Archive for Electronics
CloudApp is available from the Mac App Store for free, and is operated via a cloud-shaped menu bar item. The concept is one of seamless sharing of virtually any file, and from a photographer’s point of view, is a quick and simple method of sharing images online.
To share a file with CloudApp – supported formats include images, bookmarks, text, video and audio – all that is required is for the file to be dragged onto the CloudApp icon. This starts the upload, which seems very snappy (possibly even faster than Dropbox), and when this is complete, a desktop notification is displayed. Uploaded files are automatically assigned a (relatively) short link, which can then be used to share the file.
CloudApp’s drop-down menu displays your recent file uploads, which can then be clicked on, taking you to the file in question, and in addition, all files are also accessible via an Evernote-style web-app.
You know the feeling – great light, perfect composition, beautifully exposed; but ruined by grain. And whilst many image processing apps have noise reduction on them, the results are often very poor. For this reason, many swear by the grain-combating qualities of Noise Ninja, but this isn’t the only app that does a fine job of reducing noise – Neat Image should also be considered as an option.
The look of Neat Image – very dull, very functional (almost Windows-like…) – belies a highly polished noise-reducing app. Whether you choose the Home edition ($39.90 for the standalone app, single-user) or the Pro edition ($69.90 standalone, single-user), noise is almost eradicated, with only a small amount of detail being lost.
When you input an image into Neat Image, the image exposure may be corrected before moving on to noise reduction. The Home edition allows for up to 100 images to be batch-processed, whilst the Pro edition allows unlimited batch images. Additionally, the Home edition is restricted to 8 bit image processing, whereas the Pro edition allows up to 32 bit. Essentially, the Home edition is designed for images originating from compact cameras.
Noise reduction begins with image profiling – the auto setting seems to be very accurate, but fine-tuning is available for control-freaks. You can also load previously used profiles.
Back in the heyday of film photography, the effects of light leaking, blue flash and print yellowing were often bemoaned by many photographers striving for the best quality. As digital camera image quality has become exemplary, however, many people are using phone cameras and apps to recreate these effects to reignite their creativity – an example app being Lo-Fi.
Lo-Fi presents itself in a window shaped like the back of a camera, with all functions assigned to camera-like buttons. I have to say, this gives a slick and beautiful face to Lo-Fi, which makes adding effects very easy. The effects available include frame, film and “mood” (effectively a style, like burned out, or light-leak). The fact that multiple effects can be applied to each image or batch images differentiates Lo-Fi from other effect apps.
Well, last week I got the new Apple TV and I have to tell you, I was beyond impressed. Now remember, I DON’T have a house full of Mac products, but a mix. Mostly PC’s, but there is the iPhone, iPad, one Mac mini and of course, an Airport Extreme. Now, I’ve added the next generation Apple TV to the mix.
For the longest time, I’ve wanted to build a media server and I’ve toyed with building a PC solution and even a Linux server. For one reason or another, I was always pretty frustrated. One time it would be cost, the other it would be some software problem, the next it would be something in the operating system. I’ve got a library of over 600 DVD’s, plus who knows how many music CD’s, then my portfolio of images and devices that I want to show them off on. Couldn’t I get all of this to just work together?
Well, this beautiful little black device showed up (it fits in the palm of your hand and is about 1 1/2 inches tall) and I plugged it in with great anticipation. It took a bit of time to set everything up because you can hook in your Netflix, YouTube, MobileMe, Flickr and other accounts. You do all the setup with this handy little remote control, but navigating through all the menus is a MAJOR pain – typing in your account names and passwords using the arrow keys for navigation over an on-screen keyboard takes forever. Of course, that’s before I remembered that I had downloaded the free Apple Remote software for the iPad! Well, sitting there controlling the Apple TV device with the iPad in my lap was the perfect solution. When it came to filling out those account names and passwords, the keyboard just popped up on my screen – brilliant! Plus, it gives you full control of your content just leaning back in your man-chair – beyond brilliant!
So…the next challenge arrived – merging content from three different iTunes machines onto a single 2 terabyte drive. I won’t go into the ins and outs of this process, but it’s not the EASIEST thing in the world to do. It actually took me several hours and some research on the Internet, but I finally figured most of it out. Moving content you have purchased from all these devices is not so bad, but all the other programs that I had converted to digital took awhile. Read More→
April 4, 2010 - The internet was buzzing on Friday with the anticipation of Saturday’s release of the Apple iPad. Without a doubt this was the biggest story of the week and will probably be all you hear about for the next week. Being a huge Apple fan, I of course had to get one but rather than braving the Apple Store on Saturday I opted to have mine delivered. I waited eagerly for a good portion of the day then finally UPS showed up at about 2:00 pm.
I asked the UPS man if he had a lot of these to deliver and he said “only about 6 in his area but the other drivers had about 40 to 60 each in theirs”. I’ve heard estimates that 90,000 to 120,000 iPads were sold, but Apple’s not confirming the numbers just yet.
I was so excited and wanted to rip open the box and start playing but I couldn’t. I had chores to finish and my wife wouldn’t let me play until they were done. Finally at around 9:00 pm it was time. I flipped on the lights in my studio and cranked up the HD video camera and recorded the occasion to share later on CurrentPhotographer.com.