2015: A year in pictures – 365 Project Update!

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I won’t tell a lie and say it hasn’t been challenging. Indeed I would say at times it’s even been a bit of a pain. But that said, I’m so glad I persevered with my 365 day project throughout 2015.

I’ve put a few collages together of some of the highlights, in no particular order.

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OK, call me a glutton for punishment, but I will be carrying it on again this year too 🙂

How’s about you?  I’d love to know if any of you have kept up the challenge, as I remember some of you started one at about the same time as me. Or is anyone considering doing one? If so, will you have some kind of theme, which is a very popular idea, or just a daily photo Ie like a diary of your year, as I do? Well, that’s sort of what I do.

Mine started as the latter in the first year. But I soon discovered I was being way too strict with myself, such as having to post on the very same day, of something that took place actually on that day, and limiting the images purely to personal Iphone photos. It was becoming so tricky that I almost gave it up.

I stuck it out, but I knew realistically if I was to carry it on, I’d have to cut myself some slack. I loved the idea of having a diary in pictures of my year, and for 2014 I produced a photobook at the end of it, as indeed I am in the process of doing for last year’s too. It’s a lovely momento to be able to flick through from time to time. This was my 365 Project post for 2014 complete with pic of the book! https://romseyfotografix.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/a-year-in-a-heartbeat/

With my lifestyle, it was proving impossible to find something original to photograph and include each and every day. This might sound a bit of a peculiar thing for a photographer to say, as I take thousands upon thousands of photos in a year. But of course, the majority of these are work related, so a lot of my time is spent either in the studio, or in my home behind my desk editing, with just the 8 minute drive in between!

So in order to carry on the project, at the beginning of 2015, I was much easier on myself, and started to include some of my studio shots (mostly with a different creative slant added) alongside my personal pics, but without them necessarily having to be taken the same day, unless l had happened to have gone somewhere different. So the end result is a lovely, varied combination of places we’ve been, new objects that mean a lot to me (like gifts I’ve been given), as well as some of my favourite shots from your photoshoots and weddings.

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This means my latest book will be a colourful, and very mixed collection of my favourite pictures I took last year, which I reckon are much more reflective of my life than just trying to find something to photograph every day for the sake of it. Some days I do a small collage of several pictures if I can’t choose a favourite. Sometimes, if I feel like it, I add a bit of text, such as a quote of some kind, often with the help of one of these Apps https://romseyfotografix.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/3-awesome-apps-for-making-words-phrases-look-really-amazing/

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I will continue to do more of the same for my 2016 project. Experimenting with different lighting and angles, hunting out new Apps with even more different effects, and trying out all sorts of things to make each day’s image original and a little out of the ordinary. Dare I say, quirky, even. (Yikes, my youngest son hates when I use that word!) Yep, it’s purely for my benefit, so anything goes. If something doesn’t work so be it, I’ll just try something else. For me, it’s all about trial and error, sometimes things you think will turn out great simply don’t, and other times you try something expecting it not to look good and the result is amazing. It’s all part of the fun. And a very useful creative learning curve.

Ok, it’ll still be a bit of a headache deciding what to post each day. Last year sometimes I’d leave it a week and then upload a whole 7 days at once! But I truly love the picture diary I have to look back on at the end of the year, so I reckon it’s worth keeping it up if only for that smashing keepsake! But actually it is also such a valuable exercise to keep the ol’ creative juices flowing which I personally find hugely beneficial in my day to day work, helping to keep all my ideas for pictures, both for work and play, as fresh and innovative as possible.

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For those of you who don’t know, I use an App called Photo365 to document my daily pictures. You can find out more about it here http://www.photo365app.com I love it as it’s nice and simple to use and you can see each month of pictures at a glance or scroll through them all on a daily basis for a closer look.

I’d love to hear about any of your photography projects too 🙂

 

 

5 Excellent Apps for Editing Photos

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I promised to share with you my favourite photo editing Apps, so here goes!

These are my ones of choice when editing my personal pics taken on my Iphone, such as for my pictures of the day, and when we’re out socialising, etc. I just love experimenting with the different effects, and seeing how even only half-decent images can be transformed into something a bit special.

Only problem … it can be a bit addictive! But great fun … if you like this kind of thing!

