunny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel who’s—oh
joy—actually scared. Sniff the wind, then
I’m off again: muck, pond, ditch, residue
of any thrillingly dead thing. And you?
Either you’re sunk in the past, half our walk,
thinking of what you never can bring back,
or else you’re off in some fog concerning
tomorrow, is that what you call it? My work:
to unsnare time’s warp (and woof!), retrieving,
my haze-headed friend, you. This shining bark,
a Zen master’s bronzy gong, calls you here,
entirely, now: bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow.
Mark Doty, “Golden Retrievals” from Sweet Machine: Poems
from the Poetry Foundation

IMG_0162 I’m teaching iPhone camera workshops and loving every minute. I promised the most recent class that I would give them a list of apps that we talked about in class as well as apps that we didn’t have time to cover. This is a short list of the apps I use most often. Please feel free to add any that you’ve discovered in the comments. With so many apps out there, there is much to explore. It’s so exciting!

Camera+ (be sure to get the one made by Tap Tap) – This is the best camera app that I’ve found. It’s good for processing (cropping, straightening, correcting exposure and color), has pretty good effects with good controls. I use this app in place of the camera app that comes with the iPhone because it has so much more functionality.
Pro HDR – Best app I’ve found for HDR (high dynamic range). When the scene has a dark foreground and bright background, this app takes two photos and combines them. You can use this for some cool double exposure effects.
Snapseed – Does a pretty good job of an HDR treatment even if you don’t use the app to take the shot. Has some great filters for a distressed look.
Waterlogue – A favorite of a famous football coach who took the class. Turns your photos into a watercolor painting. If you have an image you love that’s not technically perfect, try Waterlogue to give it a different look and forgive the imperfections.
AristaOil – This is good one for an oil painting look.  Maintains more detail than Waterlogue.
Blender – Easy to use to combine two images. Just import the two images to combine and adjust the opacity to your liking.
Photogene2 – For processing – has cool collages and effects. It also will watermark your photos (that makes it harder for thieves to steal your masterpieces).
Book-making apps for the iPhone or iPad:
SimplePrints ($29.99 for 20 pages) or Mosaic ($20 for 20 pages – shipping is $10). Mosaic makes a cool-looking mosaic cover. SimplePrints will give you more control – you can put multiple images on a page.
Lenslight – This app has great flares and colored filters, bokeh lights and the effects are editable.
Instaeffect – Layers rainbows, colors over the photo and you can adjust the opacity. Very fun!
Shapely – Put an image in a heart or teardrop, add texture and color.
Flipagram – make mini video clips from your photos, choose your music and share.
PixlrExpress+ – Free app that has a fun interface. Periodically, it has seasonal graphics packs that are also free – like Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year. Use it when you want to add text to your photo.
Tangent – Adds geometric shapes.
Slow Shutter Cam – Use this for slow shutter effects – long exposures and light trail effects.

I also promised a link to the iPhone case with the strap that I adore. It’s http://www.bandolierstyle.com. I wish I had thought of this.

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This image is this July’s photo-heart connection for several reasons. This clock belonged to my mom who died in 2009. I bought it for her because she loved flowers and small pretty items for her dresser. I can still see her hands when she held it.

The image is a reminder that time does pass quickly.

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Today Mary Goodrich of Hawaii Photo Retreat on the Big Island took me to a wonderful spot where the ruins of a Sugar Mill stands. It was built at the mouth of a stream on a beautiful black sand beach. It was such a gorgeous sunny day that I had to use a filters to create a feeling of old and nostalgic.
Through Kat Sloma, I learned of an app called Distressed FX. It’s the best app of this type I’ve found. Here are my first experimentations with the app.

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Yesterday I was on a snorkel cruise on Lana’i and had a chance to experiment with my new underwater housing for the iPhone. I love it! I’ve used a Canon G9 with a housing and the image is extremely grainy so I’ve been looking for an alternative. We have an Ikelite housing for the 40D, but it’s a beast and not really practical for shooting a job like this.
Enter Watershot. I heard of the Watershot housing for iPhone when I participated in the annual Phone Camera Show at Frame Arts Gallery. Zac Noyle, accomplished water photographer entered his amazing photos shot using the housing.
It takes a little getting used to, but for the most part it’s sturdy and very easy to use. You can shoot stills or video with it. The limitations are the same limitations you have with any point and shoot. The app that it comes with it is free to download and it allows you to shoot rapid fire which is very useful. Here’s a link to the site:
http://www.watershot.com/underwater-camera-housing-iphone
Here are my favorite shots so far!

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Two Worlds

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Rough.

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Trilogy in Hawaii

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Chilling

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Searching

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Dreaming

When I was in Bhutan, I saw a monk who told fortunes or something like that. I’m not a believer in this stuff, but it was fun. He said that I should have this guy around. It’s Vajrapani.

From Wildmind: “Vajrapani (Holder of the Thunderbolt) represents the energy of the enlightened mind, and energy that breaks through delusion. He dances wildly within a halo of flames, which represent the transformative power of Awakening. He holds a vajra (thunderbolt) in his right hand, which emphasizes the power to cut through the darkness of delusion.”

My dear teacher sent me a postcard of Vajrapani right after the monk gave me this information. I thought that was interesting.

I keep this postcard on my desk and photographed it to archive it. Recently, I’ve been playing with a paint app on my iPhone called AutoPainter3. It does, as its name suggests, automatically applies a painting style to the photograph. It’s a little heavy handed for my taste so I imported the original and the painted version into Photoshop where I could control the amount of “paint” applied. So far I’m liking it. I’m especially liking playing with my iPhone. It’s just my go to camera now!

Playing with image

Playing with image

Morning!

I signed up for Franco’s class at Pacific New Media called Memoir: Image and Word/Word and Image. I figure I better sit down and write. Combining words and images is something Franco is amazing at. Many of the photographers I admire are wonderful writers. I think that the right words accompanying images can strengthen them. I want to write because I believe that it’s an important part of the creative process.

This morning I’m having a cup of Morning Joe from Trader Joe’s. The coffee has a roasted nuttiness and no bitter aftertaste. It’s a little weak today. Everyday it’s different. Inconsistent just like me. This morning the cup I picked is one from Fika in New York City. It’s a porcelain version of a disposable cup and I love it’s feel.

Today we went on a photo shoot at a black and green sand beach with the Hilo Photo Club led by Robert Frutos, a nature photographer who runs photo tours on the Big Island. It’s a little known spot that requires a high clearance vehicle to access.

When I got there, I was disappointed with the light. The sky was super bright and the lava…well, the lava is dark. No big surprise. Lava is great to photograph when there is a little directional light on it. The beach looked a dirty brown rather than the shades of black and green that one can see at close range. The black and green occur from the mix of lava and olivine. Somehow they separate enough to cause beautiful patterns.

I was using Kris’ 5D Mark II and we discovered that one of the dials was inoperable. We weren’t able to change ISO and shutter speed. I went to the iPhone to see what was possible. On the ride over, I experimented with SlowShutter Cam.
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On the Road to the Sea and on the shoreline, I went back to shooting with my go-to Camera+. Love it for shooting and processing:

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More Slow Shutter Cam:

wpid-img_3720-2012-12-2-21-59.jpgwpid-img_3721-2012-12-2-21-59.jpgThese are the modes available in Slow Shutter Cam:

Modes
Automatic is like shutter priority. Changing freeze frame to save and you can change your exposure.
Manual mode lets you change your exposure.
Light Trail allows you to paint with light
If you want to learn more about exactly how it works here’s a link to the online instructions:
http://www.cogitap.com/slowshutter/instructions.htm