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All posts tagged "photography"

Monday, May 28, 2012

PicFrame For Making Photo Collages

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 02:30 PM

"PicFrame helps you combine multiple photos into amazing looking frames that you can save to your computer or share to Facebook. With 34 adjustable frames, rounded corners and plenty of patterns, you will always have a unique look."

I added this to my iPhone a few days ago, and a version is now available for Mac OS X. More from the App Store:

"Since PicFrame was released on the iPhone and iPad we have often been requested to create a Mac version for people to use on their desktop, well here it is! PicFrame on the Mac is just as easy to use, select a frame, drag and drop your photos in, tweak the border size, give the photos rounded corners, add a color or pattern, resize the adjustable frames and save the photo or share it to Facebook.

Main Features:- 34 adjustable frames- Support for up to 5 photos- Rounded corners- Change the border size- Zoom and drag the photos around- Easy color picker for border color- Multiple patterns to use for the border- Ratios 1:1, 3:2, 2:3, 4:3, 3:4, 16:9- High resolution- Share to Facebook- Drag and drop photos into the frame "

Pretty nice for a couple bucks on each platform ... and really, really easy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oloneo PhotoEngine Review

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Software" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: HDR Software
Manufacturer: Oloneo SAS
Where to Buy: Oloneo's Website
Price: US$149
System Requirements: OS:Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (32-bit or 64-bit), Windows Vista (32-bit or 64-bit)
Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit) Hard disk: 200MB of available space CPU: 1.6 GHz Intel or AMD with SSE2, dual-core recommended RAM: 1.5GB Screen: 1280 x 720.
Specifications: Complete Feature List


  • Great-looking and pleasing HDR images in just a few clicks;
  • Fast rendering live preview of changes;
  • Offers a high level of control for the advanced user.


  • Auto-alignment for handheld HDR shots not perfect;
  • Active noise reduction controls not present.

Summary: Oloneo's PhotoEngine may be the most expensive, but it is easily the best HDR software available in the market currently. Its ease of use with beautiful and natural results makes it hard to beat. It also has an additional neat trick in the form of HDR ReLight. There are a few minor issues, but for a 1.0 product, they do not overshadow the positives as a whole.

[Editor's Note: Today we bring a special review, written by a top professional photographer with well over a decade of experience. Jed Wee will be reviewing Oloneo's PhotoEngine, which made a splash when the beta was first released back in 2010. Now that the product is shipping, how well does it live up to the early promise? Join Jed as he puts the software through its paces!]


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Be Different: Host Your Photos Online Elsewhere

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 09:00 AM

"Today, you can't swing a 500mm lens without hitting a business that wants nothing more than to store your pics. The question is: Do you dare stray from the familiar entities? We can't give you that answer, but we can tell you that truly excellent sites, perhaps just right for you, do indeed exist in other corners of the Web. And it's our intention here to point you in some of those directions."

MaximumPC takes a look at some other online photo hosting services, and a few look quite interesting. That said, 500px (pictured above) reminds me why I don't like the popularity contests that follow such services. Luckily Smugmug is on the list, and if you can afford the fees, I think it is the best of the lot. As always, I am curious to know of new photo hosts. Does anyone have their own favourite photo hosting service that is not mentioned in the article?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Poyomi Photobooks - Your Digital Images Brought Home

Posted by Angelina Purpura in "Digital Home Printing" @ 09:00 AM

Poyomi Photobooks are a simple and elegant solution to the problem most of us have these days: What do I do with all of my digital photos? My own Flickr account alone currently has nearly 22,000 photos,and will surely exceed that soon. I love every photo I've taken, but not enough to print them all, and it's difficult to justify the time of moving all of my favourites to a USB drive and going to the photo store at the mall. But I do wish that I could have copies of some of my more precious images, to show my friends or reminisce over. What better way to order a physical copy of your photos than though your computer/the Internet, where most of them are likely to be stored? Better still, Poyomi allows to to print them directly into scrapbook form, saving you yet another time-consuming process. And for as little as $5.99 for a 20 page book, Poyomi has made it quite affordable too. Read more...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Having Trouble Understanding a Camera's Manual Controls?

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 09:30 AM

"Today we're jumping into the fun stuff: manual mode. We'll learn the details about shutter speed, ISO, and aperture, as well as how those settings affect your photos."

Learn how the different settings in a camera work the easy way: Read the linked article in conjunction with CameraSim. Experiment with settings without having to pick up a camera!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

PMA/CliQ 2011 Cancelled; Moves to CES 2012

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home News" @ 05:00 PM

"The rumors that flew around cyber-space all day Wednesday are true – the 2011 PMA, recently renamed and re-positioned as CliQ, has been moved from it’s early September, 2011 dates (6-11) to Jan. 10-13 at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, running concurrent with the 2012 International CES."

The PMA trade show is the photography industry's biggest trade show, along with the biannual Photokina. It has been a place where many new camera announcements were made (for example, the Nikon D70 was formally announced at PMA 2004), but it looks like the tsunami in Japan has caused major players like Nikon and Canon to pull out of the 2011 event, and I would not be surprised to see that part of the reason is in the commoditisation of consumer digital cameras. Still, PMA has always been an annual event through its long history, including the film days (yes, you know, before digital cameras came along). I am a little sad to see it get folded into CES, a show that is more consumer than photographer focused. Expect camera announcements to be scattered in September and October as a result.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Experiment Shows the Value of Mirror Lockup and a Tripod

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 06:30 PM

"It’s the reflex in Single Lens Reflex – the ubiquitous mirror that allows SLR cameras to use the same optical path for composition, focusing, and metering. The mirror action is a marvel of mechanical genius, but does the mirror movement cause vibrations that subtly degrade the image? And does the mirror lock-up feature solve the problem?"

The video and accompanying article is a nice way of demonstrating the value of both mirror lock-up and a tripod, something most veteran photographers have known all this while. So next time if you are feel like leaving the tripod at home, watch this video.

Ten Action Photography Tips

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 04:30 PM

"Action Photography Tip #1: Plan ahead! Carefully plan where you will set up. This is probably the biggest mistake for action photographers. I can’t tell you how many parents I see on the sidelines shooting their son’s soccer game from the middle of the field. Since the action will mostly occur near the goal, that is a much better place to set up."

Here are some general tips for shooting anything that moves fast. Tip number nine requires a little more explanation from me: Shooting with both eyes open is best done via using your dominant eye through the viewfinder; not doing so leads to a very confusing experience! Note that cameras in general are designed for use with the right eye, so if you are left eye dominant, handling the camera will get a little trickier, so it will be something that will need extra practice to be totally comfortable with. Here is a link on a test that will determine your dominant eye.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Film Canister USB Flash Drive: A Second Lifetime of Use

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 02:00 AM

Clever! You can get these re-purposed film canisters with either a 2 GB ($18.99) or a 4 GB ($23.99) embedded USB flash drive. This would make a great gift for a photographer, especially someone who's still shooting film. I'm a bit surprised they top out at 4 GB though - that seems very tiny compared to the normal sizes of drives today.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Shooting Sports? Have Some Photography Tips!

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 12:00 PM

"Every sport requires a different technique to capture the action. This may involve focusing on a fixed point (such as a basketball hoop), or focusing on key players in a team. Listed below are some techniques for popular sports photography."

One common photographer archetype is the sports photographer, given that many celebrated and popular images are those from sport. It is not surprising then, that many new camera owners go test out their new purchases shooting sports in their local arenas. Well, before doing that, check out this list of tips for different sports. Unlike a number of articles on the web, this one is quite specific to a number of sports. Just remember the most important tip that applies to all sport photographers though: Know your sport!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Quick Rundown of Several iPad Photography Apps

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad)" @ 09:00 AM

"Way back in January, I posted on the blog 5 reasons why I think the iPad will be great for photographers. So now that I've got the chance to play around with the new iPad, what do I think of it? Will I be eating my own words or am I right?"

Kai went through (quite quickly I might add) 18 free apps and two paid ones for the iPad that related to photos and photography. Some problems with all of them, but there were several stars in the bunch such as the PhotoPad by ZAGG and SmugMug that each got 4 stars. At the very least, this will help you decide what NOT to buy from the App Store, plus the reviewer is actually quite fun to watch. What are your favorite apps for the iPad?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Get Schooled on Shutter/Flash Synchronization

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 05:00 PM

I have to confess, at least 50% of this was above my head, but it was still quite interesting to watch. If you want to understand shutter speed and flash usage, it's worth watching.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Things I Want to See in 2011

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 08:00 AM

Welcome to 2011! The last decade was a breath-taking one for digital photography, and the last few years have brought about a torrent of changes and improvements, along with the digital revolution settling down somewhat. Still, a new year brings new possibilities, and here is what I would like to see for 2011:

1. Open Platform Camera

One reason for the popularity of cameras in smartphones is the software you can add to it. Want different effects? Download an app to process them on the phone. Want to see said effects in real-time? Download an app to replace the default camera app. Want an intervalometer? Download an app for that too!

Having an open platform for developers to add functionality to the camera would be an amazing selling point. This would go beyond consumer-level gee-whiz; there is plenty for for enthusiasts too. Change button assignments, tone curves (this has existed but not always the easiest to do), even autofocus and auto exposure behaviour for the adventerous. There is also something to be said for spending less time in image editors...

Of course this would kill some manufacturers' unique selling points. Olympus and their Art Filters will probably be the first casualty. Coupled with most camera companies being conservative in nature, this is unlikely to happen from a traditional manufacturer. Anyone out there willing to take a chance on this?

