Tag Archives: iPhone photography

5 Excellent Image Sharing and Discovery Tools

22 Oct

Over the past few years of exploring art and developing my own creations through Instagram and smartphone apps like Hipstamatic and Dynamic Light, I’ve come to appreciate the merits of different websites for purposes of expression and curation. Here’s a look at my top 5.

On each of these sites I house some variation of images I make, and I also explore them daily for inspiration. Following is my take on what makes each special and how I get the most from them with their unique characteristics:

500px: The Premiere Gallery

Check me out on 500pxI use 500px.com exclusively to house all my photomontage art. It has the fastest, cleanest, and overall best display, where the focus is on the art with the community and everything else coming after that. There’s a simple mechanism for favoriting, liking and commenting if that’s what you’re into, but primarily the site is about experiencing the art, and there’s generally more refined content than other image-sharing websites. http://500px.com/rsmithing

Pinterest: Mass Consumption Imagery

Check me out on PinterestPinterest is where I tap into a huge image-appreciating community, sharing my montages and other creations that happen along the way on a board called “My Creations.” Not everything there is totally fleshed out, but it’s decent enough to be on display, and interesting enough to repin and share across other boards. lt’s more transient and fleeting than other venues, but feedback in the form of repins and likes helps keep me interested. Plus, I follow a ton of cool boards there along the likes of what I produce, so it’s great visual candy for when the mood to browse strikes, or if I just want to curate some dreamy images or other photomontageshttp://pinterest.com/rsmithing/my-creations

Instagram: Keeping Things Fun

Check me out on InstagramIt’s funny; Instagram is what got me started on this journey of creation and exploration, yet it’s not the ultimate destination for me that it once was. Don’t get me wrong; I find and enjoy many great creations there, but I don’t share my most refined stuff there. The site has so quickly become so saturated, complete with spam and terms of service issues, leading me to keep a certain kind of profile there, and that’s fine. I’ll occasionally post a fully completed photomontage, but I tend to keep it light and more experimental on Instagram. http://instagram.com/rsmithing

Flickr: The Mother Lode

Check me out on FlickrFor me, Flickr has truly evolved into a fantastic tool and a force to be reckoned with. My photostream there is a hodgepodge of montages, original source material, experiments, and a running log of stuff that may or may not fall into any of these categories or even see the light of day. I’ve had a Flickr account for many years, but have only recently delved into the full experience it offers – chiefly because it’s such an excellent tool to share Instagram images on Pinterest and other sites like Tumblr. Plus, you can’t beat its sets/galleries/collections organization, curated groups, favorites browsing and full-size resolution viewing options. http://flickr.com/rsmithing

Tumblr: A Curated Garden

Check me out on TumblrAnd finally, there’s Tumblr, the place where I highlight everything I like, pin and favorite on all these sites, mainly through automation and RSS feeds via ifttt.com, but also through the occasional upload and reblogging of something cool I come across there. It’s taken me a while to get into Tumblr, but I’ve found a ton of great stuff there and have managed to be featured at some cool Tumblr-based blogs like Lensblr and Minus Manhattan, which is always a great feeling, reaching folks with an interest in the kind of art I like to make. http://rsmithing.tumblr.com

What do you think? Do you employ different websites along the same reasons but for different executions? Are you on any image sharing websites? Have you heard of these already, and what’s your experience been like on them? Let us hear from you in the comments.
Image

Single Image Sundays: Tesla Coil

22 Apr

Tesla Coil - Reynolda Gardens

Set to explode with leaves, and bursting with energy, the giant’s spindly charges twist circuitously, winding trails through generations. Click for orignal @ Flickr.

What do you think? Are tree photos overplayed? Or is this something you just find interesting for some reason? If so, what’s that reason, and how would you express your point of view? Let us hear from you in the comments!

How To Get More Instagram Followers

2 Nov

So you want to become Instagram Popular?

Here are 10 fun tips to help you become Instagram Famous. While there’s no guarantee, and while some just follow a zillion others hoping for follow-backs (aka “ghost follower” Instagram profiles – not cool; I block ’em all) …posting interesting images and participating around the site will always be your best strategies.

Instagram Popular Page

Instagram Classic Popular Page Icon, now the “Explore” page

Instagram Cheat, Instagram Popular Formula…

Can’t be done! Sorry! That said, these tips should not only help you become Instafamous, but also improve your photography and enjoy ever more famous Instagram adventures no matter what. These are from my own experience in about a year of being on the site, rather than from an Instagram computer that magically controls the Explore Page. Like these tips? Share ’em on Twitter!

How to become popular on Instagram:

How to become popular on instagram - start with great images.

My own pics – @rsmithing

  1. Don’t be afraid to get the shot; do it! The opportunity will not come back. Who cares if someone looks at you strangely? They’ll get over it in about 2 seconds. Your image will last forever.
  2. Master a photo editing app. Get one or two apps you’re intuitive with and practice using them for edits. It may take some experimenting, so plan to spend at least $20 in the app store. Hey, do you like pizza? Well for the cost of a decent pizza, you can get a bunch of cool apps to experiment with. Don’t be a cheapo; make the investment.
  3. Enter challenges. They’re an easy and fun way to see what others are doing and grow your skills.
  4. Pick a filter and stick with it for about 20 photos to make a strong impression. The effect is undeniable and eliminates complexity.
  5. Thank people religiously, leave comments, and be funny. Or, at least try to be funny. 😉
  6. Use a 3rd party site like Gramfeed. They’re great for comment effectiveness, and much easier than typing every single letter on your tiny phone keyboard.
  7. Even moths are interesting through a macro lens.Rock and roll all night and party every day. That’s more a just general life lesson, but it should at the very least provide some good raw material. OK, real tip: consider an accessory lens for close-ups. I did this and am seeing the world in a new way, especially bugs.
  8. Hashtag the crap out of your photos. Look up keywords in other languages and make friends from around the world.
  9. Keep a bunch of hashtags handy in a note so you can copy and paste as appropriate. You might also use groups of tags for common subjects (vacation, flowers, retro, etc.). Tap around on some hashtags at the site and find the popular ones that appeal to you most.
  10. Process pics later. You might have a great photo-op in line at the TSA security check, but sometimes it’s best just to get the pic and move on as fast as possible, then dive deeply into the editing afterward (like once you’re on the plane).

BONUS TIP:

Take really, really excellent photos! Get creative, encourage others, and have fun on the site!

Cool Stuff Huh? Share it on Twitter!

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Do me a solid and check out the rest of rsmithing.com if you’re interested, and say hello in the comments. Since you’ve read this far about Instagram tips, you might also like the photography category. I’d really like to know if these tips work for you, so say hi in another post or on Instagram. Thanks, and have fun!
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