Flipboard – Now has Google Reader!

Do you have an IPad??  Flipboard is one of my fav apps.  Flipboard now offers Google Reader!  Why is this great!  You can subscribe to your favorite blogs and now have them served up in the contents “Google Reader” section!  So if you would like…please subscribe to “Places 2 Explore” in your reader and you can get my feeds of every post on your Flipboard!   Thanks!  Technology is great!!

If you have note heard of it…here are some scoops…

Flipboard is a new, free application for the iPad which has one basic function: to take your social networking tools (read: Facebook and Twitter) and turn them into social “magazines.” As you can see from the screenshots — which are all culled from my Twitter stream — the application is very attractive. Read on for my full impressions.

After downloading Flipboard you enter your Twitter and Facebook details into separate streams, and those streams are then turned into “magazines,” — and they do, indeed look just like magazines. The attractive print-style layouts present you with pages of recents tweets, articles (pulled from the links in the tweets of those you follow), and the opportunity to respond from right within the app itself.

 

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Buffalo, New York – St. Stanislaus Church (HDR)

From the beautiful St. Stanislaus nestled in near downtown Buffalo, NY, the photo above was processed in HDR to show the amazing details of this church.  I was a bit afraid driving near this location to grab this shot.  The local area is a bit questionable.  I went in took my pics and got outta there fast!   LOL   The things we do for photos!!

Info from the web: St. Stanislaus is the oldest Polish parish in the diocese of Buffalo, and maybe the oldest in New York State (St. Stanislaus in NYC also founded the same year). The first pastor and founder was Rev. Jan Pitass, a Silesian who was the “irremovable pastor” for 39 years. Pitass, the pioneer priest, is also considered the founder of the Polish American community in Western New York. A national known figure, he built an enormous empire for the Poles on the east side of Buffalo. He established a parish school and brought the Felician sisters to Buffalo in 1882, he founded a parish cemetery in 1889, co founded a national fraternal organization, Unia Polska w Ameryce and was responsible for the first Polish Catholic Convention in America.

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 F/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 14.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/8
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro, Viveza

Austin, Texas – Austin Mural (HDR)

From downtown Austin, Texas…you can find this cool mural postcard located at Roadside Relics store.  It is on 1st and Annie, just a few minutes from downtown.   I was going for that 70’s look and thanks to onOne Software Perfect Photo Suite 5.5 (Photo Tools 2.6)….the preset gave the photo that vintage look!   With the 70’s look in mind I recall seeing a Photo Frame preset that had a Polaroid in it….one click and it adds your photo (just resize) and here is my fun shot…maybe a cool wallpaper for your IPad/Phone/Computer Screensaver?    Click my Facebook Page and you can download this for free!!  Enjoy!

Austin, Texas – Hamilton Pool (HDR)

It has been near freezing here in Texas for a few days in a row.  So I decided to head out to Hamilton Pool to catch a few icicles yesterday during lunch.    The waterfall is barely a waterfall, but as I walked up I saw the ice hanging from the cave wall above.  As it is winter and wide angle shot is nothing special….trees are bare, everything just looks brown.  Although the pool was super blue!!   I decided a close up shot would have to be the photo of choice.   It was warming up a bit and you can see some drips fro the icicles.  I thought I heard today that there was snow in 49 out of 50 states as of yesterday.   I assume the 50th without snow is Hawaii??  A fun winter indeed!   When will it be over??  Stay warm!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 70-200 f/2.8
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 200.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/8
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, onOne PhotoTools 2.6

King Kong Lives!

King Kong may live at the Denver Zoo!!  Luckily this BIG guy was on the other side of this thick glass.   I had never seen a gorilla up this close.  I am impressed!  Not sure how much he weighed, but I am guessing 500-700 lbs.  Pure muscle!!  He was checking out the people as much as the people were checking out him.   I can safely say that I will not ever go into the Congo looking to find gorilla’s in the mist!!    This photo is close enough for me!  LOL

REVIEW: onOne Software Perfect Photo Suite 5.5

Per my post yesterday of Hacklebarney – Infrared…I post processed the shot and used my new software onOne Software Perfect Photo Suite 5.5.   I have now had it for almost a week now and must say I love this software.  It opens so many more processing  options to me…which is a great thing to us photographers!!

I love photos that have that soft tone to them and thanks to Photo Tools 2.6…I processed the shot above using a preset!   What comes in the suite:

1) Perfect Resize 7: powered by Genuine Fractals—is the industry standard for image resizing. It is renowned across the photographic and printing industries for its ability to increase image size well over 1000% without the loss of sharpness or detail that you would normally expect. The patented, fractal based interpolation algorithms works like nothing else and the results speak for themselves. Perfect Resize works as a plug-in to Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture and as a standalone application.

