Archive for August, 2012

FriFotos: The Clouds of Montana’s Big Sky Country at The Resort at Paws Up

Clouds Of Big Sky Country

Haystacks and Clouds at Paws Up Resort

I recently returned from a trip to the great state of Montana, which has several nicknames including “Big Sky Country.” After visiting the state’s capital of Helena, my husband and I spent a few days glamping at the incredible Resort at Paws Up .

During my days at Paws Up, I saw plenty of Big Sky. In honor of FriFotos, sere are some of my favorite pictures of clouds in the Big Sky above Paws Up.

Clouds on the chuck wagon ride at Paws Up

Sunlight Beams Through the Clouds Above During the Chuck Wagon Ride at Paws Up

 Smoke Mixing With Clouds

Smoke Mixing With Clouds at a Scenic Overlook (photosynth)

Sunset in Big Sky CountryBlack&White sky at Paws Up

Big Sky at Paws Up

Did I mention a River Runs Through It? Seriously. The Blackfoot River, which was key to the plot of the Robert Redford directed film A River Runs Through It, runs through the property at Paws Up. Here’s a panorama of the Blackfoot River, with the sky above dotted with wispy clouds.

Blackfoot River Panorama

Blackfoot River Panorama With Clouds

Big Sky Country got all moody when storm clouds forming in Missoula in the distance. I got some fantastic cloud photos of the shifting light and changing colors as the storm grew.

 Cloud Storm Approaching

Cloud Storm Approaching

Storm Clouds Forming

I Got The Shot Above With My Canon DSLR

 Under Stormy Sky

This Image was Shot a Few Moments Later On My iPhone 4S (mobile photography, no filters)

Big Sky Country was sometimes brilliant blue and dotted with clouds, and once it got all moody with storm clouds forming in Missoula in the distance, shifting colors. These storm images are some of my favorite landscapes I’ve ever shot.

Big Sky panorama Paws Up

The Big Sky at Paws Up Looks Just as Spectacular in Black and White

Chuck Wagon Clouds

Gorgeous Clouds Above the Chuck Wagon at the Foot of the Blackfoot River.

Check out Big Sky (and some gorgeous clouds) in this fun, animated GIF made from the ride to the Chuck Wagon Dinner,

 Paws Up Chuck Wagon GIF

Paws Up Chuck Wagon GIF

Coming up on the blog… more posts in the future about my incredible Montana vacation including the fabulous food, adventure, and romance at The Resort at Paws Up.

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Boats on the Bosphorus: A Mobile Photograpy Time Lapse

Boats in front of the Bosphorus Bridge in Ortakay

Mobile photography/tilt-shift goodness:Boats in front of the Bosphorus Bridge in Ortaköy

I just arrived in Istanbul after a long 18 hour travel day. Despite my exhaustion, I can’t help but be inspired every time I get a glimpse of the Bosphorus. There is just something magical and epic about drinking a glass of wine in Europe, staring at Asia in the distance, and watching the boats go by on this narrow-yet-important waterway.

 Radisson BluBoats in front of the Bosphorus Bridge in Ortakay

I decided to make a little time lapse of the action with my iPhone using the TimeLapse App. I mounted my iPhone in my In Your Face viewbase and clipped it to the glass on the side of the Terrace Bar at the Radisson Blu Istanbul. I set the timer for 10 minutes resulting in a 30 second video. Then I framed my shot to include the waxing moon (it’s full tomorrow) and started the time lapse.

Despite my current state of jet lag and plane brain, I found the view so inspiring I wanted to share it.

Time Lapse Tip:

Keep in mind the scale of what your shooting when making a time lapse. I made myself seasick by framing too tightly on these boats in Ortaköy, and speeding up the action 30 times, resulting the following time lapse fail. I should have used a gentler speed rate (10 times perhaps)  for framing this tight to smooth out the action and make more wavy and less squall like.

