Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Even though I reviewed the app, I still find this app to be absolutely glorious. No, I’m not getting money put into a Swiss account by the developer, I just find the app incredibly useful. Plus, as I mentioned in the review, I’m a big fan of the cross process look.

Since downloading the app in mid-march, I’ve easily added about 400 new photos to my camera roll on my iPhone, and if the trend holds up I’ll either be deleting episodes of Archer from my video library or getting a new phone.

At anyrate here’s more photos from the cross process app:


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As I find myself getting more and more “into” studio lighting, I was looking for a resource for my iPhone to help me with the seemingly overwhelming process. I stumbled upon an app called Strobox, and it’s pretty impressive, yet still hasn’t come into its own. This app is significantly helpful for those who aren’t able to visualize a lighting setup. For me, since I only have a few Canon 580 & 430 Speedlites as well as some constants with softboxes my setups aren’t too tricky, but If I were actually good at lighting I’d be able to map it all out in my head and call it a day. Since I’m a mere mortal I need to see what my setup is going to be before I can actually function in a studio shoot. Strobox allows me to do that.
Strobox allows the user to place several objects on the screen and position them like you would on set. I can talk about what this looks like until I’m blue in the face, but its easier if I demonstrate:
As you can see, I’ve positioned my talent, added a hair light and a snoot and a white seamless. Pretty basic setup and one I easily could have done on the fly, but like anything affiliated with photography it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. You can several elements, pretty much any type of light you’d have in your studio is represented in this app. Everything from a ring flash to reflectors is packed in this free app.
But what fun is this app if you’re not able to share with collegues? Once you save your diagram, Strobox allows you to email it. No other fancy places to upload, just a simple email; and realistically I can’t see much of a need to upload it to one of the hundreds of social network photography sites out there. If that’s what you’re looking for just spend a second to email it to yourself and upload it to your favorite ad supported site.
Right out of the gate the app is pretty useful and powerful, but like everything it’s not perfect. How can the app get better? I’d like to see an update that shows the used the approximate focus of the light, as well as the intensity. For example, lets say I had a setup of nothing but speedlites (such as my next example).
For some this type of setup will likely seem like a mess. Even though in my head I may have my two  backlights at 1/128th power, my key at 1/16 with a 105mm zoom and my main speedlite at 1/32 with a 14mm focus. For anyone looking at my diagram they wouldn’t know any of that information without my explicit instruction. And yes I know that second setup is terrible, but for arguments sake it works. I’d also like to see the ability to put gels on the lights, just for mock up sake I’d imagine this would be useful to those who like stylized gel’d shots. Again, if you’ve been doing lighting for awhile it’s probably easy to visualize a gel’d light in your head, but for us novices it would be helpful to toss it in our diagrams. A third function is simple and missing, yet incredibly useful: notes. Just the ability to jot a quick note without having to leave the app and put your thoughts into the native notes app would help keep you focused on the diagram you’re trying to map out.
All that aside, I think the app is great. Its simple and effective. My proposed changes would still keep it in that genre and not overwhelm newcomers to light. Light is tricky for a lot of us. Most of us aren’t Joe McNally or the one and only Strobist, so we have to do the best we can. This app is, so far, the most useful lighting app for photographers on the iPhone. With just a few tweaks the app can truly become a necessity to any photographer who uses the iPhone for production. And what would make the app better? An iPad version.
Check out Strobox.

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While traveling to New York City this week for a video shoot I found myself bored while waiting at Buffalo-Niagara International Airport so I explored the App stre for new apps. I generally try to use my iPhone for work related apps, but occasionally novelty apps such as lightsaber pokes its head in from time to time. At any rate, I was sifting through through the App store and came across a nifty little app called “Cross Process”.

I’m a huge nerd about cross processing and old film stocks. I love the vintage flat look with marvelous tints and vignettes. I had been looking or a way to do things like this on my iPhone but never really found an app that would accomodate the look I was going for.

