Blended Paths

...capturing cosmic debris...


iPhone Video & Apps

Posted on February 5, 2012 at 7:05 PM Comments comments (2)

I've concentrated most of my energy discussing iPhone photography, photo apps, and tips/tricks/etc. for still photographs when I've posted artsy iPhone-ness to the site. But, lately I've been doing a lot of VIDEO with my phone - in fact, more video than photography, and I really began to think about why I have never shared anything about the iPhone's video capabilities.

Perhaps it's because I started this iPhone thing when I had an iPhone 3Gs and video wasn't an option or was a crappy excuse for a moving picture with that phone. I've had my iPhone 4 for less than a year and I can't even remember whether the 3Gs had video capabilities - I want to say it did, but then I wonder.

Alas, the iPhone 4 (which isn't even the newest or greatest iPhone on the market anymore) DOES have great video tools and I decided that I was going to share a bit about my love of shooting video with the iPhone 4, as well as the apps I love to use to edit my footage in-phone.

I love using my iPhone 4 for shooting video for two reasons: 1) I always have it with me, and 2) just as with photography, there are so many options for in-phone processing and editing of the footage I capture. It's a lot of fun and I have made a few videos that I never would have thought to try to "make happen" because they just played out in front of me and I happened to have my phone (happened? Ha!).

A little about the iPhone 4's video capabilities:

  • Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio
  • VGA-quality photos and video at up to 30 frames per second with the front camera
  • The LED flash for still photography can be turned on for filming (indefinitely, turned off when filming stops).

Of course, the newer and better iPhone 4S is going to have quite the jump on these tech specs, what with it's better lens, higher MP rates, etc., but these iPhone 4 tech specs aren't bad for what the equipment actually is - a tiny camera in a slim phone.

So, without wasting any time trying to explain the technical here-to's and where-for's of the camera itself, lets talk about apps! Because, apps are everyone's favorite thing when it comes to the iPhone and it's camera/video accessibility!

Here is a list of my favorite video-related apps:

  • iMovie (Surprise!)
  • Super 8
  • VideoPix
  • Slowmo
  • Splice
  • Viddy

I'll talk about these in detail in separate posts, so for now I'll just decipher for you what each one actually does: iMovie is VERY similar to the iMovie app Mac users are used to on their computers. It allows nearly full control of video editing. You can use themes, add music and text, etc., to your footage. You can even splice. But, sadly, you can't add slides between clips manually. Oh, well. It's my favorite tool for editing my footage in-phone.

Super 8 is an actual "shooting" app - similar to the photo apps that allow you to take pictures from within them. It's an app that was released to promote the movie "Super 8" (great movie, btw), and it is really cool!

VideoPix is an app that allows you to pull still photos from your video footage. Getting a truly clear image is nearly impossible but it's still a great tool when you'd like to get a still from that great party or that crazy accident you happened to be filming.

Slowmo just allows you to slow your footage down (another feature iMovie for iPhone is lacking, as far as I know). You can save the clip and add it to your iMovie project, etc.

Splice is an editing app similar to iMovie, but it doesn't quite have the detailed functions that are available in iMovie. I haven't used this app since the last update so it's possible that could have changed.

Viddy is an app that allows you to create shorts of your footage (complete with themes and music) and share them with other viddy users, very similar to Instagram for iPhoneographers.

I'm so glad I finally got this much done on a post about iPhone video. It's not what I wanted or expected to accomplish, but with a sick kid and feeling a bit run down myself, it being 10:30PM and just getting him to sleep, I'm fairly satisfied with the start! I will soon be posting some individual blogs (with links) about the apps I've mentioned here (as well as some photo apps) and I will also include some links to some of the iPhone videos I've done as of late.



iPhone Portraits of Me

Posted on October 20, 2011 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

My friend, JR, took some random photos of me the other day with his iPhone 4. Of course, I got his phone and mms'd them to myself and played with them and made them prettier. The whole series of photos was based on me getting this great hat and sporting it for hours, even after we got home...even after night had fallen and Jeremy and I had gotten into our pj's. Alas, it was so much fun that I thought, "why not share them in a blog?!"

Visit JR's blog for more fun photos and videos. He always has something creative to post!





All of these versions were edited using my iPhone 4 and the Camera+, PS Express, and Impression (watermark) apps. All the photos were taken with the iPhone 4's built in camera/factory camera app.

Newly Purchased/Downloaded iPhone Photography Apps #2

Posted on June 22, 2011 at 10:33 PM Comments comments (1)

A few weeks ago Jeremy's iPhone kicked the bucket. Actually, it wasn't completely dead - it was merely flakey enough that it was totally undependable, therefore totally useless to him. The solution was simple: I got a new 32GB iPhone 4 and handed my mint condition 32GB 3Gs down to him. Let's hope he doesn't kill it, too (I have a suspicion that part of the reason the phone went life-phobic on him is related to the amount of time he used the phone, which was ALL the time!).

