Thursday, December 29, 2011

iPhone Diva's Fave App for Today: Pro HDR

OK, I'm fickle. I admit it. My favorite app is most usually the one I've just finished playing with. And today my favorite is ProHDR, with a little Snapseed on the side. Without them, this shot at sunset on Papohaku Beach here on Moloka`i would have either a blacked out foreground or a blown out sky. Or with some HDR apps, a completely fake looking, super crunchy, overcooked HDR photograph.  Instead, I get a result that approximates what I actually saw.! (Hint: I use the manual setting for Pro HDR so I get to pick the light and dark exposures that I want.)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fabulous App Pixel Blend Pro for the iPhone

Hallelujah! Pixel Blend app is now available for the iPhone! (Drumroll, please!) (Here's the review of the iPad version for those who missed it.) I know that many of you have been waiting patiently - I'm delighted to report that your wait is over. For fans of the SX70 - Polaroid Time Zero emulsion manipulation process, this is a must-have app! If you love impressionist painted-look photos, you'll also want to download it ASAP.

I manipulated this photo on the iPhone - and voila, it does look just like SX70 work I have done. The app contains temperature controls (mimics the heating pad we used to control liquidity and softness of emulsion), all the cool tools like crochet hook and knitting needles. The dental tool even mimics the scratches we used to get - you can choose white or black for these.

As much SX70 as I did in those bygone days, I did not realize that some artists put sandpaper or other textures under the photo when "mushing" it, giving a cool textural appearance. Textures are available here too, and I am thrilled with using them. I used the cracked paint texture for this photo. Yummy.

The iPad app, which has been out for awhile, has been updated - called Pixel Blend HD. I have to say that while I CAN do this manipulation on my phone, I prefer the iPad version - because I can see it better. (Yes, that's an aging thing, and no, I'm not going to mention how old I am.)

For a true, blue Polaroid look, I framed it in King Camera.

Ok, photo pals, start mushing. I can't wait to see what you all create!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Palm Reading - iPhone Style

I've photographed the palm grove here on Molokai dozens of times and I never tire of it. Finding a new way of showing it can be a challenge, but it's one the iPhone and it's many apps can help me accomplish. Below are 3 views - 3 different ways of 'grungifying" for a vintage or distressed effect. Enjoy.

For this shot, I walked out into the water (only knee high for a long way out) and shot several shots looking back. Combined in Autostitch, I ended up with this pano. I used IRIS to fine tune saturation, contrast, and so on. The grunge effect is from Photoforge oil painting filter.

Kapuaiwa Palm Grove at sunset  © lynette sheppard

I never really fell in love with Hipstamatic the way so many iPhoneographers do... until Teri Lou Dantzler (check out her blog - see link in my blogroll) talked about doing Hipsta stitches. I LOVE Hipsta now - for these off kilter artsy panos combined in Autostitch. Grunge effect applied with Pic Grunger.
Vintage Palms © lynette sheppard
I took the pano I shot and combined in Autostitch,  then turned it to infrared look in Camera Bag app. Camera Bag has my favorite faux infrared. 2nd favorite is in Dynamic Light app. Grunge effect came from IRIS. I really like the look here.
Infrared Palm Grove © lynette sheppard

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An iPhone Painter is Born

Friend and sister Menopause Goddess, Monique Boucher, took her iPhone for an artistic spin on her long awaited vacation. Just goes to show you what a little time, a few apps, and a lot of talent can get you. Enjoy. Apps used were Autopainter HD and Camera+.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

See The Light: Photo Seminar Reflections

There is nothing like hanging out with a bunch of photographers at a seminar to get me reinspired and jazzed about image making all over again. I just finished a week at "See The Light" here in Moloka`i Hawai`i - taught by Dewitt Jones (aka my husband and soulmate, the Digital Dude), Jonathan Kingston, and Rikki Cooke.

I took a few decent shots with my big girl cameras, but the majority of my excitement came from photographing with my iPhone. Big surprise there, I know.

Here are a couple of my favorites from the week.

Window reflection with flypaper texture combined in DXP - Pro HDR app.

Closeup of ti leaves optimized with Camera + app and Perfect Photo. Pretty much a straight shot.
 Photo of multicolored pigeons combined with flypaper and apped in 100 Cameras app. Frame from Camera +.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thanks, Steve Jobs. You Changed Our Lives. We'll Miss You.

Steve Jobs has left the planet. But his legacy will be with us forever. My first computer was an Apple IIe back in 1983 or so. I fell in love with my first Mac and nearly every wonderful product Apple created. As I sit here typing on my Macbook Pro with my iPod playing soft Hawaiian music and my iPhone (actually my main camera) and my iPad lying next to them, I marvel at the world that Jobs and his cohorts invented.  So in the midst of my mourning, I also smile in gratitude that such a being graced our lives with his vision. And his presence. Thanks again, Steve. I hope there's lots of geeky stuff where you are - and if not, I know there will be soon. Aloha.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

iPhone Gallery: A Family Affair

The Ruderman family practices iPhoneography together. Each is artistic in his/her own right and each has a unique vision. We are lucky enough to get a sample of their wonderful submissions to Viewpoint Gallery's cell phone only photo art competition.

