I recently drove to Monterey to join my friend and painter Don Neff while he was doing plein air painting as part of the 2018 Carmel Art Festival. Don took us to one of his favorite spots along the Monterey Bay coastline – Perkins Park in Pacific Grove.
Don and I caught up on old times as he was painting a small 6×8 inch canvas for the show.
As I was sitting with Don, we watched the sun play with the fog bank – creating some beautiful and ever changing lighting on the bay. There was a single fishing boat out – seemed to be turning circles in the middle of the bay. I captured a few shots with my iPhone 8 Plus including this one:
Later, when I was home, I began playing with this image using some of the iOS photo editing apps that I’ve collected (don’t ask how many I have!). One of my favorites for landscape (or seascape!) scenes is called Distressed FX. This app is available on both the iPhone and iPad. It allows you to simply experiment adding both color and texture effects to an image. With this image, I cropped it to a square format and then, using Distressed FX, added the sky and a subtle texture overlay. The result is startling beautiful – and way different from the original! [Update 5/29/18: Here’s a good introductory tutorial about Distressed FX.]
Today I took a video workshop with Karen Klinedinst teaching me techniques for editing images on my iPhone and iPad. While I’ve had many of the apps she walked me through already installed on my iPhone and iPad, I hadn’t spent the time to learn how to use them. Karen took the time to walk me through them – and I came away inspired to try doing more image editing and creative processing on my iPhone and iPad.
This afternoon I grabbed my iPad and tried a few of the techniques she taught me – resulting in this image. Originally shot a few weeks ago with the Fujifilm X70, I used Snapseed and Photoshop Fix on my iPad to create this monochrome version. Snapseed does a superb job with black and white conversion – and Photoshop Fix has a superb healing brush tool. A great combination for this image!
I made a quick visit to Filoli this morning on a very warm day here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wanted to try out a new Toshiba FlashAir SD Card in my Fujifilm X100S. I have the 8GB version of the card – Toshiba has just announced a 16GB version which is also faster (Class 10 vs Class 6) – but it’s not yet available.
My goal today was to be able to take some shots, upload them from the camera to my iPad mini, do a couple of quick edits and then upload them as a new set to Flickr. Everything worked fine – I shot 28 images (before the heat got to me!) and headed into the café to upload them off the camera to the iPad and then on to Flickr. All told, it took me about a half hour to do this – roughly 1 minute per image. The combination of moving these 6-7 MB Jpeg files around twice took longer than I expected (the FlashAir uses WiFi to the iPad mini and on the iPad I was using the Flickr app to upload over Verizon LTE cellular.
In any case, mission accomplished! Derrick Story likes to call this combination the “nimble photographer”. Not sure I felt very nimble today in the heat – but it was fun and a walk in Filoli – even a short one – is always a lift for the spirit!
When I got home, I transferred the images off the SD card into Lightroom 5 and then did some editing using VSCO Film presets. A bit of dodging and burning in Photoshop CC, a quick border addition, and this image was finished.
Over breakfast this morning, I stumbled across a recommendation for the iOS application (both iPad and iPhone) My Sketch – which costs $1.99. I installed it and tried it out on one of my recent photos – which took all of about 30 seconds for me to complete and save! I liked the look of the pencil sketch lines coming into the image very much like the rays of light behind him actually did at the time I shot the image.
There’s something about some photos that just grab you. When Doug Kaye and I were exploring South Pointe Park and the beach heading north from there in late January 2013, we came across this bicycle, probably one of the local rentals, hitched up to a post right on the beach. Wow. You start thinking that it’s one of those special moments – where it doesn’t get better than this. So, you take the shot.
As I was looking back at this image today, I thought that it might be a good candidate for an iPad wallpaper – for my lock screen. Seeing it brings me back to that lovely morning – just walking up the beach, a peaceful easy feeling indeed.
So, I decided to try making it into an iPad wallpaper image for my lock screen. I pulled it into a 2048×2048 square image at 264 dpi (for iPad’s with a Retina Display) in Photoshop CS6. I adjust the image placement for the rotation that the iPad does between portrait and landscape – brought down the highlights a bit and then tucked in my contact information.
Here’s a generic version of the result:
I made a similar image a few years ago – which has been my iPad’s lock screen image from then until today.
Back in September, I wrote about how an app had worked its way into my daily life. That app is Day One – a personal journaling app that works on my Mac, iPhone and iPad – and syncs across all three using iCloud (in my case) or Dropbox. Day One was just declared by Apple to be the 2012 Mac App of the Year – a very well deserved award in my view!
