Waiting for my iPhone X

I couldn’t wake up at 3AM EST to order the new iPhone X, so I’m going to have to be patient for another 3-4 weeks. The new camera looks amazing from the specs, and there are numerous sites that have been posting photos from the new camera, but here are a few great posts.

Austin Mann took the iPhone X to Guatemala and did a full review of the iPhone. Let’s just say some of the photos (and the video of the volcano) are rather amazing.

Photo by Austin Mann

Photo by Austin Mann

Austin also did a full review of the iPhone 8 Plus when it first came out, so if you don’t want to jump to the X, be sure to check out that review.

Om Malik took his iPhone 8 Plus to Tuscany, Italy last month and took some amazing photos.

Photo by Om Malik

Photo by Om Malik

So what have I been up to? Definitely not much blogging. I’ve been so busy in the past few years, and blogging often feels like homework. No one wants to do homework! This past summer I took a pretty long vacation and spent all of June and July hiking around Mont Blanc, and then doing some hikes in Norway. It was a great experience. If you ever want a good introduction to Norway you could do a trip with Hvitserk. I’ve now done three trips with them in the past two years. They were all great. They did a blog post featuring my story the other day. Fun!

I’m hoping to go back to Europe again next year. And I’ll try to start blogging once again. I think I’m finally missing it. When my iPhone X arrives, I’ll be sure to talk about it!

Photo by Raman Pfaff. Mountain behind clouds.

Photo by Raman Pfaff. Mountain hiding behind clouds.

Photo by Raman Pfaff. Sunset in Reine, Norway.

Photo by Raman Pfaff. Sunset in Reine, Norway.

Top iPhone App of 2016 is Prisma

At the end of the year almost every publication names their top apps of the year. Apple chose Prisma as the top iPhone app for 2016. I believe this was the first time a photo-related app was selected. Prisma is an app that will convert your photo to a ‘work of art’ in a variety of styles by famous artists.

Local eatery shortly after sunset. Used Prisma to create the artwork.

When it was first released it would upload all the photos to their servers to process the images using sophisticated algorithms (computer code). Some were concerned about privacy issues. Since that time the app runs locally on your iPhone (at least for most of the styles – I’m not sure if there are any that still get uploaded to their servers). The app continues to improve in stability, and can even do video in a recent update!

It’s a free app, so you should download this one. I really enjoy using it. You’ll quickly learn which styles are your favorites, and new styles are often being added.

When using it there are a few things you can do. If you drag your finger left/right on the image you can apply the percentage of artwork over your image so your photo can be blended with the artwork. If you swipe your finger downward on the image it will add a ‘split line’ down the image, so artwork only covers half the image. If you swipe your finger down a few more times it will change the direction of the slice. After several swipes the line will go away again (you can also swipe upwards to reverse the process).

Currently the app seems to have a maximum size of 2 million pixels in dimensions for the image, so it does not save full resolution images. An image on my iPhone 6s will be 1608×1224 pixels. This has increased since the app was first released, so maybe that will continue to increase with future updates. I haven’t played very much with the video and am not sure what the output resolution is.

Below are a few of my images. You can find far more on their Instagram page. You can download from their home page at prisma-ai.com.

Now…why haven’t I been doing more posts? Work continues to drag me down. I’m on a multi-year software project that is consuming all my time. Unfortunately, it is running rather significantly behind. There isn’t really a project manager on this one (even worse, there are a number of people that partially do the job), and it is rather disorganized as far as timelines go. Typical frustrations of work. Hopefully I get to retire some day and I’ll have far more free time. I can dream. 🙂

I’m Back…Just in Time for the iPhone 7

Hi all. Yes, I know, I’ve been gone for awhile. My tweets were not tweeting, and this blog was not blogging. I took some time away from blogging as my real job got the better of me. A big project lasted a long long time. A really long time. Since it ended I got out and did a bit of vacationing. Hiking in California, hiking in Norway, a marathon in Stockholm, a triathlon in Ohio,…and a few other fun things here and there. I even bought a drone for fun. My drone skills currently consist of going straight up, snapping photos, and coming straight down. Definitely fun, and I’ve gotten some really good panoramas from up in the sky.

So, have I missed anything in the past year? Of course! Snapseed keeps improving, there are some fun new apps, and Adobe has pretty much everything on iOS now. The biggest news came out today – the iPhone 7.Waterproof, dustproof, and the dual camera on the iPhone 7 Plus. I’m really disappointed that they don’t have that on the iPhone 7 as well, since I’m not a fan of the really large iPhone. But, I will take a look at one next time I make it to an Apple Store. For now I’ll keep using my iPhone 6s. I still seem to get a few nice photos every now and then (in my opinion of course).

OK, for those that might have missed it, here is the summary of the new iPhone.

I’ll be buying a new Apple Watch that includes the GPS. Really good for runners. I’m very curious about the accuracy of the milage and battery drainage due to the GPS. I’ll let you know once I get it in late October (the currently shipping date). During the next few weeks I’ll be updating the site a bit so things might change here and there. Stay tuned for fun. 🙂

Where did the year go?

This has been one of the busiest years of my life. I’ve been the project manager/advisor for a LONG project that has been ongoing for eighteen months. During this project I’ve started to dislike technology by the end of the day. I don’t want to deal with computers. I don’t want to read blogs. I don’t want to post on my own blog. Possibly the worst situation for someone that has a blog.

Waterlogue was used on the spring flowers in my front yard.

Waterlogue was used on the spring flowers in my front yard.

I’ve wanted to do posts about ‘live photo’ on my new iPhone 6s. I wanted to post about the Color Curves app. I’ve wanted to post about my Apple Watch and how it works with some photo apps (I’m so happy with Apple Watch!). There are new iOS apps every day, Adobe has added a wealth of new/updated apps, and the iPhone keeps getting updated.

Last week I took my first day off in 2015. I went up to New York City and ran the marathon. I hadn’t run a marathon in two years but it was fun. It was a challenge. My time wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t my worst. Three hours and forty eight minutes. Running gave my mind several hours of pure relaxation and I focused on taking one more step over and over again, and avoiding the mass of humanity the covered the city that day. My mind and body both felt good at the end of the run considering I’d just completed 26.2 miles on a sunny afternoon in NYC! I was happy.

A gorgeous fall day in Central Park. I used Glaze for the painted look.

A gorgeous fall day in Central Park. I used Glaze for the painted look.

My project is getting closer and closer to completion – that should happen by the end of January. A long vacation isn’t too far off. On a whim I signed up for the Stockholm Marathon in June 2016. That sounds like a great vacation to a place I’ve never been (I have only spent a few days of my entire life outside of the United States). I can’t wait to take some pictures of Sweden on my iPhone.

I’m sure I’ll be blogging about that.