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julius motal the phoblographer manual ios image-2

Shooting with my iPhone 5 has always been a hassle. That was largely because of the lack of control, and I could never seem to get the images quite right. Having spent years with a variety of cameras, I’m predisposed towards buttons and dials. Then I saw a video for an app called Manual by a company called Little Pixels. It promised control of shutter speed, ISO and a number of other things all for the price of $1.99. More over, it didn’t have that dreaded “Offers in-app purchases.” For two bucks, I could essentially unlock the features of my phone that Apple kept hidden away.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon D810 first impressions product images (8 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 3.2

The proliferation of smartphones has made photography everyone’s craft. If Flickr data is any evidence, the iPhone 4 (a four-year-old phone, a relic by today’s standards) is beating out a swathe of cameras. While it’s impossible to know what they know about photography, it’s a safe bet to say that at least a chunk of them understand photography based on what their phones can do.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony QX1 First Impressions (8 of 9)ISO 2501-250 sec at f - 2.8

Sony more or less started the whole phone-to-real-camera thing, and even now the concept still fascinates us in tis embrace of the mobile photography world. Today, Sony has announced their update to last year’s cameras. One is the QX-1 with interchangeable lens capabilities and the other is the QX-30. Basically, Sony wanted to create a superzoom of sorts. In fact, this one goes from 24mm to 720mm. That means that you’ll have a much easier time at the baseball game.

To be honest, even though the QX-30 isn’t smaller than the RX 100 Mk III (the company’s most pocketable point and shoot that matters), it sure is quite capable.

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Wonders (III)

All images by Heline Lam. Used with permission

Heline Lam does a lot of street photography–and she sources that as the inspiration for her more unconventional ideas. But ultimately, it comes from many avenues. She states that she is always observing the world around her while paying attention to her own inner thoughts and emotions. This, combined with a story line that she has already created, adds to her thought process was to place her subjects from different walks of life in extraordinary circumstances and to help them travel and explore in her images. She tries to communicate a single message in all of her work: No matter what the circumstance is and what life throws at us, we will still carry on and move forward.

If this sounds a lot like storyboarding to you, then you’re spot on. She puts her subjects in extraordinary circumstances.

Heline uses her iPhone 5S to capture many of these scenes. “To me, a photo is only as good as the moment that presents itself. And I always have my iPhone 5s with me, enabling me to capture those candid moments or expressions non-intrusively that would otherwise have been missed.” states Ms. Lam. “Any type of camera, be it a DSLR, point-and-shoot or smartphone camera, has the ability to produce great imagery; it really depends on the kind of photography that one does. I do not believe in taking a ‘perfect’ photo as spontaneity and certain imperfections are beautiful and lend themselves to more character and edge.” Heline says that she keeps an open mind and attributes that to the progression of the art form overall.

Heline told us loves structures, shapes and forms but that creating the right mood for the vision and idea that she wants to portray is equally important. “When it comes to composition, it is often subconscious and reflex-like for me.” states Ms. Lam. “I want to ensure that there is balance in my work, that the eyes are drawn to the subjects (whether it is a pondering look, a gesture, a figure, etc.) then to the target of the subjects, and that composition helps to achieve the overall vision.”

Below are more of Heline’s images.

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Instagram has changed itself many times over the year and even more so after being bought by Facebook and trying to compete with Vine. The app allows you to a take a snapshot on the go with a nostalgic filter. You can use your camera phone or a proper camera that works with your phone to create images. It has filters that can stylize your images the way you want with further customization that has come over time. Version 6.0 was recently released. This version added a tray of photo editing tools to the app. We have been using it heavily since it was released and it’s very much the best Instagram yet.

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Adobe is today announcing a couple of new products and an update to their Creative Cloud service. What you should know first off is that Lightroom Mobile has finally been ported to the Apple iPhone. When it was originally announced, a user could only use it on their iPad.

They’re also revamping their Photography Creative Cloud plan. The price is still $9.99/month, but now bundles together Photoshop CC, Lightroom, Lightroom Mobile and a brand new product–Photoshop Mix. Photoshop Mix is a free (yes, free) app that is available for download in the App store. The new software is designed to be a hub of sorts for all of your images–whether they’re in the Creative Cloud, Lightroom Mobile, and Facebook. What it lets you do is some of the most simple editing you can possibly think of: like spot color, apply presets, basic Lightroom sliders, and some other features utilizing the brush tool that we only wish were present in Lightroom.

Photoshop Mix also lets you do things like compositing and touch ups to ensure that the image looks the best that it can. At one point of our demo, we also saw the use of content aware fill. For all this, it seems like Adobe is giving away a whole lot for no price at all.

Lightroom Mobile is getting an update that now involves the inclusion of star ratings–which still syncs between Lightroom and the app.

All of this is available now for download. As of today, Adobe has Photoshop CC, Photoshop Mobile, Photoshop Touch, and now CC.