iPhone camera > Mill Colour > Looks > Cross processed

The Mill has always been known for amazing visual-effects and the iPhone is fortunate enough to have a free app out there for professional grade colour timing in a “touch and slide,” iPhone-way.

Setting out to help you turn any image, imported, or taken with the iPhone’s built-in camera, Mill Colour  does exactly what it says it will. Importing a photo is a simple tap and touch process, the functionality and accessibility of the interface clearly considered, while still looking the part of a slick imaging app. Additional controls would have been great, and of course that would mean a bigger, perhaps less user friendly app, but with what the app does allow you to do, it is a great, great app. That said, nobody should be holding their breath for any Photoshop-esque app to show up; not a free one at least.

Once you’ve brought an image into Mill Colour, you are given two different things to manipulate: the colour controls, and the looks. The looks refers to all the popular processing techniques and colour timing combinations including a cross-processed look, an instant camera effect, and bleach bypass. Once your image is loaded into the Looks interface, you slide through the different processing effects and save the settings when you feel you’re happy with the result. No problem there. You can also use the colour controls interface to enhance or decrease saturation, lift, and gamma, in red, green, and blue channels.

Concise controls and ease of use really give this app, which is free, a big thumbs up. The app does what it says it will and once you’ve downloaded it, you simply won’t look back. I’m going to have to dock .2 simply because it would have been nice to have a bit more control over the different colour timing effects found in the Looks interface of the app, but other than that, a top pick, and a strongly recommended app for all who are interested.

App Reviews: Mill Colour for the iPhone – 4.8/5
Website: http://www.the-mill.com/
Download

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The Playstation 3 has many capabilities, and one of the most useful and functional aspects is that you can use it as a media server on your home network. This is a great feature since you can store movies,  music, and images on a computer, or external hard drive, and at the same time experience any of those file types through your Playstation, to your home theater setup.

The one issue that I noticed, specifically video files, is that with certain ones, the subtitles will not show. The reason for this is because the Playstation only reads the video file, and not other files in the same directory, such as an .SRT file (a common file type used for storing subtitle data). Luckily, wonders of the internet have led me to a solution for this! Certain movie files have the subtitles encoded within them, however in cases where the subtitles are contained in a separate file the solution is quick and simple.

All that needs to be done is for the video file to be re-encoded with the subtitles. There are a multitude of software that will do this, however the simplest and most efficient one that I have noticed is AVI add Subs. The software has plenty of customization when it comes to the way subtitles show, however the actual conversion process normally takes under 2 minutes.

Happy streaming !


Mar.22.2010 HBM! Desaturated Neon-chucks Edition

Originally uploaded by seansharifi <aka essquared>

I’m sure this has been discovered before however I found it to be a very effective method for when you still want some color, but not the dramatic look of full black and white.

Many post-processing programs have a number of ways to convert a capture into BW, however I will describe it in the most generic way possible. I use Capture NX myself, which is an amazing program by the way, and it has three ways, the best being the method that gives you the most control of course.

1. Apply a black/white filter or conversion process
2. In most cases, ramp up the contrast all the way
3. Use a Lighten filter in conjunction with the black and white process
4. If you have these options, ramp up the filter color slider, and play around with the color slider until you find a result you’re contempt with.

This is the third tip in our installment of photography tips. How do you hold a camera? With your hands right? Yea it sounds simple, but if you want nice, crisp images by reducing camera shake there are a few things you must keep in mind, specifically in lower light conditions.

  • Normally, your right hand should be on the handle and trigger of the camera, and your left should be underneath supporting the weight and keeping it straight relative to your subject. Depending on the size of your lens, your left hand may either be under the body, or the lens, whichever suites you.
  • This second portion is what many people miss. Your arms should be tucked into your body. This provides support for the camera, this is the main idea behind reducing camera shake,.
  • You will most probably want your head forward, and pressed against the viewfinder; this adds another layer of stability.
  • Moving down your body, your feet should be about shoulder width apart. If you’re feet are stuck together, you may sway.
  • Lastly, if possible, try to lean on something. This is not always an option, but if it is, use whatever surface you can for any extra stability.