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Great New iPhone Photography book by Misho Baranovic

 East Timor by Misho Baranovic

East Timor by Misho Baranovic

I’m so excited that one of my favorite mobile photographers on the planet, Misho Baranovic, has just written an amazing e-book for The Digital Photography School, iPhone Photography: How to Shoot, Edit, and Share Great Photos. If you’re into mobile photography (or would like to be), reading this 106 page E-book is a fantastic way to up your game.

If you’re unfamiliar with Misho’s work, he’s one of the world’s best mobile photographers and a founding member of The Mobile Photo Group. He’s best known for his street photography, but Baranovic takes some killer travel photographs as well. Check out these pictures he shot with his iPhone in East Timor.

East Timor by Misho Baranovic

I was lucky enough to get to read a pre-publication copy of this e-book and I was really impressed. In 106 pages, this e-book focuses on how to take creative control of your iPhone photography by breaking it down and teaching you how to shoot, edit, and share better images.

This e-book covers everything from shooting with the native camera to how to print your images at home and joining the mobile photography community. The material in this e-book has a wide range of appeal- I’d suggest it for new iPhoneographers as well as advanced shooters. I’m an advanced mobile photographer myself, and believe the my iPhone is a key tool for travel photography, and even I learned tricks and tips about apps I use frequently that I didn’t previously know. My photos have improved since reading Misho’s e-book.

The e-book is extremely user friendly and provides hyperlinks and interviews with some of the best iPhone shooters in the world. While it’s a great e-book, the reader can turn it into a masterclass with Misho if you choose to explore all the hyperlinks.

Here’s a peek inside the e-Book:

Misho’s e-book is available as a digital download and comes in both PDF and ePUB versions. In honor of the book’s launch, Digital Photography School is offering a 25% discount for a limited time, so if you buy it now, you can get it for $14.99  (instead of the normal price of $19.99) Who doesn’t love a deal?

If you’re ready to buy it, just click here!


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Honored 5 of my Instagrams are on the Cover of Time Magazine’s Wireless Edition

 TIME The Wireless Issue on my iPad

TIME Magazine’s First Ever Wireless Issue

Back in July, I read a post called TIME Magazine wants your Instagram Photos on Life in Lofi (one of my favorite iPhoneography blogs). I thought it seemed like a cool crowdsourcing project and I wanted to participate. I tweeted about it and some of my fellow mobile photographers and friends decided to contribute Instagrams to the cause. When I had images I wanted to submit, I used the hashtag #TIMEwireless when posting on Instagram.

Yesterday morning I thought “I’ve been using this hashtag for a while… I wonder if they’ve published the piece?” After all using  an expired hashtag is a waste of time, energy, and characters and this stuff is critical on microblogging platforms.  I went to the TIME Magazine Website and found the cover of The Wireless Issue online, with one of my Images of a statue in Piazza del Popolo that I shot and uploaded during my recent trip to Rome, right there on the cover– or in the far right column, 6th square down. If you squint hard or have a magnifying glass… you can possibly see it.

Statue Piazza del Poppolo

Statue in Piazza del Popolo, Rome

The cover of Time Magazine’s First Annual Wireless Issue is made up of of 288 thumbnail images from Instagram. Per their website, TIME had 31,429 instagrams submitted from 120 countries submitted for this project. A closer inspection revealed 5 of my iInstagrams on the cover, most of them obscured by font,  so I’m giving them their close-up in this post.

 Nun's habit set off the metal detector

 The accordian player at the wedding in Kharkov

My Instagrams from The Time Magazine Cover

When I contributed to the project, I knew that credit and compensation were never mentioned, and I willingly chose to participate anyway. I’m not surprised that I can’t find a list of the IGers whose 288 thumbnail images make up the cover, and I’m lucky that my image (far right column, 6th square down) was easy to spot and not covered by wording. Time Magazine’s website does have a “behind the cover” slide show of 15 of editor’s favorites (with credit given), but mine aren’t among those chosen few.

