I posted earlier today about the arrival of my Radian. Finally after a long day I got the chance to dig into the box. I received the following:
micro-USB cable for charging
Cable for Canon (N3)
the t-shirt which I can only hope to wear someday
A nice mesh bag to carry the unit and accessories
tiny bubble level
some rubber feet
My first impressions of the unit is that it seems to be solidly put together. The base feels solid, and is made of metal. The top portion is made of a plastic type material but feels good. it’s smooth, and doesn’t seem to flex under the gentle pressure of handling like with some products.. In other words – it doesn’t feel cheap. I followed the instructions, and used the micro-USB cable to charge off my computer, and am about to tear into the manual that came with the unit. I also got a Radian sticker with the unit, and a nice card from the Radian Team thanking the supporters for backing the product.
I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the Radian app in the App Store so I can begin to play. I checked on the manufacturer’s website, and their support section states the iOS app is awaiting approval. The Android app is already available.. The iOS app is now available. It must have went live as soon as I wrote this post.
Also see my unboxing post with info about the iOS control app to go with the unit.
I am very excited about the arrival of my new Radian time lapse device. For those of you that haven’t seen it you can check out their page on Kickstarter. I helped to fund them last August and they were very diligent about keeping us updated about what was going on. Unfortunately they had some production delays but I would rather have a viable product than something not ready for release. I’ll be posting later this week some photos of what I received, and maybe even a sample time lapse video. My first task will be to look into some time lapse software I can use in concert with Lightroom and photoshop. I am extremely excited!
UPDATE – Here we are a week in to the rollout. I have yet to get the update. I check every morning, and the updater tells me I am already up to date even though I am not running ICS now. I was curious if anyone has gotten the update yet? Have you had issues? I saw some forum posts around the web referring to issues many had after upgrading to ICS.
I was just curious if any Sprint Samsung Galaxy Epic 4G Touch users have seen the Ice Cream Sandwich update yet? It was mentioned in the Sprint community forums, but I have yet to see it. When I try to do an on demand update I am told that I am currently at the latest rev which is Android 2.3.6. This was supposed to start on 7/12/2012. Still waiting!!! I am presuming that all of the new UI features will still be hidden by the Samsung Touchwiz UI? Beyond that Android 4.1 Jellybean is now out so once again Sprint users are still behind.
Feel free to comment below about whether you got the update, and if you like it.
I had a few complaints upon Creative Cloud being released. In hindsight they weren’t such a big deal.
Adobe clarified the point that Lightroom 4 will be included, and available later in 2012. That’s works fine for me. I already upgraded to v4 as a standalone product a few months back. It’s nice to know going forward I’ll have access to future versions as a Cloud subscriber. Win.
I bristled initially at the touch apps not all being included. I understand that Adobe doesn’t have control the app markets. They have clarified as well on their site how it works – you buy 3 touch apps, and get access to a free month of Cloud access subject to conditions of eligibility. I had purchased Proto last fall for Android to tinker around with wire-framing some web designs I had been working on. Fast forward to today, and I find that I am not using it much primarily because I now use an iPad most of the time when away from the desktop. it would be nice to automatically have Proto on the iPad too.
I was also interested in using Photoshop Touch, but read luke warm reviews, and the fact that the files have a resolution limit (2048×2048) which as a photographer doesn’t work for me. So for now I will keep my Photoshop love on the desktop for now.
Currently the other touch apps are such that I wouldn’t use them in my web or photographic workflow. Until I do I’m not purchasing any of them just for a free month.
I have found the access to all of the Creative Suite apps to be very nice. I can tinker around in apps that I would not have normally had access. I am a prior Web Premium CS user which precluded me from using the video apps. I’m no videographer, but have always wanted to tinker around with Premier, and After Effects for photo slideshows just to see what I could do. Now I can without spending a lot of money.
I am interested in checking out Muse to see if it will help me with rapid prototyping of web designs – also included.
I like to use jQuery in my web design for animations, and interactive elements. Now I have access to Edge which looks like a very nice animation tool using HTML 5. Pretty cool. I plan to see if it is for me. I haven’t used it yet so I am not sure if it uses jQuery or not. Dreamweaver has jQuery integration.
All things considered it is a pretty good deal which I have stated before. Especially if you are an existing CS user since you get a special break on the price for the first year. It’s essentially a no brainer. You can access the cloud for a month, and see if you like it. if not then you can just purchase the upgrade to CS6, and then wait for the point releases going forward to determine whether you need the new features. Subscription based software is where it’s all going. You may as well jump in now.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, and would like to tweak your photos easily then check out Snapseed. It is the free app this week in Apple’s App Store. I have it on the iPad, and iMac, and love it. It’s free for the iPhone, and iPad this week, but usually costs $5.
For those of you familiar with Nik Software’s other desktop photo editing tools you will see the similarities in Snapseed. The desktop filters for Lightroom, and Photoshop allow you to select points in the image to base your edits on using slider controls to change the image. Snapseed is very similar although it streamlines the process a bit for the iOS version, and of course no other software is required as Snapseed is a stand alone app.
I wrote about it in a previous post if you would like to get an idea of the dramatic changes you can make to your photos.
