Tag Archives: mobile photography

Instagram Alternatives: A Guest Post by Me

If you’re into Instagram or are curious about alternatives, see this guest post I wrote for Inkifi, a print maker of Instagram images. I cover five decent alternatives in detail (for bonus points, add me as rsmithing if you’re already on ‘em: 1,2,3,4,5). And please take a moment to comment at the Inkifi post if you can — thanks!

Instagram Alternatives

Flickr to Instagram: It’s ON!

I just had my first whirl with the new Flickr mobile app. And… woah. It’s good. I mean really good.

The New Flickr App for iPhone

Flickr’s New App. Shown here with the “Mammoth” filter. Look out, Instagram

The new Flickr app for iPhone sports filters, easy browsing, a nice uploading interface… all on top of Flickr’s superb online Pinterest & Twitter integration. Overall, I must say it looks like Instagram got Flickr to step up its game. To that I say, well-played, Flickr. Well-played indeed.

Instagram in the crosshairsOperation: Target Instagram

If Instagram feels like it’s in the crosshairs, it’s with good reason. I had long been a fan of Flickr for general storage, but gravitated toward Instagram for the image discovery & immediacy of sharing. I have a feeling that’s going to change. And not just for me — I know more than a few folks who have been less than pleased with and seeking alternatives to Instagram lately thanks to spam or yanking its previews from Twitter.

This is not to say it’s perfect. It’s still not as snappy as Instagram, since applying filters and edits takes a bit longer — but you can do meaningful edits right from within the app like adding text, brightness/contrast, and basic retouching. You have to use a separate 3rd party app at present to do any of that for an Instagram upload. Conversely, features like the ability to tag people in photos, browse your favorite groups, and do batch uploads (thanks, Emily @_@) were already baked into Flickr. Having these tools now in the mobile app — along with just basic functionality like being able to zoom in — makes Flickr’s app superior to Instagram on a number of noticeably important fronts.

Given the massive leap forward of this latest edition, I’m optimistic that things will only improve further for Flickr going forward. Here’s a closer look with video of the new app from Flickr’s blog:

 
What do you think? Are you a fan of Instagram or other online photo networks? What’s your experience with Flickr been like? Let us hear from you in the comments.

If you like this, share it on Twitter (and thanks).

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So I’ve figured out a series of app edits that gives this rich, dimensional effect to object photos. Here’s a detail of one from this weekend that I’ll be doing a step-by-step of in the near future, along with more of the “Emerging” series.

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From today’s afternoon walk around town. Shot via iPhone using Hipstamatic with Libatique 73 lens and Ina’s 1969 film. Full-size version over at Flickr.

Jury Duty

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Recently I was part of the process as a potential juror in our legal system. Having done this once before, I know there’s a ton of waiting around. Or, as seen through blogging iPhoneography eyes, some unique photo opportunities. I made it a mobile project to document what was nearby to the extent that you also may find it interesting, using only my iPhone and WordPress app, and of course, without discussing any elements of any case I or others may or may not be involved in. That said, I’d welcome your thoughts on these photos in the comments, or your thoughts about jury duty in general.

Have you been a juror lately? Without getting into case specifics, what was your experience like?

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Queuing at security that morning. Not as bad as the airport, thankfully.

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We were chilling in the pool. My usual pool chilling usually includes a cocktail, but hey.

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Pretty sure this dude did not move for one solid hour.

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More faces of waiting. We were all pretty much wired up via laptops, phones, etc.

Last time I served was two years ago for three days. Meanwhile, my work at the office wasn’t getting done, which was sort of a drag. Nevertheless, I’m glad to have done my part in the American judicial system, getting a decent hands-on civics lesson, and some unique blog material for afterward.

iPhoneArt.com – the Next Level of Mobile Photo Sharing

As a fan and avid user of several photo sharing websites for years, I’ve been around the block when it comes to quality of work, features, and ease of use of these online communities, especially as of late with my interest in the area of mobile photography growing into a full-blown obsession (in a good way). Sites and apps I’m most familiar with are Instagram, Statigr.am, Flickr, DeviantArt, Fotki, and now I’m happy to add to that list with iPhoneArt.com.

I'm a Featured Artist of The Day at iPhoneArt.com

I’m a Featured Artist of The Day at iPhoneArt.com – A great site, and not just because they feature moi.

Full Disclosure: They Have Excellent Taste

It so happens that I have been a featured iPhoneArtist of the day on the site :) which is a total honor for me, considering the quality and vastness of most iPA featured artists. I do this for my own enjoyment and expression, so that someone of some authority sees fit to recognize it as exemplary or interesting to others — well, that’s a huge compliment I’m very grateful for.

That said, I was a fan of the site well before being featured. The site recently released a companion app for the iPhone, which I find more enjoyable the more I use it. Here’s what I wrote to that effect in my second-ever app review:

Makes Instagram look like MySpace
Click for larger view - text is at leftDon’t get me wrong; I absolutely love IG (and loved MySpace back in the day), but I’m digging iPhoneArt as an alternative experience. There are no filters, so it’s up to you to create something artistic either with a solid photo or though editing via other apps. The “popular” page content here is considerably more art-based. And the interface is bare-bones, elegant, just enough. There’s also a fully functional website interface with organization through sets and such. Altogether, I see IPA as a relevant, enjoyable evolution in the mobile art sharing experience.

Is the app perfect? No. Is the site as feature-rich as it possibly could be? Of course not. But that’s to be expected with any new platform. The features and enhancements will come. But what about the art? Well, now… this is where iPhoneArt.com really shines. It lives up to the name wonderfully.

For one thing, it was designed by artists for artists, so there’s an inherent elegance to the interface, both on the site and the app. Also, you can only upload five photos per day. So they’d better be good. You won’t find the deluge of mediocre snapshots all over the place and highlighted for their popularity the way you might on, say, other sites. And the whole community there is indeed very creative. Just browse the site and you’ll see.

Seriously, don’t just take my word for it. Have a look at these screenshots from the app and then go download it and visit the site for yourself.

iPhoneArt.com app available for free at iTunes

Galleries, faves, & searches — oh, my! Search in iTunes for “ipa: the mobile art network” to download for iPhone.

Again, I’ll state: I still love Instagram. I’ll still use and endorse it for general sharing and discovery. And I’ll still use Flickr for mass-scale storage and organization of the bulk of my images. And along with those sites, I now I have a home for the arty shots I’m most happy with, and a growing community of like-minded folk to discover and share with.

My sincerest thanks to the folks at iPhoneArt.com for featuring me, and for developing such an enjoyable site and app. I am truly honored.

What do you think? Do you have a preferred photo sharing platform? Do you use different photo sharing sites differently? Is this just a fad, or is this truly opening up a creative world to more people with the rise of smart phones and apps? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Vacation’s Vision, Via Hipstamatic

All photos from Hipstamatic via iPhone

Click to see more from this trip, mainly in Hipstamatic, at Flickr.

There’s nothing quite so satisfying for a creative person as executing a vision. To have an idea, see the steps in your mind, then follow through with all of them to bring into reality a concept existing only in your brain… into something you and everyone else can touch and see from then on — it’s a deeply, deeply fulfilling experience in many ways.

On a recent vacation, I made it a point to document choice moments with Hipstamatic — in this case, when celebrating with a beverage. We took off to Cabo San Lucas for a week last month (don’t get the wrong idea; jetsetters we ain’t), and while there I had the vision to capture occasions in Hipstamatic to be assembled in a collage frame upon return. I picked one of these frames up at Michael’s last week (for $12 on sale!), finally wrapped up the printing today, and am thrilled with the result. It hangs on the wall next to me as I type this.

Is That All You Did on Vacation?

Haha. Please note that we did many, many other things on this trip, and these are only 12 photos from the course of a week, and adults who have made the informed decision to consume alcohol should only do so in a responsible manner. That said, this vision turned out beautifully by my standards, and I encourage you to do the same on your own adventure, especially with Hipstamatic.

Have you ever done something similar to document your own vacation or life event? Do you print your own photos, or do you prefer to send off for prints? Ever used Hipstamatic on vacation? What were the results? Let us hear from you in the comments!