Anyways …

Snapseed

This is my absolute must have! It’s the one I always go to first to do an initial edit on pictures; a little cropping maybe, then an enhancement such as the Drama or HDR effects, both of which can take your images from good to Woweeeee!!

You can also adjust the effect to your personal taste by swiping across the screen.

Here’s a pic I took on my Iphone, before and after it had been “Snapseeded”

Before ...

Before …

... and after!

… and after!

 Quite a difference, eh? Amazing what a little crop, straighten and a bit of Drama can do!!

PicsPlay Pro

This is perfect if you only want to enhance your image, as you can adjust colour, exposure, white balance, sharpening etc. But it does also hold a massive FX studio comprising of ten effect folders such as Art, HDR, Black & White, Beauty, etc, and each of these effect folders contain several looks to choose from ij that genre and adjust if you so wish. You could spend hours experimenting, but you will no doubt find your favourites and stick to those mostly, as I do.

This App also includes a whole range of frames, textures, stamps (art and word overlays), vignettes and lots more!

Very handy. 

For this image, I used “Scratching” from the Grunge FX section

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PiZap

Great name eh!!

As well as being excellent for collages, which I’ll cover in another post, Pizap http://www.pizap.com/ has some really different enhancements – adding all sorts of wonderful patterns and colours to your pictures. It also has a huge number of stickers, borders, phrases – you can even cutout a section from your image.  Also add filters with a bit of a difference, such as stars, dazzle, pop art etc etc. You can have a good old play and never know what you’re going to end up with!

Some I gave the PiZap treatment to …

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Waterlogue

This is a super App as you can achieve a perfect result transforming your photo into a fabulous watercolour painting. And you can even choose the style of watercolour you’d like – there are several to experiment with – ranging from abstract to illustrative!

Clever stuff!

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And now for something completely different!

This App is pure fun – definitely not to be taken seriously! All sorts of wacky stuff … frames, backgrounds, effects and collages – you can even put your best friend on the cover of Vogue!

Love the anticipation of how the image will look as the App processes the effect!

Just too much to mention here so why don’t I just show you a few I made earlier …. sorry I had to use myself as a model for one or two!!

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Truely hilarious!!!

I do realise that effects aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I really enjoy using them on my personal pics. Haha, you’d never have guessed would you!!!  🙂

Happy creating!!

A year in a heartbeat

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Well here it is … a quick whizz through my Photo365 2014 highlights …. if you’d like to take a look please click this link – it’s short, I promise!!

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I remember some of you started a similar project – I’d love to know if you kept it going and how it turned out. It can be a challenge thinking of something different to photograph every day, for sure. For me, some days were certainly trickier to find inspiration than others, like when I didn’t venture far, other than to the studio or editing at my desk.   I set myself a few “rules” when I started – some of which had fallen by the wayside by the end of the year ie that I must take and upload the picture to my calendar on the actual day … the pre-Christmas rush put paid to that on some days! Couldn’t afford to miss any deadlines!!

But I did stick to taking all the photos for my project mainly on my Iphone, with a few on the Ipad, but not the SLRs, and didn’t include any shots for clients taken in the studio, which would have made it far too many to choose from, and almost feel like cheating! I really wanted to keep it as a personal project, and make my imagination work hard to find different subjects to photograph every day; this has been brilliant to keep my creativeness on its toes and, often, stretch my imagination to its limits!!! A great exercise for the ol’ brain cells!

Also it’s been a fantastic excuse to seek out some great editing and collage apps, and along the way I’ve also discovered some brilliant apps to provide inspirational quotes and artistic lettering (hugely popular at the moment) to include on some of the daily pics.  Some of these have also come in handy for my Facebook posts and even to add to some of your images (just occasionally, when truly apt!).

As the year has gone on, more and more editing/arty apps have come onto the market, even better than ever.   It’s been great fun experimenting with them to keep my project looking as fresh as possible.

And, believe me, I have tried LOTS!

Some I’ve stuck with for ages, use all the time, and absolutely love!! Some I’ve tried, used once or twice,  then abandoned; others I use sparingly as they’re a bit different and nice for a change, but too often would be overkill. For instance, at the beginning of last year, I discovered the kaleidoscope effect (using the camera in the Photobooth App on the Ipad) and became such a mad fan of it, I used it on almost every shot in my project for days on end! Now looking back at those pics, I’m not seeing them in quite the same adoring light!! (Lee will be saying, “I told you so” as he always did wonder what I saw in them!)

