Digital Media Design


iPhone 4S – My Favorite Apps

iPhone 4S

iPhone 4S

I thought it would be a good idea to post about my iPhone 4S and how good it is for the  digital media student or for the photographer looking for inspiration.

In the short time I’ve had the iPhone 4S  I am already in love with the upgraded Camera and some of the brilliant camera Apps that I’ve downloaded from the App Store.

iPhone 4S – Camera+

Camera+ iPhone 4S App

My favourite camera App for the iPhone 4S at the moment is Camera+

The camera side of the app includes a useful digital zoom the option to select the auto-focus point and control the exposure separately by using a second finger to move the exposure point around the screen.

It includes an image stableliser a grid for positioning the subject on screen (rule of thirds) and a handy timer for that rare opportunity when you want to appear in your own shots.

The camera lacks the video option but the camera is not the real reason for buying this App it’s the image editing features that really sell this app.

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Camera+ Edit Mode

So you take your photo then edit the same photo in the camera; for example maybe improving the Clarity, cropping the photo – maybe giving it that popular square look, followed by adding one of the many effects  as well and finally adding a frame. The other good news is that the editing features are not only limited to the photos that you take but you can apply them retrospectively to photos in your camera roll and the other albums on your iPhone.

The final plus point is the ability to upload to Facebook or share on Twitter so that your photo creations can be immediately available for view on the Social Network of your choice.

This iPhone 4S App was on sale when I bought it less than £2.00 and most probably would still be a bargain at double that price.



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More iPhone 4S using the Camera+ App Example Images can be found on my Facebook Albums



Photography Cloning – Bring on the Clones

Photography Cloning

A simple 30 minute project.

Photography Cloning

Photography Cloning, cloning yourself or indeed anyone/anything is easy as long as you have access to some form of image editing software such as Photoshop or any other Image manipulation App. I suspect even Paint would work. You just need to plan your shots and be able to cut and paste sections from the individual photographs into another photograph. An App that uses Layers works best though.

Picasa Slideshow

The Free App Picasa which runs on a PC and MAC can create a good quality slideshow/video from your photographs and also lets you upload to YouTube quickly and easily, it even allows you to add a soundtrack and titles with no fuss whatsoever.

Photography Cloning - Final Picture

Photography Cloning – Final Picture

So how is this done?

Like all these types of Photographs you need to do some planning first, for my photographic effort I simply split the scene down the middle. The first shot would be the picture of on the left side and therefore closest to the camera, call this the 1st Picture. The second shot was on the right side and furthest from the camera. So that’s all you need to do from a photography aspect, just take these 2 photographs, but the key is that you must not move the camera and ideally the lighting should be controlled to keep the exposure the same for both photos.

Photography Cloning - 1st Picture

Photography Cloning – 1st Picture

I set the camera Canon EOS 60D to AV mode that is Aperture priority, I set the exposure to f4. I then used the self timer for the shots, a 10 second delay was more than enough time to be seated in time for the camera to take the shot.

Photoshop – Photography Cloning

Post Production – This part was relatively simple, first open both photographs and then using the square marquee tool I just selected one half of one of the images, copied this and then pasted this as a new layer into the 2nd image – call this the background. A small amount of adjustment was needed to make sure the 2 half’s lined up correctly.

Photography Cloning - 2nd Picture

Photography Cloning – 2nd Picture

As I’d shot using the available light coming through a window the brightness did vary between the 2 half’s so I manually adjusted the brightness of 1 half to match the other. Flatten the image and then the final job was to use the healing brush tool to remove the line you will always get at the join of the two photographs. That’s it job done, now you have the technique you can go wild and add more images in the same way, it just takes a little more planning. The order that you cut and paste has some effect but you can clone yourself, or anything as many times as you want just by using this method.

Photography Cloning - Using Photoshop to paste the clone

Photography Cloning – Using Photoshop to paste the clone

Finally for the final image I used HDR Darkroom to add an HDR effect to the completed image.

