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Mark J P
6,347 followers -
Photographer first, cautiously optimistic sceptic & news fiend second.
Photographer first, cautiously optimistic sceptic & news fiend second.

6,347 followers
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I spotted this doll in a bric-a-brac shop in Camden Market, London today.  I don't know about you, but these dolls always freak me out.  I think it's the eyes. I couldn't resist a shot. :)
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Sundown at Sandbanks at the end of a beautiful summer weekend. :)
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Another shot of the Bournemouth Eye helium balloon.  I have still yet to go up in it! ;)
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Custom URLs for profiles and pages: a first step

Your Google+ profile is a place for you to share your passions with the millions of people who come to Google each day. Whether you're a clothing brand showing off your latest fashions (google.com/+hugoboss), an athlete talking about the game (google.com/+davidbeckham), or an actor recalling a favorite role (google.com/+hughjackman), your Google+ profile helps you connect with the people who share your interests. Today we’re introducing custom URLs to make it even easier for people to find your profile on Google+.

A custom URL is a short, easy to remember web address that links directly to your profile or page on Google+. For instance, +TOYOTA  can now use google.com/+toyota to unveil their latest models, +Britney Spears  can share her upcoming appearances at google.com/+britneyspears, +Ubisoft  can share game trailers and videos at google.com/+assassinscreed, and +Delta  can help travellers find great deals at google.com/+delta

Custom URLs will also be available to people and pages worldwide, so brands like Globo can point readers to google.com/+epoca, or any of their other Brazilian publications.

At first, we’re introducing custom URLs to a limited number of verified profiles and pages. But over time we plan to offer custom URLs to many more brands and individuals, so please stay tuned!

#googleplusupdate

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The shot on the left was taken with my Android Galaxy Nexus cell phone and processed via Instagram filter in a few seconds. Total Cost: FREE  I need a phone, the camera just comes with it, right? 

The shot on the right was taken with my Nikon D800E and processed in Lightroom 4  in about an hour. Total Cost: $4,550  (Camera $3,300, Lens $1,000, CF Card $100, Lightroom 4 $150)

Earlier this week, I was out shooting with my Nikon all day and not really getting anything I liked. Then I took the photo on the left with my Android and I instantly loved it. It was a bit frustrating to be honest! So I tried to take the same photo with my Nikon (that's the shot you see on the right). It took me several minutes to try and frame the same shot (and, as you can see, I still couldn't get the exact same composition). It was much easier to hold the cell phone at a certain spot and get an angle by looking at the live screen on my cell phone than it was with my Nikon on a tripod.

When I got home, I started working on my Nikon DSLR photo. I had to crop it up to cell phone dimensions and then processed it in Lightroom 4. It took me about an hour to get a similar effect to the cell phone pic. Of course it only took a few seconds to choose the Instagram filter for the cell phone version. (Note: I've also used my Android's in-phone processing to get results I like in a just a few minutes.)

Now ultimately, I'm much, much happier with the large version of my Nikon DSLR pic. When you compare the photos at full size on a big screen, there is no comparison. The Android pic quality is not as sharp and the Instagram filter adds a lot of grain to the image that only looks good to me on a small screen. When I process an image by hand (as opposed to choosing a single filter), I can be a lot more precise and dodge and burn different parts of the image.

But I find it enlightening how the photos are not so dissimilar when considered side by side at a small size. I like them both at this size. I've chosen to make them about cell phone screen size here in this post. If you click on the comparison, you can see them a little larger and see how the Nikon photo starts to look better (well, at least to my eye,... You may hate both photos.. haha)

I think this illustrates two interesting things. 

1) Cell phone photography really is its own, new medium. The photos are meant to be viewed on a small screen and the filters that companies like Instagram create look much better at these small sizes than they do when blown up. Traditionally we've looked at photography in magazines and in art galleries, and then on our computer screens. The cell phone size screen is a new medium and the camera technology and editing software we have now is taking advantage of it in a unique way.

2) Why is cell phone photography so popular? It's easier to understand why cell phone photography is becoming so big when you consider the simplicity and speed with which you can produce something you like. The cell phone pic took very little effort and cost me nothing to produce. I didn't even buy the camera... It just happened to be included in my smart phone. With traditional digital photography I need an expensive camera, lens, memory cards. The DSLR is large and I've got to lug it around. The DSLR image itself doesn't look as interesting straight out of the camera. In fact, it took me about an hour to proces this image in Lightroom 4 and that's after 6 or 7 months of intense practice on processing images. 

I guess in a way this post is just a restatement or visual illustration of some of the points I made in a post I wrote last year about Instagram and photo apps: http://bit.ly/qWqG9Z

Techcrunch made it a guest post if you'd like to see the discussion over there: http://tcrn.ch/oDemxk

Btw, shortly after writing that post, I realized I should have wrote that technology was evolving art rather than advancing it, but you get my meaning, I hope. :-)
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Today we went to the Great Dorset Chilli Festival which was a huge amount of fun. While we were there we were fortunate enough to hear Dave Hum playing some banjo. :)

http://www.greatdorsetchillifestival.co.uk/
http://www.davehum.com/
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Today we went to the Great Dorset Chilli Festival which was a huge amount of fun. While there we encountered a Mariachi band which was rather excellent. :)

http://www.greatdorsetchillifestival.co.uk/
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Pretty amazing. :)
The dazzling opening ceremony took place at #london2012  yesterday.

 Did you know that the cast featured over 7,500 volunteer performers, who took part in 248 rehearsals ahead of last night's performance?
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I'm thoroughly excited by the London Olympics and couldn't resist an olympic themed photograph. I shall be watching much of the olympics but will have to make do with watching from home as I was unable to get any tickets. :(
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A roaming horse out in the New Forest in Hampshire. I just loved the contrast of the horse against the ice cream van. It seems so out of place. :)
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