Sunday, November 18, 2012

iPhone Diva Lynette Sheppard’s 10 Must Have Apps

I've been asked by beginning iPhoneographers and professionals alike for a list of my fave apps. The problem, as I always tell them, is that I switch preferences day to day. My favorites are usually the one(s) I've just used. I'm not fickle - I just fall in love with new apps and/or old standbys on a moment to moment basis. However, if you could only have 10 apps (how crazy is that?), these are the ones I think you should start with:

Perfectly Clear        Best 1 stop shop to fix pix, superior noise removal

Snapseed                The baby photoshop - best optimizer by far

FXPhoto Studio        Special FX including frames

Pic Grunger              Vintage and grunge effects

Autostitch                Panoramic - best

Pro HDR                    Can shoot and do HDR or process from library

TouchRetouch           Content aware healing, removal unwanted objects

Simply BW                Absolute best B and W app - like a teeny Ansel Adams living in your phone

Autopainter              Cool painting app

Blender                    Great app for combining images

This will keep a photographer busy for years. And likely whet your app-etite for more.

The photo today showcases ProHDR and TouchRetouch in particular. When I drove past this Moloka`i Hawai`i church with the great Jesus Coming Soon sign, I stopped and took the photo in Pro HDR. This app combines a darker image exposed for the sky with a lighter image that opens up the church.

I then exaggerated the HDR with Simply HDR. (You could do a similar effect in Snapseed, using the Drama filters.)

I love how the image pops now, but those pesky telephone wires were bothering me. I took the image into TouchRetouch and erased them. Often TouchRetouch will easily remove an object or shadow within moments. This was quite a bit trickier, especially on the face of the building and took me a painstaking 20 minutes. But it worked, I'm happy with the final frame. I did all the processing on my phone (my iPad was home.)

FYI, the free version of TouchRetouch has a watermark on each image, so you'll want the one where you have to pay a whopping 99 cents. So so worth it!

Note: if you look closely, you might see the auntie sitting on a bench to the left of the church.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Grand iPhone Photo Art in the Grand Canyon

Beautiful Saddle Canyon has some of the most sublime reflections in the Grand Canyon. Pro HDR, Snapseed. That's all folks.

The iPhone does a great job of focusing close-up. This sacred datura blossom fills the frame in the foreground leaving the background of the river and canyon to go soft.
Pro HDR, Snapseed. I also did a version without the bug, using Touch Retouch.
OK, enough of the straight shots of beauty. Here is a "painting" of a wooden dory, the glorious and elegant craft we travel down the Colorado. Effect was created by using Slow Shutter Cam.
And now for the labor intensive art. Did a watercolor painting (as in did all the brush strokes with my finger on the iPad) with PhotoViva app. I prefer doing the strokes myself when I can, rather than letting Painteresque or Autopainter do it all. Did a color sketch with Snap and Sketch app and combined the two in IRIS app. Finally, added a little extra texture in IRIS. Took about 45 minutes. I love the process as much as the final frame.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Red Jalopies iPhone Style

In Bridgeport, California, Dewitt and I were treated to 100 year old automobiles crowding into town for an annual gathering. Followed them all over town with our iPhones at the ready. As my iPhoneography pals say, "If it's red, shoot it."

I used Hipstamatic: Dreamcanvas and Tejas to capture some of the details of the story. BTW, Hipstamatch is a must have app if you want to have an idea which of your kabillions of lens/film combinations will give you the desired result.

 To illustrate this collision of worlds, I used Painteresque and then blended the result back with the original in IRIS. Retouch removed a distracting chimney spout. I think they were buying oil, all these jalopies are in beautifully restored condition and they all leak oil. The owners carry big pieces of cardboard to put under them when they are parked.
 Autopainter app, IRIS to combine, Snapseed app. The town looks as vintage as the cars.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Smoosh: New Fab Painting App from Pixel Blend Creator

Pixel Blend, a painting app that simulates the process of Time Zero Polaroid SX70 emulsion "painting" is one of my favorite apps. Now, Michael Valdez has come out with its easier to use cousin: Smoosh. (Smooshing is what we SX70 enthusiasts used to say we were doing when we moved the emulsion on the Polaroid prints.) I tried it and I love it! It's intuitive and user-friendly - even if you've never heard of SX70 or Time Zero or heaven forbid, Polaroid.

