iPhone Photography

October 26th, 2011

So I’ve had my iPhone 4 for a year or so now, and I’m really impressed with the camera capabilities. In reasonably strong light conditions the quality is excellent.  However, uploading photos from the iPhone to the web is not so great, especially with the MobileMe gallery being retired next year.

I’ve virtually given up with Flickr and all my photo hosting for the website is with SmugMug, an excellent photo hosting service. Unfortunately, the SmugMug iPhone app is a bit poor, and I prefer to get all my photos into Aperture, tweak/crop/straighten as required then upload. This means uploading “live” is only a temporary action, where I remove the photos to be replaced with an improved selection later.  This does however leave a lack of capability for photoblogging.

Enter Instagram: An app that allows photos to be uploaded directly from the iPhone to their webservice. This site runs on WordPress and there are some plugins that allow the most recent Instagrams to be displayed in the sidebar, and also a collection of instagrams to be shown on a page or post. But that’s just be beginning.

Instagram is intended as a simple service, so pictures are 600 pixels square, no big problem there as it’s ideal for web display. But what Instagram adds are simple on/off filters to give photos a vintage, low-fidelity or saturated look. It’s really easy to use and creates some nice effects with virtually no effort. These photos are all iPhone/Instagram only:

Beyond Instagram I found a whole selection of apps to make photo editing on the iPhone and iPad fun and with good features. Free apps like Pixlromatic and iSplash Pro, as demonstrated by the aeroplane picture, and Phonto to add text and Squaready to create a square canvas for rectangular pictures as seen on the RX8 image. (These photos were not taken with the iPhone 4, only edited on it)

A very good value application called FX Photo Studio has much more comprehensive filtering and framing and when combined with Instagram for upload and display means it’s easy to while away a few hours playing at photo editing on the go. Of note is the fact FX Photo Studio is not limited to Instagram 600px images, but seems to be able to support up to 2500px images – it’s therefore one of the best value photo editing apps I’ve ever bought.

But pure Instagram is great too: A single photo taken last night by the iPhone 4 (the best camera in the world is the camera you always have with you) and uploaded immediately with Instagram. Taking and sharing pictures is what photography is all about.

Tenerife Holiday Photos

July 27th, 2011
  • Dolphin Show at Loro Parque
  • Dolphin Show at Loro Parque
  • Dolphin Show at Loro Parque
  • Orca Ocean at Loro Parque
  • Orca Ocean at Loro Parque
  • Seal and Sea Lion show at Loro Parque
  • Loro Parque
  • Catherine and Tiede
  • Tiede
  • Tiede
  • Catherine and Tiede
  • Above the clouds
  • Tiede Observatory
  • Masca Valley
  • Masca Valley Road
  • Masca Valley
  • Masca Valley Road
  • The "Flipper Uno" tour boat
  • Coastline north of Les Gigantes
  • Pilot Whale off Los Gigantes
  • Los Gigantes and the road from Santiago del Tiede
  • Masca Valley from the Sea
  • Self Portrait on the tourist boat "Flipper Uno"
  • Puerto de la Cruz
  • Catherine at Puerto de la Cruz
  • Puerto de la Cruz
  • Piramides de Guimar
  • Tiede
  • Catherine and Tiede
  • Graeme, Catherine, Tiede and the mountaineering Polo, 2200m / 7200ft above sea level.
  • Tiede with cloud in the Orotava valley.
  • Tiede Observatory
  • Pica Viejo Volcano, last eruption 1798.
  • The rental Polo on the TF-38, having covered over 800km in 5 days.
  • Decending from Tiede on the TF-38, just entering the cloud again

Tenerife Day 4

July 22nd, 2011

For our last full day we headed down to Guimar, to look at the “Piramides”, thought by some to indicate that pre-European civilisation sea-farers crossed the Atlantic. We had a walk round the terraced structure and watched the AV presentation.

Then we headed back up to the Tiede volcano to take some more pictures of the awesome landscape, and we figured the Polo had a day off from mountaineering yesterday so must be ready for some more today.

Every corner revealed yet another stunning vista, and once above the cloud and the treeline, it really is like another world. Hardly surpising that bits of Star Wars were filmed here.

Tomorrow morning it’s an early start to head back the the airport, then back to Prestwick by late afternoon.

All Photos

Tenerife Day 3

July 21st, 2011

A relaxing day today, we headed in to the town of Puerto de la Cruz this morning, before spending most of the afternoon at the pool, where, predictably, I got sunburned…

Later we went to Santa Cruz to have a look at the shopping centres and, most importantly, to get some Chips Ahoy.

Tenerife is really an island of contrasts. The volcanic scenery is really amazing, and that’s just the bits we’ve seen from the road. Some of the hiking tours into the back country must be really great. Then there’s the seaside resorts – All the restaurants have the same food, and the shops all have the same junk, I don’t think I’d be happy to spend more than a day or so “in town”.

Tomorrow we’re going to head back to the south coast and have a look around there.

All Photos

Tenerife Day 2

July 20th, 2011

Today we woke up to a cloudy and rainy day, so we decided to head over to the west coast in the hope of finding better weather and going on a whale and dolphin spotting trip out of Los Gigantes.

First we had to negotiate the mountain road TF-82. With lots of standing water, and steep twisty corners it proved an enjoyable drive, though again our poor Polo 1.4 found the hills hard going.

The TF-82 was nothing compared to the road between Santiago del Tiede and Masca, the TF-436. A narrow road with harpin after hairpin after hairpin and what seemed to be 1 in 5 gradients. It was well worth it though as the views of the valley were stunning, and our photos don’t do it justice.

Amazingly, even on the out-of-the-way roads the surface quality is excellent, we’ve not encountered any potholes at all.

When we got to Los Gigantes we booked out on the “Flipper Uno”, a three hour trip out to look for dolphins and whales. The trip didn’t disappoint with Pilot Whales coming right up to the boat. We then headed back into a cove where there was an opportunity to go swimming from the boat – we didn’t, but load of people enjoyed jumping into the water by swinging off the trapeze.

We headed down to Las Americas for dinner, just to see how it compared with our resort. I think we made the right choice! Finally back to the hotel via the Autopista and we completed a circumnavigation of the main roads on the island.

As an interesing side note, when ordering vodka and coke at the bar, they wait for you to say stop when pouring the vodka, then top up with coke. I didn’t know that, so am now drinking virtually neat vodka through a straw.

All Photos