Posts Tagged ‘Photosynth’

My Top 30 iPhone Photos — A One-Year Retrospective

May 26, 2011

I bought a used Apple iPhone 3G a little more than a year ago; I upgraded to a used iPhone 3GS a few months later. iPhoneography rekindled my interest in photography. I have taken more than 1,500 photos using my iPhones during the past year — that’s more photos than I’ve taken in years! Inspired by a recent Tweet from professional photographer Rick Sammon

Selecting your best photos can be challenging — as well as quite rewarding.

… I started a project to select my best iPhone photos from the past year. Along the way I learned about some of the advanced features of Aperture, a professional-grade tool for organizing and adjusting photos. Embedded in the EXIF/IPTC info of every photo is a title, caption, one or more keywords, copyright notice, and a geotag.

Conventional wisdom says I should rank the photos and lead with my best shot; I chose to present the photos in chronological order instead. In this order, the gallery reflects the passing of time as well as the persistence of my interests. Here they are — 25 of my favorite photos, and five of my favorite panorama photos. All photos were taken using the iPhone’s built in camera; photo 16 of 25 was post-processed using Diptic app.


Panorama photos 1 through 3 (shown below) were created using AutoStitch Panorama app; panorama photos 4 and 5 were created using Photosynth app (panorama photo 4 was adjusted and cropped using Aperture).


Tech Tips: You may be wondering, “Why did you buy used iPhones?” If you have a used smartphone, then you do not have to commit to a long-term contract with a wireless phone service provider. That’s a gold nugget of wisdom I’m happy to share! “FxIF” is an add-on for the Mozilla Firefox Web browser that allows the user to view EXIF info — including GPS info, when available — by simply right-clicking on a Web page photo and selecting “EXIF Data.”

Northern Virginia Photographic Society field trip to Huntley Meadows Park

May 7, 2011

Related Resources:

Field test: Photosynth app

May 6, 2011


I used Photosynth app (free) to shoot the preceding geotagged panorama photo of Milway Meadows, a residential community in Fairfax County, Virginia. An online interactive version of the photo simulates virtual reality, enabling you to see what I saw (Silverlight required, the Microsoft equivalent of Adobe Flash). That is, assuming you aren’t using the Safari Mobile Web browser on an Apple iOS mobile device. Seriously, why would Microsoft choose to use a platform like Silverlight that excludes a significant percentage of the market for mobile devices from using their product? That’s a business model that makes NO sense!

There is a free app called iSynth that is billed as a Photosynth viewer. I downloaded, installed, and tested iSynth on my Apple iPhone 3GS and iPad 1. A simple search caused iSynth to crash on BOTH devices, and now it crashes every time I try to launch the app. Based upon my experience, I think it’s fair to say iSynth is not ready for prime time.

Photosynth is an interesting solution to the problem of how to stitch together a series of overlapping photos to create a panorama photo. As you turn around an axis of rotation, Photosynth displays a green frame that indicates the camera is correctly positioned to take the next frame; then Photosynth shoots the photo automatically. Sounds simple, right? If only the process worked better! You don’t have to look very closely at the panorama photo (shown above) to see the seams between frames; in some places, the frames are obviously misaligned. Contrast the Photosynth app panorama photo with the same scene shot using AutoStitch Panorama app, and I think you’ll agree with me that AutoStitch is still King of the Hill in the field of photo-stitching panorama apps.

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