This last year I found myself on the road a lot. I use some social media like face book to keep up with friends and interests. Don’t share a lot of images or post my location because it leads to more targeted ads. I also find it had to take my camera on the road with me. I already have to take 2 laptops so to pack in a DSLR in my carry on gets to be a bit much.
Still I want to take images on the road. I decided to make some social media changes. I changed my Facebook account to only my hobby interest. I removed most of my personal information. Deleted post that were not related to my hobbies. Moved most of my professional contacts to Linkedin. I decided to use Instagram for my photos. Since the images I get are mostly from my iPhone I thought this was a good compromise
Now I take my photo and edit it in the instagram app. It actually does an OK job. I use it mainly for snapshots to document where I’ve been or for goofy images. I do try to post on a regular basis and I also use the instal reel app on my MAC. I don’t use it for anything other than travel snaps while I am on the road for work. If I’m working on a photo project of course I use my DSLR and Photoshop.
The biggest disadvantage of my iPhone is the limitations of the lens. The overall camera is actually decent for a phone. To give myself a few more options I got the olloclip. It’s a snap-on lens device that gives me 4 options. Wide angle, fish-eye and 2 Macro lenses in one small package. I can easily place this in my backpack and when I have time outside of work to site see I grab it and go.
This little system will never take the place of my DSLR but it will give me some options when it comes to sharing my travel with my friends and family and instagram followers. There are times I really wish I had my DSLR but when it is just not possible I have my olloclip and iPhone. The images here are some of my instagram photos. I haven’t had the account long but I hope to keep adding images from my travels. Thanks for the read, follow me on instagram @PD_Images
I had a hard drive crash on me. I was able to recover a lot of the data I thought I lost. I found some images I hadn’t looked at in quite some time and thought…. What can I do with these. So I began to play around with photoshop and this is what happened.
I took a normal looking image like this one and turned it into something out of a graphic novel. I know may people will say yes you posterized it or used poster edges but that is not the case. Those filters don’t get the same effect. In fact I used about 8 layers to get the final product. I also find that you can’t use the same process on every photo. Each time you begin the process changes slightly to make the image look correct.
Below is the final result of this image.
As you can see the entire photo is changed and it looks very much like a graphic novel image. I combined different artistic, stylize and blur filters to get the effect above. Here is a sample of the number of layers I used. The final result has about 3 additional layers.
Here is another before and after…
And 2 more full size examples….
I really enjoyed creating these and writing this article. Makes me think I could do a online graphic novel using real people since I can’t draw… Again thanks for reading this.
I’m planning to write another post soon about the lens baby system and embracing the blur….
I found a new gadget that helps reduce shaky video. The Digipower Action Camera Stabilizer. It is a simple design, includes counter weights, smart phone mount and a GoPro mount. It all packs nicely in a hardshell case. The price was about $60 for the kit.
It is quite simple. You mount your device then use the counter weights and level (built in the arm) to get the desired angle. When you start filming the mount helps to reduce camera shake and movement. I’ve only used it a little but notice a big difference in video quality.
Over all it seems to be well built but be aware it is for light weight cameras. I would not try to mount a DSLR or full size video camera to this unit. The only real issue I ave is the case does not look to be the most durable. For the price this mini steady cam is a great value!
A 3D camcorder for under $200 US, are you kidding? Yes this is a sub $200 3D camcorder. I first saw this when I was looking for a pro model camcorder to do stock videos with. I dismissed it as I really needed a camera with a high quality lens and sound recording ability. Later I decided to revisit the possibility of 3D video just for fun. The price was right so knowing it was just a fun toy I took a chance on it.
The camera is light weight and I’m sure for most this will be a good thing. I like my cameras to be a bit heavier as the weight helps to steady the camera. The controls are simple as is the menu. It stores video on SD media, I used a class 10 16gig scandisk for my testing. It has an almost instant on. Just flip the lens then open the view screen. The view screen is in 3D, no need for 3D glasses. The only issue is when the lens is open you can’t tilt the screen too much.
The camera has really good image quality. It may be a bit awkward at first because of the stereo lens but that isn’t too bad. Video is sharp and crisp with very nice color and contrast. I was shocked to see what this camera could do. The only real issue I had was a choppy zoom. I really wish the zoom was smooth but for the price and the image quality I can deal with the slightly jerky zoom.
The microphone is stereo and located in the front part of the monitor door. This does well as long as the sound that is right in front of the user. If there was one thing that would really make this camera sell better that would be the addition of an external microphone, but they did not add the plug. Since I did buy this camera to just play around, for me that missing feature was not a big deal.