Congratulations to the small Day One team for creating such a great application that I use every day to capture those more personal moments, observations, and insights. I’ve got almost 350 entries in my Day One journal – since I started using it in early June following surgery. Day One’s cross-device sync’ing just works – and makes journaling anywhere so quick and easy. And the results are beautiful.
One of my favorite podcasts is Critical Path with Horace Dediu. Horace’s also the guy behind Asymco.com, a great blog about asymmetric competition, Apple, mobile in general, and more. He uses data to drive his analysis into otherwise lightly explored areas. Always a great read and an insightful podcast! He’s got an Asymconf conference coming up in late January at IBM’s Almaden Research Center – I’d be there if I could but I’ll be heading to Havana, Cuba for a photography workshop the week of his conference.
On a recent show, Horace talked about the evolution of tablets and how different companies were pursuing their objectives in the tablet market. At the high end, with classically high profit margins, is Apple with its iPad family. At the other end is Amazon.com and Google who both appear to be willing to settle for much lower margins on their base hardware products.
This discussion made me wonder what the endgame in tablets might be. We’ve got these two examples – Apple at the high end with a tablet (and associated ecosystem) generating lovely margins. At the other end, we’ve got others who are opting to price their tablets close to cost – viewing them as razors and expecting to make their real revenues from how those tablets are used to purchase content.
And then this article showed up a few days back – about how the Financial Times was crossing the threshold – giving away a free Nexus 7 tablet to new US digital or print subscribers. This feels like a slippery slope…
Pushing this discussion to an extreme, might we some day see free tablets from others – provided to us by those who would love to enable us for commerce within their particular ecosystem – and who might benefit from the additional signals such a tablet might provide from our browsing/searching/shopping history? Those signals – spanning across our interests as we read, search, shop, etc. – are valuable, aren’t they?
I’ve been thinking we’re moving into a post-card world with the capabilities our smartphones bring. Might a free tablet strategy fit in sometime soon? Where will mine come from? From Amazon? From Apple? From Google? A card issuer? A card network like Visa or MasterCard or American Express – or PayPal – or someone else? Maybe from my mobile carrier?
Since the launch of the iPad (3rd Generation) with that beautiful Retina display earlier this year, mine has been an almost constant companion. At breakfast each morning, it has been my go to machine – with Verizon LTE speeds and the beautiful display. Same for lunch if I’m alone. It’s gone of many airplane flights with me across the country – and has been a real workhorse – replacing my use of my 11-inch Macbook Air much of the time – except at the office where I plug the Air into a larger Cinema Display and use it with the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard and Magic Trackpad.
But, about two weeks ago, I bought a new iPad mini – and just never looked back. In fact, I’ve just sold that big iPad – after becoming very pleased with the even more versatile, small iPad mini form factor. I was even pleasantly surprised by the screen on the mini – a non-Retina version to be sure (as pointed out by many reviewers) but one which still looks great on the smaller mini screen. The feel of the iPad mini reminds me of the feel I had when I first got the 11-inch Air – compared to the 15-inch Macbook Pro that had been my everyday workhorse machine. Small is beautiful!
Three months ago I had major surgery to deal with an important health issue. A few days before my surgery, I happened to discover an app that sounded like it might be useful for me to use as a journal following my surgery. That app was Day One.
Since the day of my surgery three months ago, I’ve been using Day One to journal my thoughts every day, noting my progress (or, sometimes, maybe a lack of progress!). Day One is there for me every morning – and it’s been where I’ve captured how I’m feeling, what I’m learning, and more. I mostly write in the morning – but, sometimes, I write later in the day – adding to my morning thoughts based on the events of the day.
Day One has both iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Mac versions – and they fully synchronize – so you can write whenever and wherever you are – with the device that’s with you. Day One is one of the best examples I’ve seen of using “the cloud” to make things seamless. It just works.
I’ve never been up to a keeping a daily paper-based journal – but I’ve been enjoying how easy daily journaling is to do so with this app. It looks great – and its cross-platform features just help encourage journaling wherever I am. It’s my version of a Photo 365 project – writing sometime every day about how I feel…and more. A delight – especially now as I’m looking back on three months of my daily notes! And, with the latest update, I can add a photo to each journal entry – just makes me happy!
Thanks to the Day One team for making such a wonderful app! You guys “done good”!