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.

Pixelmator Goes Universal

Pixelmator, a high end photo editing program, was originally for the Mac. It was later released for the iPad. Recently Pixelmator became a Universal app so you can also run it on your iPhone! Here is the overview on the iPhone:

There is a vast amount of information about Pixelmator on YouTube to help you learn all about the app. Here are many videos from the Pixelmator team on YouTube.

Currently Pixelmator for iOS is available for just $0.99. A great deal on a powerful app. You can find out more on the Pixelmator home page, or go grab it on iTunes.

SKRWT: A Necessary Tool

It took awhile before the first few perspective correction apps were released for iOS, but last year SKRWT was released. It’s one of those apps that as soon as you use it you’ll know you can’t live without it. The description starts out as:

No more crooked lines! This keystone and lens-correction tool turns your phone into a view camera. All hail symmetry.

Converging lines have always been a given in iPhoneography due to the fixed focal length of today’s mobile phones – but not anymore. You can now correct horizontal and vertical perspective distortion with just one swipe. It’s really that simple!

If you have been using any adapters for your mobile phone – from wide-angle to tele-zoom or external cameras with wifi-connection – you now have your all-inclusive distortion-correction with you at all times.

Let’s just say I could live with just those features, but the list is far more extensive. If you want to know how important lens distortion can be, and what this app can do for you, spend a few minutes watching this video.

I always have a tough time remembering the name of this app, but based on the spelling I mentally use ‘screw it’ as the name when I use spotlight to find the app. I figure I need to twist (screw) the image to correct it. A screw is also a simple machine on wikipedia, and this app certainly makes it a simple process to correct image distortions.

The SKRWT app is currently $1.99 on iTunes. You can find out a lot more about the app on the SKRWT site. It is designed for the iPhone, but runs with no problem on the iPad.

This is one of those apps you absolutely need on your iPhone. Worth every penny.

Apple Watch – First Impressions

I was one of the foolish ones that ordered an Apple Watch back in April without having seen an actual watch. I think I’m overly geeky…not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I’ve now had my Apple Watch for 36 hours and I must say, I really like it. I actually like it a bit more than I thought I would!

Apple Watch 101
I took this photo using my Apple Watch as a remote control for my iPhone.

There are so many ‘little’ things that over the course of a day really seem to simplify things just a bit. Not having to look at my iPhone as emails wander in, people retweet me, meetings are getting ready to start, reminders to stand up every now and then, knowing when the sunset will occur, and watching the Apple stock price. No killer app, but lots of little things make it a killer technology that integrates so well with the iPhone.

I’ve been playing with the built in Camera Remote app on the watch. When you start the app your iPhone will launch the camera. You then see the view of your iPhone camera on your Apple Watch. You can click one of two buttons: a three second delay or an immediate snapshot. Sometimes I’ve gotten burst images and other times I haven’t. I’m not yet sure why that is. When you do the three second delay the flash will blink three times (I wish that could be turned off). This is a great feature if you want to take a shot with the camera on a nice stable surface, or get a great selfie with the main camera (and not the front facing low res camera).

I’ve only tried one other photo related app at this point – Hydra. I really like the Hydra app on my iPhone, but it seems to have some bugs when trying to use it with the iPhone. Several times the app on my iPhone as well as the app on my Watch just show up as a black screen that seems frozen. The times when it worked it would take the photo but in no way did it indicate the photo had been taken. I’m guessing this one still needs a bit of work. Since hardly any Apple Watches shipped until recently, I’ll give developers a bit more time to iron out the kinks before I form a strong opinion.

There are still a lot of those “why doesn’t my Watch do yada yada yada” moments, and I really don’t understand some things at all. My Watch also crashed twice and rebooted – I’ve since updated the OS to 1.0.1 so that problem may be gone. Definitely a few things I’d like to see improved…but overall I love my new watch. I hadn’t worn a watch (other than my Garmin while running) in years, so it still feels strange on my wrist.

I’ve barely played with my Apple Watch and still have a lot to learn (I’ve barely scratched the surface). My fingers are crossed for many great photo related apps moving forward and I’m so glad I bought the watch! I’d have been even happier if Apple had bought it for me! 🙂