Alas, getting the new phone meant that I got new camera capabilities. Getting new camera capabilities meant that I needed apps to fully test them out. At least, that's my excuse! So, I've gotten some new photography apps (a few of them prior to getting the phone, actually) and as the list is getting longer, it's time to go ahead and do an app blog!

Here's the list (I'll discuss the apps below):

  • PerfectPhoto
  • PhotoStudio
  • SlowShutter
  • ShakeItPhoto
  • WordFoto


PerfectPhoto is VERY similar to the PS Express app. The main difference between the two is PerfectPhoto's pretty and user-targeted interface versus PS Express's straightforward approach to the UI. While PS Express has one of my favorite tools (the best noise removal tool I've used on the iPhone), PerfectPhoto is a close contender to replacing PS Express as my favorite touch-up app for the iPhone. It does pretty much everything PS Express allows and MORE!

PerfectPhoto offers the ability to meticulously touch-up photos with the following very user-friendly and judicious tools: crop, rotate/flip, alignment, brightness/contrast, gamma, exposure, shadows, highlights, levels, hue/saturation/lightness, color balance, color temperature, sharpen, denoise, red eye reduction, and spot healing. While PS Express is missing several of these options, even if only in the lack of precision control when editing, PerfectPhoto does not lack the effects offered by PS Express (which is not saying much for PS Express - the list of these is short in PS Express and these tools are "tap and go" without allowing for adjustment of the special effects (opacity or intensity level). But, that's not too important - PerfectPhoto's goal is not to provide filters (although it does provide a few more choices than PS Express) or bling for your photos - it's about making your original photo better!

There are NUMEROUS apps out there for special effects and the like, but there's only one PerfectPhoto. I haven't personally used any touch-up app that truly compares to what PerfectPhoto offers. And, one of my new favorite "bling" apps was developed by the same team as PerfectPhoto (below). PerfectPhoto is well worth it's $0.99 price tag!


PhotoStudio is a "bling" app for the iPhone that offers numerous filters and effects to really make your photos pop and become anything you want them to be. From the app store description:


"Now with 187 effects and filters, the possibilities are endless when it comes to editing your photos. For those of you looking to keep it simple, you can also, crop brighten, flip and make other basic changes for quick modification of your photos.


Variety of Lo-Fi effects, plus Sketches, Vintage, Bizarre, TiltShift, Sepia, Night Vision, Glow, Grunge, Blur, Textures – FX Photo Studio features them all and MORE.




Combine any of the 187 effects to create the perfect look. A completely customizable interface allows you to label your most often used effects and combinations as favorites, giving you instant access to preferred presets.




You can easily share your photos with friends and family via E-Mail, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Flickr directly from the application! You can even generate codes for customized presets as well as use codes provided by others, to create a pool of unique iPhoneography art tools for everyone to tap into.




Save creations to the in app photo album, copy to the Clipboard, and even save to a document folder for convenient sharing between the iOS device and computer. You can print your photos directly from the app too!


If that's not enough, you can upgrade up to even more effects via in-app purchases!"

That about covers it. Again, well worth the money ($2.99). Also available from the Mac app store for laptop/desktop use (pro verson, $29.99).


SlowShutter turns your iPhone into a virtual dSLR by allowing the user to work with a simulation of slow shutter speeds ranging from 1/15 through 1/30 of a second. It also provides a built in exposure compensation function. This app features (from the app store description):


- Shutter speed range : 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30(sec)
- Exposure control : Manual, Auto, HDR, Light Trail
- Exposure compensation : +/- 2 EV ( 1, 1/2, 1/4 steps )
- Output size : You can select High or Low resolution in the Setting app.
The resolution with each device is as follows.
-> iPhone4 720x960(High), 360x480(Low)
-> iPhone3GS 480x640(High), 360x480(Low)
-> iPhone3G 304x400(High/Low)
- Other : Shutter-timer, Twitter uploader, Tap to focus

The latest version of this app is V2.3 (4th, Jun 2011). This update provided:

- Added support for the "Light Trail" effect.
- The shutter will also sound in manner mode.
- Several minor changes to the user interface.
- Minor bug fix.

This app goes for $0.99.


The slogan: "Perfect Polaroid Photos From Your iPhone." The accuracy of the slogan: right on! This app is not only the best Polaroid simulation I've tried with my iPhone. To top if off, you get to (have to) shake the phone to process the photo just like you would if you were holding and actual Polaroid photo in your hand, which means this app is tons of fun!