TIME cover

Close up

My friend Taylor Mitchie who runs The Racing Winds blog, spotted two of his images on the cover, as well as my Kiev tarmac shot behind the “U” in “Issue.” So I’d like to thank Taylor’s eagle eyes (and giant scan of the cover) for helping me find my instagrams which suffered from font-blocking.

While I’m not upset about the lack of credit or compensation, I do think TIME missed an real social media moment. Kind of a dumb move with smartphones, in my humble opinion

TIME had an opportunity to sell more magazines and generate some interest and buzz by aligning with Instagram. By not notifying participants that the images had been selected, they really demonstrated how old school they are. The wireless issue also features some special bonus material– but a list of Instagram users isn’t on it. I hope the next time around, it is.

A simple fix? TIME could have created an Official Time Wireless Instagram account and “liked” the images they chose to go with, or short list. That would have put those contributing to the project on alert that their work might show up somewhere. The Wireless issue might have generate some heat on the world’s biggest mobile only social media platform. That might have generated some additional social media exposure and buzz on the project. I’m not saying that TIME handled this wrong- how can I when I can when 5 of my images wound up on the cover? It’s just a lost opportunity.

I suspect I know more than a few of the Instagrammers whose work is on the cover, but it’s hard to tell if it’s not your own. If you contributed to the project, I’d advise scanning the TIME Wireless cover slowly (Taylor Michie smartly scanned it and went over it square by square using preview. Stanford– admit Mr. Mitchie now! He’s amazing on so many levels).

Please let me know if you found your Instagram on the cover of Time Magazine’s Wireless Issue (and how) in the comments section below.

A copy of Time Magazine (with my instagram on the cover) and it's sub- Kardashian realness

A copy of Time Magazine (with my instagram on the cover) and it’s sub- Kardashian realness…

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I’m Thrilled to be Quoted in Tnooz (Talking Travel Tech)

It was so great to find out I’m quoted (and that’s my instagram picture) in this Tnooz post about Great Hotel Customer Service and Social Media.

 Instagram Photo Map
A screen shot of the images that pop up on my Instagram photo map for Bratislava, Slovakia

Photo mapThe latest version of Instagram also includes a super-cool photo map feature, where you can see images based on geo-tags. Here’s a screen shot of the images that pop up on my Instagram photo map for Bratislava, Slovakia.

There is no doubt the Sheraton Bratislava proved they were on the cutting edge when I checked in to find a book of Instagram photos waiting for me.

Starwood has been one of the most savvy brands with social media. The Sheraton Bratislava also had a great FourSquare offer that offered $15 in concert cash when I linked my Live Nation and FourSquare accounts. As a live music fan who you attends a lot of concerts this was a no-brainer.

 Here are the pictures from the St. Regis Punta Mita

Here are the pictures from the St. Regis Punta Mita that come up on my Instagram photo map.

The St. Regis Punta Mita was another Starwood property that skillfully tweeted me when there activities on the properties that I shouldn’t miss. More posts on my stay at the St. Regis Punta Mita can be found here.

After having such great experiences with the Starwood brand at those two properties, it was a no-brainer for me to stay at the Westin Excelsior Rome on my recent trip to Italy. Stay tuned for more posts on this grand classic luxury property.

 Veneto Suite livingroom evening

The dramatic living room of my Veneto suite at the Westin Excelsior Rome was large and glamorous and totally worked in the environment.

Social Media Tip: if you are nervous about geo-tagging your location, you can check in on FourSquare off the grid and still unlock on-the-spot deals at businesses you frequent. I think of FourSquare not as a social network, but as a source of quality tips and personalized deals for stores, hotels, and restaurants.

Apps like Instagram and EyeEm have a lot of great visual information painting the globe.You can decide which of your pictures go on your photomap. As a traveler who likes to find and share cool stuff.

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