How to Capture ACTION with your iPhone Camera

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I absolutely love this feature.

I remember (years and years) ago buying a digital camera specifically because it had this ability so that I could “catch” action shots at my son’s sporting events. And now, here it is, always available right in our pocket!

I’m guessing you might not know that you have this feature …. but once you do, you’ll be using it to get that PERFECT shot.

So how do you capture action with your iPhone?

Simply bring up your camera on your iPhone.

Aim, and HOLD DOWN THE CAPTURE BUTTON. Your iPhone will snap photos quickly. A Photo Burst.

From Skitch-13

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How to Enjoy a Slideshow on your iPad: (part of the) Very Beginner Series

Over the last several years, “throwback Thursday” has become quite popular.

Although it is really supposed to be about nostalgia (like old photos), I thought I’d stretch the point, and occasionally post an old (but updated!) “how to” on Thursdays, for the benefit of the many new-device-users who have joined our blog.

* Occasional posts will contain how-tos and/or hints for VERY new users of iPads, iPhones or Kindles. All new users welcome! Non-tech speak, not terribly detailed, just basic device-enhancing goodness. All part of this Very Beginner Series.

Please share with any beginners (Mom? Dad? Grandma?) in your life.*

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.54.04 AMRemember the digital picture frames that were so popular several years ago? If you have an iPad, you may choose to leave that digital frame in the drawer because your iPad is an awesome picture frame. Better, probably, than the dedicated version you have (had) and a LOT more fun.

When you first take your iPad out of the box, one of the Apps you will see on the home screen is called Photos and it shows on your screen as a daisy with colorful petals. We are going to make our slideshow with this native App (although there are lots of others available in the App Store).

Once you have about a dozen photos on your iPad, you are ready to enjoy the show. We will get it started, and look at several options along the way.

Touch the photos app to open it. Now tap any photo, from any collection. (Once you understand how to make a slideshow, you can group your photos accordingly.)

Look down at the bottom left of the screen. You’ll see a box with an arrow pointing up. This is your “action” box.

Tap on this action box, and you’ll be presented with several choices of “actions.” One of these choices will be: Slideshow.

From Skitch

Select “slideshow” and you will get a new menu with several choices.

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Touch “transitions” and you will get several options: dissolve, cube, ripple, wipe across, wipe down and origami. Choose any one of these for now, you can come back and change it later.

Your next option is “Play Music”. Slide this to “on”. When you touch “music” you will be presented with all the music that you have on your iPad. Select something that you would like to listen to while you watch your pictures.

Once you have made these choices, touch “Start Slideshow” and sit back to enjoy the show. At any point if you want to stop it, just tap the screen.

But you’re not done yet! There are a few other tweaks that you can do. Open Settings > Photos. Notice there are several setting choices for your slideshow. You can change the number of seconds that each slide stays on the screen, choose to repeat photographs, and opt to have the photos shuffled as they are viewed.

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Really Really Really Cool New Feature of Google Maps: Time Travel!

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 6.41.50 AMI have always been a fan of google maps, and I especially enjoy their street view. I often use it before traveling to an unfamiliar place so I can “see” the place I’m going, and get familiar with the landscape, etc.

This has come in extremely handy, in one instance allowing me to recognize landmarks and direct the cab driver to my hotel (altho I had never been there, before!).

Now Google Maps has introduced a new feature …. Time Travel!

Time Travel allows you to look at a particular place as it looked the last time the google-car passed by, and then look back to see it as-it-was when the google-car passed by the last time, and the time before that, and the time before that …..

This is pretty darn cool!

I tried it on my own house, and I could see it as-it-was before the most recent paint job, and before Sandy took down the trees, and before we sold the last car…..

Google Time Travel isn’t available everywhere, but it does now exist for many areas. And, as the google-car keeps mapping, I assume the time-travel feature will expand.

To show you an example, I used the construction site at the World Trade Center area of Manhattan.

First you must navigate to the street view area of wherever you want to see. To do this, just pull the little orange guy onto a street as you look at the map. Poof! You will now be in “street view” mode.

Now look at the upper left hand corner of your computer screen to see if Time Travel is available. If it is, you will see this:

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Just tap on this Time Travel option, and it will open to show you the dates available.

Here I will show you two screens, one from August 2013, and then the same view from April, 2009. There are also other options to select time in-between those dates.