So here are the pros
· Good image quality
· Light Weight
· Simple Operation
· Live 3D viewer
· Good Color
Here are the Cons
· Choppy Zoom
· No external Microphone jack
· Limited viewer tilt
· Average to poor images in low light
Conclusion – If you want a fun little camera to create 3D video with this is the camera for you. It has a low price and great image quality. I really enjoy using this camera. If you need features like an external microphone and smooth zooming then you may want to look at some other cameras. Again I would recommend this to users who want a fun camera or those who want to dabble in 3D. It would be hard to beat the quality at the price of this camera.
A while back I wrote about the GoPro camera. I have used my GoPro for many things and intended to use it for some underwater shots while on vacation. After reading reviews I found it was limited on quality underwater. Further research lead me to the Nikon Coolpix AW100. Water proof up to 33ft and shock proof up to 5 feet. This camera was made for mild sports action yet still remains stylish.
The camera looks like a simple point and shoot. Many of the features you would find on most with a couple differences. First the button for the shutter and video are separate. Each has a unique texture so you can feel what is what. Next the batter and memory card door had a rubber seal but also uses a double lock to be more secure from accidental opening. Next the camera has a built in GPS allowing you to GEO tag your images or use it as a functional ground GPS. Finally you will find a underwater setting in the presets for diving.
Dolphin Flight - Discovery Cove, Orlando FL
Going through the presets and doing some tests I found the “simple” mode to be annoying. I switch it over to “auto” for playing. During vacation I used several presets like “underwater”, “Beach” and “Night Portrait”. These are easy to change using the scene mode button on the back of the camera. All in all I found the scenes to be quite adequate for most of my images. Remember this is a point and shoot. The zoom range work well for most situations. The one drawback was the speed between shots. The manual boasts 2.5 frames per second but even with my extreme 30MB/s SD card I could not get shots that quickly.
The image quality during daylight was above average to outstanding in the point and shoot category. I think the color and contrast in the daylight images were spot on. I also could not see any real issues with noise in these images. I was a little disappointed in the night images. They seemed to have a lot of noise and took time to fix in photoshop. I would say a 5X7 would be the largest you could get a usable print from using night settings. Overall for a point and shoot the camera performance was above average. ** note I tested the zoom lens but did not use the digital zoom feature.
Video was also handled very well with this little camera. It takes 1080p HD video with great color and contrast. I also took several night videos and amazingly the quality of night video was much better than the photos. I was able to snorkel taking video and stills again with great results. The camera was easy to manage underwater. I did notice one difference here that should be noted. Using the underwater mode the still images look nice, corrected color but to me look a bit dull. The video looks great, especially compared to the GoPro but the color looks off a bit. I have included a video shot entirely using the AW100. (stills and video use the Coolpix AW100, Edited in Final Cut X Pro)
My overall opinion of the Nikon AW100: If you need a camera that can take some light abuse and for all weather situations I would recommend you check this camera out. The image and video quality are excellent in most situations. The controls are simple to use and it has safety locks keeping the camera weather tight. The drawbacks are minimal unless you plan to do lots of low-light images. For under $300 (USD) this camera is well worth a look.
I embark now on a new bit of photographic fun. Not only photo’s but video as well. I decided to play with iStopMotion. This was a very fun tool to use. The interface is simple and takes very little time to learn. Like those Claymation holiday movies this program creates a video from still frames. You position your character/object then snap an image. The program imports the file (if you have a web Camera/live view video camera you can see the image preview) then you move your character/object a little and take a picture. Repeat this process and your character comes to life.
The program has several tools to assist you like color correction and tilt shift controls. You can use a grid layout to help track motion. The program can also be use to capture time lapse photography. Additional tools like onion skin lets you overlay the current image over the previous on to insure you movement is fluid and not off. One of the other useful tools is the robo sync. You can for instance record an actor then use the footage to mimic the actors motion with the character/object. The program also comes with some preset foregrounds and backgrounds. Over all I say if you enjoy those old Claymation movies and want to create your own then you need to try iStopMotion.
Below is my first sample movie. I used iStopMotion then imported the project in After Effects to give it that night look and create the ghost. It was fun to make, hope to make another one soon! Thanks for reading!
Each year the Kansas Humane Society puts on an event called Woof Stock. I thought what better than to have Dobie put on the GoPro and make a new addition to Dobie Cam. You don’t get the most stable footage when you attach the camera like a collar but it is all in fun….right??
Now you do have to change some settings. I use the upside down mode for recording and since you never know what Dobie will get into I also use the full back so the camera is waterproof.
Now, just remember the footage will be unstable so you may have to run it through a filter like I did. I also used a movie trailer mode like in the iMove demo http://classmact.com/?p=32 Hope you enjoy the video, remember to have fun and if you don’t shoot something you get nothing.