The price tag is a little steep (imho) considering the fact that what you shoot is what you get. The app costs $1.99 and for that you literally get the functionality of taking the photo and having the phone process it as is. Personally, I think this app is easily worth no more than $0.99. But, even having said that, I do not regret the extra buck I paid. The only other "good" Polaroid simulating app I've tried that worked well in the past was Polarize, which at least offered the ability to import photos from your camera roll to be turned into fauxlaroids, but this app is no longer supported and no longer works on my phone (if anyone else is still able to use this app or has any idea or suggestion why mine may be lacking functionality, I'd appreciate a heads up!).


WordFoto is truly a unique app and is a lot of fun to use. This app allows photos to be turned into typographic art by overlaying words or phrases of the user's choice (or some pre-stored ones) on a photo. The UI allows changes in fonts, transparencies, colors, and sizes of the text and randomizes text size "throughout" the image based on the largest font size selected. From the WordFoto website:

"You've probably heard the tired cliche about a picture being worth a thousand words. We've taken this phrase quite literally and created WordFoto, an app that turns your photos and words into amazing typographic works of art."

You can get WordFoto for $1.99.


Because the iPhone 4 comes with much more enhanced video capabilities, I've decided to share some of the apps I use and have recently downloaded for video editing. In the near future I will do an independent blog describing these apps but I'll share the list here:

  • Qik Video Pro
  • iMovie
  • iTimeLapse
  • Slowmo
  • Splice
  • Super 8
  • VideoPix
  • Viddy

Status Update!

Posted on June 13, 2011 at 10:04 PM Comments comments (0)

Hey y'all... If you've been to BlendedPaths in the past week, you've seen the changes (the MAJOR changes). If you haven't, you should take a peek! Here's an update about what I've done with the site and what's soon to come, as well as an update on me!

BlendedPaths has undergone a serious transformation! I spent the majority of the day last Sunday redesigning the site and I have added quite a few photos. The most exciting news for BlendedPaths, though, has GOT to be the new mobile site launching! That's right - there is now a mobile version of the site that works wonderfully on smart phone and other Internet capable mobile devices. I've had a number of people tell me that the mobile version of BlendedPaths loads images much faster than many sites they frequent, so that was quite a compliment to me and to the developers of the tools I used to create this new mobile version. You can visit the developers by going to the link provided at the bottom of the page when viewing the mobile version of the site if you are intersted in something similar for your own website or if you're just curious about the tools available.

Sadly, I had to take the forum offline for an undetermined amount of time. I wanted to rework the forum, from removing categories that aren't used to adding new and more interesting ones, as well as changing permissions for uploading media in forum posts along with comments/text, and as I began to work on these changes I realized that there was NO quick way to accomplish my goal and that the best thing to do was to take the forum offline for the duration of this rebuilding process and hope you guys would still be around (the few of you who are active, LOL) when I put it back online. I hope to have this task accomplished within the next week, but, as things stand at the moment, I'm not sure if that is possible so I've extended my own goal to the end of the month.

That's pretty much all there is to say about the site at the moment (from my end, your comments are welcomed!!), so now on to a few updates about the life and times (and how you can look forward to these changes bringing goodies to you via BlendedPaths, of course!). What's this exciting news, you ask? Well...drum roll..........

I finally managed to get my hands on an iPhone 4! It was purely luck...or something closely related to luck...that this happened. Good for me, good for Jeremy, perhaps not so great for our friend JR, who forked over more than half the money for the phone as a sort of loan. Jeremy's phone basially died - it was probably more the battery than anything else but even if that was ALL that was wrong with the thing, it would have cost around $100 to ship it to Apple, have the battery replaced, and ship it back - yeah, you have to actually send the thing in. Or, you can get an appointment at the Apple store nearest you and pay $70 plus the gas it takes you to drive there (for us, a good one hour drive) and they'll do it for you there while you wait. Alas, we were almost certain that the battery wasn't the only issue since the phone was refurbished and had started having issues like freezing up and running slowly within a couple of months after receiving it, so we decided that I would get an iPhone 4 (because I'm so into the photography and the abilities of that phone would serve my iPhone photography fetish well) and my husband would just upgrade to my 32GB 3Gs. It worked out great - now JR and I both have an iPhone 4 and Jeremy is tremendously happy with the 3Gs he was promoted to (he had a 3G originally).

The iPhone 4 is Ah-MAZing. It's super fast, it's super fun, and all my apps work properly again. It has a flash/video lamp and it does some pretty cool and useful things. I haven't been able to really sit down with it and play with the new features (which really are few and far between except for some of the camera related things - it's all down to the iOS, really, which is the same for all models - but I have managed to get myself a couple of new apps (like iMovie for iPhone) and I am truly loving what I am able to do with this thing. I'm really getting into some of the video stuff as well as some new photography things and I'll be sharing some of these tools (as well as tips and tutorial-type posts) about them as soon as I get a chance to play with the apps/phone, make some notes, create some examples and write up a post! Who knows when that will be with my 19 month old who is going on 6 years old (thinks he's grown and can get into whatever he wants!), but it will be as soon as possible for me in my world.

