Digital Photography


My Nexus 4 “Ordinary Things” photo series on Google+

"Ordinary Things" photo series.

“Ordinary Things” photo series.

I stopped posting regularly on Google+ on October 3, 2012. However, recently, I started posting near daily to a photo series I call Ordinary Things. Here’s why:

I bought a Nexus 4 phone to replace an HTC HD7 (Windows Phone 7) earlier this year. However, it was rarely used to take photos because I use an iPhone 5 for that function. The Ordinary Things photo series is a way to force myself to use the Nexus 4 to take photos and to learn more about both it and the Snapseed photo app (now owned by Google) – Most of the photos have some processing using Snapseed. So, it seemed like posting these photos to Google+ would make it an all-Google effort. You can find me on Google+ at:

Todd Ogasawara on Google+

Android
Digital Photography
Mobile Devices

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In the MobileViews review queue: Slingshot phone camera stabilizer (a Kickstarter project)

The SLINGSHOT is a Kickstarter project that claims to: Stabilizes smartphone video . . . and more! The testimonials would have you believe this thing works magic and is priced at merely $14. And, to their credit, this product is actually shipping. The PR firm working with the developer asked if I would like to review one. So, I’ve been playing with it for about two weeks. But, I’m still not convinced it works (despite testimonials on its Kickstarter page that indicates I’m wrong). Will play with it another week or so before writing my conclusion.

Digital Photography
iPhone

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Old low-end Eye-Fi card + camera + iPad + iPhoto = Photo fun

I have an old(ish) Eye-Fi Home Video 4GB SDHC card that I got as part of a promotion to buy 200GB of Google Docs storage space in 2010. At the time, the transfer was through my Mac (or PC) to Eye-Fi’s service and then to Google Picasa. The process was slow and, it seemed, not 100% reliable. So, the card got put away after a week or two of disappointing tests.

However, Apple’s new iPhoto for iOS (released last week) is such an amazing tool on my iPad (it also works on an iPhone or iPod touch) that I wanted to get photos from a digital camera to my iPad without using SD card readers. My guess was that Eye-Fi’s free iOS app would not work with my old low-end card (the model is not even listed on Eye-Fi’s web site). However, to my surprise it worked fine after following the simple instructions provided by the app itself.
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Digital Photography
iPad

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Excellent CNET Interview with Canon’s Chuck Westfall

CNET’s Stephan Shankland has an excellent (and lengthy) interview with Canon’s professional products technical advisor Chuck Westfall…

Q&A: Canon helps usher in the video SLR era

Stephen asked a lot of questions. But, the one I was most interested in was about including GPS capability. Westfall waffled on that one. But, it was encouraging that he said it would be sooner rather than later.

Canon’s soon-to-be-released Rebel T1i which is the first Rebel SLR to shoot video (let alone HD video though at “only” 24fps) is the SLR on my wish-list.

Digital Photography

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Podcast 21: Conversation with Derrick Story, Pro Photog and Author, About iPhone Photo Apps

The Internet is a wonderful thing. It gave me the opportunity to work with professional photographer and author Derrick Story for the past 7 years or so even though we have never met in person. Derrick was an editor at O’Reilly Media for much of that time. And, it was he who gave me the opportunity to write a bit for O’Reilly Media. He knew about my fascination with cameraphones even back then. And, I was thrilled when he asked me to write a handful of cameraphone hacks to his book…

Digital Photography Hacks

I remain fascinated with cameraphone in general until today. So, I asked Derrick to speak with me specifically about the iPhone and its photo capabilities for this podcast. Derrick provides some great information about using everything from the high-end (and expensive) Adobe PhotoShop CS4 to free and low-cost (99 cents to a few dollars) iPhone photo-related apps.

You can find Derrick’s own blog at…

TheDigitalStory.com

…where he often mixes in iPhone related photo information with other digital photography info. If you found this podcast interesting, you definitely want to check out Derrick’s own podcast. And, in particular, download the podcast he produced on March 17, 2009. He provides a lot of detailed iPhone photo advice in that particular podcast too.

Digital Photography
iPhone
podcast

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MobileViews Podcast 19: Pangea CEO Brian Greenstone Sets the iPhone Dev Switch Story Straight

Pangea Software has developed software for the Mac for over 20 years. CEO Brian Greenstone recently got a lot of attention from a report that he stopped developing for the Mac to focus on the iPhone. However, it turns out that this report is not correct. He stopped Mac game development about 2 or 3 years ago but has continued to developed photography related Mac apps. His interest in developing games for the iPhone is real, however. You can hear him discuss his background in this 28 minute 25 second long podcast.

– You can listen to the podcast right now from your web browser by using the embedded player above.
– You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or this RSS feed.
– You can also point your smartphone’s browser at mobiletoday.podbean.com to listen to or download the MP3 file over the air to your phone.

