Friday, October 22, 2010

iPhoneography aka Cool filters for iPhones

A few days ago a good friend asked me what filters I used for iphone photos. I often post iPhone pictures up on facebook and leave it at that. I responded to her text rather quickly as I was in a hurry, but afterwards felt that it was important to share more of my discoveries and whom I discovered them from. I feel that one day when people look back on camera phone technology from 2010 it will be fascinating to see how it would have changed and developed. 

I'm a little surprised myself, that I have had so much fun creating pieces with a camera phone. For example, the shot below was taken on the iPhone 3G at at the Joshua Tree with two friends whom are really fun, creative models. I edited the picture with the program Tiffen FX for iPhone, but more of that soon!

Initially I had purchased a few apps, the one above included, there were plenty that I also had never heard of and still haven't tried. If you pick up some photography magazines or search some blogs, you will find a truly dedicated photographer share every little detail of discovery. None more so for me in the app process than Zoe Wiseman. 

In a nut shell, I think the world of LA artist Zoe Wiseman & her photography. It was her blog that influenced me to try new apps and experiment with certain looks and feels. Wiseman is ridiculously talented. Her work as a fine art nude photographer truly inspires me. When reading her blog she cuts through the BS and is very open and honest about her work and achievements. Wiseman also shares. Which was a huge blessing to me when it came to playing around with something I truly never thought would be taken seriously; shooting images with an iphone. 

It's no secret that I am not much of a writer, so I will share the apps that I have been using, however I do encourage you to visit Zoe Wiseman's blog as she did a fabulous job of analyzing the different photography for iphone apps and their value for money.

The first app I ever purchased was Camera Bag which generates some generic filters giving you different looks from a "Instant" (think polaroid), cinema (a crop of 16x9 with the blacks increased), infrared, Helga, Colourcross, "Lolo" (think Lomo style with a white border) to a fisheye. It's a fun app, but comes with it's limitations. i.e. you can't crop and create layers. There are better ones out there. 

I tried my hand at an app called Coloursplash. I wont lie, I don't have the patience to deal with this app. I can assure you that there are people out there who have run with it and are making some well wicked art work, It's just not my thing. Picture a colour photo of a yellow canary then converting the colour image to black and white while leaving a canary yellow. Painting is done with your finger and you can zoom in and out for accuracy. 

Tiffen FX would have to be my most preferred iPhone app for photo editing. It's detailed, fun and you can layer. You can crop & run filters from the following categories: Film Lab, Diffusion, Grads/Tints, Image, Lens fx, Light fx, Photographic, Special FX. Within these categories are filters like Bleach Bypass, Cross Processing, Faux Film, Grain, Three Strip, Two Strip, Black diffusion, Pro-Mist, Glimmer glass Soft fx, contrast, NDs, Auto adjust, vignette, depth of field, wide and close up lens foliage, halos, colour conversion, the list truly does go on. You can have a field day and kill some serious time on a bus playing with this app. 

Shake it Photo is a novel app that allows you to take a picture, then shake your iphone as you would have once with an old Polaroid and watch it slowly develop. See below: 

Its fun, I've used it lots & makes for a great holiday facebook post. 

Probably the most popular is the Hipstamatic which is very hipster indeed. Its fun and I have seen photographers get some real winners with this app, but it's not quite my preferred. I find the application occasionally buggy and slow. It's all about the borders around the images. 

I haven't had a bunch of luck with Photo booth. True to name the app takes 4 photos in succession of each other as you would in a photo booth. I often found that the photos wouldn't load to facebook from the app and I would have to use iPhoto after retrieving the image from my phone. Cute, but I don't really use it much. 

Lomo Style is another app I am quite fond of, although I don't use it as much as Tiffen FX it has a much similar to camera bag, it has filters like "Holga, B&W, Sepia, blue, green and red coloursplash" While Camera Bag has more filters, I prefer the look of Lomo Style filters to Camera Bag. Why? I feel that they are more dramatic. 

 It's a look I quite like. But that's me, I do recommend trying these out for yourself. The Lomostyle logo is that of the Fisheye 2 camera that Lomography sell on a red background, so it's easy to identify when searching for app. 

There is an app I purchased a while ago call "Light" it allows you to put fictional light on your image i.e. Windows, clouds, curtains, foliage, light rays. I've had a play, but haven't really found a use for it yet.

