RSS Feed

Category Archives: Apple

Balcony View

Posted on
Path Less Taken

Path Less Taken

Roger Ebert, film lover, passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer. This news was shared all over the internet with people remembering his impact on their lives. I started watching Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert’s first show, Sneak Previews, on PBS and over the years I loved their dialogue and interaction even more than hearing the final thumbs up or thumbs down verdicts. A while ago I watched a TED video of Roger Ebert about losing the use of his voice and how he had a computerized voice created from the years of footage of his TV shows. His humour and positive attitude touched me deeply.

He had, as most of us do, taken for granted the ability to speak and easily communicate verbally with others. He remained active and prolific up to the very end and talked about all the projects that he was working on and looking forward to on his blog. It truly makes me appreciate the platforms that social networks provide us to speak our minds, share those thoughts and have people around the world respond to them.

Treeflection

Treeflection

Appreciate your voice and all the forms it takes.

Social Picture Progression

Posted on

IMG_2172My last post was about Four Fab Photo Apps that I’ve been using on my iPhone 4S as well as my iPad. I find that I’m regularly using more than one app when editing and sharing photos, so I thought it would be interesting to share the journey of a photo from the lens to the internet.

I have a food blog at www.kitchenettefinds.com and food oriented Twitter account @kitchenettefind where I share recipes, reviews and food photos. I was about to sit down to enjoy  my lunch one day and I was taken by the mix of colours in my cilantro slaw with guacamole dressing. There was nobody around to share the beauty of the healthy rainbow I had created in my bowl, so I thought I’d share it with the world.

20121218-220319.jpg

1. iPhone 4S

Having my phone handy, as always, I snapped a pic of the bowl near the edge of the table with the fork adding a dash of asymmetry to add interest. But, it’s still just an image of a bowl of stuff, not share worthy… yet.

20121218-220411.jpg2. PicFX

The colours needed some punch, so I cropped and filtered the image in PicFX. The app now allows the option of keeping the original aspect ratio (rectangle instead of square).

20121218-220458.jpg

3.Bokehful

To add some flair to the photo, I used Bokehful to emphasize the gorgeous colours in the salad with a cascade of stars. Now it’s starting to look like an image fit for the internet!

20121218-220548.jpg

4. Instagram

Instagram is my mobile location-based image sharing network of choice, so I gave the image a final filter adjustment to add drama and a frame to finish it off. Then I shared it to my social networks on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

So that’s the story of how I shared my lunch with the world. I didn’t just do it to make people hungry, I hope that it encouraged at least one person to make a healthier food choice or try a new app.

Now, the sequel would be about how I used the PicFrame app to make the photo at the beginning of the post and how I’m sharing this tale with you through WordPress.

Would you rather that people share unedited photos, fancified or photos or just kept their lunches to themselves?

 

Four Fab Photo Apps

Posted on
Science World in Vancouver edited with Picfx

Spacey Science World edited with Picfx

Photography has been a passion of mine for a long time. I’ve played around in a dark room, manipulated Polaroid emulsion transfers and I bought a digital camera when 4 mega pixels was a big deal. One thing I was not quick to embrace was cell phones with cameras. I saw it as a useful tool to capture data, but I was not open to the artistic merit angle. I usually carried a camera with me, so I never relied on capturing essential images with a phone. Well, that all changed when I switched from a Blackberry to the iPhone4S last year. It finally dawned on me that it was not the technical specs that was the key feature of using the camera on smartphones (though finally it was on par with point-and-shoots) it was the share-ability of the images captured. Rather than waiting to download scores of images to my laptop (usually late at night) and then finally getting around to putting them up on Facebook, I could instantly share what I was seeing with friends, family and all my social networks. Over the last year I’ve gotten more creative with the images I share and here are the top four iPhone apps that I have used the most:

Instagram

Victoria Cityscape edited with Instagram

Victoria Cityscape edited with Instagram

I started using Instagram mostly as a way to share images with Facebook, Flickr and Twitter and I played around with the filters, frames and blurs. Lately, I’ve been more interested in Instagram as a social network as there are some amazingly talented and creative people who share their creations through Instagram. I’ve started using more hashtags on my photos under @juliaaustine and I’ve seen the number of likes and comments go up as well (also the amount of spam, but I figured out how to delete those comments).