2) Photo Tools 2.6: is the fastest and easiest way to add a professional look to your photos in Photoshop. You get hundreds of professional-grade photographic effects, all wrapped up in an easy-to-use Photoshop plug-in making this the fastest and easiest way to make your photos stand out from the crowd.  PhotoTools works only as a Photoshop plug-in.

3) Perfect Layers:  is the fast and easy way to bring a layered workflow to Photoshop Lightroom. With Perfect Layers you can create and edit multi-layered Photoshop files directly within Photoshop Lightroom or Apple Aperture. Use it to change skies, composite images and even create layouts. Perfect Layers works as a plug-in to Lightroom, Aperture or as a standalone application.

4) Photo Frame 4.6: Add the perfect finishing touch to your images with PhotoFrame 4.6. It features hundreds of design elements like film edges, borders, textures, backgrounds and adornments. It even has complete layouts where you just drop your image in and you are done. It’s the perfect way to add a realistic darkroom touch with a film edge or to create beautiful album or scrapbook pages. It includes all the tools you need to find the perfect design elements, add them to your image and control things like size, color and opacity. You can even stack multiple elements to create your own designs and save them as a preset you can use in a single-click inside of Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture.

5) Focal Point 2:  You control the focus with FocalPoint 2. Create realistic selective focus, depth-of-field and vignette effects that tell your viewers right where to look. With the intuitive FocusBug controller it is just like using a tilt-shift or selective focus lens right inside of Adobe Photoshop. Set your area of focus and then select a lens to simulate or create your own by controlling the amount and kind of blur, even in 3D. With the new FocusBrush tool you can paint sharpness or blur right where you want it. Finish things off with an elegant vignette. It has never been easier or faster to focus your viewer’s eye and minimize distractions. FocalPoint works as a plug-in to Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture and as a standalone application.

6) Mask Pro 6:  Removing backgrounds or making complex selections has never been easier. With Mask Pro 4 you can select the tough stuff that you never thought was possible like hair, smoke and glass and maintain all the detail and transparency. Mask Pro works based on color; You select colors to keep and colors to drop and then just paint away backgrounds to keep only what you are interested in. Mask Pro works only as a Photoshop plug-in.

7) Photo Tune 3:  optimizes the dynamic range, color and sharpness of your image without the need to know all the complicated controls in Photoshop like levels and curves. If you photograph people you can also tune your images by clicking on skin tones to guarantee accurate skin color. Pro users get access to all the controls for tone, color and sharpening. Better images are just a few clicks away with PhotoTune 3. PhotoTune works as a plug-in to Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture and as a standalone application.

Those are some super plug-ins!!!!  The whole package is available for $499.00 or you can buy them individually if you like.  Check the onOne website for prices.

Some of my thoughts….I use Photo Tools 2.6 and Photo Frame 4.6 the most.  Photo Tools has soooo many presets!   Check this link out for more info…Photo Tools 2.6.  There is this sharpening preset that is awesome!  It actually blows away my NIK Sharpener .  Great for portrait and landscape photographers!!!   The Photo Frame 4.6 is awesome!  I made this fun shot for a BDay party recently…just in one click!!

Such great stuff to work with here!   So enlarge images to any size, make professional photo effects, add layers, frames, instant bokeh, replace backgrounds and improve the color of your images!   You can do it all with the amazing suite!!  I will give it  a 10 out of 10!   Kudos onOne!!!   I love this software!!!!  My landscapes and portraits will now have some extra kick!!!!  Check it out….try the trial for free and see how you  like it!!

Long Valley, NJ – Hacklebarney Park (Infrared)

The art you can create with an Infrared Camera is endless!   I am always trying to find ways to produce different looking shots with my IR photos.  Thanks to some new unreal and awesome software I just downloaded…onOne Software’s Perfect PhotoSuite 5.5 …did I have a great weekend of processing photos!!  I will get a review complete later this week.  I want a little more time to play around.   The effect in the photo above was thanks to Photo Tools 2.6 (part of the suite).

The photo above is from Hacklebarney Park when I visited in October.  The leaves were in full fall bloom.  I posted an HDR shot of this a few months back. I like this IR version as well!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D70S (Converted to Infrared)
  • Infrared Conversion:  D70S modified by LifePixel
  • Lens: Nikon 50mm f/1.4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 50.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/60 sec
  • Aperture:  f/11
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, ,Silver Efex Pro, onOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

And for more fun…the Pixel Bender version!!   So cool!  Love this Pixel Bender!!!