With the new capabilities I've got on this phone (including access to some new apps I've wanted for ages), I've been able to do some really interesting things with video and I've created a site a Vimeo to link with BlendedPaths. You'll find it at BlendedPaths on Vimeo, and for now you'll see a few videos I did after being inspired by the 60 Second Landscapes Challenge over at Chase Jarvis' blog. Look for random updates - never know what I'm going to "film" next! I'm loving it!!

Upates to the iPhoneography page/album and the Project 365 album coming soon!!

I hope everyone out there is doing great and staying well and I hope you're all enjoying the summer (at least, here in the States - for the rest of you, I hope you're enjoying whatever season you're experiencing at this time of the year!)!! Take care!!



Newly Purchased/Downloaded iPhone Photography Apps

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 11:38 AM Comments comments (0)

It's been a while since I blogged about any photography apps for iPhone; there are a few reasons for that. The first and most obvious (for people who know anything about the iPhone) is that some of the newer apps that will work with my phone and the newer iPhone 4 will not work with the 3G or older generation iPhones because of the iOS features that are required for some of the newer apps (most specifically, the multitasking thing).

I really haven't felt like (or had time to get into) doing the research as to whether apps will work for any iPhone and I don't want to mislead my readers about an app and then have them buy or download it only to find out that it won't work with their phone. HOWEVER, now that the app store has undergone a bit of an overhaul, from what I understand any app that is put in the app store for sale requires the developer to include PRECISE information about what devices, iOS's, etc., the app requires. That being the case, I figure that since you must be able to read if you're reading this entry, you can read about the apps for yourself and determine whether they will work for your phone, should you be interested in any of the apps I am about to discuss.

My Most Recent Purchase

100 Cameras in 1

I don't really need to write very much about this app because the information from the developer's website pretty much covers it in a few bullets, but before I paste that in, I will say this: this app is BEAUTIFUL, USEFUL, FUN, AWESOME, and ADDICTING. This app goes for $1.99 in the iTunes app store, on sale today for $.99 (purchase or get more info about this app via the link above or the link below). Now for some serious facts from the developer's website:

Feel happy and creative! 100 Cameras in 1 (iTunes link) is a new camera app that I designed to be unique, fast, and fun. I hope it unleashes a creative side of you that’s been lurking about!

Unexpected Accolades:

➤ #1 App for Photography -See Pic

➤ Top 10 Apps Overall -See Pic

➤ Featured by Apple -See Pic

➤ Top 10 in 45 Different Countries for Photography -See Stats

Other Recent Photo/Processing Purchases/Downloads


“A simple, elegant way to use pictures to tell your story”


“Diptic’s well-designed interface, simplicity, and thoughtful balance of features make it a delightful app to use.”


“Diptic really ups the ante for avid photo nerds”

What is it? Diptic is an app that lets you quickly and easily combine multiple photos to create a new image.

Who is it for? People who want to tell a story with their photos. With Diptic you can quickly and easily:

Create a before-and-after sequence

Produce a photographic series

Juxtapose contrasting images

Create photo collages

How does it work? Just choose a layout, select your photos, place the photos in position and save to your camera roll or email to a friend.

(all info copied from Diptic's website, linked in heading)

Current Price: $1.99



The Unofficial Apple Weblog ( says:

There's a large collection of preset filters you can modify to taste and see the results instantly. You also get the ability to create a variety of frames. Effects are additive, so you could create a frame, vary the color and add a soft matte with color control of the frame and the matte effect. I was most impressed with some of the black and white filters.


Features include:

- Select predefined color effects from Favorites.

- Add your own combination of color effects to Favorites by pressing the + button in the top bar. Deleting of Custom Favorites will be available soon.

- Each effect icon shows your photo with the effect applied.

- Same user interface for all effects: press the + button to increase the effect, press the - button to decrease.

- Tap the number button on an effects icon and a slider appears for a more accurate effects value. Double tap the number to set the value back to 0.

- All effect values can be changed at any time.

- Effects are immediately merged together in the background and continuously update on screen while you change them.

- Contains many color effects and transformations, including perspective, shadow and reflection.

- A single tap on the photo shows/hides the effects icons (full screen), a double tap zooms in/out and a 2 finger tap shows the original/changed photo.

- Multiple undo and redo. Reset button clears all effects at once (can be undone).

- Mark often used effects for quick access or view only the effects that are currently in use.

- Import photo: Camera, Photo Library, Previous Session, Paste from clipboard.

- Export photo: Save to Photo Library, Copy to clipboard, Email, Print with AirPrint, Print to EFI software RIPs like EFI eXpress, EFI Colorproof XF and EFI Fiery XF. Multiple resolutions supported up to the original photo size.


For all iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices with iOS 3.0 or newer.

