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I Hope To Create Professional Moment

As a Christmas present to myself, I ordered some new lenses and a vertical battery grip for my Canon Rebel XTi.

One upside to buying a used DSLR body is that generally (and I am being very general), the main difference between DSLR bodies from the original Digital Rebel and to an extent, the T2i, is the ability to shoot HD video.  If you don’t care about this, for the most part, you aren’t missing out on much between upgrades over the years*.

However, the downside is usually the accessories (Canon supported and aftermarket) get harder and harder to find as new camera bodies hit the market once a year.  Lenses are never a big deal.  Canon mounts have been the same for years.  That makes lens shopping easy, but the vertical battery grip was a different issue.

After searching Amazon and Craigs up and down, the official Canon vertical battery grip was just no longer available brand new.  Even the respected 3rd party accessory makers grips were hard to find, until I stumbled across this $40 grip and decided to take a flyer out on it.

Vertical Battery Grip

Brand name? Not needed.

So I took this baby out of the box and charged it up.  The instructions were sparse, but this isn’t brain surgery.  Charge it up, remove the old battery door and plug this guy in.  After a few hours, I flicked the power on the camera and it powered up as it should.

As I was packing away this accessory I took a peek at the box lid.


The engrish on the top of this box - priceless.

I didn't know I was a professional. I am now after spending $40.00

I immediately dropped the box lid and looked up slightly to the right with my head cocked.  I wish there was a professional there to capture the moment, but behold, I was the professional.  I hope to use this cheap battery grip to make moment like a professional don’t forget.


*I know real photographers would read this and would be quick to point out all the differences between the original Digital Rebel, the XTi and what is in market now.  My point though that for the amateur photographer who is just getting basic techniques down – the major differences between these models wouldn’t make a difference to the types of photos they take.


Filed under: Photography, , , , , , ,

MobileMe: Apple's Unsung Sharing & More Service

I previously covered in my last post a quick, easy and really cool way (at least in my opinion) of sharing your iPhone photos.  Flickr is a feature rich, free service that really fits the bill for what most users need, the ability to share images with large groups of people and be very straightforward and easy in doing so.

This post is more for Mac OSX users than it is for Windows users, but something still that everyone can take advantage of.  The reason most people haven’t, is that this service costs $99 a year.  Is it worth it?  So far, it isn’t anything you couldn’t get from Google in one way, shape or form, but it is something that is very easy to integrate with existing Mac OSX offerings and has some cool features as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Mobile Apps, Photography

How to Share your iPhone Images, Part 1

Half of the fun in taking photos on your iPhone is sharing your candid and/or artistic attempts with your friends.

Now, with a traditional digital camera, you would have to go through the process of downloading the photos to your computer, and then uploading them to the service of your choice for sharing.  With the iPhone and it’s advantage of being constantly connected to a “high-speed” internet connection (this is AT&T we are talking about here) as well as the ability to geotag, sharing photos with your friends is even easier than before.

Now I am not going to go into the upload to Facebook option within the iPhone app to share your photo among friends.  I know that exists, so there is no need to remind me, and the features of the app I am going to talk about surpass the abilities of the Facebook application.

The app that I am going to talk about in this section is the Flickr application for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Oh Hai Flickr for iPhone

Now there are many nice advantages to a Flickr account in general, but you will need to create one to use it on  your iPhone.  With Flickr, you can upload tons of images for free, share them with friends, find like-minded friends, burn hours looking at those like-minded friends, and so on – but what’s great about this is that these functions are available on the mobile app, along with the ability to tag your location of where you uploaded the photo from, and put it on a map.

Upload Screen for Flickr

Andy is quite the scenery photographer

So when you download the app and also find your friends on the service, the app does this cool little montage of  your friend’s photos.  In this instance, I am greeted by an awesome vacation photo from Andy, our flag football quarterback.

Flickr Upload Screen

Tag it!

Go ahead and tap on the camera in the right hand corner, snap a photo or select one from your library on  your iPhone.  Feel free to enter the meta data provided (I actually recommend doing it later when you are online, but that’s just me) but be sure the “Tag Current Location” switch is on.  Now, when you upload this photo, the GPS coordinates are stored with the photo, and Flickr will then display where you took this photo on a map.

To me, this is where the fun starts.  I have been at this whole Flickr thing now for a few months, and it makes me realize a few things.

My Flickr Map

My whereabouts, according to Flickr

  1. I need to upload more photos
  2. I need to go more places

As this gets built out, I can then see my photo stream, where I took them down to the street address and click through  my memories, and where they were taken.

To me, this is the killer feature.  Plus, you can also have prints of your iPhone pictures made, have them put on a hipster framed canvas, make a cool card or photo book, just stuff you can’t do on Facebook if you upload your photos.

Next post, I will go into the MobileMe feature for Apple users (Windows peeps can use it too) as a venue for photo sharing, storage, and other perks.


Filed under: Mobile Apps, Photography

iPhone Photo Editing – First Rounds

The camera on the iPhone 3GS is quite an upgrade over the camera used in the iPhone and the iPhone 3G.  Sporting the 3.2 MP camera with autofocus, you get slightly clearer photos as well as the ability to set the subject in focus.  It is not a bad camera to have on your person most of the time for candid shots, and also gives the flexibility to edit photos as well as leave your artistic touch on a photo.

With roughly $8.00 in your iTunes account, you can crop, color correct and otherwise edit away with your two fingers.

Below I used the application for iPhone (free, iTunes link here) to turn this photo of the Pioneer Square Pergola from a standard color photo, to a much more vintage black and white photo.

There are many more things you can do with photos, which I will slowly start to publish here.

Pioneer Square Pergola Before Image

Pergola Before Photo

Seattle Pioneer Square Pergola After

Pergola After Photo

Filed under: Mobile Apps, Photography

OK, So This Kills One Bus Away

So while riding the bus home the other day I wrote this really long winded post about how, basically, how great the iPhone is.

The idea was inspired by OneBusAway, and I felt I had to give my life story on the evolution of the cell phone as it related to my use.

However, CatPaint ($0.99, Apple App Store) if I had existed yesterday, could have summed up how awesome the iPhone and the app experience truly is with a few photos.

Please observe, Downtown Seattle before CatPaint, and then Downtown Seattle after CatPaint.

This is up there with the Black Jack taco for best $0.99 purchase this year.

Filed under: Photography, Technology, , , ,