…a wonderful day with family and friends!
No matter what I do in the end, my art starts with a photograph. That’s why mobile is so fantastic, because I always have the camera with me when I see something interesting. And it’s also why the camera app I is so important, because its functionality greatly influences the photographs I can capture with my device.
It’s no secret that I love the ProCamera app. It has the functionality I want in a camera app (more than I need, actually), as well as being quick and easy to use. (If you want to learn more I’ve shared some basic features in this blog post and there is more in my book.)
And the app just keeps getting better… Now you can adjust your camera mode priority order and it translates to a custom Quick Action with 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s! Yay! So when I do press on the ProCamera icon, I have the modes I use most popping up, for quicker mode selection and access:
Even if you don’t have an iPhone 6s, you’ll want to customize the order of your camera modes, because it rearranges the order of the modes for selection within the app at the same time. Here’s how:
From the ProCamera main screen, tap the mode selector icon (two arrows), then scroll the mode selector bar all the way to the right and select the menu (three dots). (And ignore my messy studio! No time to clean it up right now.)
When the “Rearrange Camera Modes” menu opens, use the grab bars on the right to slide an individual mode up and down relative to the others. Put your most frequently used modes at the top of the list. You can also turn off any modes you don’t use, by moving the selector switches to the left (they turn white when they are off). Tap “Done” when you finish ordering your modes.
You can see my priority order: Photo, HDR, Night and QR Code Scan. I don’t want to turn off Video and Selfie, but they are at the bottom of my list.
Now, when you open the mode selector from the main app screen, the modes are in your prioritized order:
And when I open the Quick Action menu from the home screen using 3D Touch, the menu is customized, with my choice of modes in priority order. The highest priority is closest to the icon, so I don’t have to move as far to select it. Yay!
This means I can get open the right mode in the app quicker, allowing me to capture the moment. Awesome.
I knew that apps would start giving us customization on the Quick Action menu. And I’m not surprised that ProCamera, which is so well supported, is one of the first and most useful.
OK, your turn. Go forth, customize, and photograph!
I’ve been experimenting with some new (to me) apps this last week, and what a pleasure it has been to try something new in my creative process! It feels good to get out of my comfort zone. It reminds me that experimentation and play are big keys to the creative process, and even a little time spent in this mode can go a long way.
Here are a couple of the apps and edits….
Since I like to incorporate the moon and space into my images now and then, the Alien Sky app by Brain Fever is one I decided to try. I’ve seen it used for a while, but wasn’t sure it would fit my style. Turns out, the app has a lot of customization and settings which makes it useful for many styles, including mine. What fun!
This week friend and fellow iPhone photographer Lorraine Richey presented about her process at our monthly PhotoArts Guild meeting, which inspired me to try another Brain Fever app, called Circular. This app takes your image and twists it, creating a tiny planet or much, much more. I used Circular on one image to create an abstract background, layered it with a tree image, then used Circular again to twist things around. Way cool!
Have you tried a new app lately? I’ve tried a few here and there recently, but they’ve mostly felt the same as other apps with nothing super unique. These two add something new and different to my creative toolbox, which means they get to stay.
Off to play!!
Every now and then it’s good to step out of the routine. Whether it’s through a vacation or a class or a retreat, it gives you a chance to look at things from a different perspective. Things get swirled up internally, giving you the chance to review and reconsider your direction. Giving you new tools to use moving forward.
Last week was a jam-packed week for me. It started with a relaxing, but rainy, yoga retreat at the Oregon coast. Good food, good company, good times. After two years of attending right after my open studio, I consider this retreat a little reward after my art fair season.
Normally I would come back from the retreat to my everyday world, rested and recharged. Instead, I went straight from the retreat to the airport, and heading to California for a week-long business and leadership course taught by the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
While the content and the tenor of the course was quite different from the retreat, I realized they had something in common: Good food, good company, good times. A great group of people, brought together by a common goal and interest, is always an invigorating space.
And the two events had one other important thing in common, too. They both provided the opportunity to step outside of my normal life. They both swirled up thoughts and ideas that may land in a different place. I’m like a human snow globe right now, a blizzard of sparkly thoughts flying around. Things will be different as they land.
Life is change. If you don’t seek opportunities to learn and grow, they will find you. Sometimes it’s good to get out of your routine and stir things up, whether it’s through a quiet yoga retreat or an intense business course.
