Tag Archives: photography

Saying Goodbye to Phanfare


Awhile back I wrote a post about how much I liked Phanfare and until now I have been really happy with having them host my photos and videos. It gave my family a way to keep in touch with us and provided a window into the events of our lives that they were not able to be there for. Unfortunately Phanfare has decided that in order for them to continue to exist, they need to charge a minimum of $100/yr regardless of your usage. This is just for the basic hosting package. So it seems that it costs them as much to hold onto my 5GB of data as it does for someone else to store 50GB. This price increase is almost DOUBLE the amount that I have been paying up until this point. Possibly the worst part is the lack of notification to their existing customers. I found out, not from any correspondence from them, but through a little notification in my account settings that I happened to stumble onto.
It is unfortunate that they decided to go this route, and not consider the people who don’t store a ton of information on their servers. I felt that I paid them a lot of money for the space I was actually using, and I did it because they had some of the best photo and video management packages I have seen to date. In the end it doesn’t matter how good an application they have if I can’t afford to use it.
So with that I have downloaded my information off of Phanfare and will be cancelling my account with them before they automatically bill me for another year. I am really unhappy to have to find another site, when I felt I had finally found a solution that worked so perfectly for me. Thanks Phanfare…it was good while it lasted.

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Favorite 4th Gen iPod Touch/iPhone Photo Apps

I recently replaced my 16GB 1st Gen iPod Touch with a 32GB 4th Gen iPod Touch. I’ve had a chance to try out quite a few apps, some of which are new and some which are old favorites of mine. What I wanted to do was to put together a list of some of the apps that I enjoy most from the various categories.

Rather than trying to list all my favorites apps from all the categories in one post, I will just focus the ones relating to photography right now and cover the others in subsequent posts.

If you don’t have an iPhone or have an iPod without a camera, then  obviously some of these apps will be of no use to you.  There will be many listed in future posts though that will be worth checking out.

I will list a short description and a few reasons why I think each one are worth checking out.  These are not necessarily in a particular order.

Photography

Diptic – This is one of my favorites.  It allows you to combine multiple pics (either from the camera  or from your stored photos) into one and gives you  a bunch of different layouts to choose from.  You can then easily e-mail your photo or upload directly to Facebook from inside the app. Diptic is an amazingly simple program to use and it does just what I need it to.

If you head on over to Flickr and check out the Diptic App group you can see some great examples of what this app can do.

Hipstamatic – This is cool photo app that simulates a wide variety of old lenses, flashes, and film types.  I feel that  in-app purchases of what they refer to as “Hipstapaks” are necessary to get the most enjoyment out of this app.  Hipstapaks are different groupings of lenses, film, and flash add-ons you can purchase to simulate additional equipment.  This would be especially cool on the iPhone which has a far superior camera.  The fact that the photos are designed to have that “old photo”  look to them might help hide the subpar quality of the pictures taken on the iPod.

If you want some examples of the type of photos you can take with this app, head over and check out the Hipstamatic group on Flickr where you can see over 85,000 examples from more than 7,000 group members.

Pro HDR – This is a pretty decent app when it comes to bringing out detail in darker areas.   It takes a series of two or three pics that it merges to create a photo that has good all-around exposure. The multiple shots take a little bit longer than I would like.  If you can hold your camera somewhat steady though, it does a pretty good job of combining them together.  It obviously won’t match the quality of what you could put together with a program like  Photomatix, but for an app it does a respectable job.

Goomifier – I love this app. Take a photo and easily morph it into something hilarious. You can shrink people’s heads, stretch out their noses, give them crazy expressions, or whatever other things you can think of, and then save, e-mail, or upload your creation to Facebook. If you make a mistake or want to revert to the original, just give your iPod a quick shake and watch it morph back to normal. This is a great time waster and never seems to get old.

Incredibooth – This is a fun app that simulates a B&W photo booth. It snaps four consecutive pictures and then presents them in a sheet of black and white prints. Simple and fun app that should provide a lot of fun at parties or when just goofing around with friends. It utilizes the front-facing camera and you can see yourself on-screen so you know exactly what will show up in the picture when you take it.

Pano – This is a slick app for creating panoramic photographs. It walks you through each shot, and provides a ghost image of the previous shot so you line up your pictures better. It does a pretty good job putting them together and is an overall cool photo app to have on hand.

PicBounce – I was not going to put this in my list because of one big reason. The user agreement for this app required that you agree to let PicBounce access your Facebook account even when you are not using the application. This did not sit well with me at all and that was unfortunate because I loved the program. I just went to iTunes a minute ago to see if others had the same concerns and it appears that I wasn’t  the only one. Their most reason update, which was yesterday states “You spoke and we listened. PicBounce 1.3 no longer requires ‘offline access” to your Facebook account.” This is good news and removes the one problem I had with this. PicBounce is a great program for taking a picture and uploading to either Facebook or Twitter (or both at once). You take the picture, write a description, and upload. That’s all it does and if that’s all you need, then this app is perfect.
This app is also free right at the time of this post, so there is no reason not to check it out.

Phanfare – This app is good if you host your photos on Phanfare and if you do, you are probably well aware of this already. Phanfare is still the most complete online photo site I have found to date. You were already able to manage and edit your pictures online and even offline using their awesome desktop application. Now you can add your mobile device to the mix and do many of the same things right from inside the Phanfare app.

Perfect Photo – Nice app that allows extensive tweaking of photos and also provides some instant affects you can apply like Posterize or Pencil Paint.
It relies heavily on sliders to make adjustments and would be nice to have numbers that would reflect the position of the slider, but that isn’t enough of a gripe to make it a deal breaker.

Well, that’s a list of the photo apps I enjoy and use most often.  If there is one you think I should check out, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I will be covering another category of apps in a future post.

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In need of a wide angle lens

Tokina 11-16 vs Tokina 12-24. You would think that once you get it narrowed down to two choices, the decision would become easier, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I have read many very good reviews on the 12-24, and it seems to be a solid choice for an UWA lens with an f/4 aperture throughout. This would be a great choice if I wasn’t also interested in doing interior photography.
The Tokina 11-16 has basically no range but gives you a constant f/2.8 aperture which could prove useful shooting indoors. I don’t plan on shooting dimly lit concerts and I would be using multiple lights to adequately light interiors, so would the 2.8 be crucial or not? I would also like to be able to use the lens for landscape pics (obviously) and for shooting automobiles, which I think the 12-24 would be just fine for.
At the moment I am trying to judge based on people’s reviews whether one has a noticeable difference in sharpness or not. It seems that the 11-16 has a little more chromatic aberration, and although it’s possible, I don’t want to spend all day removing it from all my photos if it can be avoided.
Ugh…I think I need to go read some more reviews. If anyone has experience with these two lenses or just wants to throw their opinion my way please feel free. (Just for the record I am shooting with a Canon 40D (1.6x crop) and my current lenses are the 50mm f/1.8 II, 100mm macro, and the kits lens which is a 28-135mm.)

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