These are some really basic tips, but can greatly improve your photographic prowess! Happy shooting.

The 365 day Project

January 12, 2010

I’ve never stuck to anew years resolution, so this year I decided to take at least one picture every day of the year. I figured this would be fantastic for growth, as well as creativity! It’s only been 11 days, and I’ve already started running out of ideas, but I’ve promised myself I would finish this!!

I’ll try to post every month with updates.

Happy Holidays!

December 24, 2009

I hope you all get what you asked for, personally I dont celebrate anything, but like to splurge this time of year.. hunting for a new lens! Just wanted to say Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah to everyone !

Stormtrooper also says Happy Holidays !

Stormtrooper also says Happy Holidays !

Everyones got that dream car in mind, that one car they wish to someday have. Unfortunately for myself, I’m no different, except I decided to make mine realistic, this way I wont be disappointed when I’m 60. And yes, I may even sell my precious BB1 for it ! Take in the beauty:

Keep in mind that this is not in anyway a super car. Not that I dislike super cars, I would love to own one, but those beasts are way out of my league, and we all know that only the elite will be able to own one. The reason I’ve been so fixated on the Exige is purely because of the power/weight ratio. The interior is very minimal, only the bare essentials exist in exchange for weight savings. IE: Only the driver side has an electric window, the passenger side is roll down only. Extreme? Not at all. I mean how else could Lotus keep the cars weight to about 2000lbs?

The Exige comes in four trims, but I’ll be focusing on the s240 version, which is the second to last top model. The difference between the s240 and 260 (top level) is a difference of 17HP, but a difference in price of about $10,000. The s240 is powered by a supercharged DOHC motor pushing out 240HP. Sure it doesn’t sound like much, but keep in mind this is not a normal weighted vehicle, this is why the 0-60 was clocked at 4 SECONDS !!! Aside from all this, I would imagine the machine handles like a go-kart, which is exactly what I fiend for.

And to top it all off, the list price for the s240 is a mere $65,000. I’ve told many people about this machine, and most think I’m crazy to spend this amount on something so bare when there are so many other options, but to each their own. This is purely a driving machine; there are no luxuries in this car, so if you’re looking for a comfy, noiseless ride, go to Lexus, or BMW. The Exige is meant for another breed of enthusiast.

Here’s a list from Lotus with all of the other specifications:

CHASSIS
· Lotus Designed Lightweight Structure of Epoxy Bonded Aluminum Extrusions
· Integral Steel Seatbelt Support Structure and Lightweight Steel Rear Sub-Frame
EXTERIOR
· Composite Fiberglass Body
· LED Taillights with Integral Reflectors
· Daytime Running Lights
· Rear Diffuser
· Aerodynamic Bodywork for Increased Downforce Includes: Front Splitter, Sculpted Roof, Rear Wing, Diffuser and Side Air Intakes
· Body-Color Front Splitter, Side Scoops, and Rear Wing
· Black Mesh Front Brake Ducts, Radiator Outlet and Engine Bay Outlets
· Solid Paint – Ardent Red or British Racing Green
SUSPENSION
· Fully Independent Suspension with Unequal Length Wishbones
· Bilstein Mono-Tube Gas Damper, Eibach Coaxial Coil Spring
· Front Anti-Sway Bar
· 7 Twin-Spoke Forged Alloy Wheels in Matte Black
· Front Wheels/6J x 16 – 195/50R16
· Rear Wheels/7.5J x 17 – 225/45R17
· Yokohama Advan Neova A048 LTS Ultra Performance Tires
· 4-Wheel Ventilated/Cross-Dilled Disc Brakes
· Lotus/AP Racing & Brembo Calipers with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
INTERIOR
· Sport Seats – Black Cloth with ProBax™ Anatomical Padding
· Air Conditioning, Starter Button, Tinted Glass and Carpet Foot Mats
· Airbags – Driver and Passenger (Passenger Airbag Cannot Be Deactivated)
· Factory Anti-Theft Alarm System with Engine Immobilizer and Remote Locking
· Aluminum Trim – Gear Knob and Handbrake Sleeve
· Interior Tailgate Release
· Leather-Trimmed Momo Steering Wheel
· Alpine 4-Speaker Stereo with In-Dash CD Player
· Intermittent Windshield Wiper