“Cross Process” is a very easy to use cross process generating app fo r the iPhone. The user simply launches cross process and after a brief screengrab of instructions you’re on your way. The app allows the user to generate cross processed looks from their iPhones photo library. This is nice because as a photographer who keeps a version of his portfolio on his iPhone, I can quickly make a cross process version of a photograps; perhaps inspiring me to go home and redo some color correcting.

The other awesome feature of cross process is that the app also acts as a camera when you launch it. So you don’t have to worry about jumping from the iPhones native camera app and just use the “Cross Process” camera.

The actual cross processing has four settings in the info tab on the main page of the app. Users have the ability to turn on/off red, blue and green channels of processing along with a basic process on/off option. This allows for quite a diverse collection of cross process options from just one photo.  The “Cross Process” app also allows you to keep the original unprocessed photo in your camera roll which will allow you to go back another time to process it with a different color channel or even use the photo in another app.

So talk is talk, lets see what this app cranks out:

As you can see, the results from the Cross Process app are pretty stellar, if this is the look you’re looking for. Apps like “Cross Process” are a testament to what a simple phone camera and creativity of developers can put in the hands of people. I’m so impressed with “Cross Process” that after playing with it for a few hours that I moved it to my first page of apps. I knew I’d be using this app for all my gorilla photography and most likely will use it to take any type of photo. Even though a lot of people think this look is a fad, I consider it a throwback to some of the classic photography styles we were traditionally taught on (yes, I’m just old enough to know what film is and was even taught photography with it. Simply shocking.) For $1.99 skip your Tim Hortons Double Double and pick up this app. I love this app, and I’m pretty sure you will too. If not then just buy an extra double double to make up for buying it. Either way, you’re buying this great app and a double double, so all in all it’s a good day. Check out the developers website, he does some pretty amazing things: http://greyscalegorilla.com

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So after buying the astronomically expensive iPhone because as I told my loved one “I needed it,” I finally started buying apps. I mean, why have a $300 phone if you’re not going to buy a $2.99 app, right? So I finally got around to checking out the photography apps. Many of the photography apps listed on iTunes are for uploading to photosharing sites, thus pretty useless to me. I searched and searched for a photo-app that would allow me to take notes from locations so I didn’t need to keep a log, mainly because my handwritting is awful and down the road I want to be able to read my notes.

I then found PhotoJot. PhotoJot is a $2.99 app that is absolutely remarkable. PhotoJot allows you to take photos right in the app, gps location, take notes from locations and a slew of other features. One of the great feautes is the GPS locator.  I have always said to my fellow photo-iPhone users that the Maps program just needs the ability to jot a not down so I can keep track of locations on a map. PhotoJot is great for doing this. The only problem is, and hopefully it gets fixed in an update, that the GPS coordinates are only in Lat/Long calculations. Thus you’re not looking at a physical map. Ideally the photojot program could have a dedicated map program so you could actually see where the location is, or be able to export the Lat/Long calculation to the Maps app so you can get directions to your shoot, or to a hotspot.

PhotoJot also allows you to note Aperture/ISO/Shutter/Flash/Flash Power ratings in each “jot” so you can go back to a location and know how you’ll be shooting. One not section I hope they add with an update is a Lens section, to jot down what lens you used or would use at a location.

The interface is very very simple, clean and easy. Many times these iPhone developers get caught up in the glitz and glam of building an iPhone app and forget that the iPhone is a tool for some people, PhotoJot does a great job complimenting people using the iPhone as a tool.

I recently used the app on a trip to a state park that had a lot of photogenic spots I want to revisit in the winter time and I was able to take very clear notes about location, what to bring next time, best time of day at that location. PhotoJot is a fantastic iPhone app that any iPhone using photographer should have.

For more information about PhotoJot, visit: http://web.infofission.com/photojot.html

Until we meet again,


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