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Thursday, April 24, 2014

#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures

G'day sweet friends! Welcome to my bloggy home, Natasha in Oz. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you have had a fabulous week.

As many of you know, I am rather fond of Instagram and I love sharing my photos with you each weekend at my Say G'Day Saturday Linky Party. I love it because it makes anything and everything look fabulous! I also love it because with just a few clicks, I can share your amazing image to Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks. So I thought that since I haven't done an iPhoneography post for a while I might share a few more of my favourite apps that I use when posting pictures and some of the tips that I've learned along the way.

#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures

Tips and Tricks for taking better smartphone pictures!

1. Don’t use the camera that comes with the Instagram app.
Instagram is a great tool for filtering photos to make them look fabulous but the camera isn't the best. Use your own iphone camera to take the picture then filter it via Instagram. Here's an example of what I mean.

This picture was taken with my iphone. The colours are fine and the resolution is good.
#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures

This was taken using the Instagram camera. It's flat colour wise and the clarity isn't as good as when using the in-built camera. 
#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures

This is what the picture looks like after going through the IG filter. The resolution is still good and the colours are just as vibrant. 
#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures

2. Slow & Steady! 
Just like you would when using your normal camera, it's important to remember the same thing when using your iphone and keep it as still as possible. Stop and pause for a minute before shooting. Make sure the angle is right, the lighting is good and that you are not shaking!

#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures

3. Be careful when zooming! 
Use your iPhone’s digital zoom only when absolutely necessary otherwise you will be compromising on resolution, clarity and sharpness. Take the picture as normal then resize and crop.

#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures

4. Always use the back lens to take photos. 
The front-facing lens on your phone, which is the one you use to take selfies, has a lower resolution so the photos are not as clear. I love this photo but as you can see it's grainy and looks unfocused.

#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures

5. Let there be Light!
There are obvious rules when it comes to lighting for all types of photography so it's really important to follow the rules of lighting and composition in order to optimize your picture quality. It’s always best to use natural light so if you need to move things around to get the best light then so be it. And, if you are using natural light, turn off any artificial lights and whatever you do, never ever use the flash! Also, try to avoid taking pictures when sun is shining directly into your room as it keeps certain areas from being brighter than other areas.

#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures

There are also many apps out there to make your pictures even more amazing than they already are! These tools will help you make easy adjustments to your photos, effects to enhance them and text to help you watermark them or embellish them. I've actually found that I don't even use the Instagram filters when I use some of these apps!

I've posted about some of my favourite free apps already and today I am sharing some more FREE iPhone apps that will make your photos pop!

#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures

VSCO Cam is an easy to use iPhone camera app with minimal processing options. VSCO co-founder Joel Flory said that VSCO Cam was for editing, and Instagram was for connecting with others around photos. The latest updates now make it even easier to share your pictures to all your favorite social media outlets. Its camera mode allows for manual control, from focus lock to a two-finger tap that allows you to adjust your exposure and focus separately.

HDR photography is a technique used to achieve a balanced exposure in high contrast scenes. With the free app Pro HDR, you determine what areas of the scene you would like to meter as the bright and dark areas. Pro HDR captures an image exposed for the highlights and another exposed for the shadows. It then aligns and merges the images, giving you a gorgeous HDR image at native resolution (up to 12 megapixels).

iPhone Screenshot 2iPhone Screenshot 3, Pro HDR.

Snapseed allows you to enhance, transform, and share photos with ease and now it has built-in Google+ capabilities to make it so simple to share your images with your bloggy friends! It is designed for both iPhone and iPad with a layout that is very easy to use and understand.

#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures

Instaframe is free and it helps you combine your photos creatively with text to make great-looking collages that you can share with your friends on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr.

#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures, Natasha in Oz

Bookemon isn't an app that will help you take better pictures but it will help you to make your own e-books, quickly and easily. You can make and publish books to preserve memories, photos, drawings, family recipes, and stories to share with family, friends, and future generations.

I recently learned a little more about this app and 'published' my recipe for Jam and Coconut Slice as an e-book recently. If you would like to see my e-book just click the picture below.

#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures, Recipe e-book

These next few apps are not free but they are worth buying if you take a lot of photos with your iPhone.

Camera+ can help you shoot better images than with your iPhone camera.  This quick 2 minute video shows you how easy it is to use this app. You might never use your P & S camera again once you see how easy it is to edit your photos with Camera+!