As new Apps keep appearing, I’m always on the lookout to try and make sure I’m not missing anything amazing! So if you’ve come across any you can’t live without, I’d love to hear about them!!

I’ll be sharing with you some of my favourite apps in another post soon.

So …have I enjoyed doing the project? Oh yes!!!! So worth it – a diary of my year in pictures! Fabulous keepsake!!

Will I be continuing my Photo A Day? You bet!!   My 2015 project is well underway– using the same Photo365 App http://www.photo365app.com as before. I love it and as yet haven’t come across anything I like better.

And I’ve already got the book for my 2014 365Project!  Of course!! That won’t surprise anyone who knows me 😉

My year of Twenty Fourteen all printed up and ready to flick through whenever I feel the need to reminisce. Aaahhh ….

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Ringing out the old … and wishing you a wonderful year to come!

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new year 2015 So …. how was yours?

Christmas is always more magical when you have little ones to share it with, as loads of you do, so hoping it was extra special!

Although, the “big day” sure has a lot to live up to, doesn’t it? Was it all it was cracked up to be, or were you left feeling a little downhearted after the usual big build up and all the hype?

There were a lot of bugs flying round, hope you managed to escape them…Lee and I both picked up colds, which decided to turn up just in time for the Christmas festivities and are still making themselves at home, and (very kindly) invited along their friends “The Coughs” to join them 😉  We must have unwittingly made them feel quite at home, as they seem very loathe to leave!!  We are well and truly ready for them to go on their merry way now!! Still they have given us the excuse to have a good rest over the holiday, apart from when we’ve been busy entertaining and visiting, we’ve also had a few days of chilling out and watching our fair share of slushy Xmas movies on Christmas24 (strangely addictive, is it a bit sad to admit that? Probably….)

There’s still a few days left of our holiday, so I’ve a chance to plan and work on lots of new ideas to come in 2015 for Romsey Fotografix. And, of course, time to get rid of the remnants of the festive food from the fridge, take down the decorations and clean up the house. 

Basically, onwards and upwards!

This poor old blog gets a bit neglected in the pre-Christmas rush, but I have lots of posts coming up for you soon … including my latest 365 Day Photo news (how did you get on with yours during 2014, would love to know?); weddings and wedding venues we’ve had the joy of photographing (maybe will give you some venue ideas if you have a big day to plan!); news on some great apps out there for your photo editing; family photoshoots “over-the-years” features; more about Fotoshows and new Apps I’ve started to bring in during 2014 which have proved very popular, hopefully making life easier for you … and lots more besides!

I really love to hear your news too, so please keep in touch whenever you can!

And so … as another New Year hovers on the horizon, may it bring you everything you wish for and lots of happiness.

Wishing you all a very Healthy, Happy and Peaceful 2015.

182 and a half days in ….

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OK. I’m not going to pretend it’s been a doddle. Indeed, some days, it has been downright tricky! On the other hand, I am so pleased I’ve kept up my 365 Photo Project.

It’s certainly kept my creative juices rolling and got my imagination running overtime. When travelling to beautiful places it’s easy to find inspiring things to photograph, spoilt for choice; other times, it’s been a case of looking at things I see everyday (some of which are, ahem, mundane, to say the least) in a completely different and artistic way.

You may remember I set myself a few ground rules when I started the Project on New Year’s Day such as all pics must be taken on my Ipad or Iphone and on the day in question (sorry, I did let that one slip on Friday but we were photographing a prom and extra especially busy, so I cut myself some slack just this once 😉 ); none should be work related (of course I take tons of photos all the time, ’tis what I do and love) but for my project I wanted to photograph completely different things.

I can honestly say, it’s done me a world of good 🙂 I have lots of super photos and memories I may not otherwise taken, even over and above those I have selected for my 365Photo calendar.

