Read it later is great iPhone app/Firefox plugin combo

read it later firefox pluginI came across what I¬† think is a great concept. Read it later works a little like temporary bookmarking. The idea is that you will have articles that you come across that you want to look at again, but don’t want to hold in your bookmarks to come back to again and again. These “read once” items can get lost in your book marks too.

Read it later comes as a plug-in for Firefox,which I am using, and an iPhone app. They indicate on the website they have options for IE, Safari, and other mobile devices too. The Firefox plug-in works great. There is a small button to the right of the RSS and Favorite icons up in the search bar that you can use to add pages to your list. There is another small arrow to the right of the search entry that allows you to access your items. The plug-in displays an icon, title, and short description so it is easy to see what you have saved.

A great feature is that you can create an online account. With this account, your items are synced immediately across whatever browsers you have the plug-in installed in. This is great to allow you to “send something home” for example to read later.

readItLaterThe iPhone app is needed because you can’t add a plug-in to mobile safari. You can add a javascript based Bookmarklet, which allows you to mark items you find in safari to be added to your read later list. You need the app to took at and read the items you have marked and would like to read on your iPhone. The app lets you read and manage all the items you have saved to your list. The free version seems to do what I want: let me read the items, and rotate the screen. You will have to check their site for what extra the paid version does.

What I like is the way to get items to my desktop. When I follow along in twitter, I keep finding people linking to sites that have flash, that I can’t see, or a resource I want to download on my desktop. What I used to do, is copy a url and then email it to myself. Painful. This is much better. On a page in Safari, I press the bookmarks icon, then the Read it later bookmarklet. The item is saved. You can even edit the title and give it keywords if you wanted.¬† Then when I get home, I have simple access to these items in Firefox via the plug-in.

Press the arrow on the right of the tool bar, and there’s the list. Select, read, then mark the item as read, and it dissapears off the list. It really only goes the the archive, and you can retrieve items from the archive if you want to. Pretty slick.

I am using the app as a web reading to-do list, and a way to get content from my iPhone to my desktop. Works great for me. Check out Read it later.

Joe McNally Copied Me

I have been really slow at getting over to look at Joe McNally’s web site recently. Just checked today. Just noticed that on Dec 2 he posted about a double exposure image here. I had posted about a double exposure image on Dec 1 here!

Only thing is, he shot his months before I even new that I could shoot a double exposure shot in my camera. So, not copying at all, but a funny co-incidence that we posted within a day. But I did do the same concept, so I am pleased that I was on to something. I did the same lighting, but not rotated quite so far, and with only one person. Joe did it with two. (He likes to one up you) The idea of using two different lights, one for each person was the same. The idea of the focus cursors was the same too, but more clear from Joe’s description I think.

The other neat thing from Joe’s shoot is the portable black background material. I figured it was shot in a studio, like mine, but then I saw the setup shot. I like it. I think I am going to check out getting, or making a frame like that. I have a couple of sheets I use for backgrounds, but can’t hang them on location very well. This would work well.

Drawing the Eye

Forest Path

Yes, Ok, you caught me. I just posted this the other day. But it fit with the topic well. Kinda wish I had kept it until today.

Anyway, David duChemin has a great e-Book out called Drawing the Eye. I am a little slow on this one. So slow in fact, that David has just come out with another called Chasing the Look. I tried to get this out before he put out another, but the guy has gone e-book crazy. He can write these faster than I can read them.

For the second “anyway” of the post… Drawing the Eye is a great read. This stands on its own just fine, or it could have been a fine chapter in a larger book. This book is about visual mass, and light, and what draws the eye. The really great thing about this little document, is that it doesn’t stop at telling you what draws your eye, he gives examples, and even step by step instructions in Lightroom on how you can do the same.

One thing I found really interesting about this, is that this concept of drawing the eye was something I was just learning about at the DLWS I was just at. In fact, I tried to do just that with the picture above. I lightened the road, darkened the edges, and lightened a spot down the road where the road winds a bit, as the lightest part. Did it work? Were you drawn up the road to that spot?

Head back to pixelated image and grab the e-book there, David does a much better job at explaining how this all works. Then give it a try on  some of your images. Tell me if it worked for you. This e-book is easily worth the $5.

Big Fat Business Card Giveaway Thingy

Moo Business Card

David duChemin, over at pixelatedimage is running one heck of a contest right now. He is calling it “My BIG FAT Business Card Giveaway Thing”. What you need to do to enter is to put one of your business cards up on flickr. See his site (link above) for the prizes and the contest rules.

The image above is the business card that I entered. I grabed it from the moo site where I ordered the images, and the colors look a little off. The actual cards look much better.

I had several cards made. This is a grab of all the ones that I made.

My Moo Cards

I made a bunch of different images for fun. Some kinda silly, like the Lego, but it is one of the most popular. This way I hand people the stack and say “pick one”. That way I get to show off my work, not just hand out a card.