(info copied from iTunes app store description of app)

Current Price: $3.99 (randomly on sale for as little as $.99


If you need to RESIZE photos and do it fast, this app is the one for you. This is the only app on the app store that allows you to resize many photos quickly. You simply set up some initial settings and then you're off. Any photo you tap will instantly be resized and saved into your "Saved Documents" folder. You can also resize individual photos, pinch to zoom, drag to scroll, and double-tap to re-center your image. Lastly, you can e-mail your resized images making sharing those large images on your iPad with your friends a snap!



-Resize Individual photos

-Resize many photos using "Quick Resize" mode

-Rotate your photos

-View your image with pinch, drag, and double-tap gestures

-E-mail the images to your friends

-New features coming… (crop, effects, etc.)


Don't pass up this limited time offer. The price will increase once more features are added! Buying now ensures free unlimited upgrades.

(info copied from iTunes app store description of app)

Current Price: $.99


Selected by Apple for Rewind 2010 Hot Trends In Apps.


"Best toon app out there, and totally worth the price!" - Robin Rhys, AppAdvice Daily


"An amazing piece of technology." - Terry White,


Give your life a toon up with ToonCamera, a fun camera and photography app that turns your world into a live cartoon. Record live video, snap pictures, or load existing photos from your albums. You can then save your photos and videos, email them, or share them with others on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, all from within ToonCamera.


Cartoon and other art style effects are applied to your device's live camera feed through a form of automatic rotoscoping, a technique used in animated films that involves tracing over frames of live-action video with artistic strokes.




* 9 combinations of cartoon and art effects live on your camera.

* Cartoon, sketch, and stipple styles.

* Options for thick, thin, or solid lines.

* Take snaps and record videos in portrait or landscape.

* Load photos from your albums.

* Save your snaps to the photo album, email them, or share them on Twitter and Facebook.

* Save your videos to the photo album, email them, or share them on Twitter and YouTube.

* Switch between the front and back facing camera on the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4.

* Toggle on and off the flash on the iPhone 4.


ToonCamera supports the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPod Touch 4.

(info copied from iTunes app store description of app)

Current Price: $.99

As I have more time, I will share some photoblogs using photos from each of these apps (except iResize! I already share photos resized with that app!). Keep an eye out for those posts!



News and a New iPhone App!

Posted on September 3, 2010 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Guess what, folks?! We've got enough entries now to officially call the contest "on." Refer to THIS POST for current information about the contest. I wanted at least 5 entries in the contest to make it a real contest, and this morning I posted a fifth entry. Keep them coming!! :) Including today, there are still 6 more days to enter! i'm so excited!!

In other news, Jesse is NAPPING, and I have posted my 365 project pictures at the 365 page, my Xanga blog, this site's 365 album, and my Facebook Fan page! So that's crazy - I don't think I've ever stayed caught up like this. Am I in the twilight zone?

So, now for the fun part of this blog - not that the contest being on isn't fun but hey! For all of you iPhone fanatics out there - especially ones who are photographers in any form or fashion - I got a new app last night!! It's not a photography app, per say. It's more of an editing app. But, IT'S AWESOME. It takes a little getting used to and you really have to watch the video tutorial and know your options for it to work really well (which is true of any program or app!), but once you get the hang of it - boy, is it FUN!

The app is called "ColorSplash," and it costs $1.99. I have to say that at first I was skeptical, you know - when I tried to use it the first time, but as I mentioned - it takes a little getting used to. Once you've gotten the hang of it, you can do this kind of thing with it:

Yeah - right?! Pretty cool and as I've said at least three times already - A LOT OF FUN! These were just images I had taken with my iPhone that I randomly selected to play with. I can't wait to take pictures for the sole purpose of editing them with this program.

Check it out if you have an iPhone and randomly feel artsy but aren't much at drawing and the like. This app really makes you feel like you're creating something more than a picture with a camera (not to put that down - you all know how I feel about that if you've been following my blog and my writing for any length of time!).

So, happy Friday! Football season started last night and we watched a game together. I think there are some games going on tonight (or this afternoon) and I KNOW there are tomorrow - the first full Saturday of football. This is our favorite time of year - football, fall....even in my current physical state I am so happy! have a great weekend, y'all!!

Photoblog - Dam Saturday

Posted on August 29, 2010 at 9:23 PM Comments comments (0)

Saturday was planned. As is usually the case, nothing about it went as planned except the very necessary details - like my parents keeping Jesse for us. This is not a complaint - this is just...well, if you know us, you understand. If you don't know us, think of that person you know who is random beyond being able to even remember their phone number because it's constantly changing. That's us.

