Photography Apps for the Smart Phone, Part 3

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Last week I breathed some life back into the blog with a few smart phone photo apps.  You can check out the write-ups for both SetMyCamPro and Easy Release here and here.  Continuing along that theme, there’s only a few more apps that I wanted to showcase here and share with my fellow photo enthusiasts.  Perhaps one of the most enjoyable functions of photo apps is the ability to edit on the fly before sharing out with your friends, family, and colleagues.  So, the apps that have filters or drawing functions naturally are worth looking at in this vein.  Many similarities exist, but one of my own favorites is Color Splash.

Photo Aug 05, 9 23 21 AM

At 99 cents, this app is worthy of your consideration.  There’s a handy video tutorial you can watch but like most people, I skipped the video and dove right in!  First up, I always look at the settings first to see if there’s any customization options I would want to tweak to my own ends.     Photo Aug 05, 9 28 57 AM

Here, I opted to make the brush tip visible so I can see where my edits will be applied, the rest of the default settings seemed appropriate so I left well enough alone initially.

The main menu gives you the option of loading an image from your camera library, taking a new one, and a bunch of other options – as shown below:

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Editing images is pretty straightforward – with the main function of Color Splash being to selectively color a photo.  Now granted, this style of photography is a bit overdone these days because photographers have obviously been doing this for a while in Photoshop, Elements, and other image editors, but being able to do it straight from your smart phone and sharing with folks on the fly is kind of unique.

Photo Aug 05, 9 27 54 AM

When in the editor screen, you can also tap the upper left icon to adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, color temp, and grey tinting to give your images whatever flair you desire.  Here is most often where people go a tad overboard.  I’d recommend going light on the edits here after you’ve done your selective coloring.  When completed, you can then share via typical methods from your photo library.

There’s many options out there for editing your photos on your Smart Phone, but my nod for selective color designs goes to Color Splash!  You can get it for the iPhone/iPad here, and for the Android here and here.

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Got your own favorite photo editor for your smart phone?  What about your thoughts on Color Splash?  Everyone has an opinion, and yours are welcome as well.  Be sure to tune in Wed. and Friday for the final two app reviews here on the blog.  Next week will start a whole new series of photo tips and tricks for taking better photos!  Have a great week!

Got New Gear?

Holding an SLR


So, the presents have been opened, the lunch has been gobbled down, and the kids over-stimulation has sent them into a frenzy of running around outside.  Now what?  Well, if you’re here, it’s likely because you got some new gear for Christmas.  So, first off, congratulations on the new gear – I am sure that on some level, I’ll be green with envy.

The good news is that learning all about your new gear is all right here!  Because regardless of gear, some techniques work across platforms and are part of the “timeless technique” of the field.  One of the most basic of these is learning how to hold your gear properly.  This is one of those things that often isn’t covered in manuals, but if you stopped in here, you’re just in time to check out the videos I’ve prepared just for this purpose.  Check out how to hold a Point and Shoot, iPhone, or SLR camera below:

Point and Shoot Technique:

iPhone (or any smart phone):

SLR:

How to Hold Your SLR

Holding an SLR

As you can tell from the videos and articles, this is not just about Canon gear.  Anyone with any gear can improve their craft with sound technique and practice.  So, as we move toward 2013, keep this in mind.  More tk, and enjoy the holiday!

Live from the Road: Episode #55

Northern Lights Poster

Northern Lights Poster

Over the weekend I had the distinct pleasure of joining my colleague and good friend Kerry Garrison (who you probably know from Camera Dojo) out “in the wild” as we traveled to the Breezy Point Resort north of Brainerd MN (about three hours west and north if the twin cities) and spoke at their Northern Lights conference.  Through the coordination of our sponsor, Nations Photo Lab, and the conference hosts, MNNPA, we had a wonderful time.  Not only did the coordinators treat us like Rock Stars (we did give some autographs though), the attendees were quite engaging too.

The pre-conference sessions were set to start at 12, and our gig started at 5.  After a few of the logistical things were addressed that always come up with hosting conferences (they even had a live wedding going on one room next to us – what a great opportunity for a bride to get a wide range of photographers applying their trade), we got rolling.  A mere five minutes into our introduction, we paused to add even more tables and chairs to the room as more and more people started filing in.  For a regional conference to have a crowd this big during a pre-conference tech talk was quite surprising, but also very enjoyable.  So, what did we talk about?

The topic was none other than Lightroom 3!  We talked about how to navigate around, some of the benefits and tips and tricks of LR to soon realize that we are very fortunate to be in the position that we are.  It was humbling to realize that we really are on the cutting edge as so many people are using Lightroom 1, LR 2, or even earlier generations of Photoshop for their workflow.  Our discussion quickly was adapted to both demonstrate why and answer questions on what makes Lightroom 3 such a useful tool for both established and emerging photographers.

The questions raised were just wonderful ranging from very broad-ranging ones like “Why should wedding and portrait photographers care about upgrading their work flow?” to ones as detailed as “Can Lightroom manage PSD files?” and “How can I keyword photos during import?”  By the time our two hour segment was up we had barely covered the import process, a little bit on the adjustment brush, and the nuts and bolts of things like cropping, selective color, and black and white conversions.

Ours was the last segment for the day and we were then invited to the after party over in one of the adjoining houses.  Food snacks, drinks and such were all available and in abundance.  With the abundance of spirits, everyone was in great spirits themselves as we laughed and talked further with lots of people about photography stuff until the wee hours of the morning.  By 1am we were done though and needed to head back to our respective cities (myself to Denver and Kerry to Anaheim, CA).  So, during our road trip back to Minneapolis for the return flight, we decided to record this show for you.  Answers to all the questions above and more are here, as well as a few photo opp stops!  Thanks for taking the time to listen, hope you enjoy it and we’ll be back again soon with more photo goodness!

Catch up with Kerry:

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Learn more about the Northern Lights Conference and MNPPA here: