Tag Archives: iphone

Mobile photography as of late

I don’t market myself as a photographer or even claim to be one. But I do take tons of pictures all the time. Some of these make it into my surrealist photomontage art over at RSMITHINGS.com, but others I’m content to just share for fun with minor edits (also done 100% via iPhone, like my art). Here are a few from this year so far that have enjoyed positive reception over at my Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr and Pinterest presences.

Alpaca Time - Richard Smith

Alpaca Time – Richard Smith

New Art Park Downtown

New Art Park Downtown – Richard Smith

Dat Duck Doe

Dat Duck Doe – Richard Smith

Sunspots Original 1a

Sunspots Original 1a – Richard Smith (see the complete Sunspots here)

My cat, Zoe

Zoe May Be Part Teddy Bear – Richard Smith


What do you think? Do you take photos for use later or do you prefer to go with what’s there in the moment? Do you use your smartphone as a primary camera? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Add Now Playing Song to Playlist in iPhone

How hard would it be to include an “add to playlist” option for a currently playing song on an iPhone?

Apple Add To PlaylistThe near-largest technology company in the world, and the most profitable (Apple, duh) has yet to muster the resources to make this happen.

I’m not asking for anything fancy – maybe just tap and hold the artwork for a song in music? Or maybe use that menu in the top right? Easy!

iPhone owners have been asking for this for years. And years. And years.

I used to be able to do this on my iPod 4, for goodness sake. I’d hear a song, think “hey, that’s good for this playlist” and add it. Boom, done.

As of this writing, the only way to add songs to playlists is a cumbersome procedure of selecting the playlist first, navigating to a track, then manually adding that track.

Yes, more important threaten humanity, but this has gotta be in like… at least the top 50, right?

Please, Apple — add this feature in iOS for us. 

And to anyone reading who agrees, please request this from Apple feedback, or at my post on the Apple boards here. Thanks. 

Scattershot And All

A new photomontage blended from disparate compelling images:

Scattershot And All

Scattershot And All

Treetops from the west, Chiroptera from the east. This is the combined view of an overlook at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles juxtaposed with a bat skeleton from the Nature Science Center in my home state of North Carolina, all shot and assembled over a scattered period of time. See the originals at Flickr. Musical accompaniment: “All Is Not Lost” by OK Go. Poetry accompaniment by William Carlos Williams.

Spring and All
By William Carlos Williams

By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast—a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines—

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches—

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind—

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined—
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance—Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted they
grip down and begin to awaken

What do you think? Ever seen a bat skeleton? Are you a fan of OK Go or William Carlos Williams (or both, like me)? What are you dressing up as for Halloween? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Olloclip Macro Lens and Quick Clip Case for iPhone Review

Macro, close-up photography via smartphone opens a whole new world of detail and interesting possibilities for mobile photographers.

Olloclip macro lens and Quick Flip case

Olloclip macro lens and Quick Flip case.

And for the more committed practitioners, I definitely recommend stepping up to the Olloclip macro lens.

I happened upon Olloclip’s booth at the SXSW trade show recently, and after a hands-on look at the lens and accompanying Quick Flip case (impressive engineering in its own right), I bought one on the spot thanks to the show special of getting a free case with a lens purchase. Gotta’ love trade shows.

The whole outfit is deliberately and intelligently engineered. The system is everything an accessory lens should be: easy, convenient, strong, affordable; and the case is really what sold me, since it solves for my major gripe of having to otherwise remove a case or deal with a less desirable alternative (such as an adhesive magnet, or just manually holding the lens to the iPhone). I also dig the futuristic, sleek design of the case — it has almost a cyborg-esque feel and even allows for tripod attachment.

Here’s a video review of the case itself:

And here’s a look at my first project with the Olloclip Macro lens:

Macro Budding Cactus Flower

“Budding Time”
This is a close look at a budding cactus from my kitchen with a little extra lens flare. What’s extra cool to me is that some of the flare spots happened organically, and so that inspired me to add a little more via the LensFlare app. I did some post-processing with Dynamic Light, and voila: surrealism macro magic.

Feather at Regular and Macro View:

feather macro

Here’s a feather from a pillow on my kitchen table at regular view, then at 21x via the Olloclip lens, with no post-processing. You can actually count the individual barbules. Also, I’m excited to use the word “barbules” in a blog post.

These results speak for themselves. While there are a number of macro lenses available for smartphones, Olloclip has gotten it right at every level.

I’ve long been a fan of my previous macro lens made by Olloclip’s competitor, Photojojo, and at $20, it’s still one heckuva deal — a great way to get familiar with the possibilities of macro photography via smartphone. But for a bit more up front ($70 for the Olloclip macro lens), you get much more overall. Pair it with the Quick Flip case, and you’ll be set for some serious macro fun for a long time to come.

What do you think? Ever used an accessory lens for smartphone photography? Or for traditional camera photography? What’s a discovery you’ve treated yourself to lately? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor Video Chats Onstage With Fan Dying of Cancer

The best use of technology I’ve seen in a while:

Above, Reznor Facetimes with Andrew Youssef, a photojournalist who has been battling terminal cancer for nearly two years. Youssef would have been at this very gig, but for health reasons could not make it, so Reznor got him there in another, very unique and personal way. Youssef has chronicled his story in his ongoing column at OCWeekly, titled, “Last Shot.”


Update: Nine Inch Nails Superfan Andrew Youssef Dead at 38 – Rolling Stone, Dec. 2. 2013


Reznor_Youssef

Trent Reznor Facetimes onstage w/Andrew Youssef, diagnosed w/stage IV cancer. Photo via Consequence of Sound.

I first heard about Youssef in a writeup at Consequence of Sound, who summarize the event and Youssef’s story perfectly:

Whether you’ve followed Youssef’s story from day one or are just hearing about it now, it’s the kind of beautiful, gut-wrenching moment that not only proves the power of music but of a little human kindness.

Youssef replied, “I’m speechless” via Twitter after the performance:

I’ve been into Nine Inch Nails since before I saw them at the first Lollapalooza about a million years ago. I’ve followed Reznor closely ever since, respecting his music and commitment to his craft. Here’s another reason for respect, to both Reznor and Youssef.

What do you think? Have you heard of similar stories? What would you do in this situation? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Get Thee To The Getty

I recently had the pleasure of spending a few hours at The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The only thing wrong with my visit was that it wasn’t long enough. Besides the many great works of art there, The Getty’s architecture and the grounds are a thing to behold. Here are some shots I snapped via Hipstamatic, and a bonus panorama shot. More at Flickr.

Getty01 Getty02 Getty03 Getty04 Getty06 Getty05

What do you think? Have you ever been to The Getty? Do you notice architecture and landscaping for their artistic characteristics? What’s a place where that’s happened for you recently? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Dream Theater After Uelsmann: Learning From The Masters

So I thought it would be fun to do another photomontage along the lines of my favorite visual artist, the amazing Jerry Uelsmann. Here’s my version of one of his works:

Dream Theater After Uelsmann

“Dream Theater After Uelsmann”
Click to view in high-resolution (way more interesting than the size shown here)

Here’s the original by Jerry Uelsmann:

Dream Theater by Jerry Uelsmann

Dream Theater by Jerry Uelsmann, 2004.

And here are my source images, all photographed by me over the last few years, with links to the full-size versions:

Originals for Dream Theater After Uelsmann

Original photos by me. Click for full size view.

Uelsmann is The Man

I hope to make it abundantly clear that the inspiration and vision for this image is 100% Uelsmann — I take no credit for the origination of the composition, and I’ve made efforts to make this clear in a number of places. My effort here is strictly a study of technique and a visual challenge, with full respect and homage to someone who inspires me. It was fun to do, and I’m pleased with the result.

What do you think? Have you ever photographed, drawn or painted after one of the masters or someone who inspires you? What was the outcome? Where do you go for inspiration? How does that take shape? Let us hear from you in the comments.