This shot of daughter Rachel's cat might be one of my favorite straight iPhone shots ever. Just sayin'...

And her lofi view of one of San Francisco's hilly streets and iconic cablecar is terrific.

Daughter Ann has an eye for the abstract detail in cityscapes. Form, line, color distilled down to essence in these next two iPhone art photos.

Mom Victoria presents this quirky view of snorkel gear titled with tongue in cheek "Layer Masks".

Dad David caught this moody view of Cold Rain, Quebec.

And the second place prize winner in the Viewpoint Gallery competition? David's lovely "The Phantom Bell".

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did. Keep shooting, apping, and sending 'em in.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

iPhone Art Gallery

An exultation of photos are featured in this gallery by some of iPhone Diva's favorite contributors. These iphoneographs blew my socks off! OK, I wasn't wearing socks, but if I had been, they'd be history.

Jack Davis sent this lovely photo of "just a feather found on my lawn". The apps are a mystery, but knowing Jack, he probably used every app in the app store and a few he made up himself.

Bob Wright puts his own special spin on this photo using Pixel Blend app after the last iPhone Diva post. Way to go, Bob!

Judy Norton has this to say about her vintage garden shot: "Photoforge just updated to Photoforge2 and I love it! It has many of the elements of the original, plus a simulated Hipstamatic right inside the app with many film, lens, flash changes. I think I can entertain myself for days just with this app! This was originally a color pic from a garden in a community near here. I made many versions, but I like this one." I do too.

Robin Robertis immortalizes the spirit of our late friend, photographer and trickster, Jack Palmer, in this art photo. She apped it with Autopainter and Pixel Blend. We miss you, Jack.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fab New App - Pixel Blend

There is a fantastic new app out for the iPad (and coming soon for the iPhone) that I am so excited about. Back in the day, hubby Dewitt and I loved the Polaroid emulsion manipulation process with Time Zero/SX70 film and cameras. Basically, we'd use crochet hooks and other tools to "smoosh" the emulsion around before it hardened to create a painterly effect. There is a new Time Zero film out now and you could conceivably still do this process in its pure form.

Dewitt and I are hopelessly (hopefully?) digital these days and have tried a variety of apps to try to recreate the "smooshing" process we loved so. And were mostly unsuccessful. Until now.

Pixel Blend is an app whereby you can "smoosh" and manipulate your digital "emulsion". And there is a variety of tools to create painterly effects like the crochet hook, dental tool, and more. The old SX-70 emulsion moved more when it was warm or hot. And the creator of Pixel Blend, Michael Valdez, has included temperature choices so you can choose a more movable emulsion.

And if you have no idea what Time Zero, SX-70, or Polaroid emulsion manipulation are? No worries! Just think of this as the coolest app for painting your photos into impressionist works. Check it out here: Pixel Blend app.

I love shooting feminine window displays - I'm sure there's some deep psychological reason or maybe not. Maybe I just think they look pretty. At any rate, here is one of my SX-70 emulsion "smooshes" of a hatbox and pearls in a window. I think I shot it at Epcot Center in Orlando when our kids were little.

Fast forward about 15-20 years, and I shot this mannequin detail in a Seattle wedding boutique window.

I just finished "smooshing" this one with Pixel Blend. Oh yes, did I mention that you have a lot more control with the app than we did with the film? I can't wait to play with this app much, much more. Give it a try and send me your pix for posting. Happy smooshing!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sunset Strolls With the iPhone

Summer is here finallly, though you wouldn’t guess it by the amount of snow on the peaks here in Tahoe. Still, it is warm enough for an evening stroll along the lake shore. ProHDR and Tiffen’s Photo FX optimized this photo (with a little added sharpening from Perfect Photo app.)

I couldn’t resist going a little app happy on this shot, so added the “stars” in IRIS (noise effect).

Jon Leland, a regular contributor to iPhone Diva, shares his own sunset strolls along Richardson Bay near San Franciso. ProHDR and Camera + were his go-to apps for these lovely shots.

Head on out for an evening walk with your iPhone. Even if you don’t get any shots you like, you’ll be sure to get some great mind photos or “neurochromes” as John Barclay calls them. And fresh air, and exercise, and stress reduction, etc. And if you do get some pix you like, send them along to iPhone Diva so we can take a walk in your neck of the woods.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Autopainter Turns iPhone Photos Into Paintings

“What are you doing?” Dewitt asked as I sat staring intently at my iPhone. “Painting,” I answer.