It may be a while, but I’ll let you know when and where all these sparkly new ideas land.
Busy weeks mean simple edits! Info on the photos:
Top: Oregon Coast, edited using the Formulas app.
Middle: Hoover Tower on the Stanford Campus, edited using the Stackables app, my Heceta formula
Bottom: Rodin sculpture garden on the Stanford campus, edited in Snapseed. I was able to get an art fix during my morning walks at Stanford. An unexpected bonus!
If you’ve lost a loved one, you know how much photography matters. These little slices of time we capture in photographs are sometimes all that is left behind of a person.
My father passed away twenty years ago this year in December. He was 51 years old, and it was sudden. An accident. One day he was there and the next day gone. My family and I have our memories of him, a few sentimental items (the guitar being a big one), and some photos. My father was 21 in the photograph Brandon is holding.
My son, now fourteen, never met his Grandpa Eli. He only knows him through me. The stories I tell, the name I gave him, the photos I have to share. I’ve tried to help him know this missing grandfather, this person who meant so much to me, but it’s hard. My dad will never be fully real to my son. I can only give him snippets and impressions. A 2D portrait instead of the 3D person.
When the PhotoArts Guild picked the theme of “Life and Death” for our biennial exhibition, it was a chance to go outside my tree-lined comfort zone and create an image that was personal. Something that speaks to the loss of death and the continuation of life. Life always goes on after loss. Always.
Nothing expresses that quite so much as the parent-child relationship. My father to me to my son. Here, in this image, three generations are connected through the camera lens. Across space and time, there is still a connection. A photograph can remind us of that.
The “Life and Death” exhibition of the Willamette Valley PhotoArts Guild is up through December 11, 2015 at LaSells Stewart Center Giustina Gallery on the Oregon State University campus. My photograph received a “Special Mention” from Julia Bradshaw, the director of the Oregon State University photography program.
I spent the last two weekends in my studio, talking to people about my art as part of the Philomath Open Studios Tour. So much fun! I finally remembered to take pictures this last weekend so I can give you all a virtual studio tour.
Welcome to my studio! Let me show you around.
My space is supposed to be a formal living room, but we already have a family room off the back of the kitchen, and who needs two rooms with couches? It has the best light, with the south-facing window looking out at the street. And my comfy chair is strategically placed so I can read in a sunbeam, when we are lucky enough to to have some sun.
On the right side of the room is my work desk, which becomes a display for the open studio event. I take my normal art down and hang my own work for display. I leave a few things in place, like my decorative “create” and “dream” plaques. On the left edge you can see one of my photo ropes. I have three of these, and this where I hang test prints and new work to decide if I like it enough to keep it in my portfolio.
I tuck a few pieces in the left corner, behind the chair. Some of my guest artist’s glass is on display on the shelves. You’ll notice the shadows from the light. Light has always been a challenge in this room when it’s not bright outside. I mostly use task lights when I need them, which are not the best for display. My dream is to have track lighting put in this room someday.
The display clips above my desk normally hold cards, postcards, and other small pieces of art I’ve picked up here or there. Last year I took it down and hung large pieces, but reinstalling the cables was a lot of work so I decided to make use of it as is. I figured out my small prints could hang quite nicely there! And my computer desk becomes display as well, with the screen saver running an editing sequence which helps me talk through my process.
Adjacent and open to my studio is our dining room, which is repurposed as well. We move the dining room table over against the window and it makes a nice open space. You can see Nena Bement’s glass looked great here! And of course, I took over the dining room wall.
The whole event seemed much easier this year, probably because I had opened my studio last year and knew what to do, and maybe because of all of the art fairs. In some ways, this is easier than art fairs — no setting up and taking down the tent. I don’t even have to drive anywhere! In other ways it’s a little harder, because it effects our living space and my family gets a bit displaced. My art is all cleaned up and off the walls now, but I have to rehang the normal decorations. It may take a while to make that happen since I have no deadline. But I will have the gentle reminders of my family to get me in gear.
With the open studios tour wrapping up, my art fair/event season is complete. The next few months I get to regroup and figure out my plans for the next year. I’ve been ruminating on what I’ve learned this year and changes I’m going to make. I’ll share a post on my “Lessons Learned” from my second year doing art fairs in the near future.