Last night I was exploring Flickr a bit and started to look at some really cool tilt-shift photos that make scenes look like models. I'm no Photoshop pro so my results really don't compare, but I have been having more fun playing around with pictures lately than in a long time. I've been doing some fake lomos that I've enjoyed, so I decided to give it a shot. I was able to easily find several good tutorials to follow ... the best (and simplest one) is what I ended up following. It might be fun to do shots like this from all over campus and put them into a group on Flickr. As a matter of fact I started one if anyone is interested in adding some, please feel free.
For all of my heavy duty photography needs I use Apple's Aperture. I don't necessarily use it to adjust photos, I use it as a giant digital shoebox. I made the switch earlier this year when my photo count went up over 30,000 digital pictures ... iPhoto just seemed to slow to a crawl. I've been happy, but have missed the ease and simplicity of iPhoto.
Then about a month or so ago I started to tinker with my pictures, looking to get more out of them. Honestly inspired by some of the things I was seeing Brad Kozlek doing on the post-production side has gotten me really interested in trying (and I stress trying) to make my pictures a bit more visually interesting. With this in mind I have been tweaking things in Aperture and then working to achieve some Lomo like effects using Photoshop. Its been fun and I've learned a little bit about the tools.
Last weekend I was in Chautauqua, NY and found myself without Photoshop or Aperture and only had iPhoto. I took a little down time to experiment with a couple of my shots and really was impressed with what could be done without even touching a slider and instead just layering the built in effects. I had no idea I could apply multiple levels of the effects to make pictures more interesting ... I sort of figured all I could do was change a picture to black and white and move on. Not that the simple effects will do it for seasoned professionals, but I think they do a fair job for the newbies out there.
I thought I'd share this given how simple it is and that iPhoto is a very nice free alternative to much more expensive (and complex) tools available for the Mac. Below you can take a look at the iPhoto version with the simple settings in the screen cap above. Granted I don't like it as much as the fake lomo version I did in Photoshop, but with some practice I am guessing I could get close right out of iPhoto ... Also, I bet if I went back through my 10 year digital photo collection and actually paid attention to what I kept I could still be living in iPhoto. I doubt I'll go back, but I also know I won't need to install Aperture on my new laptop ... iPhoto should be a solid mobile solution.
This is a great find ... a photoset on Flickr by "Kernel Panic" dedicated to the changing faces of apple.com through the years. It is honestly amazing how many of these I remember. The early ones amaze me and take me way back. I was working down around Philly at Cogence Media when I first started to visit Apple's site every day (on my PowerCenter Pro) -- it was sort of funny, but I remember also having a subscription to MacWeek ... if you remember life before the instant news offerings we had to rely on those old fashioned magazines for our information.
The other thing I notice looking at this set is how much more sophisticated the layout is now ... there is a huge jump towards better design once Jobs returned. I am also a bit amazed at the longevity of the design. I really can't name five sites who have maintained their overall design philosophy for that long ... can you?
In an interesting twist, I got invited to the Picasa Web Album site ... sorta like Flickr, but seemingly without the tags and the real social features of the original. It is nice and they offer (for free) two ways to get pictures to the site -- a full fledged iPhoto plugin that makes me miss my Flickr iPhoto plugin and a desktop application. Seems all you have to do is show up and ask to be included ... they'll give you account until they get too many out there. It seems to work well ... the slideshow feature is killer.
I uploaded a couple of images this morning to see how it all works ... Time to wait and see how this plays against the real thing.
No, I haven't switched ... yet ... I have been playing around with some of my plugins and features the last day or two here at my blog ... really just becasue I have been watching D'Arcy make the big switch. It is interesting to watch his move and see what he has been using to make his blogging experiences so good (other than his killer content). Today I started using the photo-album plugin to give me a Flickr post space in my WP write panel. Works nicely. Just to test it out, I clicked on a thumbnail of the picture below in the Write section and it autoinserted it ... it is a picture of my little lady in the shadows ...
Either way, things will be a little crazy around here for a couple of days as I work up a new design with some new features.
Looking out my front door last week ... looks like there is another storm coming Monday. Why is this picture here? Well, I am trying out new photo to blog and photo album software. This was actually posted from iPhoto using the spiffy Photon plugin available here. Not a perfect solution, but not bad. I am really looking for something that lets me create a nice set of thumbnails all linked to a gallery page and works with WordPress 1.5. Any ideas out there?