Great photo editing apps have helped too! Oh yes, I’ve tried them all and been through phases of loving them, going off them a bit and moving to to the next … and then going back again! Yep, collages, hdr effects, even the (very) weird and whacky – anything goes as you will see. But as I love experimenting with different effects this has been part and parcel of the fun. And when faced with one of the aforementioned more mundane subject matters, adding a spot of poetic licence can’t do any harm, can it. (I expect there are those who will beg to differ, art is highly subjective after all!)

So here’s a little slideshow of some of my favorites year to date (don’t worry, not all!). It’s in no particular order so the seasons have merged as have the various stages of effects I have been through.

So how is yours going?

Great apps for Smartphone camera projects!

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Hooray!!  Finally. I’ve actually made a start. And with all good intentions to see it through.

Yes, something I’ve been meaning to do for ages is a 365 day photography project – you know, take a picture every day for a year (which may sound a bit daft for me considering that I take ooodles of pictures every day anyway!)

However, this of course is about taking different types of pictures; stretching the imagination to it’s limits, thinking outside the box, being as creative and original as possible, and coming up with a new and inspiring idea everyday. Then taking the picture using one of the camera apps on the Iphone or Ipad, which is always to hand.

I started my 365 Day Project on New Year’s Day. Obviously you’re always enthusiastic about these things at first, especially during a holiday when there is much more time available than usual! So first hurdle to overcome. The motivation needed to keep it going now life is getting back to normal after the holiday.

Well, I found a very useful App for the Iphone/Ipad  http://photo365app.com/ which I think will be a great help to me. (There are lots of similar ones for other Smartphones too).  You can either take a picture from within the app and it goes in instantly to the right date, or upload from your camera roll, which is what I prefer to do personally, as I like to take a few different shots and then choose my favourite, and maybe do a little editing on it first. Because you see your photos in a calendar format, you can see how you’re doing with your project at a glance, which I reckon is great motivation to keep it up – because wouldn’t it be a shame to see some of the dates left blank?

But life is life, and things take over,so I’ve set a daily reminder in my phone, just in case it slips my mind. So if you happen to be in the studio at 3.30pm anytime and you hear my mobile bleep, you know why.

Second challenge. Inspiration. Some folk base their 365 day projects on a theme, like this article suggests http://www.photographytalk.com/photography-articles/3925-tips-for-starting-a-365-photo-a-day-project

I decided against a theme along those lines for this year, and have just chosen to photograph something relevant to each particular day, so at the end of the year I’ll have a picture diary relating to things we’ve done/seen each day. Which actually hasn’t been a lot outdoors yet, as there hasn’t been much opportunity to get outside what with the dreadful weather, so I have had to find all my inspiration indoors so far, even taking pictures of what’s on the TV (as long as it’s a programme I’m enjoying!).

If you’ve got an Ipad you’re no doubt familiar with the Photo Booth App, and it’s unusual effects. I’m sure you’ll either love ’em or hate them!  I am in the former category 🙂 I’ve made good use of the Kaleidoscope effect camera so far for my project, maybe a little too much, but I just love the patterns created by what might otherwise be a rather dull object, and as we haven’t been able to get outside much, I found this a great way to start. It does mean I have a lot of patterns in the first few days of the calendar (which Lee find amusing as they don’t do much for him, but hey, art is subjective!).

Another plus with Photo365 is you can add a caption to your photo, just in case I forget where I was, or what the Kaleidoscope pattern was all about in years to come (some of them are a bit abstract!)

By the way, on the subject of Photo Editing Apps, my absolute favourite is Snapseed. Which is free.

Naturally as this is a personal project, I am keeping everything I photograph in the studio completely separate, although it’s a great experience to push myself to higher limits, which can only be beneficial in my work to ensure I am even more creative with all my photography, no matter who or whatever I am photographing and for what purpose.

Managed to keep it going so far, but then again it is only 6 days in 😉  Ahem. Watch this space. Reminds me, I’m just about to take today’s … now let me see …

Here’s my first five day’s pictures in my 365 project.  If you do start one or have already, I would love to see it!

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New Year’s Day Celebration in Kaleidoscope

 

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Poinsetta Pattern

 

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Night before decorations came down (taken through bannister at top of stairs) Kaleidoscope

 

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Decorations ready to go back in loft (Woohoo NOT Kaleidoscope!)

 

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New series of Dancing on Ice