I-Phone Photo Challenge–Photos

Always fun returning to your alma mater to practice your i-Phone photography!

I used the editing tools native to the iPhone and ReTouch app (this is becoming my favorite editing app) .

 

 

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Making A Memory Real

We live in a world where we feel the need to document or record every moment of our life.  When we go on vacation, the need to record everything we do and see is increased even more.
As we were walking along the Niagara Falls, White Water Boardwalk I was continually taking pictures of the waves, the colors, the leaves, yes, even the boardwalk itself!  It was as if I had to document every sight so that I could go home and put it all in a scrapbook or photo album to view in the future.
Of course, I did stop a few times to just let it soak into my memory, but I will admit that those stops were few and far between.
As the walk was ending, after taking more photos at the end of the walkway, I came to the top of the steps and looked down at the water.  My gaze came upon a group of people standing on the bottom deck, looking out to the river.  They were a family of Amish people who seemed to be oblivious to all the tourists (myself included).  
I watched this family of 6, expecting them to be splashed by the water moving against the rocks nearby.  Then I suddenly realized something.  Not one of them was holding a phone or a camera. Not one of them was writing on paper or drawing pictures of what they were seeing.  All they were doing was simply looking at the water, the plants, the gorge, the movement and dance of the waves.  They stopped a few times and spoke with the family member who stood beside them and pointed at something they had noticed.  Something that perhaps had touched their heart or something that had caught their interest.
I’m certain that this family will long remember this experience a great deal more vividly than all of us who were so busy taking photos and trying our best to be as creative in our compositions as possible.
I learned a lesson that moment.  Contemplating and truly feeling the world around me is much more important than trying to get that perfect shot.  Taking it all in is part of the process which makes a memory become real in our hearts and mind.

Toronto Ripley’s Aquarium Visit

Toronto’s Roger Centre is filled with things to see and do.  These include the CN Tower, Roger Centere, and Ripley’s Aquarium.  We’ve always been fans of Ripley’s Aquarium and have visited the Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, SC at least twice, so we decided this would be the place to start.  Plus, this would give me a chance to really test out my photography with my iPhone 7Plus.  In case you didn’t know, I have challenged myself to taking all my photos with only an iPhone 7Plus camera.  So far, I’ve been pleased although sometimes I’ve regretted forgetting my tripod at home.  

 

The Toronto Ripley’s Aquarium is considerably larger and has many more features than the Myrtle Beach location.  Firstly, the underwater moving sidewalk area is extensive, has at least 4-5 large sharks, a massive sea turtle, and is teeming with a great variety of fish.

For the kids, this aquarium has some really fun tubes that take kids (and adults) through spaces that can be viewed by other people, making it look as if kids are inside the water with the fish!  The underwater viewing includes an underwater submarine where kids suddenly pop up unexpectedly and it appears they are in the sub under the water exhibit!  Fun!

This aquarium includes a large jellyfish exhibit featuring unusual jellies and lots of bright color changes.

Of course, all the other typical creatures from the sea are included in the exhibits, but the one that caught everyones attention was the gigantic octopus exhibit.  The creature was immense–and honestly, really creepy! 

We loved this aquarium and I recommend you visit the next time you find yourself in Toronto!

 

 

My iPhone Challenge For August

I’m extremely excited to have taken on the August photo challenge presented by #fatmumslimphotooftheday
This challenge has given me another opportunity to practice my iPhone-photography skills.  All Photos were taken with the iPhone 7Plus and edited using the ReTouch app which I reviewed in a previous post.  You can find it here.
She has challenged us to take a photo each day in August, reflecting our representation of the letter of the alphabet.  Find the list here.
I’ve chosen to use words/names of places and things unique to Austin and Central Texas.  If you have ideas for the rest of the letters—please share!

I began August 1 with the letter A

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August 2—letter B

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August 3—letter C

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August 4—letter D

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And today’s letter is E……

drumroll, please…..

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If you’d like to see the pics I post each day, you can follow me on Instagram.   Just CLICK HERE!

iPhone Challenge–PhotoToaster App Review

Continuing the challenge–taking great photos using only the i-Phone 7Plus.

In today’s digital world, editing has become a big part of photography.  I focused on a new editing app this week.  It is called PhotoToaster.  You will find it in the AppStore.

The PhotoToaster app requires IOS 8.0 or later.  It is compatible with i-Pone, i-Pad, and i-Pod touch.  There is a one-time cost of $2.99;  however,  although it is not a free app, I’ve already found it to be incredibly useful in creating stunning edited shots.

The photo below was taken at mid-day.  The editing has created a feeling of warmth, as if it had been taken at sunset.

                            This is the original.                                             This is after editing.

Of course, I will continue looking at many of the other features in this editing app, but so far I think it will be well worth the $2.99 I paid.

 Upon opening the app you find 4 links to places you can access the photo you wish to edit:  Recent, Photo Library, Camera, and Clipboard.

Below that, you see a pink box that will take you to the Community / Tutorials area.  This area includes all of the tutorials needed to use in editing.  The tutorials are not in video form, so it is easy to read, try it out,  then return to read it again, if needed.

The editing features include:

There are several other fantastic editing features that I can’t wait to try!

The Community area also includes a variety of “challenges” for the photographer.   They list a Fall Challenge, Sunset Challenge, Ice Challenge, Reflections Challenge and many others.  Each challenge specifies what to focus on, for example, the Ice Challenge focuses on Highlights and Shadows.  These will prove to be very beneficial in improving our i-Phone photos and editing abilities, then sharing them with the PhotoToaster community.

This is an incredible app for the photographer who enjoys editing their photos to add interest and beauty.

Camera Bags and More

iPhone Challenge– Touch ReTouch App Review

The challenge—take great photos using only the Apple iPhone 7Plus

My new iPhone 7Plus camera has already impressed me with the sharp, crisp pictures it takes.  It is a 12MP camera, with a wide angle f/1.8 aperture lens, and a telephoto with an f/2.8 aperture lens, making it well equipped to take amazing portraits.  The optical zoom at 2x, helps bring things close, without distorting the image.

Like many of us, I like to edit my photos to add interest, so this week I began researching editing apps that are available for use on IOS phones.

Some of my older photos are, truthfully, not that great.  I have photos that are messy and have a bit of “noise” in the photo.  I read about an app called TouchReTouch, that can easily remove unwanted things from a photo, making it more interesting to the viewer.  **It is available through the Apple Store. This app requires IOS 9.0 or later. It is compatible with i-Phone, i-Pad, and iPod touch.

The Touch Retouch app offers 5 editing tools:

  1. Removing unwanted objects

2.  Removing lines

3.  Removing small objects quickly

4.  Removing blemishes

5.  Using a clone stamp

The app includes simple to follow tutorials for each function making it easy to use.

I tested out the Removing Unwanted Object feature, and it worked GREAT!

SAMPLE remove object

        FROM THIS…………………………………………………………..TO THIS!  So easy!

I love this the Touch-Retouch app, and plan on using it in the future!

Camera Bags and More

It Just Takes Practice!

IMG_0231My daughter ventured into new areas to practice her photography skills, using her new Sony a6000, camera.  She hopes to be highly skilled (at least, pretty good) at photography before our next big adventure.  First impressions on the Sony a6000 are great!  The camera is multifunctional and allows for everything from fully automatic shots to fully manual shots.  The menu is user friendly and allows you the ability to create uniquely interesting  pictures.  All photos are high-focused. Of course, as we all know–practice makes perfect!  Here is a sample of some of her first shots.   I think they are very good, but I know she’d appreciate any thoughts you might have.   We look forward to hearing from you!