I happened to come across some free apps yesterday in the Apple app store for the iPad that have stunning photos on several topics. I downloaded several of the free apps. I haven’t gone through all of them yet, but figured I would grab them all since they were free. They also have some functionality where you can save trip/travel ideas like Trey Ratcliff’s Stuck On Earth app (which is worth a look too). Check them out. These are the apps I nabbed:
National Parks – gorgeous images of our National Parks
North Korea – an interesting collection of images from North Korea
France – some gorgeous shots of France with many aerial shots.
I’ve barely had a chance to get acquainted with Instagram now that I have it on my Android phone, and now Facebook has acquired them. I read over the past few days the negative response to the acquisition. Now long time Instagram users are pondering whether Facebook will totally foul up the popular social photo sharing service. At least this takes the heat off new Android users of the service that have been maligned because they use Android phones rather then iPhones.
How do you feel about Facebook taking the service over?
Do you fault the Instagram crew for selling for $1 billion?
Are you likely to abandon Instagram now that Facebook owns them? I am guessing that most will continue to use the service. Every day I read at least five status updates about how much Facebook stinks yet nobody seems to leave. I know a few people who actually did try to leave Facebook for Google Plus, but returned because nobody is using Google Plus. Despite the acquisition I suspect Instagram will still be heavily used. For the better remains to be seen.
What will be interesting to watch is if rivals to Instagram will see an uptick in usage.
These are cross platform so you can get them on iOS or Android, I suspect they have the greatest chance in seeing an increase in usage since iPhone users may ditch Instagram, and want something new.
EyeEm – touted by Leo Laporte on a recent iPad Today webcast as having a nice UI
I posted last week about Instagram finally being released for Android. Since then I have read reports of disgust, and outrage from its iOS users. I am just curious why?
I can recall in the early 1990’s when Metallica, and Guns and Roses broke through to become mainstream bands. I was very disappointed. There seemed to be a loss of the cool factor now that everybody was listening. I am just wondering if the complaints that iOS users have is similar in nature? Is it because it isn’t exclusive to the iPhone any longer, and that Android has crashed the party?
I read that Steve Jobs was angry about Google releasing the Android OS. Another thought that occurred to me was if some of the negative reactions towards Instagram on Android stemmed from a sense of solidarity with Steve Job wanting to crush Android?
You can’t blame them for making an Android version. There are more Android phones in use than iPhones. It makes sense because Android is a huge market even if it is fragmented by multiple handset manufacturers. I know from first hand experience that Android cameras are not the best, but they are getting better. Having used high end Android mobile devices I can tell you that they aren’t bad. Just different. The competition is good for Apple. Just as Microsoft pushed Apple to continually improve on their products, the Android market drives Apple to press on, and innovate. I have always heard that the best camera you can use is the one you have with you. If for some that happens to be an Android device then so be it. Let the Android users sit at the table. I think they may surprise you.
A few years back I visited Monticello in Virginia. It was the site of Thomas Jefferson’s estate, and is quite an impressive architectural feat. Jefferson also was an avid gardener importing a variety of plants from all over the world to see if he could cultivate them here in North America. There were amazing vistas in every direction when looking from his gardens. A feast for the camera. Unfortunately the images I took didn’t come out as I expected. Until now.
I had been curious about using Snapseed. I had read so many glowing reviews of Snapseed that I was very excited when I was able to finally get it for my first iPad. It was one of the first apps I downloaded from the App Store. After tinkering with a couple of photos I had to have it for the Mac as well. It has a simple interface, and is very easy to use. Within minutes of opening an image you can transform a blah photograph into something very interesting.
The above image shows the before, and after effects of using Snapseed on my iPad. The image was originally shot on a very hot, hazy summer afternoon that hid a lot of detail in the sky, and caused the foreground to be underexposed. I was shooting a lot of HDR at the time, and performed a 3 bracket sequence that never quite materialized the way I thought it would. Even if you carefully expose you sometimes cannot get anything decent out of the HDR process. I was pressed for time this day so I used the spray and pray method of shooting As a result the images I shot that day stayed dormant in my Lightroom catalog until now.
I exported the original images to my iPad, and began tinkering around in Snapseed. You can see the results on the right side of the image above. It’s not technically perfect, and could use some more refinement. However you can see how a tool with as simple an interface as Snapseed can set you off in a creative direction you may not have discovered previously. I have experienced this several times over the past decade as I have gotten better at editing, and as the digital darkroom tools have evolved. Sometimes it’s worth going back to revisit images you thought were long archived.
I am particularly impressed at how well Snapseed handles halos and artifacts of sharpening, and adding structure. Even zoomed in to this medium quality jpg I don’t see much in the way of artifacting. I am also impressed at how little noise was introduced by lightening the foreground. If I had done this as part of my HDR process I would have probably seen chromatic aberration (fringing) of which I see none. So Snapseed can offer a great way to achieve an HDR look from a single exposure. See below.
I look forward to using Snapseed to quickly come up with ideas for an image. I’ll probably continue to do most of my editing on the desktop in Photoshop and Lightroom, but will defer to Snapseed occasionally if I think it will help my workflow for a particular image. Something like this could even be used as a layer, and combined using blending modes, and opacities to come up with something in Photoshop that is novel. As the tools evolve, and expand so do the limits of our creativity.
My Photoshop and Lightroom Experiences…and occasionally other stuff.