Autopainter and Autopainter II are two “crazy good” apps for creating photo art paintings. You choose an image and a style of painting such as chalk or felt tip, click start, sit back and watch it work.

I admit that I feel a little like a dog watching a ceiling fan, but it captivates me as it underpaints, brushes, and details. And that’s not so different from those minutes in the darkroom spent waiting for the image to magically appear in the chemical bath.

It’s a little disconcerting at first to see how great an image it fashions from my photos with little to no effort on my part. Still, the best images require more tweaking and blending with the original. Thankfully, I still have some artistic work to do.

And even with all the advances in apps and equipment, there are still two things I have to do as a photographer; the two most important things: choose what is in the frame and when to click the shutter (tap the screen). Composition and decisive moment.

All the apps in the world won’t save a photo if composition is faulty or the moment is missed. Just sayin’.....

The images in this post were blended with the original in either IRIS app or DXP app. In this photo of the bird's nest, I created a mask and painted the egg back in from the original. Try it for yourself - send me your favorites.

Monday, May 23, 2011

iPhone Photojournalism

Recently I accompanied my girlfriend Karen down to Kalaupapa peninsula here on Molokai. We hiked down the highest sea cliffs in the world to take the tour of the infamous leper colony, where so many Hawaiians were exiled during a most shameful period of history.

Karen was slated to write an article for the LA Times and I brought along my trusty iPhone. As always, the tour was moving and emotional, while the natural beauty of the place was jaw dropping. And the iPhone apps helped me enhance the feeling of this most spiritual place. The best camera is the one you have with you - and for me that's most often the iPhone.

When one of our fellow tour members suffered total camera failure, she heard Karen oohing and aahing over the pix on my tiny phone. She looked around the busload of people, then asked me, "Would you mind sending me some of your photos? This is a once in a lifetime trip and I'd love some shots for the memories."

They were in her email before she got back to the hotel. Now that's the power of iphoneography.

I double exposed a hymnal sheet with a shot of the St. Francis church and added texture in IRIS.

I used Artista Oil, Artista Sketch, and Pic Grunger to create a fresco look in this photo of the Virgin Mary and infant Jesus.

ProHDR, Camera + and texture from ?Iris maybe to enhance the fragility of land and lifetimes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dare To Break The Rules With Your iPhone

I love attending the Merrie Monarch hula festival and competition. It's sort of an annual Hula Olympics if you will. As the official photographer for our Halau (hula school or group), I used my "big girl" cameras to document the event each time we participated. And along with the documentation, I got to take loads of artsy pictures - slow shutter speed motion blurs being my favorites.

This year we did not go to Hilo for the competition - not enough young girls nor the substantial amount of funds to make it happen. So I was resigned to watching the 3 night extravaganza on television. This is no hardship, as you can actually see much better when the cameras are zoomed in on each group than when sitting in the stadium in person. Alas, no smell of flowers, no thrum of excitement in the crowd, and no photos. Or so I thought.

Karen Messick, a digital diva in a class by herself (see link to her iphoneography site in my links) took some photos off her TV of the royal wedding. She apped them beautifully. And that got me to thinking....

I fired up my iPhone 4 and began shooting the Merrie Monarch on my flat screen TV mostly with the Slow Shutter Cam app. I shot tons of photos. And loved a lot of them.

Then another great photo master, Tony Sweet, (see link to his site on Visual Artistry in my links) told me about a cool new site called Zapd - where you can create and upload a blog in minutes from your iPhone. It was love at first site. (Although to be a little picky, it crops to a square format, so I'm going to ask them if it might be possible to have one that is a rectangle.)

I uploaded several of my hula motion shots to Zapd - Click here to view the gallery. It took me just minutes. Most the photos were apped only with the Slow Shutter Cam app, with a little optimizing in IRIS app. Two were "painted" with the new Autopainter app. It's obvious which ones. Check them out and let me know what you think. Be sure to download the Zapd free app - what a great way to share vacation photos or family events quickly and elegantly.

As we say in Hawai`i: A`a i ka hula. Dare to dance. And dare to break all the photo "rules".

Thursday, May 5, 2011

iPhone Guest Gallery: Other Realities

Exploring other realities, the world just outside our ordinary view, has long been a theme in my photography. Which is why I am so excited about these most recent submissions to iPhone Diva. These iPhoneographs are incredibly inspiring, allowing a glimpse into three distinct parallel universes. Enjoy!

Robin Robertis shares her most recent photo art piece entitled "Sisters". I'm waiting to hear which apps and will update this post as soon as I know. Right now, I'm just loving the image.

Shock my pic app enhances Brian Kavanaugh Jones's unexpected (and very cool) perspective in this photograph.

