Keeping a Photo Journal

A helpful way of organizing photos, in addition to your image catalogue, is to keep a photography journal. I find that it helps for identifying photo events: time and location. This can help for locating pictures elsewhere on the computer and any photographic details that may not be in the image data.

There are various ways of doing this. On a computer general journalling software is available that can be used as a place to enter a photo, comments and information. Another way for those that want a consistent manner of entering information is configure a database program to keep track of the details. The method I use is entering in a database program called Tap Forms, available for the Mac and iOS. In Tap Forms I have a form that provides a space for an image, date and a text entry field for comments. Syncing between devices means you can have the information wherever you are.

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Photo Collages

Looking for ways to present your images? If you have a series of pictures, slideshows are often created, but another method to consider is the photo collage. Collages are helpful to show images from a single event or location or that are made around a theme. There are a couple ways of doing this.

  1. Purchase a collage frame that allows you to place several photos within the frame.
  2. Use software to combine several photos within one image.

Collage Frame

Frames accept different sized prints, number of prints and arrangement of images. The collage shown below is one I created with a couple photos spread across a couple frames.

Create a Collage in Software

There are a variety of programs that allow you to create one image combined from several different sources. There are programs that are dedicated to this purpose and others that have it as a component, i.e. Photoshop Elements or GraphicConverter (version 10 and up). Here I show some steps for creating one in GraphicConverter.

 Procedure in GraphicConverter

  1. Select one or several photos from the browser, click the “Collage” button on the toolbar and they will appear in a dialog box.
  2. Add or remove images here and set options for the appearance. This includes margins and type of layout.
  3. Click “Done” to open the image in the image editor.

The collage and settings can be saved in a special format if you want to edit the settings or images later. Save from the “File” menu. Note as far as I can tell to open the file (.gccollagepkg extension) one needs to select the “Open with Finder” menu item.

Procedure in Photoshop Elements

Collages can be made in Photoshop Elements

  1. Select photos in the Project Bin in the editor.
  2. Select Photo Collage in the Create pane.
  3. Choose options. After the collage is presented there is an option to choose between Advanced and Basic modes for editing.
  4. Options are provided for further customizing, including backgrounds and layouts
Photo collage of images from Chilliwack Wetlands

Photoshop Elements photo collage

(30/05/2017 updated with Photoshop Elements info, tested with Photoshop Elements 10)

Quick Tip: Setting up external editors in GraphicConverter

GraphicConverter provides a great selection of features including browsing and image editing. For those occasions where you need to use another image editor it is easy to send the picture from the browser to open in your desired program. There are two different ways to do this.

  1. Right click and in the menu select “Open With”.
  2. Add the “Open With” button in the toolbar.

The external editors need to be set up initially to make them available. The editors are set in the preferences.

Opening from the menu

Preferences -> General -> External Editors

GraphicConverter Preferences

Add external editors in preferences

In the window add any photo editors you have available here using the + button. More than one program can be listed here. In the browser right click on the image, select “Open With” and the list of applications will be shown. It can also be accessed from the main menu Edit -> Edit With.

Opening from the toolbar

Preferences -> Browser -> Misc

GraphicConverter Preferences

Add preferred editor in preferences

For the option “Open With” Application set your preferred program.

Right click on the toolbar to customize it and add the “Open With” button to the toolbar.

Affinity Photo is the program chosen here, which means that clicking on the “Open With” button on the toolbar will open a selected image in Affinity Photo. The setting here will also affect when opening from the menu by placing the chosen program at the top of the list.

 

Apple Photos tip: Filter your pictures by camera model

With an individual picture the camera model is shown in Photos if you right click on a picture and select Get Info. There may be times when you want to sort your photos by the camera you took them with. For instance if you want to separate out the pictures taken from an iPhone or iPad from pictures taken from a DSLR.

Using Smart Albums it is possible to have Apple Photos display your photos based on the camera you took them with. If you have RAW images in the program then you can filter those out too.

