Friday, 27 April 2012

Mobile Phone Photography

Guest editorial, brought to you by 02...

Are you a mobile phone photog?

For quite a long time now, people have been able to take photos far more easily, thanks to advances in technology, and mobile devices with photography capabilities. Everybody wants to be able to take good pictures, but few will make the effort to carry cameras around. Now, however, thanks to mobile phone photos and social media networks where people can upload photos, it seems like everybody's a photographer. Of course, this sort of mass capturing of images is generally not considered to be of the highest quality by those who actually study and practice legitimate photography – however, some of the newer mobile phones offered by companies like O2 are actually extremely capable when it comes to taking artistic photographs.

The short road to success via technology

Earlier mobile phones were considered somewhat advanced if they could merely snap photographs, even if the picture quality was not very high and the photos were difficult to upload or print out. Now that mobile devices have come so far in the last few years, however, many phones now actually include high quality picture taking capability. For example, consider the Samsung Galaxy S II or the HTC One X, both of which are equipped with 8 Megapixel cameras. While this of course still doesn’t approach the quality or capability of an advanced camera, it does enable these devices to take very respectable photographs – and, thanks to the high level of connectivity that now exists between our mobile devices and the Internet, it is now easier than ever to upload such photos.

The App-ian way

Taking mobile phone photography ability a step further, there are now even Apps designed to help amateurs to take more artistic photographs with just a few clicks of a button. Consider Instagram, for example, a program whose popularity is rapidly increasing due to the ease with which it allows you to take photos and add effects to them. You can snap a regular picture with your mobile phone and quickly turn it into black and white, monochrome, etc. just by selecting and applying a particular feature.

...and all roads lead to Rome

Again, when you are considering truly artistic photography, there is no substitute for someone with a medium quality or better camera who truly knows what s/he is doing. And surely it's difficult to call yourself a photographer when receiving so much aid from programs like Instagram. However, the increased capabilities of mobile devices relative to photography have made it very possible for the average person to capture and play with images in a way that creates surprisingly appealing visuals.

People can now be creative with their photography in very simple ways.

comments / feedback / Tweets / Likes / +1s always welcome :)

Friday, 9 March 2012

Another Magazine Cover shot from Highton Ridley

Ongoing progress...

Plymouth Hoe by Night

I got another photo used as a cover-shot, same magazine as the last two... The Plymouth Magazine, March 2012 issue - great credit given on p3. It's another one of my cityscapes and is part of my growing Urban Pretty photo essay, a response to my previous one entitled Urban Ugly. (this link will take you to a YouTube video, set to music by my good friend, Gordon Charlton, Beat Frequency)

Plymouth Hoe at night looking west
[click the image for a postcard or see various other products]

Owning a print

If you live in or near Plymouth, all are available from Kaya Gallery on the Barbican as signed fine art prints. Norman will be delighted to see you - especially if you mention my blog :)

comments / feedback / Tweets / Likes / +1s always welcome :)

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Google Friend Connect - My final goodbyes...

So that's the last of my websites updated to remove all references to Google Friend Connect...

RIP Google Friend Connect

I don't believe how much time it's taken to remove GFC from the websites I maintain! My html skills were less than mediocre when I added all the GFC stuff and untangling it all has been a pain.

Not that my html skills are much better than mediocre now!

Still, I've managed to get it all done in time for the deadline of the end of this month (Feb). What a shame that all the wonderful interaction from my friendly and loyal followers over the last 3 or four years has all gone :(

I just wish that Google had provided a way to transition to another system like Disqus or similar. But they didn't and I feel rather let down in that respect. So for the record, these are the websites that used it:
So if you were one of the ones who interacted with the commenting and rating system on any of the above, I guess I should apologise on behalf of Google.

So long GFC, it was nice knowing you...

(Of course, it'll still work on blogger blogs such as this one, just not on sites that aren't blogger blogs)

Post by: +Mark Highton Ridley
comments / feedback / tweets / Likes / +1s always welcome :)

Monday, 20 February 2012

The last of Google Friend Connect

Ugh! Another day on website maintenance

Zazzle Promo Pages and Zazzlit Gadget Tutorial

After removing Google Friend Connect from all my photography pages yesterday, today I did all my:

Btw - even if you're not an artist / designer, you can still earn 15% referral commission by bringing folks to Zazzle - and my Zazzlit gadget makes it even easier.