A Beautiful Mess
A Beautiful Mess allows you to add new life to your favorite photos with custom filters, fun fonts, and hand-drawn doodles by Elsie and Emma, creators of the lifestyle blog, “A Beautiful Mess”. You can share your creations via email or by publishing them directly to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures, Natasha in Oz, Mooloolaba

Well, I hope you enjoyed this post and that you will experiment a bit more with taking photos with your iphone. Who knows, you might end up being like me and ditch your hand-held camera for blogging forever!

If you liked this post please feel free to share!

#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures, Natasha in Oz

I will be sharing this post at a few Linky Parties.

If you haven't heard my Tuesday Tune this week please check it out. I've featured Elizaveta, the most amazing Russian-American pianist, singer/songwriter and opera singer who sounds like Enya, Loreena McKennitt, Bjork, Tori Amos and even Lana Del Ray all in one! Just click her gorgeous picture to have a listen!
taken by Koury Angelo

Thanks for stopping by and please be sure to come back on Saturday for another fabulous

#iPhoneography ~ Tips and Tricks for taking Better Smartphone Pictures

Best wishes and happy picture taking!

Natasha In Oz 

Please join me each weekend for the Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!
You can also visit me at PINTERESTTWITTER, GOOGLE+

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday Tune Link Up ~ The Musical Alchemy of Elizaveta.

Welcome to Natasha in Oz and welcome to this week's Tuesday Tune, my weekly post where I share my favourite song of the week.

Have you heard Elizaveta's beautiful voice?

taken by Koury Angelo

Elizaveta Igorevna Khripounova, known as Elizaveta is a Russian-American pianist, singer/songwriter and opera singer.

Elizaveta Dreamer Video Shoot
Born in New York City, Elizaveta spent eight mere months there, before her interpreter parents moved back to Moscow, Russia. It is in Russia where she learned the piano and commenced writing poems and songs at the age of five. As she grew older, her tastes spanned everything from Russian composers, Bach & Vivaldi to Nina Simone, Queen and DJ Shadow. She left Russia as a teen for Europeand pursued her music studies at the Prague Academy of Music where she discovered she could sing opera.

I felt like feathers for tonight's show;)

Elizaveta considers herself a musical alchemist.

“Alchemy and music are similar in nature,” she explains. “You throw seemingly disparate elements in a pot. If you do it correctly, they’re transmuted and something else takes form. I take opera, multiple voices, electronic beats, piano hooks, add a pop melody and create a song. Shake it all well, make sure it’s emotional and really means something, and you get something special”.

That would be why when I listen to her I also hear Enya, Loreena McKennitt, Bjork, Tori Amos and even Lana Del Ray, especially in the song 'Hero' from her album Beatrix Runs. Her style is modern opera-meets-pop and her music has been described as “…a perfectly sweet combination of pop, electronic, and opera that features her dreamy vocals and 19th-meets-21st century mentality” (Nylon)

designed by i102fly, photo by Lauren Dukoff

I particularly love her song 'Dreamer' and have chosen it as this week's Tuesday Tune because I also love the video for it as well. 

I hope you enjoy listening to Elizaveta as well!

Elizaveta Dreamer Video

What did you think of today's Tuesday Tune? If you have shared a song or anything musical on your blog lately please share your post in the link up tool below. I'm always wanting to hear new tunes and find new music to listen to!

Here's a few of the things you can link up:
Blog posts about your favourite music
Music you have shared on Facebook
Music you have shared on This is my Jam
Music from your own Soundcloud or Spotify playlists
Blog posts you have written about music


Thanks so much for visiting today. If you haven't already linked up to this week's Say G'day Linky party please just click the button below to join in the fun!

Best wishes for a fabulous week,

Natasha In Oz 

Please join me each weekend for the Say G'day Saturday Linky Party!
You can also visit me at PINTERESTTWITTER, GOOGLE+

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Say G'Day Saturday Linky Party (83) - Link up your recipes, crafts, tutorials, DIY, tips & tricks!

G'Day from Oz and welcome to this week's Say G'day Saturday Linky Party! I hope you are enjoying a relaxing and happy weekend and if you celebrate Easter I hope you are enjoying one (or two!) hot cross buns! I appreciate you taking time to join in with this weekly exchange of ideas, vision, creativity and knowledge.

I've just returned from a relaxing beach break and am trying to forget that the school holidays finish in only a couple of days! I love having the kids at home with me and always feel sad when I know that they are going back to school for another term.

We had some fun times during the Autumn break. Here's a glimpse of what we got up to!

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