How to take better HDR photos with Hydra for iPhone

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Ever take a photo where the foreground is took dark or the background is way too bright? Hydra solves that problem for you.
Ever take a photo where the foreground is took dark or the background is way too bright? Hydra solves that problem for you.
Photo: Ally Kazmucha/The App Factor

How to create perfectly sized iPhone and iPad wallpapers

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Tired of parallax or landscape photos ruining your wallpaper? Pixelmator can help!
Tired of parallax or landscape photos ruining your wallpaper? Pixelmator can help!
Photo: Ally Kazmucha/The App Factor

Get your digital memories off the computer and onto the page

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Photo books created with apps Mosaic, Cleen and ZOOMBOOK.
Photo books created with apps Mosaic, Cleen and ZOOMBOOK.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

There is a slight soapbox on which I stand sometimes when I write about photography. Nothing too high-minded, but when the topic allows, I will gently remind people to print out their pictures from their iPhones and computers.

Today, I stand before you, not on a soapbox, but on a short stack of photo books. The books are designed with iPad apps from pictures I made on my smartphone. I chose three companies I liked for ease of design and the final product.

All three – Cleen, Mosaic and ZOOMBOOK – have apps that allow you to quickly design a 20-page book from your mobile device and have a tracking number for shipping all within 10 minutes. In four to 10 business days, a hardcover book arrives in the mail that you can neatly shelve.

Apple kills development of Aperture and iPhoto for OS X

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Apple gave developers an early preview of its upcoming Photos app this month at WWDC, but what it didn’t tell anyone is that new app for iOS will also overthrow Apple’s iPhoto and Aperture apps for OS X.

A new Photos app for OS X isn’t expected to land on Macs until next year, but in a statement released to The Loop, Apple says it has already stopped development on its professional photography application, Aperture.

Here’s the official statement:

Adobe Creative Cloud just got truly awesome (with 1 tiny problem)

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I was all set to pull the trigger on Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan, which gives subscribers access to Lightroom and Photoshop as well as Lightroom Mobile for the iPad and iPhone.

After all, it’s just $10 per month, right? (or €12.29/$16.71 in the EU). That’s about what I spend on Rdio, or Dropbox, and I get Lightroom on my frickin’ camera.

But I decided to hold off and see if one huge doozy of a design problem is fixed before my 30-day trial of the service finishes up. This will also give me time to check out the amazing new Adobe Photoshop Mix, which is what Photoshop for iPad should have been all along.

And the little problem that could be a deal-breaker? You’re gonna love it…

These 3 handy apps put a photo scanner in your pocket

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Scanning apps will let you turn a pile of photos into a useful digital archive. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac
Scanning apps will let you turn a pile of photos into a useful digital archive. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

The 1940s hockey photos we found among my aunt’s possessions are a mystery she took to her grave. But with a little internet research and some sharing through social media, I figured I could put names to the players’ faces and stories that would bring the photos to life.

I needed a photo scanner. My smartphone and the right app puts one in my pocket.

For the hockey project, I tested three photo-scanning apps, each of which allowed me to digitize and share old photos without the need for computer equipment, Photoshop or the expense of a scanning service.

HydraPro Easy HDR Pictures [Deals]

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One of the coolest parts of digital photography is being able to use software to make your photos better than you could ever had imagined. I’m not just talking about fixing exposures or adding special effects—both of those things are very cool—I’m talking about things like HDR photography.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is entails taking several images (one correctly exposed and several over and under exposed) and combining them into a new image that make the picture much more like how we see the world. And how is this done? Software. Software like Hydra Pro

Here’s How To Snap Award-Winning Pics With Your iPhone [Interview]

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2008 IPPA winner Michael Hopkins.
2008 IPPA winner Michael Hopkins.

In the five years since the iPhone Photography Awards (IPPA) launched, the iPhone camera has gone from disappointing to out-snapping Nikon as the most popular camera on Flickr.

As the March 31 deadline for this year’s award approaches, IPPA founder Kenan Aktulun talks to Cult of Mac about his favorite pics, the distinction between good and great iPhone photos and why apps may not help you create them.