To test it out, I pulled up a "nothing" shot of a rose that I took intending to paint it one day.

I painted (smooshed) it. Even took out the bug on one petal just by smooshing. Cool. It's still just an ok shot, but the paint strokes are wonderful.
 I finished it off with cropping and adding a couple of textures.

 My good friend and photographer Theresa Souers challenged me to "paint" one of her photos so she could watch the process. (Seriously a bit like watching paint dry - not a spectator sport, but we had wine so it went okay.)
 She had this lovely shot of a beached red canoe, mountains in the background, nature all around. After warming and toning with Tiffen PhotoFX app, I set about painting with Smoosh. I liked it a lot, but decided it needed something (always). So I took it into Painteresque app, which is way too much, but combined both images in IRIS app and voila. We both liked it. Collaborative art, once again.

Monday, August 20, 2012

iPhoneography Collaboration In Lake Tahoe

Photography can often be a solitary pursuit. Yet the creative vehicle can get a kickstart from just hanging out with other photographers. A few weeks ago, John Derby, iphoneographer and contributor to this blog, visited me in Lake Tahoe. We thought it would be fun to share a couple shots from each of us and a collaboration photo from both of us.

We each shot modes of transportation.

John's "Pink Chevy"
Location: Lake Tahoe, California, USA Equipment: iPhone 4s, iPad 2 Apps Used: Snapseed, Pro 645, Photoforge 2, Big Lens, Moku HD

Lynette shot this classic wooden boat at the Tahoe Keys marina.
Apps: Pro HDR, Camera+, Romantic HD

Of course, the landscape caught our eyes - as always.
Lake Tahoe Sunset shot by Lynette, walking home from dinner at Zephyr Cove Lodge.
apps: Pro HDR, Pixlromatic.

John went all Ansel on me when he shot this black and white stunner.
Title: Emerald Bay
Location: Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Equipment: iPhone 4s, iPad 2
Apps Used: Snapseed, Pro 645

Finally, John shot this old car and challenged me to app it.

Which turned out to be way too much fun. I used Big Lens to blur the background, Retouch to remove a couple annoying distractions, Simply HDR to pop the car and add a vintage look to the scene. Finally, texture and framing in Camera Awesome (by SmugMug).

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Glissando of Gondolas

If a group of larks is called an exultation, what do you call a bunch of gondolas? A glory of gondolas? A glide? A glissando? OK, maybe I'm going overboard but it is hard not to wax poetic about these slender craft in Venice. I took way too many iPhone shots of them and love them all. I used Slow Shutter Cam to actually paint these moored craft in the dawn light on the Riva degli Schiavoni. I used to think that the light in Titian's paintings was enhanced by a significant amount of imagination but now I see he was just painting what was right in front of him.

I moved the camera during 16 exposures with Average Cam Pro app to create this etched drawing effect.
Simply HDR app help pop this shot of a gondola whispering down the canal.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Creative Photography and iPhoneography Workshop

 Sunset in Kapuaiwa Palm Grove, Moloka`i Hawai`i    © lynette sheppard  iPhone photo

Jack Davis, Photoshop guru, creative animal, and iPhoneography maniac is once again teaching in beautiful Moloka`i, Hawai`i this fall. But this workshop will be a little different. Sure, Jack will explain his down and dirty, way cool optimizing in Lightroom and Photoshop 6. However a major focus will be creative iPhone photography. Woo hoo. The workshop will take place from Nov. 3 - 10 at the beautiful (and photogenic) Hui Hoolana retreat center. Jack will be joined by former National Geo photographers Dewitt Jones (aka handsome hubby) and Rikki Cooke, as well as yours truly. It promises to be a creative blowout. Click here to download the brochure and information about registration. And just to whet your appetite, here are a few of my iPhone images from last year's workshop.

