recent iphoneography

One of the things I most want to learn more about at BlogHer is iphoneography, both what new apps are out there and what they can do, as well as how to better use the ones I have.

With that in mind I’ve been shooting a lot. I thought I would post some of the photos I’ve taken in the last couple of weeks so you can see what I’ve been up to.

Some of these are heavily edited, and some are completely unedited. I’m trying to shoot more by using composition and natural light to get the effects I want rather than using filters – although filters can be fun! Most of the square crops were posted on instagram.

Daisies are my favorite flower. This one is just barely edited.

This one is completely unedited. The colors popped without any help from me.

I don’t know if this is a weed or a wildflower but I liked it. I got down underneath to take the photo. Heavily filtered in Camera +.

This was a sunset at my mother’s in Maine. She has the most amazing view from her front porch. It’s not edited either.

This is heavily filtered to pull out the detail in the water. This is in southern Maine.

Also at my mother’s and also a raw image. The light that night was amazing.

The basketball hoop I grew up with. I think that’s even the same net. Slightly edited.

There is a very old tractor at my mom’s. This is darkened in Camera +.

My brother’s dog Sadie. She really does have all of her legs. Slightly edited.

She has all of her teeth too. Heavily edited just for fun.

I needed a new twitter headshot that shows me in my glasses so people can recognize me at BlogHer. I tried to edit out my roots but I was unsuccessful. Heh.

I love feedback! Please tell me what you think.

eyesores

I’ve been trying to take my own advice and really look around at my surroundings for interesting things to photograph. I decided to search for the ugliest thing in my neighborhood – and realized that it’s all of the manhole and drainage covers! Those are probably the most obvious eyesore in every neighborhood!

Since I had never really taken a close look at drain covers before it didn’t occur to me that they actually have some design elements to them! I took a series of funky shots and prettied them up with app filters. I kinda really love the patterns and orange/rust colors and I can’t wait until I’m in New York in August so I can look for some different ones. I might actually have to keep this series going!

Here’s a few of the photos I’ve taken so far:

So what do you think? Are manhole covers still ugly, or do they have the potential for beauty? What other typically ugly things should I take another look at?

let’s just say arizona is freaking gorgeous

Geez! It’s been an entire week since we got home from vacation. I’m like, the worst blogger ever. I had every intention of showing you pics as soon as we got home and then I got sucked back into 12 hour days at work…eh.

Anyway, I really wanted to show you all some of the best photos I got with just my iPhone. I haven’t even had a change to LOOK at the photos we got with the other cameras yet. Between all of the cameras we had with us we probably have close to 1,000 images to wade through. Eek! If you’re friends with me on Facebook you may have seen a couple of these, but not all of them.

We had perfect weather for most of the trip – and this sky? Was UNREAL.

Wupatki Pueblo. This was an unexpected detour on our first day of driving and one of our favorite spots of the whole trip.

I’m so happy we made time for that!

Then we headed up north to Monument Valley Utah the same day. We made it there close to sunset and it was crazy beautiful.

Crazy.

Beautiful.

Next day we headed back south a bit to Page, Arizona. Page alone was worth the entire trip!

This is Horseshoe Bend, on the Colorado River. Seriously, my photos just don’t do it justice. Google it y’all.

You need a wicked wide-angle lens to get the whole thing in one image. What you’re looking at is a 1,000 foot drop to the river. We had to crawl out onto a ledge to get the photos. As I said on FB, it was the scariest damn thing I’ve ever done. I swear I almost threw up watching other people just stroll out to the ledge and look down. I was sure the wind would blow someone right off! And then, if the fall doesn’t kill you, the hike back to the road will – 3/4 mile uphill on deep shifty sand at 4,200 feet. My poor sea-level lungs! Even so, this was mine and Josh’s favorite place out of everything we saw.

Our other stop in Page was just as good but completely different, Upper Antelope Canyon. (I wish we had stayed and extra day and gone to Lower Antelope as well!)

I have hundreds of photos of just this one place. It was truly unbelievable. It was Damon’s favorite spot on the trip, and a close second for me. Antelope Canyon is what’s called a slot canyon, with the light coming in from above. You walk along a path naturally carved out by periodic flooding. We had a fabulous Navajo tour guide who clearly had respect and reverence for it. I wished we could have stayed much longer and watched the light change throughout the day.

The next day we headed for the Grand Canyon itself, and stayed there for a couple of days. I don’t think I need to tell you how gorgeous it was.

First glimpse.

Morning.

Sunset.

After this we wended our way (on Route 66) over towards Las Vegas. On the way, we made a last minute change of plans and stopped at the Hoover Dam. It’s almost impossible to get a good photo of it, it’s so huge! This is taken standing on top of it, looking down. I just like the texture.

I did get this one I liked of one of the support towers.

Then Vegas. Blech. We only went because we were flying out from there. I thought it would be fun but compared to everything else we saw that week it was just garish and gross. If I could do it over again, I’d skip that part, and would have flown back out of Phoenix so we could have spent more time there, and could have gone back through Sedona. Oh well! It still was the trip of a lifetime for all of us and I’m so glad we did it.

Did I mention by the end we drove almost a 1,000 miles? And our rental car was a red Mustang convertible? This isn’t one of my best photos, but it is one of my favorites.

Man, that poor car looked like we’d gone mud running in it by the time we were done. đŸ™‚

the problem with pinterest

This is going to be a really unpopular post. Some of you might even get pissed off at me. Why? Because so many of you LOVE Pinterest. Believe me, I want to love it too. The concept is fun, photos are gorgeous, the recipes and crafts are inspirational. All of that is exactly what it is meant to be and it does it well. That’s why its popularity is exploding.

Except. Do you know what else is happening on Pinterest? Massive amounts of copyright violations.

I’m personally really struggling with this. In real life I’m a photo editor. I find publication quality photos, I contact photographers, I sign contracts with them, and I PAY them for the use of their images. It’s my job and my eyes and brain are trained to look for copyright issues.

In some of my spare time I go online, hang out on Twitter and FB, read blogs, take photos and share them on Instagram. A few weeks ago I realized Pinterest wasn’t one of those social media sites that flames quickly and then dies. It’s going to be around for awhile, so, I caved and joined. And loved it. So PRETTY! SO ADDICTIVE!

Then I took another look. Deeper into where these gorgeous images were coming from. Who shot them? Who do they really belong to? Who is getting the credit? The link love?

And then I started to squirm.

I followed trails back to original sources. A few were linked to the actual photographer. Great! PIN AWAY! Some pins were from Tumblr sites or other blogs that had pulled the images from Flickr or the like. If the original photo was listed as creative commons, well fab, but what if they weren’t? Some of the pins I looked at were actually watermarked with copyright information but there was no link back to the website clearly on the watermark. Just as grievous – that many pins are pulled directly from Google images, a clear violation of any copyrighted image.

SO MANY of these are stolen photos my friends. Stolen from the photographers who took them, some who make their living off of them.

This is not okay.

Pinterest does address this issue in their Copyright section. I suggest if you haven’t read it then you should before you add any new pins or repin any existing ones. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

So, here’s the part that really bothers me:

If you are a copyright owner, or are authorized to act on behalf of one, or authorized to act under any exclusive right under copyright, please report alleged copyright infringements taking place on or through the Site by completing the following DMCA Notice of Alleged Infringement and delivering it to Pinterest’s Designated Copyright Agent. Upon receipt of the Notice as described below, Pinterest will take whatever action, in its sole discretion, it deems appropriate, including removal of the challenged material from the Site.

This puts the onus on the PHOTOGRAPHER to make sure none of their images are on the site without their permission. Really? How the heck will they ever know?? And if you do find a photo in violation, and jump through the hoops to get it pulled or properly linked, how do you keep the next person from pinning it yet again? You can’t. It’s impossible. So copyright infringements will proliferate.

Now let me be clear about this. I think that 99% of the people who pin stolen photos don’t do it on purpose. Most people just don’t think about it at all. They just pin or repin what they like, without any concept of copyright law. People think twice when it comes to copying WORDS – well everyone knows that’s plagiarism! Except the same is true for photos!

If you are a blogger, or a photographer, (whether professional or amateur doesn’t matter) how would you feel if you found one of your images pinned directly from your blog or your Flickr account or wherever? Great, right? Someone really liked your work and you get the clicks and everyone is happy. Now think how you would feel if if you found one of your photos on Pinterest but the link went to some other blog post that someone created using your image with no credit back to you? A little different right? Yeah.

Clearly Pinterest is not going anywhere any time soon, and neither is this rights issue. So I ask you, please,  if you are on Pinterest, please be mindful of photographer’s property. If you are uncertain about a photo’s original source, try to find it and if you do, pin it from there instead. Most of the time it only takes a few extra clicks to pin from the actual owner, instead of from the person who knowingly or unknowingly stole it from them. At least give the copyright holder the credit and the click-throughs.

 

look up, look down, all around

This is my new photography mantra! * I constantly have to remind myself of this when I’m out to take photos. We like to go for family walks and I find myself constantly just looking at my feet and the tree roots in my way and nothing else. Mostly because if I don’t look at my feet I tend to fall a lot. Like, a lot. Well, I still fall even when I do look at my feet, just not as much as when I don’t. Gah.

Anyway. I’m so busy looking at the path I’m on that I miss so much else around me. I forget to look up at the hills and trees, down at shadows and patterns on the ground, and right next to me at rock formations and little ponds. I’m trying though. I’m making my husband crazy in the process, stopping (!) every 10 feet to take another shot, but I’m trying!

Look up.

Look down.

All around. **

* Maybe this should be my new LIFE mantra, not just when I’m taking pictures?

** And now you have that song stuck in your head, don’t you? You’re welcome!

the itty bitty football shirt

You guys.

This was 8 years ago.

This is today.

Can I cry now?

His attitude hasn’t changed much.

I found the old shirt. We decided it was good luck since the Pats beat the Panthers that year.

We put it on a stuffed bear but that wasn’t nearly enough fun.

So we put it on George.

No cats were harmed in the making of this post.

Mostly he just wanted to lie down.

Or rip my face off.

Best photo shoot ever.

Fingers crossed the Patriots win this one!

 

a little iphoneography

I’ve been playing with my iPhone camera more and more lately, using apps to play with filters, and borders, and cropping. It doesn’t seem like so much fun when I’m stuck at my desk editing in Photoshop but it’s a breeze to edit in apps like Camera+ and Instagram.

I think it’s making me a better photographer if only because I’m noticing the world around me more. I always have my phone with me, so it’s easy to snap a shot when I see it instead of wishing I had a camera. I’ve been focusing on playing with patterns, light, and textures so I’m doing more close ups. Eventually I’d like to get a real dslr and learn how to do all of these cool things by messing with f-stops, shutter speeds, and different lenses instead of relying on filters but for the moment the apps are helping get the end product I want without the frustration.

I’d love to know what you all think of these, and if there is one you like best.

Stairwell in an old mill building, from below.

Conveyor belt close up.

Wooden railing.

Zakim Bridge in Boston. (No, I wasn’t driving, and yes, we were stuck in traffic.)

Granite wall.

Filler on paved road.

when the boy is away, the cat will…

…sleep on his bathrobe.

Every. day.

Why the guilty look George? Or is it that you want to claw my eyes out for interrupting your nap?

***********************

A few days ago Josh wore a funny shirt to school that said “I’m allergic to homework” – typical sort of thing for a 2nd grader. Except, then he rationalized to the teacher that it was actually true. And I quote “I’m allergic to pollen, and pollen is on trees, and paper comes from trees and homework is on paper, so I really am allergic to homework!” Oy vey.

granite and foliage

Damon was speaking at a conference this past weekend and Josh and I tagged along so we could all spend a little time in a part of Maine that we don’t know particularly well. We were waaaay the heck up Rt. 1, in Northport. The hours and hours spent driving in the rain on that horrid road was well worth it the next day though!

This was the cutest little cabin you have ever seen:

It smelled like fresh pine inside, but had all the amenities of a 2 bedroom hotel suite. We really didn’t want to leave!

We did some sightseeing on Saturday and I took the opportunity to work on my photography skills. The rain made it difficult but I think the pictures turned out better than if all that granite had been dry.

These are of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory and Fort Knox, in Prospect, Maine. It was well worth the trip if you’re ever going that way!

vacation all I ever wanted

It killed me for most of the summer to not talk about our vacation here! Now that it’s over I finally can! I didn’t ever mention it because I felt weird about too many people knowing I was leaving the house for 10 days. We’ve had a lot of break-ins in our town and I didn’t want us being away to be too obvious.

Sooooo, we went to Florida, on the hottest week of the year. Yep.

I really don’t like heat, but I got over myself and had 10 days of fabulous! We tried to do fun things every morning and spend the afternoons in the pool, (at least, Josh and I did, while Damon worked.) Only one day out of the whole trip was too thunderstormy to swim. As long as I can get in the water I’m happy. đŸ˜‰

We went because Damon has a new job, where he will mostly be working from home, but one week a month he will be in the office in, you guessed it, Florida. Josh and I got a chance to tag along to St. Petersburg this time since we had a free place to stay and school hasn’t started here yet.

Okay, I’ve bored you enough with the words, here is our trip in pictures! (For all three of you that actually want to see them!)

Man, those pelicans stunk!

The beach!!

St. Pete Beach was absolutely gorgeous. Next time we go, we’re spending more time there.

We don’t have trees like this in New Hampshire!

An armadillo made out of junk car parts? This is one of Josh’s favorite pics!

We should have seen an alligator right here, but it was even too hot for them. Ugh, the sweat.

After Damon’s work week was over we left St. Pete and spent a few days in Orlando.

The Lego store…need I say more?

Damon had some issues taking pics with his iphone. And he used to be a photographer??! Hee. Okay, it was just a liiiittle bit sunny out, and he couldn’t see what he was shooting. Also, the only day I didn’t wear black. Ahem. Did I mention the sweat?

The best part of the day at Magic Kingdom. Seriously. Minnie air kissed me on the cheek. So ridiculously cute.

Kennedy Space Center was my favorite day. There was lots of air conditioning…

We can’t pass up an opportunity for a Vulcan hand sign. Ever.

And really, what is a vacation without one of these?

ps. I have to give a shout out to my MIL and her husband for staying in the house part of the time and doing tons of chores for us! And another to my friend’s daughter “C” for checking in on my cat the rest of the time! Thank you!

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