If you are despairing about the new Terms of Service released by Instagram and want to find an alternative to this social sharing site then the combo I’ve used for years might just help. I originally went down the Hipstamatic photo app route as I wanted the retro vibe in my iPhone images but I didn’t want to be forced to share or post every shot to get them into my camera roll on my phone. I have my phone with me 24/7 and will often shoot and edit a couple of shots a day to stockpile for my Daily Challenge (see below) that I do and so that I always have something on hand. While I do love the filters and edits on Instagram (been on it a whole two weeks before the changes were announced) as they seem more candy/ lolly and lighter in tone they are a bit toooo automagical for my liking. I prefer having more control over minor details via the Photoshop app (see below). OCD control freak, who me? I’m excited as all get out for the release of twitter photo filters and reckon I might stick with the Hipsta + tumblr combo a while longer yet.
I reckon I take an alright photo. As one of my team once said, ‘yeah, but you can take a photo of just a cupcake and it looks like a masterpiece!’ Flattering but not entirely true! This is a shot I took this morning following my workflow, outlined below, with just a bump of contrast to deepen the blacks and pop the colours and that’s it.
It’s no secret I publish a photo every day that has been taken on my iPhone. Yep, that’s not a typo, I said my iPhone. I’ve turned this into a Daily Challenge using only images taken on the Hipstamatic app after making up my own 365 Challenge and enjoying it SO much. If you’re a blogger reading this and struggle to take photos for your posts then my Daily Challenge page is also a source of free, yes FREE, images to use for your posts (be sure to follow me to stay in touch with new photos as they are published) so long as you play nice and link back to my blog. You’re welcome.
Link to my blog and you can use the images on your blog. Amazeballs, huh? [Tweet this]
From this year I’ve also started an April Daily Photo challenge for my birthday month of April and hope to have other people join me from all around the world each year. Part of the reason I love using my phone is the growing availability of photography taking and editing apps and the obvious reason that I always have it with me.
Recently I saw a post by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger fame on his Instagram workflow and thought I’d take a look. I nearly fell over at the length of the process! Especially when mine is essentially like this:
1. See the scene of the photo in my mind
I tend to ‘see’ the photo opportunity with my eyes and in my mind before I ever pull out a camera. This doesn’t make me unique, but it sure as hell comes in handy to capture something that somebody else might not see.
2. Take out phone
Kind of obvious. It rarely happens very stealth like, it’s more like ‘ooh, ooh, that would be a cool shot! Shit, SHIT where’s my phone?!’
3. Open Hipstamatic app
I have this pinned to my most used menu on my iPhone, you know, the one down the bottom where you can have four icons? That bit. As I’ve said before, I like that bad 70′s vibe to my images so I tend to use the same lens and film combo all the time which is Ina’s 1969 film, no flash and the John S Lens – these are the free and included options. I haven’t traded up to anything fancy as this works for me. Although I would love the pimped badass gold case cover!!
4. Line up the shot & take it
I faff around with the composition a bit using the rule of thirds, make sure the centre of focus is where I want it and I play with the angle of the light. I like to shoot into the light so often disregard the rule of thirds in order to get just the right amount of sun flare in the shot.
5. Quick edit and save
I only use one app for this, Adobe Photoshop Express. It does everything I need for photos on the go. I most commonly desaturate the colour a little, bump up the contrast and or exposure. This is all just personal preference based on the look I like from the film combo I use. I think things like creating a diptych or triptych is lame and so is doing too much to what is essentially a quick snapshot on-the-run. Note, often the focus is off or the light is not quite right so in these cases I would technically classify that shot as crap and start back at step 1.
I upload via tumblr to my Daily Photo Challenge site, which also auto tweets the link (with the option of editing the tweet content first) and posts to my page on Facebook. I sometimes upload shots separately directly to my personal Facebook profile.
7. Go about my day and continue to be awesome.
And then once all that is done (it takes about 4 minutes tops from capture to post) I pretty much forget about it. Until I see the next photo opportunity in my mind. Then it’s just a case of repeat to end.
Note, this is in no way a criticism of how anyone else takes photos – including Darren. I just wanted to show how little thought can go into the process to produce some cool results.
I decided to create this handy diagram to illustrate my point and for you to share!
So voila, there you go! What steps do you follow to take photos? Post a link in the comments to your images/ flikr/ tumblr/ whatever so we can see your awesomeness! If you have any questions about how to get started or the settings in any of this just post a comment below and I’d love to help you out.
- Inspired, with jazz hands!
- Motivated, like riding a unicorn!
- Like I need a nap
- Indifferent, like butter vs margarine
- Less words, more pictures/ interpretive dance