Do You See The Face In The Cloud?

It was quite awhile ago since I posted any photos. At the same time, I’m having a little project at my Facebook-page with “One Image a week”. So I thought about this brilliant idea to use the at both my Facebook page, and here. ūüôā

This photo was taken at lunch time this Saturday. I spent the weekend in Vemdalen, a ski resort in Sweden, and the wind during these days were hard, to say the least. This is taken at the top with an iPhone 5S.

What I enjoyed with the scene was the contrast between the wind and the sunny sky, at the same time as the snow passed by, creating those small white dots that almost looked like stars.

While you’re at it; do you see the face in the clouds?

© Pedro Hansson - Vemdalen, Sweden - iPhone Photography
© Pedro Hansson РVemdalen, Sweden РiPhone Photography

Current Best Photo Editor App for iPhone / iPad – Photo Toaster

During the time of this blog I’ve now and then written reviews about best photo apps for iPhone / iPad. Some of the apps have been about the editing part, while others have been filter apps and so on. There haven’t been one app that has it all.

        

Now we’re close to that; the new version of Photo Toaster brings together almost all of my apps into one.

The apps that I’ve used most frequent has been Photoshop Express, for reducing noise, and handling levels like exposure, temp, tint, saturation and so on. 645 Pro for B/W. Snapseed and Photo Editor for harder effects and so on. All these features are now available in one single app – Photo Toaster.

Even though I think that Photoshop Express still is better at reducing the noise, Photo Toaster is “good enough”, and I guess I can say that about all those features. The benefit of keeping all of those features into one app is higher than the workflow of using several apps.

And on the topic of workflow. I really like that shortcut to the “recent edits”. Great small feature which saves a lot of time.

The app is currently priced at $2.99 and I think that it may be your best $2.99 investment at the moment.

Since my on/off button is¬†broken which leaves my out of an easy way to take screen dumps, I’ve just attached the app’s own preview.

Best wishes for Saturday

More posts about iPhone apps could be found here:
List of previous posts about apps
Current Best iPhone Photo Apps in my opinion 1
Current Best iPhone Photo Apps in my opinion 2

iPhone iOS 7 – Some thoughts after using the new iOS for a month

Some thoughts about iOS7 after using it for one month

Since we’re developing apps for iOS I’m part of the beta testing team that will use their coming upgrades before they are released, and¬†report issues back to Apple, to have them corrected.

(See also – One of the best new features in iOS7 – a well kept secret?)

iPhone iOS7

This new upgrade is both a big upgrade, at the same time as it’s not. It’s big in terms of GUI, the icons are “flat” now instead of “floating”/3D. I really don’t know if I like this more than the old one. I’ve got used to it, but at the same time I miss some of the old beautiful icons. It’s a small change in the overall usage.

Photo 2013-08-28 11 30 23

One new feature is the possibility to have more than one screen in each icon-folder, but at the same time there are fewer icons in every screen. Both good and bad there as well.

Photo 2013-08-28 11 31 13

The camera has been upgraded and I think it has gotten better with live filters, easier access to functions and some new nice features as “square” for all instagrammers (my nick is btw on instagram is @pedrohansson).

Photo 2013-08-28 11 31 42

What I thought for almost 24 hours was a big flaw in this new OS, was that I couldn’t reach spotlight to the left of my home screen. With over 600 apps installed that it was a downgrade. But of course there was a new way of doing that, that actually is better. Wherever you are in your iOS-screens you can just put your finger on the screen, hold it down for a short time and drag it down. Voila! There’s spotlight.

Photo 2013-08-28 11 45 14

The new fast access screen (that you access by dragging your finger from the bottom upwards) is also a highly appreciated function that should’ve been there years ago.

Photo 2013-08-28 11 45 05

Siri seems to have had a major upgrade. A more personalized feeling and I think a better understanding of follow-up questions. It’s starting to be really impressing.

What is really nice in the new iOS is the multi tasking screen where you can reach all apps that currently are running. This screen is now a full screen with “live shots” from each and every app running. Great GUI!

What’s more to say? Well there are many many small changes here and there and I think this is a really good new iOS. I just wonder if it’s enough to keep the Androids behind.