Alas, we finally ended up alone, after a late start and some random yelling and the throwing of Jesse's walker into the yard (because it wouldn't come apart - I knew that would do it...and it did - no, I didn't break it!). We didn't even know where we were going when we left my parents' house; perhaps part of it was the uncertainty of what to do with ourselves now that we were finally able to be alone...we knew we wanted to go to woods and water, so we ended up at the local dam. Actually, we ended up at a picnic/swimming area below the dam. We never went to the actual dam; there were no people around at all where we decided to hang out, which was much nicer. I bet I'd have caught a fish if we'd been further up, though. Mwahahahahahaha! Well, this was not the point, really.

As I mentioned in my blog earlier this morning, I had brought with me my SLR, my Canon point and shoot, and my cell phone (which basically counts as another camera since that's practically all I use it for when we're away from home - and, let's be honest, when we're AT home). My phone was the only camera I touched. Heh. How shocking, right?! I don't know why I didn't get the little magnetic lens attachments I'd gotten last week out of the glove box and play with them - too caught up with what was readily prepared, I guess.

So - here are some pictures from my iPhone:

iPhone, iPhone Camera app, PhotoFX app
I had a lot of fun sitting with my feet in the water and teasing the baby bream and bass with Goldfish crackers, trying to get them to come up and nibble my toes, which I think is really fun and feels really cool. They never approached my feet but ate the crackers happily. I finally resorted to trying the worms we were fishing with, but even that wasn't enticing enough for them to come near my toes. I actually felt a bit insulted. But, I enjoyed playing with them, and my feet got all wrinkly, which is the best - because, let's face it - how often do we really take the time to leave our feet (or whole bodies) in the water and relax long enough for our skin to become wrinkly?

iPhone, Hipstamatic app (shake to randomize)
This is what Jeremy did while I played with Goldfish crackers, worms, and baby bream and bass. Neither of us caught anything. He eventually slipped away and walked the banks while I was absorbed with shooting not-so-random randomness... He didn't find anything on his walk, either, but said he enjoyed himself (it was pretty short).

iPhone, Vintage B/W app
Jeremy was standing for a while when he was fishing. I was taking random pictures of the reflections in the water, and suddenly, as I skimmed the water through the screen of the phone, there were his feet. Bwahaha!

iPhone, Hipstamatic app (shake to randomize)
Just one of the many random shots I took of reflections in the water. I'm fascinated by reflections...

iPhone, Vintage B/W app
When Jeremy went for his walk, he left his pole leaned against the double fold out chair we have and this random fishing gear appeared on my phone's screen. I had to have a picture. There's something comforting about it for me.


iPhone, Polarize app
It was cloudy most of the day but at this point we thought a storm might be rolling in so we started getting our stuff together to leave. Actually, he started getting the stuff together and I kept taking pictures...but, to be fair, I carried everything but the poles and the chair back to the truck, which was quite a walk with the weight I ended up with all at once. You'd be surprised how much a small cooler with a little ice and four bottles of water in it weighs once the ice melts. Isn't that the strangest thing ever? Because, like you'd think the water would weigh the same whether or it was solid or liquid - or possibly even more as a solid, when you really think about it. But no - it was definitely heavier once the ice had melted. I also had my backpack with some books and camera stuff in it, along with a Wal-Mart bag full of snacks and my hands were full of bait (contained, of course) and a lot of other randomness that I don't even remember. I think I borrowed a rock, for one thing. Somehow I took ants back with me, too.

iPhone, iPhone Camera app
I turned around for one more shot of the view I'd been enjoying for so long - it was actually really fun to watch the clouds developing, even though I'm terrified of driving in/riding in rain or bad weather and petrified of lightening. Good news, though - it never rained until late Saturday night! So all was good - and we could have stayed longer, but we were both ready for some food and a nap when we got back to the house - we were so drained from the heat and humidity; and after the nap we were more than ready to go pick Jesse up. We missed him so - we always do. It's very strange. You say, "Ugh! We need time together alone..." Then, you get rid of him for several hours and the whole time you're going, "I miss Jesse. Do you miss him? Am I crazy? Are you having a good time? I mean, I am, but I sure miss Jesse." Sometimes you really feel like you're going insane. Those thoughts are an example of such a time. I don't feel so bad, though - if it were just me, I'd be worried, but Jeremy's the same way!

iPhone, Polarize app
We finally got Jesse back, and on the way home we stopped at a new local bakery for cupcakes. Jesse and I waited in the truck while Jeremy went in and got them. They were great, and now I know who is going to be doing the cakes for Jesse's first birthday party in TWO MONTHS (yes, two - one for him to play in and one for the actual party and guests!). /faint!

iPhone Photography: The Hipstamatic App

Posted on July 22, 2010 at 8:04 PM Comments comments (1)

The Hipstamatic app for iPhone is one of my favorite photography apps. Sure, it's a bit pricy for an app if you get all the bells and whistles (around $11 total, wow! /sarcasm) but well worth it. If you're into old skool (yeah, I know I spelled it like that) photography - photography with more of an analog feeling - then this app is one of the best in that category, and I have a few to choose from that I've actually used on which to base my opinion.

