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Amazing optical illusion photography – part 2

April 4, 2014
A few months ago we shared some examples of optical illusion photography with you, and we thought it was time to share some more. Using imaginative composition, lighting effects or photo-editing software, illusion photography allows your photographs to play tricks on the viewer’s visual senses. Below are some of our favourites that had us in awe. Enjoy! Slam-dunk! © Adrian Limani Invisible man via theberry.com Balancing act. Via Retro Zone Hold on, we’ve got you! Via nster Jar of birds. Via Kulfoto Cloud balloon © merrrm I love you to the moon and back! Via Gabriela Kusterbeck Where do you think you’re going? Via Former_Manc on Reddit Have you ever attempted illusion photography? If you have, please share your photos with us below…  

Black & White Photography Tips

April 2, 2014
Today’s tips come from the winner of our Black and White photography challenge that was held on Facebook. It was our largest yet with over 400 entries and there were some absolutely amazing ones. Vicky is a mum of 1 little boy who is the subject of her wonderful entry and is also a photographer and sports marketing specialist! She has been kind enough to give us an insight in to how she achieved her shot and also some general photography tips so over to you Vicky… This shot really wasn’t intended from the outset, which is sometimes the best kind of shoot in my mind! Just as nights out with your friends and unplanned gatherings are always the best, unplanned shots can lead to amazing results. It was Halloween and I was painfully trying to get my 10-month-old son to ‘pose’ for the camera in his lovely bumblebee outfit. As most of us learn in life, asking babies/children to do something can be very difficult, almost impossible once they’ve figured out the art of ignoring. Although, I do have to stick up for my son to an extent, he has been photographed so much since his first days, I can’t blame him for trying to get away from me, especially as I had him dressed as bee…however on reviewing the images, I found the ones where he wasn’t just sat smiling on the floor to be the best, in fact the ones where he was just being a baby were the ones that stood out most. The fact this shot isn’t perfect, makes it even better to me. I have based my business off this notion, capturing moments as they happen, not having them completely staged or in a specific pose. If it isn’t natural most of the time it will show through the image.  Perseverance is key, it can take time but when you get ‘that shot’ you know it has all been worth it. I would love to say I took this picture with my fantastic Canon 7D but in fact this was taken on my first ‘proper’ camera that I bought years ago, the Canon 1000D and on top of that, I used the standard lens (don’t judge me!). So I hope this shows budding photographers that you can get the best out of your cameras if you spend time getting to know them.   My Top Tip: ‘I love natural lighting; I would have it all the time over artificial lighting. Specifically when it comes to black and white photography. How the light plays off your subject can be magical.’ If you’d like to participate in one of our photo challenges and have your chance to be featured on our blog, head on over to our page where we have a new one running bi-weekly!

Five top photography apps….plus one from us

March 28, 2014
With so many people using a smartphone as their primary device for taking photos, it’s no surprise that there are tons of photography apps available for iOS and Android platforms. We’ve selected five of our favourites, which help you to retouch and enhance your photos, or even add retro text and graphics. Camera+ £1.49 Camera+ allows you to shoot like a pro! Whether you’re a professional, or it’s your first time using a camera – this app will help you appreciate every photograph you take. With the small price of £1.49, it really is worth the investment for what you get access to. It allows you to add different effects, borders and even use more in-depth tools like ‘Clarity’, which allows you to analyse your photos and make adjustments to bring the dull to life. Photosynth Free This is a free app from Microsoft, which can help you capture stunning panoramic photos. There are a lot of panoramic Apps out there in App land, however this one stitches images together almost perfectly. Photosynth also has its own social community, so you can share your photos and get inspiration from other panorama enthusiasts. Retromatic £1.49 An app that takes you back to the 50s giving your photos a retro feel, you import your photos, cut them out using a simple alpha tool and then add retro-style themes, stickers and effects. The app supports Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr. FaceTune £1.99 FaceTune is the No.1 photography and video app in over 100 countries, so we thought it was worth a look. It turns out that it’s great for editing portraits, as it enables you to emphasise features – such as the eyes, but you can also whiten teeth, give yourself a smoother complexion, add make-up and even reshape your face. Additionally, there is a tool that helps you to remove skin blemishes and you can even colour in bald patches. Over £1.49 Over is a great app for adding creative text and artwork to your photos. It is really easy to use and the text can be edited to create different shapes and sizes. You can also add effects to the text, such as fading, while also being able to stretch and crop text and images. For more professional users, you can also upload your own type fonts. PhotoBox App Free Once you’ve edited your photos in these creative apps, why not use our very own free iOS PhotoBox app to celebrate them on a variety of different products. You can choose from 16 different products, such as a Canvas, Personalised Mug, Acrylic Block or case for your smartphone or tablet. Importing your images is easy and can be done from a variety of different sources, including: Dropbox, camera roll, Google+, Instagram, Facebook and photos saved in your PhotoBox account. If you know of any other great photography apps, please let us know in the comments below. Otherwise, get snapping!

Get creative with the Collage Photobook

March 21, 2014
One of our best photo books for displaying holidays and trips away, is the one-of-a-kind  A4 Classic Collage Photobook. Offering nine small cut out windows on the front cover, this unique format is perfect for highlighting nine of the standout photographs that feature inside your book. You can also play around with our image library to experiment when designing your front cover. Here are some fun ideas of things you can do with your photo book: Get creative with the nine windows, by adding a mixture of letters and photographs to make a collage. Why not add in different chapters to your photo book to help guide the reader through the content? Each chapter could include a summary of the activities that you experienced on each day of your trip in chronological order, or you could group photographs together to create themes– such as architecture, local life or cultural cuisines. Adding an introduction at the beginning of your book – including the key points from your trip, like the date and year you travelled, also makes a nice touch – so you never forget the memories that you made. How do you organise the layout of your photo books? Share your creative layout ideas with us in the comments to win 1 of 2 A4 Classic Collage Photobooks (26 pages). Contest will run from 21st March – 21st April. Good luck!