I will continue to use iPhone since my whole home is built around it, AND it’s always working which I think is the number one feature with the iPhone. You just start it and use. No need to turn off GPS, no need for “app killers” since they are running out your batteries and so on. So Apple, I will stick with you for a while more, but I hope we will see some new cool, mind blowing functionality, in the future, as we were used to in the past.

Paid iPhone Photo App that’s currently free – Lapse It Pro

Lapse It Pro – Time Lapse App

From iTunes

Lapse It is an award-winning full featured app for capturing amazing time lapse and stop motion videos. It is easy, fast and intuitive.
No need for expensive photography equipment, you just need Lapse It.

‚ÄĘ Featured on the English TV Show “The Gadget Show” http://youtu.be/QjjayQVHnrk

‚ÄĘ “Looking to do time-lapse with your mobile device? Lapse It is a very appealing option” by Erez Zukerman, PCWorld

‚ÄĘ “Lapse It is by far the best time lapse application I‚Äôve come across so far” by Robert Iagar, AppStorm

 

Life in Sumpan

© Pedro Hansson - Picture from fligt to Luleå on the 12:th of April
© Pedro Hansson РiPhone Picture from flight to Luleå on the 12:th of April РApp used, HDR Pro

If you’re interested in tech, gadgets, cars, f1 and so on you might like my “tech-blog” http://lifeinsumpan.com. While this blog is aiming at thoughts, life’s great mysteries and of course Photography, http://lifeinsumpan is more on the shallow parts of life.

I guess that these blogs together might illustrate life in general; we’re all not just one-sided. Everyone has many sides depending on where you choose to look.

Hope to see some of you over there as well.

Best wishes for Saturday

The Seed

© Pedro Hansson - Flower
© Pedro Hansson РiPhone Macro РFlower

This is quite a long story, but I really think that it’s worth reading.

I hope you enjoy it.

The image is taken with an iPhone 4S with a Macro lens

 

In the Far East the emperor was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided to do something different. He called young people in the kingdom togetherone day. He said, “”It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you.” The children were shocked, but the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today–one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor.”

One boy, named Ling, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it, carefully. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Ling didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by–still nothing in Ling’s pot.

He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow. A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But his mother asked him to be honest about what happened.

Ling felt sick at his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful–in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other children laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, “Hey, nice try.”

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today one of you will be appointed the next emperor!”

All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. He thought, “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!”

When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling,” he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, “Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!”

Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?

Then the emperor said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds that would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!”¬†

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust

If you plant goodness, you will reap friends

If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.

If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory

If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.

If you plant hard work, you will reap success

If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

If you plant faith, you will reap miracles.

If you plant hard work, you will reap success.

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap tomorrow.

Instagram

© Pedro Hansson - London Night
© Pedro Hansson РLondon Night

This is an image from Tuesday night in London that I shared on Instagram.

I don’t think that I’ve posted my address on Instagram before. If you wanna follow me there; you’ll find me on pedrohansson.

It would be great to know your accounts there as well, feel free to leave your user name in the comment area.

My current top iPhone Photo Apps

One of my first posts on this blog was about which iPhone Photo-apps I preferred. And since then I now and then have posted and reposted that list.

Instagram

(link to app-store) – From my previous post
If you like filters and sharing images with the rest of the world you’ll love Instagram (my nickname on Instagram is¬†@pedrohansson). I’m surprised how creative and actually really beautiful images that are shared at Instagram. And many of those just using their iPhone (1) What I think separates Instagram from many other “filter-apps” is their strength as a company. You can feel the quality.


© Pedro Hansson РiPhone-Image using Instagram-app
Upplands Väsby Sweden

(1) A portion of the images at Instagram are shot with professional equipment

Perfectly Clear

One of the downsides with “phone-photo” is usually noise, and dealing with the small sensor. With this app I’ve rescued many images that sometimes get to dark, with to much noise, and so on.

It’s not a traditional photo app with ton’s of filters and picture bending operations, but it’s a great tool to use to enhance images.

© Pedro Hansson РPerfectly Clear

Camera+ 

Link to the company:

I think that almost everyone that’s interested in taking pictures with the iPhone have come across this app. In my opinion it’s one of the easiest out there to use, and it comes with quite a lot of features as well.