2. Truly Connected Cameras

Tying in with the above point on open platforms, connectivity is the next big thing. Most of us share our photos digitally nowadays, and the Internet is the main way to do this. Standalone cameras still rely heavily on having a computer to do this. Smartphone cameras are showing the way this should be done, so where are the connected cameras? The Olympus E-PL2's bluetooth dongle (a leaked piece of news at this time of writing) is a step forward, and hopefully will set the tone for the rest of the year.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lifehacker's Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your New Camera

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 02:00 PM

"Whether it takes photos or videos, and whether it fits in the palm of your hand or has interchangeable lenses, you've got a brand new camera to play with. Here's how to get the most out of your great new gift."

Lifehacker has complied a very long guide for those who just got a camera; personally I think it is a bit too long to read in a sitting, but take a look. You never know what might be useful. Oh, and if you did just get a camera, share with us what you got!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Samsung Research Shows Britons Are Confused by Cameras; Dispels "Stupid Americans" Myth?

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home News" @ 10:30 AM

"New research from Samsung reveals over a third of Brits are under-using their cameras, more so than other technologies such as mobiles or laptops. A quarter admit to feeling worried when they press a button which produces a display they don’t recognise and just over one in ten say they are so confused by their cameras that they hand it to someone else to take the shots."

Idiot mode: Use it! (Image from Panasonic)

While this is a report commissioned by Samsung for the launch of its latest camera, the NX100, and the new lenses with the iFunction system (essentially a custom button on the lens), I would like to point out that if you can use the camera that comes with a phone, you can use any point-and-shoot, just that now you have optical zoom as well. The other functions? Well, I'd like to say that nowadays, they're fairly optional for casual users. Most cameras have an "Idiot Mode", so just set to it and go. I suspect Samsung purposely asked questions in the vein of "Do you know how to change the ISO with one button?" in an attempt to make their product look superior. What do you guys think?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In Yer Face Street Photography

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Talk" @ 11:30 AM

Street photography is a long practised form of photography ever since cameras got small enough to be carried around. Most practitioners labour on how to be as discreet and stealthy, for the prevailing philosophy is that the street photographer's job is to capture that slice of life, a reflection of a moment in urban civilisation. This guy is just quite the opposite, as you can see from the video. If you ask me, this is like a wildlife photographer who throws rocks at his subjects to provoke a response out of them to get a better shot. What do you all think?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Kuwait Times Issues Retraction

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home News" @ 10:06 AM


"The Kuwait Times, original source of the "news" that Kuwait had banned the use of DSLRs by non-journalists, has issued a retraction, which I quote here in full."

The retraction can be read at the link on The Online Photographer, and this is the reason why I did not post the news initially when it was breaking out on the blogosphere and even the mainstream news. Kuwait is one of the more progressive (or less conservative depending on your viewpoint) Middle East countries, and such a blanket ban seemed somewhat out of the blue.

In any case, this teaches us all to be critical of what we read; just because it is in a book, newspaper, or on the Internet, it isn't always true!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Moon Photography Tips

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 08:30 AM

"Moon photography can be one of the most fun, yet one of the most aggravating, projects to tackle. You’ve probably seen those gorgeous photos on calendars, wall posters and all over the web. The moon, full as can be, hovering over a wonderful landscape. While some of them are put together in Photoshop, most you will find are real photos."

I've been trying to get some moon shots myself lately, but the weather has been less than kind. Due to moon phases, you only get so many days each month to try to shoot the moon at the location you want. All it needs is a bad day to really screw with your chances. The article covers the basics, but I do stress the need for some decent telephotos; 400mm (or equivalent) is the minimum if you want a decent-sized moon!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Going Really Old School: Colour Photos from Black and Whites

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 03:00 AM

"We love the ease of digital photography, but sometimes we get an itch for some experimentation. We want to feel like old school photography masters: mixing chemicals in darkrooms and watching images as they slowly develop. So, what did we do when we learned that some of the first color photographs were made almost 150 years ago, and they weren't made with color film?"

If you're feeling a need to do things differently, here's an old way of making colour photos using a black and white based process. It's a bit redundant in this day and age, but it's a good way of finding out how colour works. Experiment, and enjoy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Flickr Announces New Look to Site

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home News" @ 05:00 PM

"For over six years, you’ve made Flickr the place to be for photos. Billions of photos of the places you’ve been, the things you’ve seen, and the people in your lives. It’s an amazing photographic record that continues to amaze us. So as part of our Ongoing Quest to Make Flickr More WonderfulTM, we’d like to introduce… a new photo page!"

I'm not sure how many of our readers use Flickr, but I do, despite the ironical fact that it's not such a great platform for ACTUALLY viewing photos. The default click to enlarge a photo from a thumbnail brings you to a photo that's... 500 pixels wide. In a time when 1680x1050 screens are cheap and common, and most last generation panels being 1280 pixels wide, 500 pixels is not very big. Flickr doesn't help by having a fairly cluttered layout (not customisable as far as I know) that jams info alongside the photo instead of below it.

So Flickr's big announcement is now, they will be moving forward to a new larger default size for photos! It will be in glorious...


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