If you visit the Hipstamatic website, you'll find that they almost always have a contest of some sort going on - usually a themed type thing. There's a chance to interact with other photographers and users of the app, get tips and talk trash about how much better your shots are than theirs (now, seriously! What serious photographer would ever do that?!?! /part of my bitter sarcasm, again). The only downside to this app is that it is currently only availble for the iPhone - but don't give up Droid or other phone users, I've heard through the grapevine some serious discussion about bringing Hipstamatic to other phones, as well - I don't know when one could expect this, but if I hear more of it I will definitely update you!

John S Lens, the Jimmy Lens, the Kaimal Mark II Lens, the Standard Flash, the Dreampop Flash, Ina’s 1969 Film, and Kodot Verichrome Film.

The $1.99 Hipstamatic app comes with the following "Standard Equipment Package":

  • John S Lens
  • Jimmy Lens
  • Kaimal Mark II Lens
  • Standard Flash
  • Dreampop Flash
  • Ina's 1969 Film
  • Kodot Verichrome Film
  • Blanko Film

If you visit the HipstaMart (via the app), you'll find that you can buy packages of other lenses, flashes, and films. The app is a LOT more fun, and has a lot more variety with the shake to mix it up feature (that I'll mention later in my Hiptamatic tips list), if you have all the pieces. That said, it's just fine and still incredilby awesome and fun with the standard equipment.

You can find full descriptions of each piece of equipment in all the equipment packages (and the package prices), including the standard equipment, at the HipstaMart Supplies Page :

  • The "Williamsburg Hipstapack"
  • Helga Viking Lens
  • Pistil Film
  • Primary Gel Pack (Color Gels)
  • The "Portland Hipstapack"
  • Lucifer IV Lens
  • BlacKeys B+W Film
  • The "Shibuya Hipstapack"
  • Roboto Glitter Lens
  • Berry Pop Flash
  • Float Film
  • The "Camden Hipstapack"
  • Alfred Infrared Film
  • BlacKeys SuperGrain B+W Film

Hipstamatic Tips and Tricks:

I've been using this app for a while (OK, a mere four-ish months now), and in the process I've learned a few tricks that are built right into the app (thanks to Eskimoblueboy for at least a couple of these!). Now, we all want our equipment to be set up so that it is as easy to get "that pic" as possible, right? This is especially true with the iPhone, where you generally have very little control over the shutter itself. I mean - it's basically ALL AUTO, period. But with this (and some other) great apps, PROBLEM SOLVED! Several options are available to make your experience both more pleasant (including the outcome of your pressing the shutter release button) and more fun. Here is a list of little things that I've done or learned to make this app more user friendly and enjoyable (as if it's THAT hard to find this app enjoyable!):

  • First and foremost, the best thing I've EVER done with this app is set the viewfinder mode from Classic to Precision Framing. Some of the lenses don't give you a good sense of where your subject will actually end up if you use "classic" framing. The subject that you think is going to be dead center in the picture might be way off to the right or left, or even half cut off in the picture (not that you should EVER put the subject of your picture in the CENTER, right? Secret - I do it often in order to allow myself cropping space, and sometimes it actually just really does fit well in the center...). So, that was a definite annoyance and issue for me in the beginning. Eskimoblueboy pointed out that this option was available and it has literally changed my life - at least when it comes to using this app. 
To do this, you have to go to Settings on your iPhone (not within the app itself), and scroll down to application settings. Touch Hipstamatic, and from here you will see where to tap to change the setting (along with most most of the others I will mention that are related to actual "settings").
  • LEAVE "Auto-Save to Library" ON when you first start using this app - and maybe even forever. When you first begin to play with this app, it takes some getting used to - waiting on the print to develop and then process (yes, you really have to wait - not long, though - for this, and you see it happening as the lights blink).  You can turn this off later, and some users have said they prefer to do that, but my experience is LEAVE IT ALONE. It's a real pain in the aspartame to have to go to your roll within Hipstamatic and try to save the images to your actual iPhone camera roll.
  • Turn High Quality Prints ON. It's worth it. Trust me. It DOES take a little longer for the prints to develop and process, but unless you're really in need of quick shooting (losing about 10 seconds between shots, and it's not even that slow with the new iOS 4.01), you'll appreciate having control over resizing your images to smaller sizes for web uploading and having your originals because you can actually get some really decent small prints out of this app!
  • If you want to know what combination of lens, film, and/or flash you used for a certain flash, leave "Add EXIF Data" on. In the Hipstamatic camera roll (in app) you will be able to tap the image and it will flip over and tell you exactly what you used to take the shot. This is especially useful if you use the shake to randomize feature (which is next in this list) and like the result. You'll want to know what the combination was so you can use it again on purpose!
  • Shake to Randomize - one of my FAVORITE features of this app, and another one the Eskimo told me about. Right there in settings, all the time I've had the app, and I never saw it. It makes this app EXTRA fun, because it's like fishing in the ocean - you never know what you're going to catch! I mean, you might know what the picture will be OF, but what it is going to turn out looking like, you'll have no idea! Tons of fun. This is where it is a lot more interesting if you have the add-on packs I mentioned above.
  • When using the actual application, switching lenses, films, and flashes is easy. You simply swipe the screen to change the lens, and select the icon at the bottom of the app for film or flash and do the same.
  • The flash. I really don't have much to say about the flash that is good - it adds some random color and fake light. Yeay. Sometimes it can be a fun effect to play with, but if you want a good picture of something important, I wouldn't suggest picking that time to use the flash in this app. Once you get used to the combinations and the flashes and know what effects they will have, it's a different story - you can take some really awesome pictures with the flash. I hardly EVER use any of the flashes, and the DreamPop flash is the only one I'm really comfortable with. It gives the best results overall, no matter what combo of lens/film you have chosen to use. This is simply a matter of personal preference - not a serious complaint about the application.
  • Using Black + White films - DON'T DO IT WHEN IT'S DARK. Just don't. Even with a "flash." It's digital flash, people, not actual flash. The iPhone will NEVER (at least the 3G or 3Gs) actually have a built in flash (which is the only thing I miss about my old phone...
  • Don't be afraid. Just mix it up all day long and find what you like the best.
  • If you'd rather find out without spending your own time shooting what the combinations are like, visit this AWESOME guide from Photojojo: The Ultimate Hipstamatic Guide. As they say, "Thing is, since each lens, film, and flash produces a different look, it can get overwhelming. You know, like, what does the Jimmy lens look like if you use Pistil film and the Dreampop flash? 