Here’s a youtube review of the app:

Snapseed

Link to the company: http://www.snapseed.com
Link to app-store: https://itunes.apple.com/se/app/snapseed/id439438619?mt=8

I downloaded Snapseed quite a long time ago (in technology terms) and I immediately liked the GUI. Professional and really easy to use at the same time. I can’t say that this app is the best in terms of amount of filters or in number of parameters you can change, but I think it’s one of the best apps in quality and GUI.

Startscreen in Snapseed

Photoshop Express 

(link to app store) – From my previous post
I guess Adobe don’t need any further presentation. In the image-industry they are one of the biggest, and the Photoshop-software have been around for quite awhile. With Photoshop Express you get one feature that I think is necessary if you’re keen on getting the noise out of your pictures, Noise Reduction (this feature is actually the single feature that I use in this app but Noise is almost always a problem when you’re using mobile phone cams so I use it on almost every pic I share).

Below you have the same picture, with and without the reduce noise function in Photoshop Express.


iPhone-image of Visby sunset without reduce noise function (Click image for large version)


Same picture as above, but now with reduce noise (Click image for large version)

A note to using this function is that, when you reduce noise, also loose details so the result will, as always, differ depending on what you want to show. Photoshop is free but you have to spend a few bucks on getting the Reduce Noise Function

Pro-HDR

Link to the company: http://www.eyeapps.com/Home.html
Link to app-store: link to App-store

One of the apps that I’m using the most. The iPhones built-in functionality for HDR is quite good but this app is so far ahead in terms of control and image quality. If you don’t know what HDR is and are interested in getting some new ideas for your photographic session I suggest that you look into it. In short HDR is using several exposures (over- and under exposed) to create one image. By using several exposures you can use the lighter information in the under exposed image and vice versa. HDR-apps can also being used for creating motion and ghost-like effects.

Another side-effect with HDR is that you can find colors that otherwise aren’t possible due to over- and under exposure-difficulties.

A side effect of using two images is that you need keep the camera absolute still, otherwise you get some blurry effects.


© Pedro Hansson РiPhone HDR-image of
South Kensington Station in London

I hope you can use some of the app-tips above. Happy for comments. What is your best photo-app and how do you use it?

PhotoToaster

Link to the company: http://www.eastcoastpixels.com/cgi-bin/product.php?p=4
Link to the app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/phototoaster-photo-editor/id433671262?mt=8

This is, together with ProHDR and Photoshop Express the photoapp I’m using the most. I started off with using the “junior-version” but upgraded to the full version later. What I really enjoy with PhotoToaster is that it has some really nice filters to enhance the picture without making them look “too funky”. Focus on many of the filters are almost like a pre-set Photoshop app.

© Pedro Hansson Рphoto of Piteå City Church in PhotoToaster JR

Powercam

Link to the company: http://powercam.wondershare.com
Link to the app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/powercam/id453180850?mt=8

The last app on this list is PowerCam. This is app that I only use when I wan’t to do Tilt-shift images. With Tilt-shift I don’t just mean the effect when things will look like a miniature world. I use it more frequently when I wan’t a nice bokeh (from Wikipedia: the blur,or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image). This app does that better than any of the other I’ve tried on the market.

© Pedro Hansson РPhoto taken at Liffeys in Stockholm with PowerCam

Early morning – through my iPhone lens

Summertime in Sweden, the sun rises early. Here in Stockholm the sun rises at half past three, and in the northern parts it never sets. This time a year I sleep a lot less than the rest of the year, due to all the light, and I guess it’s the same for many Swedes. At the same time the energy level is really increasing.

Recently I’ve started a new habit, to be at work a couple of hours before everyone else, get rid of all those administrative tasks, get a cup of coffee, and then head out for a little walk in a city that’s waking up. The most cosy part of the day, if you ask me.

This is a pic from the office, right after reading the news paper and I’ve had my first cup of coffee of the day. Really liked the light in the room when I got back from the coffee machine.

I hope you all have a really nice day!

@ Pedro Hansson – Summer through my iPhone lens, part 2 – Morning