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Google Time Travel is available at most “famous” places around the world, but it is expanding. As I said, my own street is now covered for the last few years, which is proof that Time Travel is available in ordinary places.

Have fun!

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I Really Really REALLY Don’t Like This

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 8.41.58 AMI usually love all gadgets. I love my iPhone, my iPad, and my Kindles. Other tech stuff is fun too. I have some remote gadgets, step-counting gadgets and kitchen gadgets. I rarely meet a gadget I don’t like.

But I don’t like this one.

This is just plain creepy.

The Narrative is a clip on camera that you wear. It automatically takes a picture every 30 seconds.

The point? To create a “narrative” of your life. All the regular moments. The things you don’t remember… remembered.

I don’t want to be on either end of this device. I don’t want all those photos of …. ???? and I sure don’t want to be talking or working with a person who is wearing this little camera. I know I’d find it highly distracting.

(I suppose there is an argument to be made for wearing it to capture candid photos of your children, or maybe at an event …. I’ll go with that. But it’s the “all day” and photographing unsuspecting people that just seems yuchy. Bye bye privacy.)

You can read more about it in this article, and view examples of the photos that this gadget takes:

Cool or Creepy? A Clip-On Camera Can Capture Every Moment

If you’re interested, the Narrative sells for $279.

Just don’t visit with me if you’re wearing one. :roll:

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Amazing Cat Face: Photoshopped? or NOT?

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I just couldn’t help myself. I had to show you these pictures. And since this blog has a “tech” theme, I stretched the title with the “photoshopped” tease…… :)

But I do think this fellow’s face looks, well, fake. The line down the middle is just so straight!!!!

He is a feral kitten (no lectures, please) and he just showed up at my back door on Saturday. I tapped the window and when he looked up I used my iPhone to take his picture.

Have you ever seen such an amazing face?

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Doodle on Photos with Photo Editor-

Image-1Early last year I recommended Skitch as a great app to use for drawing on photos. I used it often and was excited about sharing it. Recently they “upgraded” it and have rendered it almost useless. I assume they will fix it again, but in the meantime, I needed another easy-to-use photo editor. And I found a great one! Yay!

So now I’m enjoying this new (to me) photo-editing app, called Photo Editor-. It is free, although you can buy extra tweeks. So far, I have bought nothing, and I’m very happy with the functionality of the app exactly the way it is (w/o extras). I can crop, enhance, eliminate red eye, and do many other common photo-things.

AND …..With this app you can also easily add text, change the color of the text, resize the text and place it anywhere on the photo.

AND…… You also have the ability to draw on a photo, changing the thickness of your line and the color, as well.

AND … for extra fun, they have “stickers”. A beginner “pack” is included with the free version. I grabbed a plain picture of the Simpsons off of the internet, and had fun adding all kinds of little extras on them. I added the speech bubble and text, Bart’s hat, Maggie’s Groucho face, Marge’s glasses, Homer’s tie and 3D glasses and Lisa’s sombrero. Imagine the fun with your own family photos. (I almost used my own family for this post, but I thought better of it. :shock: )

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Once you finish editing your photo, you are given many options of what to do with your masterpiece. You can email it, tweet it, facebook it, or save it.

I’m delighted to have a good draw-on-it photo app again.

Screen shot 2013-10-07 at 7.12.12 PMPhoto Editor- is free in the iTunes store.

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Try on Glasses … on your iPad

Screen shot 2013-07-24 at 9.40.46 AMI am a glasses wearer, and every time the prescription changes I dread shopping for new frames. Selection is always an issue, but another problem for me (and others, I’m sure) is that when you try on the frames, you can’t see (which is why you are getting new glasses in the first place :) )

So, when I came across this app that allows you to virtually try on glasses (both regular frames and sunglasses), I thought I would give it a try. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting much.

But to my surprise, this is a pretty gosh darn amazing app for your iPad.

The app “begins” by taking you step by step through a filming process to get YOUR face onto their screen.

After following the steps, your face appears, not just as a still photo, but as a virtual representation, a 3D custom model, that you can turn from side to side, and see how the frames look on you from all directions. (I apologize for the screenshot of their screenshot, but I’m too shy to use my own face :shock: )

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You view the frames in groups of four, as you see above. But tapping any one will bring that single face up full screen.

And that’s it! Start flipping through thousands of glasses, and view them on your face. See what you would look like with large frames, retro frames, designer frames, frames in color and more more more.