Duncan Berry's offering showcases the Average Camera app, which is one of my new favorites. It shoots a number of shots during which you can move the camera and create multiple exposure art. Love the enigmatic feel of this piece.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ten Reasons To Make The iPhone Your Main Camera

1. The best camera is the one you have with you. The shots that I used to miss when I left my big girl camera at home or in the trunk of my car remain embedded in my brain. And while neurochromes (as photo wizard John Barclay refers to mind-only pictures) make for wonderful memories, I sure wouldn’t mind having a few of the ones that got away. My iPhone is always with me.

2. The iPhone is completely non-threatening for people photography. Sure, you still ask for permission, but hardly anyone will say no to a tiny little phone. And you can email them the photo so that they have it before they get home. How cool is that?

3. The learning curve is blessedly flat. If you can download an app (or someone can download it for you), you can optimize or artify your photos I swear that with every new version of Photoshop, I feel like I’m going back to college for a new advanced degree. I love it, but it is daunting. The iPhone apps are so intuitive that I can just jump right in.

4. You don’t need to carry around a computer, card reader or cords, extra batteries and cards, lenses, etc. etc etc. (Although an iPad is very handy for working your images in a size that you can actually SEE.) There are apps where you can share photos between these devices in moments using wifi or bluetooth.

5. It weighs NOTHING!

6. You can share photos almost instantly via email, Facebook, Twitter, and more - usually directly from within the app you are working in.

7. The apps are so cheap you can’t afford not to have them. And so many of them are FREE! I have over 150 camera apps - I’ve spent less than 1/10 the amount it costs to purchase Photoshop on them. That’s without plugins!

8. You can make art in the moment. And you need never be irritated or upset again about having to wait in line at Costco or at the doctor’s office. I now see these little inconveniences as art breaks and actually look forward to them. No joke.

9. New ideas are stimulated about things you can do with photos in Photoshop, should you be unable to give up your DSLR or Point and Shoot. As my handsome photographer hubby, Dewitt Jones, says, “The iPhone is a great visual sketchpad.” (Watch for his new ebook on iPhone photography coming very soon to all major ebook stores.) Personally, I’d still ditch the big girl / big boy cameras. You know you have enough photo files to work on til the end of time.

10. You can do more than you dreamed of with the apps and more are flooding into the app store everyday. I foolishly tried to catalog all my photo apps with corresponding images to organize visually what they all do. It was a fool’s errand, as everything changed again in a week. Live and learn. I swear that my iPhone can do more than my CS5 with all my Photoshop Wow presets, Nik software, onOne software, Topaz plugins, Imagenomic, and so on. (Though I love them all dearly.)

11. You can work on an image and talk on the phone at the same time. Artistically, however, I do not recommend this. In fact, it irritates me when my camera rings. Don’t they know I’m making art? I turn off my ringer so as not to break my concentration.

Okay that’s 11, but close enough. I’ll see you all out on the photographic trail. I’ll be the one with a teeny, tiny camera bag - it once doubled as my eyeglass case. Actually, it WAS my eyeglass case.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Content Aware Fill - There's An App For That

Yep. iPhone Diva has a new look. Every once in awhile, we all need a makeover, and this site was due. I hope you like it.

I have been on the fast track of learning in iPhoneography this past few months, thanks to an incredible group of iPhone fanatics who share their best with grace and humor. (Lots of humor). Expect to see lots of new apps and arty permutations in the upcoming months.

Some posts will be highlighting apps and what they do. Some may just be sharings of some cool iPhone photos. Some will illuminate some iPhoneography "pros" and how you can learn more from them.

This blog post concerns a terrific app called TouchRetouch. Adobe Photoshop CS5 users will be familiar with content aware fill. Basically, it takes out unwanted stuff like telephone wires and intelligently creates a 'fill' to keep the coherence of the photo.

Okay, photos are better than words. Check out the first image. Dewitt and I were hiking and came upon an old car, or rather the last remnants of a car. No roof, no seats or doors, hard to tell it was even an automobile, except for the gas gauge and instrument panel open to the elements.

I snapped a shot, but as you can see there's a huge white blob in the upper left and an annoying wire coming across the left of the gauge. Still, I loved the colors and textures of the rusted metal.

I selected the offending areas in TouchRetouch with the lasso tool and then asked it to work. The result below is amazing. I actually think it is magic.
To finish the photo, I sharpened it in Perfect Photo (my fave for sharpening and a whole lot more) and added PicGrunger for an antique look.
The grunge turned out to be a little too much for my taste; after all it's already grungy and old. So I backed it off and I like the rendition below best.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Flying High With the iPhone

My pal, surfing instructor, and renowned Photoshop guru Jack Davis was flying high with his iPhone the other day and sent these terrific captures. He used apps
Instagram and ProHDR.

He calls this little portfolio: "What to do when you can't get a window view - steal someone else's!"