The Clone Movie

To make the movie I used Picasa. This is just so easy to use. I’d already uploaded the photographs into a folder called clones and all I then had to do was select from Picasa menu create movie and the App does the rest, it even selected the images and then it automatically generated the titles from the folders name.

All I then had to do was set the size of the movie and then add a soundtrack, for which I chose an 11 second track and selected the option to make the movie length fit to the audio track length. The final option is to share this onto the internet by clicking the YouTube option and the App does the rest, it even prompts you to add titles, tags, a category and a description to your movie.

Photography Cloning - Using HDR Darkroom for the HDR Effect

Photography Cloning – Using HDR Darkroom for the HDR Effect


Photography HDR Tutorial – My First Attempt at HDR

I thought I’d have a go at some HDR photography using my Canon EOS 60D DSLR. I already knew the basics of HDR which stands for ‘High Dynamic Range’ –  you need usually three photographs of the same subject, one at ‘Normal’ exposure, the second ‘Over Exposed’ and the third ‘Under Exposed’. Then you need some software to bring these images together to create your HDR image – for my purposes I used Adobe Photoshop CS5 which comes with the HDR plugin already installed.

Setting up the camera for HDR

Menu Settings AEB

AEB Settings +- 2 points

My Canon EOS 60D comes with an AV mode which allows you to set the Aperture and leaves the camera to decide on everything else such as shutter speed ISO etc. I wanted the maximum depth of field so I went for an exposure of f22. The next step is to go into the camera’s menu and select Exposure comp/AEB setting which sets the ‘Auto Exposure Bracketing’ this is what controls the exposure for the 3 photographs – I set mine for 2 stops which is 2 stops over exposed and 2 stops underexposed.

Now all I needed to do was to make some final settings for the camera, for example for the shots I was taking, I set for manual focus and I also turned off Image Stabilisation as I was using a tripod.

Taking the shot

Top LCD showing 3 exposure levels

You should really use a remote shutter release but I didn’t have one so I was careful not to move the camera when pushing the shutter button. I noticed that as I half pressed the shutter button the indicator on the top LCD of the camera showed which exposure setting it was going to take, central for normal exposure, high indicator for over exposed and low indicator for under exposed – this helped to keep track of where you were in the shot list, although you could just count up to three for each set of pictures taken.

I could have set the continuous high mode but left it on single shot for personal preferences but if you want to take your 3 exposures rapidly or you are using your camera handheld you should set to continuous high mode.

Photography HDR Tutorial – Photoshop

Back LCD also showing 3 exposure settings

The first job is to open all three images in Photoshop then select File-Automate-merge to HDR Pro or just go straight to automate and select the images from the browse option. You then get a dialogue box open to enable you to select the images one of which is ‘Add open files’ which I selected. The HDR panel then opens with the thumbnails of your photographs at the bottom of the screen and the combined image in the centre. You then have a choice of manually changing options such as Saturation, Vibrancy, Exposure, Gamma etc. but I used the presets to select an image that I liked.

Canon EOS 60D
used for all photographs

Click OK at the bottom of the window and the merged image is shown in the main window ready for further manipulation using the standard Photoshop tools, such as image size and save for web etc.

I like the effect of HDR so much that I’ve also investigated several other plugins and stand alone applications for creating the HDR effect. One App in particular caught my interest, ‘HDR Darkroom’ which can be currently downloaded from the Apple App Store at a bargain price. I’ve posted one example I made using this App below well worth the £11.99 it cost me to download from the Apple App Store – currently on offer – 75% off the normal price.

Here’s the result  – what do you think?

NB: The Quality of image is far greater on my MacBook Pro than can be reproduced here because of web restriction eg. 72 pixel resolution.

Home Office HDR - Using HDR Darkroom

Home Office HDR - Using HDR Darkroom

Cycle HDR Photograph

HDR Photo-realistic preset - Photoshop HDR Plugin

Honda Civic HDR Photograph

HDR Saturated Preset - Photoshop HDR Plugin

Honda Civic - Photo realistic HDR preset

Honda Civic - Photo realistic HDR preset - Photoshop Plugin



Interesting Art using paper and photograph's using HDR

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