iPhoneography · stuff I read

SnApp Shots: How to Take Great Pictures With Smartphones and Apps

SnApp Shots: How to Take Great Pictures With Smartphones and Apps is a really cute little book from Chronicle Books.  Like all other Chronicle offerings it has great production values – it practically jumps off the shelf.  Since I like to take pictures with my iPhone, this seemed like another book to add to my learning curve.

The cover copy says this will “unlock the secrets” of smartphone photography and I read some reviews that said this was a “difinitive guide”.  Well, I don’t know about that. It has a nice listing of different things you can do to either take or manipulate photographs on your mobile device and suggestions for apps and there are really great example pictures.  But…the directions are very good.

Where the book falls down is actually in telling the reader HOW the manipulation occurs. For instance, the pages on “exposure, contrast, and brightness” start out with a description of the technique, a few suggestions for apps that might do those things, and several pages of example photographs. But the authors don’t say exactly how or which suggested apps were used to create the photos. Or, in the case of a manipulated photo, what the original photo looked like before the manipulation occurred. A shame, really, because this is such a cute-looking book and it could have been more helpful than it was.

cats · Instagram · iPhoneography

Gratuitous Cat Picture Friday (9): The Story of Chaucer and the Lamp

Chaucer loves to bake himself under my desk lamp.  It is his special heat source, like that of a heat lamp in a baby chicken pen.

Observe:  I was getting set to do some work at my desk.  Chaucer wormed his way onto the desk and declared his intentions of getting in the way.

And then he plopped down under the lamp….which typed about a 1000 ‘~’ on my email.

So I moved the laptop over and Chaucer just spread out.

And then he laid on the computer keyboard again and got scolded.

I don’t think he cared.

But he decided to let me apologize by giving him a tummy rub.

BBAW · cats · iPhoneography

BBAW 2012 Day 3: Blogging means to me….

Wednesday’s prompt is very open-ended.  Amy asked:  What does book blogging mean to you?

Essentially, it means I can share my occasionally-articulate-but-sometimes-not opinions with a community of booklovers. 

We may not all have the same opinion.  We may not all have the same taste or genre preferences.  Some of us have a well-defined niche.  Some of us just read whatever we can get our hands on (*raises hand*).

But we all love to read and tell each other what we liked or found or dug out of the 50¢ bin at a yard sale and are fangirling (or boy-ing, depending on gender) about all over the Internetz.

And, from where I sit in the peanut gallery, the come-as-you-are mentality is wonderfully refreshing and inviting.

There’s only one rule:  Don’t be a jerk.

And if you are a jerk, beware: we book bloggers have sharp pitchforks lightning-fast response times.

Chaucer sez – yoo likes dis ‘pooter too much, kitteh needs skritches!
iPhoneography · stuff I read

The Art of iPhoneography

Since I got my iPhone in November, and downloaded Instagram in January, I’ve been taking so many pictures with my iPhone.  It’s always with me, and has quite a good camera, so I decided to look up a book for help/inspiration.

I’d seen Stephanie Roberts’s The Art of iPhoneography floating around the store and decided to check it out.  The shape of the book is eye-catching, even though it isn’t very large, and opens horizontally with the “home button” at the spine.

Stephanie is a documentary filmmaker and photographer (www.littlepurplecowphotography.com) and the focus of the book is less on the technical aspects of taking pictures with an iPhone and more about using that iPhone to look around you and capture spontaneous images.  The Art of iPhoneography is divided into major sections about the native camera, the more popular camera apps, photographers who are actively pursuing iPhoneography and samples of their work, and an inspiration section to spark your creativity.  She urges you to be present and actively see the possibilities around you.  Stephanie also urges everyone to share their work in some small way, through a blog or photo hosting site.

I thought this was a really handy guide.  Not so helpful to me with the “this is how your iPhone native camera/camera roll works” but the section of popular apps was very informational.  I only had Instagram and Hipstamatic at the beginning (and I was having trouble working out Hipstamatic) but I soon added Photoshop Express, ShakeItPhoto (love it), Photo fx, Lo-Mob, Camera Bag, Mill Colour, AutoStitch, PicGrunger (way cool), TiltShiftFocus (used it several times already), and TiltShiftGen.

Addicting, let me tell you.  I also signed-up for a Posterous account to upload my iPhone-taken and -altered pictures.  Too much fun and so time-consuming. 

I’m thinking about making my own daily photo challenge using some of the prompts from the back of the book.  Get ready for your close-up, my kitty-boys!