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    Fotopedia Heritage – iPhone App of the Week

    January 10th, 2012

    Fotopedia Heritage – iPhone App of the Week

    This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive.

    This week’s App is Fotopedia Heritage.

    This app was recently selected as one of the top 50 apps of all time in Apple’s new Hall of Fame. With 25,000 awe-inspiring photos, this much loved app has been called the world’s largest photo book, an inspiring travel guide, an entertaining teaching device and even a bed-time relaxation tool.

    Created in cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Fotopedia Heritage provides a virtual passport to the hundreds of sites that constitute the world’s collective cultural and natural human legacy.

    With our thanks to the Fotopedia community of photographers who created or contributed so many of the world’s most beautiful and representative photos, while curators carefully sorted and selected them to provide a stunning experience.

    Free

    I quite like photo browsing apps, the Guardian Eyewitness app for example is really nice.

    What Fotopedia Heritage does is curate a series of photographs from various soures (including Flickr) and presents them as online slideshows.

    What makes this useful for learners over just searching sites aimlessly is the curation of the images themselves. Imagine a Travel & Tourism student doing a project on Venice, well here are a series of images that show the beauty of Venice.

    One of the issues I do have with the app is the navigation, it wasn’t entirely clear how to navigate the collections through the menu at the bottom of the screen. This is an ongoing issue I find with many iOS apps that there is an inconsistent approach to button and menu placement. It means that you need to learn how to use each app individually rather than learn how to use a standardised OS interface that can then be applied to each app. However that is not unique to iOS, the same can be said for Android, HTML5 Web Apps as well as Windows and OS X.

    What’s nice about the images within the app is that it tells you the licensing so if you want to re-use the image (say in a presentation) you can knowing that you won’t be infringing copyright. It also means that practitioners can use the photographs too, for their presentations, handouts or learning objects.

    You can of course visit the Fotopedia website via your computer, but the nice thing about an app is that it provides a focus for the user. It also has nice features that enable you to share or download the images you find that you want to use or keep.

    It’s an universal app so will also work on the iPad and would make for a nice photo frame app with slideshows.

    Overall an app that allows you to browse some wonderful images, and for some courses these images will be really useful for the learners and practitioners on them.

    Get Fotopedia Heritage in the iTunes App Store.


    100 ways to use a VLE -#50 Showing a photo album

    November 11th, 2011

    A photo album is merely a collection of photographs (or images). They may be connected they may not. A series of photographs is a useful way of displaying how to undertake a particular activity or as a way of showing instructions.

    For example showing learners the techniques for a recipe can be enhanced with a series of photographs that shows the different stages within the process.

    The learner can then click an image to see an enlarged version.

    This example made use of the Lightbox Gallery plugin.

    By placing a photo album on the VLE it makes it very easy for the learners to find and see them, but also unlike an online photo service such as (the free version of) Flickr won’t have restrictions on the number of albums (sets) you can have and therefore could potentially confuse the learners about which images they should be looking at.

    Having said that if you have a Pro Flickr account or are using another service such as Picasa then embedding a collection of images into the VLE can be done easily using the provided embed codes that these services provide. This is a set of images I have on Flickr that makes use of the iPhone Paper Camera App.

    The disadvantage is that, of course clicking the images takes the learner away from the VLE, but they could probably find their way back.


    Retro Camera – Android App of the Week

    April 26th, 2011

    Retro Camera – Android App of the Week

    This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive.

    This week’s App is Retro Camera.

    With Retro Camera you’ll take delicious old-school pics your friends will drool over. 5 cameras, 5 sets of vintage vignetting, film scratch & cross processing effects for that off-the-hip analog look. Inspired by the old Lomo, Holga, Polaroid, Diana & toy cameras whose iconic styles we treasure. Instant Nostalgia now free.

    Retro Camera comes with 5 different cameras:

    The Bärbl – An East German classic, naturally faded with a scratched film and medium vignetting, the perfect all-round choice.

    The Little Orange Box – The Soviet Staple with aggressive cross processing and scratched square film. It’s crappy plastic lens leaks in light and exhibits strong vignetting. Black and white option for even more emotion.

    Xolaroid 2000 – Its inspiration is obvious! We love the candid snapshots this camera produces – you simply can’t fail, every shot is a keeper. Blue / Green cross processing effects and timeless contrast. Black and white option for that classic touch.

    The Pinhole Camera – A DIY gem and more unpredictable than Schrödinger’s cat. Full bleed developing and vignetting through the roof, be sure to give this cardboard chimera a go.

    The FudgeCan – The perfect rig for outdoors; developed on square film that wasn’t quite stored… or developed right. But therein lies the charm that’ll make your pics with this beauty, memorable and instantly nostalgic.

    Free

    On my iPhone I have lots of camera and photography apps and they can be used to create some nice photographic effects, Instagram is one I use a lot.

    The Google Nexus One does have a nice camera and if you want to get some nice effects for your photographs similar to the effects you can get with the many iPhone camera apps then you might want to look at Retro Camera for Android.

