Archives for category: Resources

As promised, I have been playing with some of my smartphone and Ipad apps to create wall art. For this post, I started with this photo:

I had this saved on my smartphone from back in the fall. I simply opened it in my Kaleidoscope app (free from Google Play) and shot several different angles after turning my phone in different directions. I ended up with these four pictures:




I then sent these four pictures to my Ipad and performed some rotating, cropping and sharpening to each one in Photoshop Express (free in the App Store). I applied a different special effect to each one of them to make them look different. Here are the results of that series of manipulations:





Each of these would be excellent wall art if not printed out too large. They are the products of smartphone photography and quality begins to suffer if blown up too large. They should work nicely if printed under 5″x5″.
I decided to do one last series of manipulations to these in another IPad app called A Beautiful Mess ($1.99 in the App Store). This app allows you to make collages, diptychs and triptychs from photos you have in your camera roll or take new ones. I made a simple collage from all four:


And a triptych from three:


All of these apps are fun to play with and that is what I really want when I look at wall art- a reminder of past fun 🙂



I discovered a new photography app for my iPad that is amazing. Picture Show is my new favorite toy. I am really impressed with the vintage look pictures it produces by changing various combinations of settings. When you finish, you can create a “recipe” of all the things used to create that look, so you can save time later with another photo that you want to look the same.
You can either take a photo or use an existing one. Then apply HDR, tilt shift, various light leaks, color filters, etc. There are too many combinations to count.
Here are a couple of examples:


The top photo is the original I pulled from my photo stream. The manipulated one was opened in Picture Show, cropped, tilt shift applied, bokeh light leak and limelight filter applied.


For this one, in order to change from the original (top) picture, I cropped then applied the red cross filter and the halation 1 light leak.
The app is not free, but the many combinations you can create make it well worth $1.99. It is an iPhone app, but will work on an iPad. You just have to check iPhone only when searching the App Store.
Have fun 😉

A new gadget has helped me revive some old Kodachrome slides. I ordered the lomography smart phone film scanner from Photojojo earlier this week and when it came, I couldn’t wait to get started scanning some old slides I had.
Some of them were taken by my older brother. The one below is of me and my niece. I’m the one on the left. This was taken in 1966.

The great thing about Kodachrome slides is they never fade or lose quality.

This one I took in 1995, during the time I was a photographer for a newspaper.

I used my own camera on the job, therefore, when a photo op came up that was not for the paper and my camera was loaded with Kodachrome, the shot ended up being a slide.
I am just starting to experiment with the digital files, so I haven’t a report on quality just yet. I’m just happy to have my old shots in a form that I can manipulate.
More to come 🙂

IMG_0283_4_5_tonemapped watermarked

My fascination with HDR photography has garnered me a spot downtown at the Chamber of Commerce building for the summer. The exhibit, which will feature only HDR photos, is scheduled to open in early June. Along with the photos, there will be a brief explanation of what HDR photography is and how it is accomplished.

IMG_0280_1_2_tonemapped watermarked

The Cynthiana Chamber of Commerce is located at the corner of Main and Pike streets in Cynthiana, KY. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and see the photos in person. Central Kentucky is beautiful this time of year.

Keep shooting 🙂

I posted several weeks ago that I visited the Kentucky Folk Art Center on the campus of Morehead State University. This is my last grouping of art from that gallery.

This time, the photos are all of work by the same artist, Linvel Barker. His whimsical carvings were featured on the entire top floor of the museum. All of them made me smile. Here are a few of them.

I love their little tiny feet. These were all shot with a Canon Rebel on full manual setting. They were a bit tricky because of the variance in lighting conditions. This was one of those situations where you could not have set your camera on auto, which would have triggered the flash, which would have only reflected off of the glass cases. I kept my f-stop on 5.6 for all the shots and, since I didn’t have a tripod, I had to keep the shutter speed above 1/60. So the only thing I could really adjust was the ISO. For most of the shots, it was set on 800 or 1600.