Sunrise Boat

Another Friday, another week in a cube. I was spoiled by my trip last week. Didn’t really want to be in my cube this week, especially working extra hours…

Don’t forget to add a comment to this blog post to win “the War of Art”.

Into e-books? If you are not, you will be after checking out the recent stuff by David duChemin. I have the first two, but not  yet the third, but it sounds like it is worth the $5.

Have a happy Halloween to those that wish to be wished a happy Halloween.

The Best Camera

iphoneThe Best Camera is the one you have with you. This is something that Chase Jarvis has been saying for awhile now, as he has been churning out hundreds of pictures from his iPhone. Some of them have pretty cool effects applied to them, and I have often wondered how¬† he got those done “in camera”. I figured he must be bringing them into Photoshop or something like that.

Nope. Maybe at first, but not any more. He has a new site¬†for sharing, and a new¬†application for the iPhone out. Here is the post where he shared it a few days ago. I just got to installing it yesterday. The picture at the top was my first shot. Goes to prove that a few new filters still doesn’t equal an unsuck filter for a crappy photograph. It kinda looks like a mouse on a golf course green, covering a¬†¬†hole…. right…. sort of? It’s actually a mouse pad. I wasn’t very creative last night.

The app is pretty cool. It has several filters that work well, and the ability to share right from that app with flickr, facebook, or the bestcamera site. I wish it had a sharpen filter, and a way to trigger the picture when the device is steadier. I find most of my images on this phone blurry. But, it is worth checking out.

Catching up on video.

St. Anthony MainThis image has nothing to do with video, just wanted to put up a picture for the day. I took this in the excel park down by the falls, looking back at St. Anthony Main. Infact, the biggest blob of color is the sign that says St. Anthony Main. I was there without a tripod, and just couldn’t get a steady shot. So, I decided to go for more blur. I kinda like it.

So over the weekend, I caught up on some of the video podcasts that I had stacking up. First up was Photoshop User TV. They are actually on a bit of a break, showing some old content while they rebuild the set and show.

I also looked at some image reviews by David duChemin on the Within the Frame podcast. I am amazed that the number of things that he can say both good or bad about a photograph.

I also caught up on the amazing footage that Chase Jarvis has up on his bog about the commercial shoot he was doing for Lexar in New Zeland. Pretty amazing. It was a cool idea he had to document the whole shoot for people to see what it looked like. Nice that Lexar was willing to let him do it.

Last week, Scott Kelby had a guest blog by Aaron Greene where he talked about a documentary he shot mostly with the D90. Pretty cool. I have one of those! Only thing is, I don’t like the style of video. Where you see the focus pulls, and lots of motion from lack of tripod or stabilization. He has some great ideas, but it doesn’t fit my personal style.

Anyway, try to check out some of these video segments. Cool stuff.

Consequences of Creativity

Chase Jarvis CURRENT: The Consequences of Creativity from Chase Jarvis on Vimeo.

This is from a little while back, on July 1 Chase Jarvis posted this video on his blog. It was a talk he gave in denver to some creative types. In it he really pushes how we are living in a time where anyone can publish their own work. How anyone can and should push their own creativity in ways that energize them, and then publish it. He talks about doing whatever it takes to sustain your self, whether that is some form of photography, or waiting tables, and once you have that, then get creative on your own time.

It is a great watch, at a little over an hour, it isn’t something you can slip in between something else, but I watched it in three different sessions. It does make you think, just what is it that brings out the creative in you?

What I learned from Zack Arias Critiques

Zack AriasI really had no idea who Zack was until Feb 18 2009. That was guest blog Wednesday on Scott Kelby’s site, and Zack posted the first video guest blog. It was truly amazing and inspiring. This is another piece of his work that really must be watched. The picture on the left, of Zack, ¬†is from that post.

Anyway, after that I started going to his blog. Not long after the guest blog post, he started doing critiques of other photographers web sites, and their work. (People volunteer to be critiqued). I have now watched 10 video critique posts by Zack Arias and Meg (his wife). There is so much content in there to talk about, and I have learned a lot. Some of which I knew, some of which reinforced things I was thinking about, and other stuff that that I am thankful to have learned now. There would be too much content to try to cover it indepth in one post, so I thought I would really just summarize in point form what I got out of his videos.

While I was watching these critiques, I took brief notes. This is really a summary of the notes I took. I am not getting into discussion of these points too much here, but there is a ton of material for further discussion. The material¬†is also collected from across the 10 posts, not in a order by post. I would encourage you to start from post one and just start viewing. Some of these things he hits on many many times, and it becomes more obvious when you take notes because you see the patterns you have written down.¬† There tends to be more “Don’ts” in the photo galleries section¬†and more¬†”Do’s“¬† in the sections on¬†his thoughts on what kinds pictures to take.

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