TiltShiftGen is a digital tilt and shift generator. Think adding DoF to a wide landscape shot that suddenly makes the photo look like a miniature. Again, I am sure people out there are doing funky cool things with this app, I just haven't spent enough time with it.

For shits and giggles: Face Melter is gold. Not unlike photo booth on Apple computers you can lose valuable time turning your face into a melted blob that will leave you feeling hilarious for hours. 

PhotoMarkr: generates a copyright symbol and image on your beloved pictures. It's a smart idea. I feel a bit of a goose sometimes copyrighting iphone pictures, but I've started to see some decent work out there very much worth copyrighting. It's your art, it's your choice. 

PS Mobile: Photoshop has arrived for the iphone. In all honesty, I can't give you any more information on PS Mobile than that. I'm too caught up with Tiffen FX. So have a play and tell me what you think. 

Finally: Easy Release is a cool tool to have if you have forgot your model release forms. Haven't had to use it just yet.

I will leave you with a few more pictures that I have shot on the iphone that I quite like and have edited with programs mentioned above. 

Happy shooting. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Pieces

These 3 pieces are new editions to the gallery "Things I See" 

The top & bottom pictures were taken in Maui, while the middle photo was taken at the Bellagio casino in Vegas, inside the foyer looking up at the ceiling at the glass flower instillation. 

The inspiration for these pictures, I owe to Louis & Erin Palos. Louis & Erin are an amazing wedding photography team here in LA, who truly capture gorgeous magazine quality pictures of a bride and grooms special memories. 

I encourage all brides-to-be in the LA area to check out their website.

Monday, February 01, 2010

JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure | Video on

JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure | Video on

This post is a little off topic, however I really feel that it is so worth watching.

JK Rowlings commencement address to Harvard 2008 graduates.

Simply brilliant!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Beautiful People

I've discovered Animoto

Ok, It's cheezy, but it's super cute. Aside from running around picking up prints from A&I and heading out to CSUN for ARRI nerd happy camera talk, I've discovered the cute fun that is Animoto. If you only want to mess with it for 30 seconds... its free... beyond that it will cost you.

Clearly the options for creativity become broader once you pay for the product ie: create your own titles, larger music selection, longer videos and no branding. It is a poor mans tool for slideshows and it works well. Not too bad if your not FCP savy.

Above is the first test I ran with some pix of my nieces and nephews back in Australia.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Updates & New Ideas

It has been some time since my last post. I've was away in Australia for 10 weeks over the November and December period. While home my camera had quite the journey.

2 weeks into my trip, I dropped my beloved 5DII... well, kinda... It's something that I would never do onset as an AC... put a camera in a handbag. Again, it comes back to me wanting to be able to go out and about and not carry a low-pro bag but still be able to have my DSLR. (Still waiting for over-priced womens bags to actually have a function for my camera)

I placed my bag on the plush low lying bed in the Hunter Valley at a lovely hotel my Mum was kind enough to book for our little weekender. The soft sheets and my ill placed slippery bag assured that my camera succumbed to gravity. (why-oh-why did I not put it on the deck??)

The result... a cracked filter and a scary feeling that my 28-70mm L series was out of calibration. Normally I would have cried but just a few days earlier an old friend passed away from a heart attack... he was 25. Needless to say everything was in perspective for me... the lens could be fixed or replaced at worst.

You can imagine my surprise when a trip to Canon to drop my lens off with the understanding that Canon would repair my lens up to the value of $600, the cost only turned out to be around $80!! I may have told the female operator on the phone that I loved her? I did need a new filter though, which YAY for filters!!! :) Let this be a lesson for all people with no optical flats or UV filters on their lenses.

As a result of a filterless journey for the rest of the trip (yes, I waited to return to the USA where things are ridiculously cheaper than Aus to replace the filter) I shot mostly in Australia on my trusty 50mm 1.8 $90 lens from Samys.

The pictures posted here are taken from the Sydney Tower restaurant 360 while out at dinner one night. I have a secret love affair with lights. Seriously. I love shooting light fixtures. I have been known to shoot light fixtures with an aim and blame. Night clubs and restaurants are the place to go for such shooting.

My new little task, which I am most excited about, is to enlarge one of my prints for display on my low-lying wooden coffee table which currently clashes with our wooden floor. Choosing a colour to best match our decor was easy (many thanks to my husband who really has a better eye for design than myself) Today I ordered a 32"x32" 1/4' thick glass from downtown. I'm also in the process of working out which printer and paper to use. My biggest obstacle is choosing paper that wont stick to the glass over time.