I have a new blog! And a contest!

iPad Darkroom Icons Header (480px)

Over the last little while you may have noticed I’ve become a bit iPad cent­ric. To be spe­cif­ic, I’ve been explor­ing using the iPad as a port­able, digit­al dark­room.

Yes, the iPad doesn’t have a cam­era (for now, maybe in ver­sion 2?), but that shouldn’t stop us from using it to manip­u­late images impor­ted into the iPad.

A few of my Future Shop posts have explored this concept, most recently this series I’ve star­ted on digit­al dark­room work­flow.

But there’s so much stuff to talk about that I thought it deserved it’s own blog. And now it does:

iPad Darkroom Logo

iPad Dark­room is a place where I’ll start shar­ing inform­a­tion on Apps, Tools and Tech­nique for using your iPad as a core com­pon­ent of digit­al pho­to­graphy.

I hope you take a look around, it’s still quite new and a little rough in spots — that’ll be fixed up in the com­ing days.

And do feel free to leave your thoughts, here or on the blog itself.

Oh, I almost for­got. To really kick the blog off with a bang, I thought I’d have anoth­er blog con­test — with the help from my good friends over at Mac­Phun.

All the details on the con­test are, of course, over at iPad Dark­room. So go! Enter the con­test, and let me know what you think!

Havin’ a ball

Some­times it great just to kick back and play ball with the dogs. Espe­cially when it’s -20 some­thing out­side and the little Daschunds just don’t enjoy play­ing out­side. Yes, they like their squeaky balls.

Red Ball FTW

As you can tell, I’ve been play­ing with pho­tos in my iPad Dark­room. This shot was taken with my Panason­ic FZ-30, expor­ted from the SD card to the iPad using Apple’s Cam­era Con­nect­or Kit. There, I cropped it using Pho­to­Pal. Then loaded it into Cam­era+ for a bit of fil­ter­ing (Tail­fins fil­ter) and a nice ‘film look’ bor­der.

Then, shared on flickr and on #mostly365, and Cam­era+ page.

Kodak All-in-One is awesome asset in the digital darkroom

Man that sucker’s huge”, was my first thought as I unboxed Kodak’s new flag­ship All-In-One photo print­er. But that stands to reas­on, as the Kodak ESP 9250 All-in One Print­er (hence­forth known as ‘the 9250’ or ‘Kodak Unit’), does a lot more than just print.

k1.jpg

And that’s why it’s so hard to write about these Swiss army knife com­put­ing appli­ances — there’s so much that you’d use reg­u­larly (print­ing, scan­ning, copy­ing), and the oth­er things that you’d nev­er use. In my case, it’ FAX — I don’t use it so I’m not going to talk about it :smileyhappy:

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Kodak All-in-One is awe­some asset in the digit­al dark­room”

Christmas Lego

Just anoth­er excuse to take some pho­tos of a couple of Christ­mas lego con­struc­tions. Simple lay­out:

  • Drape a bright red scarf as a seam­less back­ground
  • Pos­i­tion Lego object
  • Shoot with the zoom racked in to tele­photo
  • Off­load image to the iPad
  • Pro­cess / crop with Instra­gram
  • Upload to Flickr
  • Blog about it 🙂

Last year's Lego tree Hey you kids, stay off my snow!

Keeping your holiday photos safe

fz50.jpgThe hol­i­day sea­son is upon us, which means that we’ll be enjoy­ing time spent with fam­ily and friends. Many of us will grab our handy cam­era-enabled data phones and snap price­less shots that we’ll want to share, and keep for pos­ter­ity.

But that’s where the tech can get a bit tricky. Sure, we’ve tried shar­ing to our vari­ous Face­book, Flickr and Picasa accounts, but what about the ‘sav­ing for pos­ter­ity’ part.

Pho­tos in the Cloud
Well, two of those three ser­vices men­tioned above are a great start. Here’s the four that I’ve seen and used that will offer sol­id photo ser­vice over the hol­i­days and into the future:

  • Flickr offers a Pro level account (about $25 per year for unlim­ited photo and video stor­age) that will keep all your pho­tos online and avail­able. Free gives you unlim­ited stor­age, but only your most recent 200 pho­tos are view­able. Online image edit­ing provided by Pic­nik.
  • Picasa has a free account that offers 1GB of free photo stor­age and basic image edit­ing tools.
  • Smug­Mug is pri­ci­er, offers three levels of ser­vice, and is geared toward the more ser­i­ous pho­to­graph­er.
  • Adobe Pho­toshop Express gives you access to basic online photo edit­ing and organ­iz­a­tion tools, and 2GB of free photo stor­age. Addi­tion­al stor­age space can be pur­chased annu­ally.

flickr.jpg

So, what’s so great about stor­ing your pho­tos online any­way?

  1. Backup — you don’t have to worry about keep­ing your images safe; the ser­vice you’re using does that.
  2. Shar­ing — easy to embed the images into blogs, email and twit­ter mes­sages. Each photo usu­ally has a pub­lic URL that’s shar­able (or private, if that’s your thing).
  3. Print­ing — a few of the ser­vices are offer­ing part­ner­ships with pro­fes­sion­al print­ing labs which lets you pro­duce pho­to­books, cus­tom prints etc.
  4. Integ­ra­tion — some of the more pop­u­lar ser­vices are already integ­rated into your iPhone cam­era applic­a­tions (such as Instra­gram). Push a but­ton and your latest shot is uploaded to the ser­vice, ready for you to edit and share.

Loc­al stor­age?
Yep, you can keep your pho­tos on your own com­puter, but you do run risks should your com­puter crash or worse. I do keep the major­ity of my images at home, stored on a net­work attached stor­age device that’s got two drives, one a mir­ror of the oth­er. So if one should die, I’ve got a copy of my data on the oth­er.

Also, I backup my pho­tos weekly, and move the backup drive to an off­s­ite loc­a­tion for even great­er safety. Yeah, a house­fire would ruin a lot of things, but I know my pho­tos and oth­er import­ant data would be safe.

Your needs?
It depends. Take a sol­id think about what you plan to do with your pho­tos, how you want to share them, and how import­ant they are to you (can you afford to lose them?). I’ve likely giv­en you some ideas to try and exper­i­ment with as we head into the hol­i­days. I’d love to hear what you’ve tried and how it worked (or didn’t).

My iPad steering wheel mount

I’ve writ­ten before about using the Joby Gor­illa Pod flex­ible tri­pod as an iPad desktop stand, but today was inspired to use it as a tem­por­ary steer­ing wheel mount while wait­ing to meet someone. Yes, due to an appoint­ment schedul­ing issue, I was 45 minutes early so had a bit of time on my hands.

Damn flex­ible device, no?
Gorilla pod iPad car mount
Gorilla pod iPad car mount

Some of my better photos from 2009

I’ve taken a look back at some of the shots I’ve been for­tu­nate enough to cap­ture this year. flickr has a cool fea­ture called ‘sets’, so I made one — then noticed that I can share the set as a slideshow — embed­ded below. Enjoy! And happy new year!