 Looking back at the Palm Grove after walking out in the calf deep ocean.

 Colorful Moloka`i Church

 Ruins of Church at Halawa, East End Moloka`i

 HIbiscus and Bee - Kalani's Flower Farm   East End Moloka`i  © lynette sheppard

 Plumeria Blossom on Leaf - steps from Hui Hoolana.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

An iPhoneographer in Paris, Part Deux

Sometimes (in my case, rarely) an iPhone photo doesn't need to be apped all that much. These three Paris scenes were apped only with Snapseed to optimize. I'm sure that in the future I will revisit them and app them madly. But for now, they are enough for me just as they are. Alleyway wall in the Latin Quarter. Magritte lives.

The Peace Wall gazes at the Eiffel Tower in this direction (at the War Memorial) in the other. And yes, I took both shots. Poignantly, part of the Peace Wall is shattered - I chose to shoot through that portion of the monument.

This is one of my favorite shots - taken in the restaurant at the Pompidou Modern Art Museum. The cafe itself is a work of art.

Friday, July 20, 2012

An iPhoneographer in Paris

Paris is truly an iPhoneographer's dream. It is not, however, a wifi dream. Hence the paucity of images posted here lately. Be forewarned: that is about to change! As I sift through the ginormous pile of images on my hard drive, I'll be putting them up on iPhone Diva: here and on the Facebook page. And showing some guest photo galleries in between, so I don't hog all the space.

Boat down the Seine with Notre Dame was apped with Dynamic Light, Simply HDR, and Snapseed.

There is a wonderful flower mart right in the heart of Paris. We stumbled upon it walking from our apartment in the Latin Quarter to the Louvre. I loved these little planters. Apped with Snapseed, Camera +.

What? There were iPhoneographers in the 13th century?!? Who knew?!? Looks like he was trying to make a call with his camera and couldn't get service. Silly boy.
Statue at the Louvre Museum. Snapseed and native camera.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Photo Journalism Art iPhone Style

Painter and iPhoneographer Nicke Gorney shares two selections from her series of iPhone photo art aptly titled "Life Underground". Check out her website here (I love her paintings, too!)

No. 27 iphone 4 apps -  Lomora Pro, PS Express, Snapseed

No.29  iphone 4 -  apps - proCamera, snapseed

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Words and Pictures: An iPhoneography Symbiosis

Words can't make a mediocre image good, but they can elevate a good photo to great and a great photo to even better. So said my favorite instructor at the San Francisco Art Institute, Jack Fulton. I believe it is absolutely true. With that in mind, I am including John Derby's full story with his wonderful iPhone image: The Most Complimentary Cigar.  Enjoy.
Many people say they like listening to jazz. Most of the time who they are really referring to is Kenny G... but there are famous jazz instrumentalists and then there are the GREATS... the Masters of their instruments! If a person really knows anything about the true Masters of Jazz Guitar then they will have heard of names like Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Gene Bertoncini, and (much like Ansel Adams in the world of photography) most people who really know would put the great Joe Pass at, or near, the top of the list. These names I have just dropped, by almost any reckoning, include four of the top ten, and possibly the top five, jazz guitarists in the past sixty years!

A word about "greats"... Jazz greats or any other. I halve been fortunate (and lucky) enough to have performed with them and/or studied with them. I've worked with other greats, too... Bob Hope, Peggy Lee, Damita Jo, Alan Thicke, Brooke Shields, Ed McMahon, to name just a few. And I was pleasantly surprised to find this out....

Listen: The greater the greats are, the more willing they are to teach you what they've learned while rising to greatness.

As past Director of Operations for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra I learned that it is the relatively unknown operatic sopranos, the head costumers for the Metropolitan Opera, the conductors of minor symphony orchestras... It's the people who haven't (and probably will never) make it to the top of their professions you have to worry about. They're hungry, thirsty and clawing their way to the ocean surface. It is they who will maximize their chances of surviving in the arts by being overly proprietary with what they know: they don't want your competition.