6 lenses + 7 flash options + 8 films = 336 different combinations. YIKES!

So we took 336 photos with every possible combination of the Hipstamatic arsenal. (Because we love you.) And we’ve even broken it down into an easy guide to tell you which combos go together. (Ditto.)"

Some of my favorites of the shots I've taken with the Hipstamatic app (so far):

Clicking any of these images will take you to the iPhone Hipstamatic folder in my gallery, where you can view more Hipstamatic shots (may not seem like many yet, but I'm still uploading!).

Unboxing the iPhone (shot with JR's iPhone/Hipstamatic)!! [above]



Old SKOOL! (iPhone Photography Apps/Information)

Posted on July 14, 2010 at 1:44 PM Comments comments (0)
People have asked me I don't know how many times about my mobile photography, as it were, and I keep telling them it's not that hard to do great things! They don't believe me. Well, if you don't have an iPhone, I'm not sure what to tell you because it's the iPhone apps that make it easy, fun, and well - fun - to do cell phone photography that's not just "snapshot-ish" - at least for me. But I'm not going to say that you are limited just because you don't have an iPhone!!

Just about everyone I know that has a cell phone has one with a built in camera. Maybe not the greatest camera (even mine is only 2.2mp or some such - while I think my brother-in-law has a newer non-iPhone that has something like 8mp!!), but definitely one that offers the ability to get great pictures. I say this because I'll always be a firm believer that great equipment helps, but it's NOT what makes a truly great photo. Yeah, you still have to have the eye, frame a shot, all those certain things that make a good photograph, but you get a lot of variety in what you can do with your own abilities with the iPhone or other mobile phone camera.

I created a folder at my Facebook fan page (Christy Grimes Photography) devoted to my iPhone as an entity.  The purpose of this folder is to share with you the things (apps) I use. I will also be (as promised recently) doing blog posts and linking them to my fan page to show you more specifically an app or how I use an from my own perspective, etc. I will be linking photos from this folder to those blog posts, which is that main reason for creating this folder. :)

OLD SKOOL! This is, I'm pretty sure, my favorite photography app folder.  Remember the old skool photography? Polaroids and vintage photography and affects from previous decades? The apps in this folder (depending on which one you use) may have the ability to let you create a shot, just by shooting it!, that looks like it came right out of the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s - everything in between.

My favorite app of all is in this folder - it is "Hipstamatic." It will probably be the first app I review or blog about specifically. The other apps in this folder that are a lot of fun are the "Toy Camera" app, because you have absolutely no control of what the image will look like - it is a completely random thing. You shoot and it creates whatever it's little heart desires. The Polarize app is another favorite of mine - it creates polaroid images from images you select from your camera roll, or you can shoot a polaroid photo from the app itself. The only thing missing is the photo paper squeezing out of the end of your phone. Bwahaha!

If you have an iPhone and use any of these apps or use other apps that I don't have or know about, please feel free to share your experiences and opinions. I will, as mentioned, be doing different blogs dedicated to specific apps, so watch for those and feel free to comment there!