Digital Photography
iPhone
podcast

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Tried RAW Mode for the First Time


I only have one digital camera that can take photos in RAW mode. I bought the camera around 2002 or 2003 (I think) and never used the RAW setting because CF cards were expensive and the biggest card I had was only 256MB (plenty for JPEGs but way to small for RAW). With some time on my hands (day job ended yesterday) and no need to skimp on CF card space, I shot a few photos around my home using the old G3 (4 megapixel) in RAW mode. I’m not sure my old Windows based photo editors could deal with RAW mode. However, the current generation Apple iPhoto works fine with this format.

I’m pretty happy with what I see so far. And, while the RAW files are large, they are not gigantic compared to today’s much higher resolution JPEG images. I may carry this old camera around a bit and shoot more RAW images this week.

Digital Photography

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My Pocket PC Camera Has Macro Setting?


I think I noticed the macro switch on my TyTn Pocket PC Phone Edition (aka Professional Edition) when I got it last year. But, I never tested it out until this week. While the TyTn’s digital camera is better than most Windows Mobile device cameras I’ve tried, it is still hampered by a cheap lens. And, the macro feature suffers because of this. The macro photo of the leaf looks relatively sharp here because it is a resized down from the original 2 megapixel image. The original image looks quite blurry.

Still, it is a nice feature to have. I’ll play around a bit more with distance, lighting, etc. to see if I can figure out optimized techniques for its use.

Digital Photography
Mobile Devices
Mobile Phones
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Windows Mobile

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Back to Basics: Cameraphone Sports Mode Setting


Generally speaking, the cameras on most phones are much slower than even the slowest of the first generation consumer digital cameras back in the 1990s. So, I’ve never really expected to get much in the way of action shots with my cameraphone and ignored the so-called Sports Setting the camera configuration. However, while waiting for my daughter at her gym today, I decided to play with that setting to while the time away.

You can see one of the photos I took using the Sports Setting using my T-Mobile Dash (AKA HTC Excalibur). On this particular phone, this setting reduces the resolution to 640×480 (which makes sense) and takes three (3) photos in succession after pressing the selection button. You can adjust the number of photos it takes per squeeze in the configuration menu.

I’ve shrunken the photo from the original 640×480 to make it blog-friendly. It won’t make anyone throw away their Digital SLR. But, the result was better than I expected. I guess I should try some of the other camera phone settings too now.

Back to Basics
Digital Photography
Mobile Devices
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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TwitPic: Send a Photo to Twitter From Your Phone


TwitPic is a free web service that lets you attach a photo web link to a Twitter tweet. Here’s how you do it, head over to TwitPic and sign-in with your normal Twitter account name and password. Then, click on Settings and add the special email address it shows you to your cameraphone’s email contacts list. The address is in the form of: twitterusername.secretstuff@twitpic.com. If you send a photo to this email address, the email subject line will become your tweet text and a weblink to your photo will appear beside this text. Anyone who clicks on your TwitPic photo link will be able to see your photo.

Digital Photography
Mobile Devices

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CHDK Wiki: How to Hack A Canon PowerShot Digital Camera


I really tempted to try a CHDK Wiki Canon PowerShot digital camera firmware hack. But, a big streak of digital cowardice is getting in the way :-) According to their FAQ, the changes are not actually written to the camera in a permanent way. The firmware hack can be reversed by simply removing the flash card with the hack on it. Applying the hacks adds features to some (but not all) Canon PowerShot cameras.

Digital Photography

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Back to Basics: The Subtler Differences Between Cameraphones and Digital Cameras

Dash cameraphone vs. Canon A710IS

Discussions (and sometimes rants) about camera phone photos usually steer towards pixel count, clarity, and color. However, there are subtler differences between camera phone photos and digital camera photos. Take the two photos above taken using a T-Mobile Dash cameraphone (left) and a Canon Powershot A710IS point-and-shoot digital camera. I’ve resized both photos from their respective 1.3 megapixel and 7 megapixel resolutions so that both images are 320 pixels wide.

The first thing you probably noticed is that when resized to the same width the Dash’s photo is much squarer than the A710IS’. Cameras vary slightly in aspect ratio. So, if something seems slightly odd in your cameraphone photos, compare it to the aspect ratio of the digital camera you normally use. Cropping the camera phone photo to match the aspect ratio you are comfortable with might help.

Although I did not take the two photos at the exact same angle, you can still see that the camera phone photo seems flatter than the digital camera’s. Seeing distinct people (mostly heads here) drops off rapidly after a row or two of tables in the food court. The digital camera has a slightly wider angle of view even though I took both photos from exactly the same spot.

So, if something about your camera phone photo doesn’t seem quite right to you. It may not be the resolution or even the sharpness of the photo. It might be some of the subtler aspects of  camera phone’s imaging characteristics that might be at play for you.

Back to Basics
Digital Photography
Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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