Popsicolor Pops with Ink and Gradients in Latest Update

Popsicolor was updated to version 2 today, and the update is free for all the version 1 users. Good deal. It’s a major update with many new features. Here is the listing of what’s new:

★ Introducing Ink for incredible line drawing effects!
★ More Colors — New Warm & Cool color sets
★ More Focus options — Before there were 3, but now there are 16
★ More Gradient options — Before there was just 1, but now there are 24, including Duotone
★ More control with optional borders and the new auto-enhance feature
★ More sharing: Instagram (with built in square crop tool!), Twitter, Facebook, and more.
★ Speed, bug fixes, and other improvements

The ink and the new gradient options are my favorite (superb) additions to this app. I created this from a photo I took of the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in NYC when I was up there earlier this month. You can click on it to see the larger version on Flickr.

Apple in NYC

You can watch a nice video of Popsicolor 2 on the Popsicolor website. I really like this app. I’m hoping in the next version we get a bit more control over the amount of ink that is used. As with so many apps, you always want one more thing :)

Popsicolor is currently $1.99 on iTunes. [download]

AutoStitch Panorama Jumps to iPad

I’ve been using AutoStitch on my iPhone for a long time, and the iPad version was released earlier today. I’m excited. Not just because it’s now available, but also because one of my photos was used for a screenshot! :)

Sample images created with AutoStitch Panorama

Sample images created with AutoStitch Panorama. I took the vertical one of Radio City Music Hall while in NYC.

Some of the highlights from the full description are the ability to create up to 36 MB images, sharing projects with iPhone version of AutoStitch, and the great word…simplicity. This app really does make it simple when you want to stitch shots together.

AutoStitch creates the highest quality panoramas available on your iPad. It is the only app that stitches full-resolution photos taken in any arrangement into seamless high-resolution panoramas.

AutoStitch allows you to stitch any photos in your photo albums. Photos can be taken with the AutoStitch camera, with any other camera app, or even imported from another camera.

The built-in StitchGuide viewfinder makes it easy to capture exactly the scene that you want. The augmented reality interface elegantly displays the positions where previous images have been taken, making it easy to line up your next photo precisely.

For those that have AutoStitch for iPhone, the iPad version complements it perfectly. You can capture shots on the go with your phone, then transfer your projects to the iPad to view them on the larger screen. You can even re-stitch them at twice the maximum resolution, up to 36 megapixels.

Features:
● Simple and intuitive interface. Just choose or snap images and tap “Stitch”
● Choice of resolutions up to 36 megapixels for poster-quality prints (iPad2 or newer)
● All source images are retained, so you can change stitch options later
● Crop the result with automatic or manual cropping
● Includes StitchGuide augmented-reality viewfinder (iPad2 or newer)
● Stitch photos taken with any other camera or app
● Share your creations via email, Facebook, or Twitter

One of the big differences between AutoStitch and the built in panorama feature on the iPhone is that this lets you stitch the photos you’ve taken which are properly exposed. The built in panorama locks in the exposure and doesn’t change as you pan around. The ‘stitches’ with AutoStitch are amazingly seamless in most situations.

As I’ve said, I’ve been using the iPhone version for a long time. I always use it when I want to stitch some photos together. The new iPad version is a great addition to the AutoStitch family.

AutoStitch Panorama for iPad is currently $2.99.

And for the iPhone users:
AutoStitch Panorama for iPhone is currently $1.99.

My iMac is Up and Running!

I’ve been waiting for awhile, but today was the day. My new 27in iMac has arrived. I’m slowly getting things installed but it is taking a bit of time. I decided to go with a clean installation rather than transferring myself from my 6 year old computer. I don’t even want to think about some of the apps still on that thing.

Late 2012 27in iMac

By this weekend I’ll be nice and settled in and will be ready to do something productive, such as more blog posts!

Although this picture isn’t as pretty as the one from Apple, it was how things looked when it first arrived at work. Everyone wanted to see how pretty it was. At the end of the day it went back in it’s box and came home with me. I was amazed at how nice the packaging is. Easy to open, easy to repack, and minimal waste. Very impressive.

My new iMac

My new iMac as it was pulled out of the box. People in the office stood around looking at it. :)

Looking Up at Tall Buildings

I’m back from my vacation in NYC and have been getting caught up on work this week. I ended up taking a few hundred photos while up there. I liked this shot of Radio City Music Hall that I created by using AutoStitch Panorama to stitch 5 photos together on my iPhone.

Radio City

You can create a photo similar to this using the iOS 6 panorama feature, but when using that feature the camera never adjusts the exposure as you pan the camera across a large region (at least from what I’ve seen). When the lighting varies a lot over the region it is better to take multiple shots with proper exposure in each region and then let the stitching software/app achieve a nice blend.