How? Just sign up for a Zazzle account and use your associate id (also known as the referrer id) in my (free) Zazzlit gadget when you place it on your blog or website. See how to use it in the tutorial linked above.

Post by: +Mark Highton Ridley
comments / feedback / tweets / Likes / +1s always welcome :)

Goodbye Google Friend Connect

A long day maintaining my web site

Goodbye Google Friend Connect (GFC)

..on my main web site.

Google announced a while back that they were removing support for GFC on non-blogger websites at the end of this month. What a pain - I used it for comments, ratings and reviews of my photos and other bits and pieces.

So I spent today removing it all from my website :(

At the same time, I took the opportunity to update my galleries with my most recent work as well, so I did do something positive to counterbalance it a little :)

I haven't quite finished, I still have to remove it from my Zazzlit tutorial and Zazzle promo pages. Tomorrow, though, as I am totally discombobulated right now...

Post by: +Mark Highton Ridley

comments / feedback / tweets / Likes / +1s are always welcome :)

Monday, 30 January 2012

Got the Jan 2012 covershot for The Plymouth Magazine

Ongoing progress...

Roland Levinski building

I got another photo used as a cover-shot, same mag as the last one... The Plymouth Magazine, Jan 2012 issue - great credit given on p3.

Plymouth University, Roland Levinsky building
[click the image for a postcard or see various other products]

They want to use another one of mine for the March issue - negotiations ongoing, so watch this space.

Post by: +Mark Highton Ridley
comments / feedback / tweets / Likes / +1s always welcome :)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Quietly Flows The River

To make up for sneaking one past you, this one is sill wet from the digital darkroom

The Jewel Called Spitchwick

I do like visiting Spitchwick, which is on the margins of Dartmoor National Park. On this occasion it was back in September on a photoshoot with a friend. It's not a widely known spot but it is typical of those undeveloped, natural beauty spots that are hidden from the hoi polloi that you find all over the UK.

Quietly Flows The River

You'll find cows wandering around from time to time and there's also the occasional family group of Dartmoor Ponies that comes visiting. This really is the River Dart in one of its most beautiful aspects and I hope you thouroughly enjoy my portrayal.

In a little while I'll be using it for a postcard and a wide range of greetings cards for my English Scenes series in my Zazzle store. Of course, the cards will be in addition to my gallery-style poster prints and stretch-frame canvases.

Do you know of any little-known spots like this?

Post by: +Mark Highton Ridley
comments / feedback / tweets / Likes / +1s always welcome :)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Sneaked this out without showing you

Here's one I processed a few weeks ago...

Naughty, naughty

I know, I should have posted about it here - I'm admitting nothing about any more such oversights -- yet!
Beyond the Pale
I loved the fences that are used to separate and encourage areas of wild grass growth on the sand dunes, I've used them in a number of shots and this is one of my favourites.

I'm very happy with the way the title turned out. It can take me a few hours to settle on a title but this one sought me out. I won't spoil it by explaining, but feel free to say what you think in the comments, if you like :)

(More confessions to come!)

Post by: +Mark Highton Ridley
comments / feedback / tweets / Likes / +1s always welcome :)

Monday, 23 January 2012

Life has been getting in the way of photography... but the worst of the redecorating that needed to be done is over. Hooray! A few touch-up jobs remain and that's it for downstairs.

Another from Lyme Regis

I still managed to squeeze in some time for the digital darkroom and this is one of the results. I noticed this family scene and it struck me as so typical of a British day out at the seaside.

It's just one of those little vignettes that plays itself out - has done for centuries, will do until we poison it all.
Typical British Family Day Out at the Seaside, April 24th 2011
Hmm... I didn't quite mean to sound so depressing in that last sentence but I'm sure you know what I mean :)

PS My dear readers, wouldn't it be just great if the family bumped into this and got in touch so I could send them a signed print?  Well, I think so :) If you do, please share!

Post by: +Mark Highton Ridley
comments / feedback / tweets / Likes / +1s always welcome :)


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