Photos that Come Alive with Your iPhone

I am not sure about you, but I really do not take advantage of all of the capabilities that are built into my iPhone 7+ camera and its app. I generally just take a quick snapshot and that’s it. I have never even knowingly used its Live Photo feature.

The other day, I came across a tutorial that thoroughly explains how to take, edit, and share Live photos. These end up being short 3-second videos, centered about the instant you take the photo. One of the first things I learned was that I had unknowingly taken several Live Photos. They are automatically added to an Album on my iPhone Photos app, called Live Photos.

The tutorial was posted by Kate Wesson way back in October, but I just discovered it. It is available from this link.

iPhone Photography

Live Photos

So if you want to know how thoroughly understand everything you can do with Live Photos, check out this tutorial. The iPhone Photography School has many other tutorials on how to be a better photographer using your iPhone.

Until next time…





iPad/iPhone iOS 7 Camera AppTipSheet

ios 7 camera screenWhen Apple introduced iOS 7, they made several improvements to the standard Camera app. This AppTipSheet will get you started using the new app. There is a lot more to it than pressing the button and snapping a picture. It is well worth exploring some of the other features.

But don’t get too comfortable. iOS 8 is come before long and is said to provide even more new features.


iOS Camera AppTipSheet 

South Bay Camera Club Meeting Announcement

The South Bay Camera Club is a very active group of photographers. The club routinely goes on photo shots, holds regular meetings with guest speakers and photo evaluations. It is a very friendly group that possesses a wealth of knowledge in its membership.

Below is an announcement on the upcoming meeting that also includes a link to the club website.

Bob King, SBCC publicity chair


January 27, 7:00 PM

CLOSE UP / MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY Presentation:  Mark Comon, local professional photographer and vice-president of Paul’s Photography in Torrance, will give attendees hints and suggestions for taking outstanding close up photos using Macro lenses.  All who are interested in photography are invited to attend this meeting.  Come and see what the SBCC has to offer photographers, from beginner to pro.


Where: Torrance Airport Administration Building meeting room, 3301 Airport Drive, Torrance.

When: 7:00 PM, Monday, January 27.

Further Information can be obtained by phoning Bob King at (310) 701-7644 or by logging onto the club website at


Using Microsoft’s 3D PhotoSynthesis Program

Microsoft has a free program that allows you to create three dimensional views of your environment from a series of photos you upload.

The style of view is controlled by how you take the photos and then control the synthesizing process. They call these views the spin, panorama, wall, and the walk.

You can check out some really cool  results and find out all you need to know to begin creating your own synths by going to

The link below will take you to my first attempt at using Photosynth. It’s a 360-degree panorama of my cluttered computer room. I used 21 images for this synth. To stop the spinning, click on the image, and then drag your mouse around at your leisure.

Office 360

Photosynth Office 360

I plan to try other techniques, for example, the walk. The site includes a detailed user guide. I’m also going to revisit the iPad app.

TRy it out and let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

My Camera’s Built-in Flash Failed to Pop Up

I have a Canon 7D, which has a built-in flash that pops up when activated. Most professional photographers recommend not using this flash, because the light is too hard and creates shadows.

I know that and I do have a rotating external flash, but I confess I often use the built-in flash anyway. The other day I went to use it, but it would not pop-up no matter what I did. When I brought up the menu to adjust its options, the message said the menu could not be accessed, because there was another device attached to my hot shoe.

I tried to mount and remove my external flash several times, hoping to unstick the switch. I had already Goggled the symptoms, finding I was not the first one who had experienced such a problem.

I then called Canon technical support. I basically had tried everything they suggested. Fortunately, the Canon Service Repair Center is in Irvine, CA, which is only about 35 miles away.

This morning I drove to the repair station. I thought I knew where I was going, so I did not really follow my GPS as I got closer – a bad idea. I finally arrived and was about seven or eight numbers back in line. The wait did not take long.

I was ready to pay $100 or more and having to find my way back to the repair center after several days when my camera was fixed. I was happily surprised. They replaced the hot shoe while I waited and charged me nothing, even though my camera was significantly out of warranty.

I was very impressed with Canon service, but I have had similar experiences in the past when a Nikon camera I had at the time needed a repair. It too was out of warranty, but Nikon fixed it at no cost.

Speaking of cameras and built-in flashes, I suspect my 7D will be the last DSLR I buy that has one. When the Canon 6D came out, I was tempted to buy one, or least beginning the rationalization process to do so. The 6D, with its full frame sensor and GPS, is very attractive to me. But it does not have a built-in flash, and cannot match the speed of my 7D’s eight frames per second. And then of course, there is the issue of buying all new lenses, if I were to buy a 6D.

For now at least, I’m sticking with my 7D.

Beyond Photoshop Elements Photomerge Panorama

2755 2757 Mult PSE Pan Merge_edited-1

Photomerge Panorama has been a command within Photoshop Elements for many years now. It has been improved in more recent versions.

I take a lot of action photos of my granddaughters playing soccer. I also take a lot of photos of other sporting events. Normally, I use the Burst/Continuous drive mode  and the Shutter Preferred (Tv or S) shooting mode. My shutter speed is generally around 1/800 sec or above, and I generally do not use a tripod.

After a photo session I end up with a large number of photo sequences of a specific action, such as kicking a soccer ball, for example.

A few days ago, I watched a video that showed how you could relatively easily merge a series of photos into a single time-lapsed image. Sometimes this technique is called multiplicity. This video shows how to do it using Photoshop’s Scripts, which basically stacks the sequence of images on different layers and then aligns  them. By adding a Layer Mask to each image, the technique allows you to end up with your prime subject in different positions in the combined and final image. The technique did include multiple steps, but was quite straight forward.

Photoshop Elements does not include Scripts, but since PSE 9, it does have the capability to add a layer mask to any type of layer. So, I figured the Photoshop technique could be adapted to Elements with just a few more steps. As it turned out, it proved to be far easier to do in Elements by using the Photomerge Panorama command.

By the way, Photoshop CSX also has a Photomerge Panorama command, which could also be used. As is generally the case, I suspect using the manual approach in the Photoshop tutorial may allow for more flexibility.

To give you an idea how easy it was for me to apply the Photomerge Panorama technique to end up with the photo above, I posted a video on YouTube on how to do it.

Follow Me On Pinterest

I’ve recently started using Pinterest as a quick and effective way to share with my followers there links to websites, videos, images etc that I have found interesting and helpful. It’s much faster to add a pin to one of my boards than it is for me to write a blog post or post the link on my Facebook page. And one of the nice things about it is you do not have to be a member to use it. But I believe you have to be a member to follow someone, but it’s easy and free to join.

Pinterest is relatively new but is growing very rapidly. It’s basically a very visually oriented search site and the links are images generally from the pinned website. I basically just started using it. I have set up five boards so far, as you can see from the figure below. I even have a board that links back to content from my own website. However, most of my boards and their links go to web pages that I have found very helpful. It’s kind of visual version of my Favorites or Bookmarks.


I’m still learning the subtle ways to use Pinterest. For example I do not know exactly what re-pinning is all about. To check out my Pinterest site, go to You’ll find I have pinned this blog post there.

Let me know what you think, ok.