The second in the series of my attempt to assist up and comming photographers. Here is Tip number 2:

Tip number 2 only involves five words: learn how to post process ! Post processing is just as equally important as taking multiple captures for each shot. I say this because no matter how top-of-the-line your camera and gear are, the images you capture can always be improved by post processing and editing. I myself have been using Adobe Photoshop for years, so naturally it has become almost second nature for me to use. There are a multitude of software for post-processing, you will need to experiment with each to find which one is best suited for you.

Tip number 2a:

Yes, there is a 2a! I was considering using this one in a seperate post, however it goes hand in hand with post-processing. The second tip, of the second tip is to shoot in RAW. RAW will give you a whole new experience to post processing, the possibilities are almost limitless. Shooting in JPEG is totally fine, however if you want the best out of your captures, I urge you to shoot in RAW format. RAW empowers you with control over every aspect of your images, this ranges from the exposure and black levels, all the way to camera specifics such as the amount of vignetting.

Notice the sharpness in the image.

Notice the sharpness in the image.

I say non-proffessional because, well, I’m not. Tip number 1:

The most important idea personally, is to take many many, many, many, many pictures. Even if it is from the same spot, same angle, same subject, take multiple shots. Even today, when I sometimes take only one capture, from the same spot, angle, subject, etc, I find it’s not really what I was aiming to get out of it. With multiple captures you can be sure that you will have the one that looks just right (with the correct amount of post-processing of course!).

Here is a perfect example, it pains me everytime I look.. it could have been perfect !!!

This was my first time using my new manual lense, unfortunately the subject is far too out of focus.

This was my first time using my new manual lens, unfortunately the subjects is far too out of focus.

You think your ready, you think you’ve got all of the necessary equipment, the right lens, your subject is there and waiting to be captured, the lighting is flawless… but there are a multitude of other factors that many people forget about when in the moment. So you take the shot, and something is wrong, its blurry, under/overexposed, etc.. and you think to yourself, why? Next time, always keep the following in back of your mind:

  • Only Darkness. The Lens cap – Yes, this is huge for everyone; of course you realize it’s on once you take a peek through the view finder, but from the time you notice your subject to the time you take the lens cap off is valuable time, and by the time it’s off, you may have lost the ideal opportunity.
  • Over/Underexposed? The Exposure Compensation You think everything is just right, the lighting, the composition, so you then take the photograph, but while reviewing it in the LCD, it doesn’t look like how you thought it would, even though you swore you had everything right. Many times, you have probably forgotten to reset the exposure compensation.
  • The Twitchy hands – This would have to be even more common than the lens cap being on, and the worst part is, many photographers don’t even know its their own hands that are the culprit. With most people, when they press the shutter, their whole hand tends to push the camera off of where it was originaly framed, some deviate moreso than others. Clearly, the longer the exposure time, the more prone your hands are to blur the image. Taking a breath and being in a comfortable position can help, a tripod is even better though.
  • Grain?! The ISO – Much like forgetting to reset the exposure compensation, just as many people forget about checking the ISO. For example if you were shooting in a dark setting the night before, and the next day you’re in a well lit scene, this should be the number one tweek you should remember.
  • Where’s my ____ ? Forgetting Gear – The avid photographer may have various gear, things like lenses, tripods, lighting equipment, etc. Specifically with lenses, it’s very easy to forget the only one that you actually need for. Be sure to predict the scene(s) you will run into throughout the day, so you can be prepared.
  • …Its Dead. The Battery – If this list was in order, this would definately be number one, if not close to the top. Always, always, and always check the battery life before you head out. Either check the life early, incase you need to have it charged, or always have a back up battery that is fully charged.