In Photos select File -> New Smart Album… This will bring up a dialog box to set the options for the album.

  • For the album name type in an album name such as the name of your camera
  •  For the criteria select Camera Model is (your camera model) Photos may not get every one so try includes instead of isiPad mini smart album
  • To display images in RAW format add the following
  • Match all conditions
  • add a line (press the + button) and specify Filename ends with (add the filename extension for your RAW files)

RAW smart album

Affinity Photo for Mac with Windows Announced for the Future

Last summer a new advanced image editing program for the Mac was released called Affinity Photo. The program was the second graphics program released in the Affinity line after Affinity Designer, an illustration program. More programs for the Mac have been promised including Affinity Publisher, a page layout program.

Affinity Photo uses various “personas” to group different types of functions for image editing, working with RAW images and stitching together panoramas. Image editing allows for many different kinds of non-destructive adjustments. Extensions to allow some of the tools to work in Apple Photos are also available.

On March 15 an announcement was made indicating that Affinity software, including Affinity Photo, will come to Windows. Serif which is the company behind Affinity software previously made graphics software for the consumer market on Windows, but now is focusing on the Affinity software suite.

Affinity Photo from MacAffinity on Vimeo.

 

Yes, the new Apple Photos app can be used without iCloud

With the latest update of OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 Apple added the much anticipated Photos app. Photos which Apple developed to work more closely with the Photos app on iOS devices and in the process has meant the ceasing of development of iPhoto and Aperture.

While Apple advertises the iCloud Photo Library to sync photos it still remains possible to sync photos via iTunes for those that don’t wish to upload all of their photos. At the time 10.10.3 was released iTunes was also updated to support Photos. In order to change syncing from iPhoto to the Photos app, one needs to setup and resync the photos.

When opening the Photos for the first time it will ask about using the iCloud Photo Library at which time you can decline. To make any changes later go into the iCloud Preferences pane within Photos.

In iTunes after you have connected your iPhone or iPad select it and then find the tab for Photos in the Settings. Here there is an option with “Copy photos from Photos”  and then select which photos you want to transfer. You can transfer all photos or recent months or particular albums. When you apply the changes it will resync your photos.

My personal use of iPhoto at present (and now Photos) is primarily for syncing photos between the Mac and iOS devices. I also use it for the occasional project, such as gift cards. To avoid depending on iPhoto/Photos which hides the pictures in the Finder I import into a regular folder structure and use other software such as GraphicConverter to access the photos. Importing the photos can be done using Image Capture.

Some more tips for using the Photos app:

  • Select “Show Sidebar” from the “View” menu, in order to see albums listed.
  • Photos doesn’t appear to support Events, however, events in iPhoto are imported into albums.

OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 preview at WWDC

This morning Apple previewed the next versions of OS X: named Yosemite and iOS 8. Changes to OS X include a redesign of the user interface. While I think that they finally got things consistent throughout Mavericks and so not what I would say would make it a high priority, it will provide the option of a light or dark look to the UI. One of the major new features is Continuity that will allow one to move from working with one iOS device or Mac to another.

Some features for the camera and photos app will be access to all photos on all devices, via an enhanced iCloud service. One will be able to search photos and new editing controls within the photos app. Third party developers will also be able to extend with their own filters. In addition a Photos app that will be coming to the Mac next year.

The new updates will be available in Fall and look like they will have much to offer.

Photography Assignment Generator apps for photography ideas

Noel Chenier, photographer and instructor, has created apps that are worth checking out providing photography ideas and information. They also allow you to get information on various techniques and types of photography. Along with each type there are several photos and tips to go along with them. You can choose a particular category or have the app randomly select one. He has created apps for use with DSLR cameras as well as one that is designed for those taking pictures with an iPhone.

Below is a link to the free version of the Photography Assignment Generator app.

iTunes Link