Time lapse

Probably some of the most compelling content these days has resulted from the convergence of photography and videography – that being time lapse compilations.  In the early days, people would use something called an intervalometer that would programatically tell your camera to fire the shutter release every couple of seconds over a specified period of time.  You would then take this series of images and assemble in some software designed for that purpose.  It started out very clunky, and only those that could really dial in their photo settings to account for variations in brightness over time, sync the series to show a certain number of frames in their video editor, and prevent ghosting in the final product could do a decent job.

As with all technology, the point of entry gets easier, and the results get higher.  Here’s a time lapse sequence I shot (on my iPhoneusing the native camera, an app I bought for like $5 (called Lapse It), and it’s own method for creating the video.  If you wanna get fancy, you can even add music to your sequences:

It’s certainly not going to win anything at Sundance, but I could easily see this tool becoming more popular in the hands of the uber creatives out there. The best part is that this is only one of many time lapse apps available.  While I certainly am not going to spend vast amounts of money on all of them to review here, figured I’d share this one as a demonstration and a partial vote of confidence for this one.

My biggest complaints:

  1. My iPhone kept falling over (did not have a tripod to mount it to) 
  2. The app makes it difficult to add the music of your choice, and combine when publishing…
  3. The app doesn’t let you take the series of images it captured and move into your own video editor.  Instead I’d have to take the compiled video, export that to my computer, and throw into Premiere for more cleanup.  I’d always rather deal with the source content, ya know?

Anyone else have any experiences, luck, or complaints with time lapse apps in their own mobile devices?  What kinds of content are you creating with them?  Be sure to share your thoughts, comments and feedback below…

New Family Member

It’s with a certain bit of trepidation that I make this next announcement on the blog.  As you know, I have been somewhat blase for the last 9 months or so.  I think a good portion of my mental attitude is attributed to the loss of our beloved pet of a dozen years.  Her eulogy is here.

With the melancholy having been predominant, we’ve finally decided that this is not how Maggie would have wanted us to continue on, so we are going to welcome a new family member here soon.  A name has not been picked out yet (suggestions are welcome), but I do have a pic.  Here’s our next family member!

Fox Red Lab

The next year or so will be challenging with accidents, yipping, chewing, and other traumas I am sure. But it really is time to step into a new chapter here.  It also likely means that this dog will be quite famous over the next 12 years as she will undoubtedly make several appearances here.  I’ll try to keep things as photographically relevant as possible!

Photography Apps for the Smartphone, Part 2

Earlier this week, I started diving back into active blogging with a review/write-up of a smartphone app called SetMyCamPro.  You can read more about it here, but I’d like to continue the theme of some photo app reviews, because the best camera truly is the one you have with you, and for most of us, that happens to be the camera built into our phones.  With practice and a photographic eye, you can get some pretty excellent images from these cameras.  Case in point, here’s one I got of an Ohio sunset just a few nights ago:

Ohio Sunset
Ohio Sunset

Granted, not going to win any contests, but something worth remembering for me.  Anyway, enough of the shot that I took, instead it’s time to dive into the second App I am reviewing here on the blog.

I actually reviewed this app before but it was part of a promotional giveaway article for the vendor – and it’s called Easy Release!  The concept is pretty simply – use your phone, ipod or iPad screen to generate a model or property release, have the individual sign from your touch-sensitive device (which most phones are these days anyway), and you’re done.  It’s a handy app to have for those “on the go” kinds of shoots where it’s not in a studio, or something last minute.  For those, you’d probably want to have a more professional setup in place with actual pens and papers to have clients sign off on.  (In addition to an event contract, licensing and usage, and much more.  In fact, I have a two-Ebook combo that gives you all the paperwork you need to get started in photography, including model releases (adult and minor), event contracts, and a how-to guide…you can get it here for only $30:

Add to Cart

Now, for those that prefer the digital mobile on-the-go style of releases for your business, then let’s dig into Easy Release!

On downloading it, the first thing you’ll want to do is configure add an image or logo of your business to your device – this is to add it to your logo/branding to the header that will be used when emailing a copy of the signed release to your clients! (Yes, that’s right, you can email them a copy right from your phone!)  If you want to set up multiple brands, the option is there from their Pro Pack (only $3.99), but if one is enough, then you are set with just the base one in the app.  Enter your logo, the company name, and your contact info, and that’s all you need:

Photo Jul 31, 8 11 23 AM

 

 

 

 

The rest is pretty straightforward – you’re simply selecting the release type (model or property), taking the image, and then the most tedious part – where you enter all their contact information, including phone, address, email, and other pertinent data.  For my own two cents, I wish they would add the option of making an audio recording of this data for later transcription so you can get to the signing quicker.  I’ve gotten fairly proficient at creating these, and actually used it on more occasions than I can count off the top of my head – probably in the scores by now (that’s 20’s for those speaking in layman terms!  LOL).

You can check out the app on the iTunes or Android Google Play stores here and here.  No commissions to be had by me here, so feel free to either buy or go another route, but I think this is the benchmark that any digital model release has to stand up to, because these guys are top notch!  This is, of course only my opinion, so I’d like to open the floor to others.  What are your experiences with Easy Relase?  What about alternatives?  Are they cross-platform supported like this is (Android and iPhone)?  I know it’s a bit pricier than the average app, but for a working professional, the cost does seem justified to get something this robust and portable.

To that end, I am also open to suggestions for additional apps to review.  I’ve got 3 more in the bank, but that doesn’t mean we can’t re-visit later if needed.  Throw your suggestions for other apps in the comments section too, and I’ll add to the list!  Have a great weekend everyone and keep on shooting!