I’m pretty sure I also did a panorama of this same scene, but need to find it. If I can I’ll post that up here for comparison. I just remember that this stitched shot looked much better. I have a new iMac that should get delivered next week, so I’ll finally have a nice big computer to sort through years of photos. Can’t wait!

Since the year is almost over I’ll start doing some wrap-up posts about the best apps and programs of the year, so stay tuned.

Where Did That Photo Go?

The other day I was looking for a photo. I remember I took it in NYC two years ago when I was up there for the marathon. I took it on my ‘old’ iPhone 4. I really liked the photo and wanted to use it again with a new app. Unfortunately, I can’t find the photo. This sort of thing really drives me nuts. Why is it so hard to keep track of photos?

A picture of railroad tracks

Hey, are my photos on that train? Which track should I take? Picture of tracks around sunset, processed with Lo-Mob

There are so many sites out there that give hints for great ways to keep track of such things. In the past (pre-iPhone, pre-iCloud) I primarily used Lightroom. I really wish there was a direct way to integrate iCloud and Lightroom, but there isn’t one that I’m aware of. There is one method someone has developed but I’m not sure if I want to use that one (I found that on this blog post). You never know when Apple may tweak things, such as where photos are stored, with an update that could break methods similar to that one.

Lately I’ve been using iPhoto just to keep all my iPhone photos in one place. But I’m not a fan of iPhoto. I love how it is integrated with iCloud, but that is about it. Don’t get me started on Faces (why can’t that be turned off). I’ve never quite figured out how to easily keep a lot of photos organized. I play with it a bit more every now and then, but something bad often seems to happen. With one upgrade it had turned off my iCloud settings, so photos were no longer getting loaded. When trying Aperture it wasn’t happy with iPhoto and they got into a fight over my photos. Every time I tried to get albums working between my iPhone and iPhoto something odd would happen. Photos would get reimported, old albums would vanish, etc. Maybe I just don’t know what I’m doing. So many little things slowly annoy me to the point where I don’t want to see either of those programs again.

Image Capture, the OSX utility program, lets you grab any/all photos from your iPhone. It also let’s you delete all the photos. Using that program is actually the only way I know to delete all the photos from your iPhone (drop me a line if you know another way). For awhile I was just using this method to import all my photos to my computer and use them in Lightroom. The downside is that I sometimes forgot to delete things from my iPhone after import and I would end up importing duplicate images at a later time. The iPhone also starts at “image_0001″ for naming images. After it has taken 9,999 images on the same iPhone I’m not sure what would happen. I think the most I ever had on one phone was about 5,000.

My photo might have been on Flickr, but after searching via date and possible tags, I still couldn’t find it. Was I searching on the wrong on the date? Did I just not upload that one? Did I forget to tag it with something obvious? Should I have created an album for pictures around that time?

My main iMac was also getting long in the tooth. It was the lovely matte screen 24 inch model from 2006. That was the last matte screen iMac they ever made. I started to use it less and less for photography. I was having so much fun with the iPhone, and the sluggishness of my iMac made me lose incentive to keep things updated and sorted.

Between iPhoto, Aperture, Image Capture, Lightroom, and my slow iMac I was getting annoyed. So many little things. I really shouldn’t complain, but humans love to complain about one thing or another. And like many other people that play with and use technology, it always seems that you want apps/programs to do at least one thing differently.

But even if all these apps worked together or had a few features added, I’d still have my biggest problem. How can I keep track of a photo I took a few years ago? I’ve read lots of posts by both well known professionals and casual photographers who have a wealth of tips about various methods. Tags, folders, albums, which photos to keep and which to pitch, comments in metadata, using sites like Flickr, applying hashtags to my tweets with a photo, making albums on Facebook, using 3rd party apps on my iPhone, etc. The list is extensive. The bottom line is that everyone says to develop a method that works best for you.

I guess that is the problem. I just don’t know which method I like. Or maybe I just don’t spend enough time properly sorting and tagging photos when I first get them on my computer. Friday morning I ordered a new iMac. I’d been saving for most of this year and it seemed like Apple was taking forever to release this updated model. I’ll be starting fresh with Lightroom. I’m not yet sure exactly what I want to do with all the old photos from my current iMac, and still not sure how I want to integrate with iCloud. I’d better decide soon.

My new iMac will arrive between Dec 24th and 31st. I’m excited. It will be the middle of winter so I’ll spend some time working on tagging and sorting. Will that help me find old photos? Will I end up ditching lots of old/pointless photos? I hope whatever I choose to do helps to make life simpler. I can almost see why my grandparents would just hang tons of pictures on the wall. If you like it, just print it and put it on the wall. It is much harder to lose that way!

So…back to looking for my two year old photo. If only I had sorted better back then, and invested more time. :)

PS. I’m heading up to NYC for a week, so I might be quiet for the next week or so. I’ll try to keep track of my photos, at least the ones I like. I’m also so busy packing that I haven’t done any proofing on this post…sorry for any babbling.