One of the most wonderful, beautiful things about iPhoneography is that it is so new a photographic art form that nobody has made it to the top yet! And, as much as I wish to see iPhoneography go mainstream, I have to hold out hope that the photographic world continues view us iPhoneographers as distant, and slightly laughable, cousins to "real" photography.

I know... You're thinking all this is fine but what in the heck does all this have to do with the price of Mahi-Mahi in Hawaii? What does it have to do with this photo, "The Most Complimentary Cigar"?

One week, Joe Pass was in town at the King of France Tavern at the Maryland Inn in Annapolis, Maryland. Sadly, it is now a Starbucks. But in the 1980s it was a jazz club whose owner continued to lose money while he continued to hire the greats of jazz. On Herb Ellis' recommendation I asked Joe Pass for a lesson. At the time I was a career Navy Musician stationed at the U.S. Naval Academy Band in that quaint harbor town. Joe floored me when he asked why I wanted a lesson from him! I was flummoxed. I was speechless! He had been at the top of the readers and professional polls more times than I had fingers and toes. All I could think to say was, "Because you're Joe Pass!!"

We agreed on a time. I was early! He said up front that the price of a lesson with him was a box of cigars, but not just any old cigars... Really good ones! Back then the box cost me around $50, but that was 25 years ago. If anyone is interested, they were Cifuentes Y Cia Partagas and today the same box would cost at least $150.

But here is where the complimentary cigar comes in: after the lesson we went to the local tobacconist where I gladly paid for the cigars. I gave him the the box and thanked him.... But then.... He gave me one of the cigars and thanked ME for a good lesson. Then he gave me the greatest compliment I've ever received: "You don't need to take lessons from me... You're good! Next time I come to town let's just jam".

I still have that cigar and it is in my photograph. This is only my second attempt at a still life, but what it lacks in technique, it makes up for in other ways. Truly, my photo earns its title as The Most Complimentary Cigar.

Technical details:
Equipment: iPhone 4s, iPad 2
Apps Used: Snapseed, Pixlromatic, Camera +, 645Pro, Photoforge2

Sunday, May 13, 2012

iPhone Photo Art Recipe or How To Grunge a Butterfly

Often I artify my photos so much with so many apps that I forget which ones I used on a given image. I get lost in the process, which is truly wonderful when making art and not so great when I want to duplicate a process. However, I was asked for this butterfly grunge soup recipe, so here goes to the best of my knowledge and recall: the steps to A Wing And A Prayer.

First, I photographed this butterfly wing against a ti plant leaf. This butterfly is no longer living - I tried to save it when I found it on the road in a strong wind. Alas, too far gone. I keep it on my desk along with leaves, feathers, shells and the like. I use them as photo collage elements because they are still so beautiful.
Next, I oil painted the image in Impressionist Art, knowing it would be way over the top but perfect when combined with the original.  The painting part takes a little time as you have to paint each stroke with either finger or stylus. It saved small (just how this app works)  so I knew I'd need to upsize it when I combined it with the original.
I upsized it in IRIS, then combined it in DXP - just trying all the blend modes to see what grabbed me. I think Multiply was the one I finally used.
I erased the edging along the wing in TouchRetouch. Then took it in to Camera+ for Clarity to pop the colors and then used a Camera+ filter that made the background Aqua.
Next, I used Camera Awesome! filter for this amazingly cool vintage, torn edge look. I don't remember which one because there are so freaking many but you'll find it.
Finally, I processed it in Modern Grunge, using one of the cutout effects. As always, I sharpened it in Snapseed and added copyright with Impression. Voila. Iphoneography right out of the oven. Total time elapsed: about 40 minutes. That's the recipe to the best of my recollection. (My mom is an intuitive cook and sometimes leaves out steps when she tries to give me here best recipes - I now finally understand how that happens.) Still I think I covered them all - try for yourself - better yet, improve upon it with your own ingredients. Happy apping.