    The App is ad supported, so you do see ads in the apps, you can buy the Pro version which is add free for £2.99.

    There are five different cameras each with a unique effect.

    The advantage of these kinds of apps for learners is that they speed up the process of taking and manipulating images that they want to then use in their assignments, projects, presentations and web activities such as wikis and blogs.

    Of course you can get superior results using a proper DSLR and Photoshop, but though that may be the road that media and art students would travel along, students in other curriculum areas may not have access to the kit to do this. Those students probably do have a phone.

    I was pleased with the results from the app and would certainly recommend it to anyone who has an Android phone with a camera.


    CameraBag for iPad – iPad App of the Week

    August 31st, 2010

    CameraBag for iPad – iPad App of the Week

    This is a regular feature of the blog looking at the various iPhone and iPad Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive. Though called iPhone App of the Week, most of these apps will work on the iPod touch or the iPad, some will be iPad only apps.

    This week’s App is CameraBag for iPad.

    A love letter to the analog era, CameraBag is the most popular iPhone photo filter app of all time, and has now come to the iPad. It instantly emulates photography’s most beloved and iconic cameras, film, and processing techniques.

    CameraBag’s addictive approach skips hours of processing work and instead puts you in the role of an editor, flipping through a collection of polished, print-ready treatments, each with infinite variation. Simply choose the best one and save, e-mail, or upload it to popular sites.

    CameraBag now takes full advantage of the iPad with a re-imagined interface, increased resolution, and innovative new features. The addictive Vary button offers a new take on the current filter each time it’s pressed, for infinite versions of each filter. It’s like telling CameraBag “Try the same look but make it a little different this time.” iPad users also get to mix and match aspect ratio and border styles across filters for fresh new looks.

    £1.79

    There are various image manipulation apps on the App Store. One type that is quite popular is the filter app. This isn’t an app for editing images, it is there purely to be used to apply filters to an image and then put the image somewhere.

    Though the iPad doesn’t have a camera (unlike the iPhone) it is quite simple to get images onto the iPad, either through syncing with iTunes (and iPhoto) on your Mac or using the iPad Camera Connection kit.

    I have used CameraBag on the iPhone and did buy it for the iPad. Unlike a lot of apps this is not an universal app and you need to buy separate apps for both the iPhone and the iPad.

    This is a relatively simple app to use. Open the image, apply a filter, a border or crop the image.

    You can vary the effect of the filter using the vary button.

    Unlike other image apps, you can either save the image back to the iPad or e-mail it to someone (or a service if you can remember the unique e-mail for that service).

    The filters are quite nice and work well.

    This is not my favourite image app, but the simplicity does make it an easy one to use.


    You Gotta See This! – iPhone 4 App of the Week

    August 3rd, 2010

    You Gotta See This! – iPhone 4 App of the Week

    This is a regular feature of the blog looking at the various iPhone and iPad Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive. Though called iPhone App of the Week, most of these apps will work on the iPod touch or the iPad, some will be iPad only apps.

    This week’s App is You Gotta See This!

    Ever been at a concert and wished your friends could experience the atmosphere with you? Ever been on a mountain top and wished your family could experience the same view? Ever thought “they’ve got to see this!” but simply taking a picture was not enough? Share your experiences with unique images taken in a unique way with your iPhone 4 (required) and “You Gotta See This!” Read on to learn how it works…

    Simply start the recording in “You Gotta See This!”, swipe the scene up, down, left and right with the camera and share the image created by one of the five amazing themes on Twitter, Facebook or by email. Or simply save it to your camera roll for later presentation. (See a short tutorial video at our website.)

    The app creates collages of images that you take by slowly moving the camera around in 3D space. The resulting images are somewhat similar to what is called “panography” or “Hockneyesque” (after the artist David Hockney).

    “You Gotta See This!” uses the iPhone 4 gyroscope to determine the camera orientation while you record and positions the images it takes accordingly on a flat surface to create the spacial collages.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: You Gotta See This! requires an iPhone 4. It will not run on iPhone 3GS, 3G and earlier models.

    £1.19

    I do seem to buy a lot of photo Apps, some I use quite regularly others I just use once or twice and others I kind of forget I bought!

    So what of You Gotta See This!

    This iPhone 4 App makes use of the camera and built in gyroscope to capture multiple images that are then placed in a collage. You can choose how the images are spread and then save the result to the iPhone or share via various social networking sites.

    It’s a simple yet clever App that quickly creates an image that can be used to show off a place or an event.

    It must be remembered that this is not a Panorama App.

    Stitched panoramas are not seamless. This is by design. ‘You Gotta See This!’ is not a panorama app. The purpose of the app is to create what is called panorama collages or panography.

    It creates collages rather than panoramas. There are quite a few Panorama Apps in the iTunes store.

    I do quite like this App, it is easy to use and creates a fun effect and the results can be used on websites, the VLE, presentations, student work, etc…