Keep shooting 🙂

I have looked through photo magazines for years at the beautiful HDR (high dynamic range) photos that are produced with special software using three bracketed photos.

I finally gave in and purchased HDRsoft’s Photomatix software recently. I couldn’t wait to try it, so I went out on my lunch break and quickly shot a few bracketed images. After converting them to Jpeg from RAW format, I opened the three images in the Photomatix program. It is so easy to use and offers so many options for tonemapping the photo. I realized when processing them that if you are not using a tripod and remote, you will move slightly and cause the merged images to look blurry. A couple of my tonemapped products looked like a 3-D picture without the glasses.

The only problem I will have now is getting carried away and “overHDRing” my photos. I am an abstract artist at heart and the menu of options makes my mouth water. Hopefully, I can restrain myself when trying to keep the photo looking realistic. I realize these look a bit like old-fashioned postcards.

More HDR to come when I get a chance to get out and take some more photos. Let me know what you think.

Keep trying new things 🙂

I love architectural photography. The subjects never move and there are so many different ways you can photograph a single structure. The challenge with this type of image is lighting. Ideally, you want to shoot on a slightly overcast day when there are no shadows or harsh contrasting sunlight issues. That isn’t always possible.

On a recent visit to St. Augustine, Florida, home of some of the most beautiful Spanish architecture in the world, my family and I chose an overcast day to visit the old city. However, by the time we parked and started walking, the sun was shining in mid-summer Floridian glory.

This was my only chance to take these shots, so I screwed my polarizing filter on my camera, set the white balance on cloudy to bring out the shadows a bit and started shooting. I had my camera set on AV at F18. I had to set the ISO on 400 because the filter adds exposure time and some of the shots were taking too long to be hand held at ISO 100 or 200.

The results were not as good as if the sun had not been out, but the polarizer did make a difference in the texture and contrast of the photos.

The filter brought out the color of the sky. I was very pleased about that.

These photos are of the original Alcazar Hotel. It then became the home of St. Augustine’s City Hall and the Lightner Museum.

Make sure to travel with your camera 🙂

On my recent visit to St. Augustine, Florida, I discovered the St. Augustine Beach Sculpture Garden. It is a small lakeside park with a path lined with large sculptures. I took color photos, but most of the sculptures were done in a bluish color and with the green background, the photos looked too busy in color. The black and white brings out the texture of the pieces.

I shot all of these with a Canon Rebel set on AV at F5.6. I started with the ISO at 200, but as it grew darker, I had to gradually increase the ISO to 800, so some of the pictures are more grainy  than others.

Keep shooting your life and have fun with your camera, LH  🙂

Close up plus 1

Close up plus 4

Close up plus 2

As an incredibly financial-strapped photographer, I am faced with not being able to afford all the equipment I would like to use. For instance, I would love to have a macro lens, but it is hard for me to justify the cost of one, when only about one-eighth of the photos I take are extreme close-ups.

Promaster’s Close-up Filter Set saved the day for me. The little kit is three filters , close-up plus 1, 2 or 4, can be mounted on your regular 55 mm lens and is basically like mounting a magnifying glass to your lens. You can use one, two or all three at a time, depending on how much magnification you want.The results are not as good as an actual macro lens, but for a “starving artist,” such as myself, they are far more realistic than the alternative.All the photos shown were taken with a Canon Rebel, set on AV at F5.6. Occasionally, when using these filters it is necessary to stop up one or two stops, especially if you are using all three Close-ups at once. Have fun with your camera,L.H. 🙂

The class I taught recently at the local community college was a lot of fun. I hope the students will all feel more comfortable using the manual mode on their cameras. I want to give a shout out to Animoto for its incredibly easy-to-use video creation site.  The themes are great and the video was produced very quickly. This video was shown as an introduction on the first night of the class. What a great way to showcase your work.

Have fun with your camera 🙂


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