There are a few other tweaks within the app. You can bookmark favorites, edit the 3D model of your head, and of course, buy glasses if you choose. You can also sort by price.

It’s easy, it’s FREE, and it’s fun … so why not?

Glasses.com is FREE in the iTunes store

Macro Photography on your iPhone: How to Lock the Focus

Photo Skitch Document-5Although the iPhone isn’t a replacement for a “real” camera, it can take excellent photos.

In addition to general photography, it can do an amazing job on close-up (macro) photos.

Just hold the iPhone about 4 inches from your subject, and you will be surprised at the detail you can capture.

However, while you are trying to get your subject into focus, you may be frustrated because every time you move a bit to recompose the shot, (even ever so slightly), the iPhone camera adjusts and refocuses. Argh!

There is a way to “lock” the focus in place and solve this problem, but the feature is a little hard to find.

Here is how to lock your macro focus on your iPhone:

Move your iPhone to within about 4 inches from your subject.

Put your finger on the screen on top of the subject of your photo.

You will see a square appear under your finger. Hold your finger in place against the screen and the square will start pulsating. Take your finger off the screen.

As you lift your finger, you will see the words “AE/AF Lock” appear at the bottom of the screen. This means that the focus is now locked and you can make your small adjustments to the photographic composition without the camera shifting out of focus, again.

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The lock is ‘released’ after you take a shot, so if you are going to take more photos, you will have to put your finger on the screen each time to enable the lock.

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Tiny Bit of Tech at the Philly Flower Show

Screen shot 2013-03-07 at 8.43.40 AM The Philadelphia Flower Show is the largest indoor flower show (longest running, too) and a glorious extravaganza that I look forward to every year. Not only does it signal the entrance of Spring, but in its own right, it fills the Convention Center with sights and smells and displays and artistic design beyond the imagination. Each year is built around a theme, and this year the theme is “Brilliant” with exhibits focusing on the landscapes, culture and beauty of Great Britain.

And yes. There was Tech. No escaping that. Tech crops up everywhere, even when it’s time to stop and smell the roses. :) (More on that, later)

But first…. let’s look around.

The entrance gates ….

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The grand centerpiece, Big Ben …

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Of course there were acres of displays, and fields of flowers …

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But with all of that, I find that some of the “other” entries really astound me. For example, the miniatures. The miniatures are presented in a wall with rows of little windows, each with an incredible miniature version of a scene, complete with appropriate plants. I took photos of every miniature, and there were many beauties … cityscapes and countrysides. The details are extraordinary. Choosing one to share here was difficult, so I picked a grand prize winner: The Herbology Greenhouse at Hogwarts. (There are 25 varieties of plants in this one, and I have the list if anyone is particularly interested, just email me through the contact link.) Click on the photo to enlarge it and enjoy the detail.

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Another entry which astounds me is the Pressed Plant Art.

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Just look at these amazing pictures, all made with flowers and plants.

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So where was the tech?

Apps, of course. Always apps. This sign showed up everywhere around the floor:

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And then there is the “Tech” of Big Ben.

Every hour, on the hour, the clock face alters and becomes a video screen (on all four sides), with a potpourri of British goodness. I did not film this, but turning to YouTube, I found many people had uploaded their videos. And so I just picked one to share here.

Presenting the Techy Centerpiece of the Philadelphia Flower Show: :)

How to Save a Photo that You Receive in a Text Message: (part of the) Very Beginners Series

* Occasional posts will contain how-tos and/or hints for VERY new users of iPads, iPhones or Kindles. All new users welcome! Non-tech speak, not terribly detailed, just basic device-enhancing goodness. All part of this Very Beginner Series.

Please share with any beginners (Mom? Dad? Grandma?) in your life.*

DSC00005The other evening I was having dinner with a friend, a new iPhone user, and she wanted to show me a few pictures …. but she had to find them first. These photos had been sent to her in text messages, and she was going back through the messages to find the photos.

And so, as I watched her scroll back through her messages, the blogging bell went off in my head. “This should be a beginner post!” So here we go.

Here is how you save a photo that you receive in a text message:

Tap on the photo or the arrow area to make the photo larger.

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Once you see the larger photo, tap the action arrow up at the top of the phone.

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A new screen will pop up with all sorts of choices. Select “save to camera roll”.

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That’s all there is.

Now when you want to look back at the photos that you received, just go to your Photos app (the sunflower) and select “camera roll”. The newly saved photos will be there at the end of the photo page.

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