PHOTOGRAPHY

Using Snapseed on your Phone

Often you’ll hear that you need to use proper tools for decent photography. Well, I’m here to tell you that today in an age of mobile phone Apps, that is not entirely a true statement. If you’re an enthusiastic amateur who always carries their phone with them – you might want to read on. For some time now my wife and I have been spending our summers in Spain where it is HOT and pretty much the last thing I want to do on a very hot day – is carry around a camera. My phone however goes with me everywhere and hence tends to get a lot of use.…
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The Rise of Prisma

Some time ago I wrote about a little App called Prisma – something which takes your photos, sends them off to a big computer and turns them into works of art – or rubbish depending on your viewpoint – I go with the former description though clearly at the end of the day it is possible to mess up with any of these tools if you are really bad at it.  Well, Prisma had a couple of issues – limited resolution and the strange need to crop your photos to square – on top of that they put a small ad on the photo – still great to use but…
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Some Pictures

Well, this is a photography site! A small selection of pictures I’ve taken recently – some in their original form, some processed. I’ll explain what I’ve done and why… The photograph above was taken in Galera (Spain) this summer in one of the many evening events – some religious, some just an excuse to party. This was taken with a mobile phone and despite my best efforts you see here an issue that affects all cameras to one extent or another – dynamic range. The phone camera is just not able to capture the massive range of brilliance from the bright incandescent lighting through to the shadows in the streets…
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The Death of Picasa

Of all the software I’ve used over the years to process photos, Picasa has always been my favourite. It has a reasonable number of tools and it is FAST. To put that into perspective, for many years I held several roles within the Federation of Small Businesses or FSB in the UK and one of the more delightful roles included responsibility for the organisation’s national conference website. These would be held around the country and for years I took a DIY approach to the conference website photography.  Every year, we paid for two photographers to take countless pictures of political and business figures speaking at the Conference and then staff…
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Turning Photos into Art

I do know people who don’t like to mess with photos – and that’s fine – I do as you may have seen in other posts. So much so that recently I’ve been looking for mobile phone software that might help turn pretty ordinary-looking photos into something a bit special. I got more than I bargained for. A little App called PRISMA is but one of a growing number of programs that attempt to “interpret” photos to produce artworks – and they are getting very good at it. If you have a top notch photo there is little point in resorting to gimmicks – but let’s face it, not all…
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Painting Effects

I used this number in one of my blogs recently and of course the first thing that happened was people asking how this was done.   So the photo was taken this morning in the town centre, a particularly quiet morning with only a couple of people about. There’s a very continental look about this particular part of town and I wanted to capture that without familiar faces. Smart Photo Editor is an inexpensive PC package which offers a huge number of “preset” effects for photos – but not so simple that you can’t customise them if you wish. Community-maintained there are new filters arriving all the time – and so…
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The camera never lies, or does it?

I should stress at the beginning that I am neither a doctor nor an optician so if I use the wrong terms, consider the source. I have, however, been fascinated by photography since getting my first SLR a quarter century ago. They say “the camera never lies”. There is a world of difference between the camera and your eye and I will use that to challenge the above statement (ignoring of course the wider truth that some “CGI” is now indistinguishable from reality – and if you still believe that CGI is not “real” take a look at this stunning piece of video - the first few seconds (after the…
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Removing Objects from Photographs in Gimp

The title says GIMP but I’ll cover other packages in here – read on. Normally I put photos in my blogs and leave the reader to wonder how i made them. I’ve uploaded approaching 8,000 photos to Flickr over time and that’s just a small selection of the pics I’ve taken over the past 50 years (digital since 1998) – that’s a lot of photo clean-ups. From the dawn of digital photography I’ve been trying out different tools to enhance my pictures and in these pages I’ll describe some of them. Anyway, here’s a quick tip. Let’s say you’ve taken a holiday photo and there’s something (or someone) in the…
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