Picfx

20121113-092701.jpg

Powerful Sky edited with Picfx

After using Instagram for a while, I noticed that people’s images were going beyond the manipulations offered there and so I started looking for ways to add more effects to create more dramatic images. I downloaded Picfx (paying a whopping $1.99) and haven’t looked back. With over 100 effects and the ability to layer effects and control the intensity, there are a mind-boggling amount of combinations that can be created.

Bokehful

20121113-093135.jpg

Sun Forest edited with Picfx, Bokehful & Instagram

One of my favourite effects from Picfx was the different bokeh light layers. The only problem was that it was static, you could adjust the intensity but not the placement. Enter Bokehful. For 99 cents, I could not only control the intensity and placement, there were colour palettes and shapes literally at my fingertips! I keep reminding myself that less is more so that I don’t go overboard.

PicFrame

20121113-094053.jpg

Diner Desires edited with PicFrame & Instagram

A photo may say a thousand words, but sometimes that’s not enough! From the same designers as Bokehful, ActiveDevelopment, I turned to PicFrame to solve this dilemma. By dropping another 99 cents, I’m able to put multiple images together with a variety of frames and labels that I haven’t tired of yet.

Though I mostly use Instagram to share the final images, I’m finding that to create the effect that I want I sometimes use ALL of the above apps to tweak the original shot before sharing it. So get creative and take a boring pic that anyone could capture and make it your own!

Please let me know what your favourite photo app is as I’m always looking to add to my image arsenal.

Video: Recap of Apple’s New iPad Unveiling

Posted on

Our Apple family has expanded with the addition of our (read: my) new iMac. It’s the basic model, but way fancier than my 5 year old MacBook Pro. The laptop is still alive, but it had reached the point where it could no longer upgrade to the newest operating system. It was stuck in Snow Leopard and I wanted to join the pride. Once I realized that I don’t take my laptop anywhere since I’ve had my iPad, it made sense to go with a desktop. Bigger, faster, better, more and all for less. So, I’ve been pretty Apple immersed and obsessed with the researching, shopping and setting up. The Apple mania reached its pinnacle today with the much-anticipated (in my house, at least) Apple announcement at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.

The rumour mills have been churning overtime since Apple sent out invites for the unveiling of the new iPad last Tuesday. Would it lose the home button (nope)? Would it have Siri (kinda)? Would it have a retina display (yup)? This morning at 10am Pacific, the questions began to be answered in San Francisco. I followed along on wired.com‘s live updates, refreshing between sips of green tea latté at my local Starbucks relaying the hi-lights to my Apple loving son.

Watch the video for what stood out for me. Some pretty cool upgrades, but no “one more thing” to blow us away. Maybe next time…

Until then, check out the new Facebook Page for Meat of the Message. You can ‘like’ it right from this page!

we Message

Posted on

Last Autumn I traded in my Blackberry for an iPhone 4S. There were a few things that led up to the decision: my husband had recently switched to an iPhone, my Blackberry was dying and I bought into the iPhone 5 hype. I was reading every rumour and myth online about the upcoming “rethink” and all the magical features that it should, could, would have.

The transition wasn’t without its hitches and blips (not unlike going from a PC to a Mac), but there is something to be said for being in sync (literally) with all your devices and for being on the same wavelength as the rest of your family. With the arrival of iOS 5, all our Apple units can wirelessly update and connect. My son texted me from his iPad at school on Valentine’s Day that he had forgotten the Valentines for his class. I ran them over before lunchtime.

I miss all the BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) contacts that I had amassed, but now I am filling up my contacts with iMessage peeps. I do prefer that it is integrated with text messaging, so I only have to go to one place, the speech bubbles format is also easier to read and review conversations. One thing that has made these iMessage chat-a-thons more fun is activating the built in emoticons. No need to download an app, all your smiley friends are already there! Just go to Settings, General, Keyboard, International Keyboards, Add New Keyboard…, Emoji. After all that, when your keyboard pops up there will be a little globe icon to the left of the space bar. Tap the globe and it will switch to hundreds of faces and icons and awesomeness. This works for iPads and iPod Touches as well. I have tested sending some of these with a Blackberry pal and all she got was black squares.

The latest thing to get even more excited about is the new upgrade for Mac’s will include Messages as well! This will make our world a little smaller and bring us all a bit closer and I’m all for that!

%d bloggers like this: