phoneapps

Family Legacy Trees has webinars every Wednesday. This week was Phone Apps: Android, iPhone, iPad & Web by Maureen Taylor, the photo detective. Introduced as the expert on the intersection of genealogy, photography and history, she covered using the camera in your smart phone along with some apps that can help genealogists.

Before I give my synopsis of her webinar, I want to share with you the polls taken before the webinar. This was fascinating to me.

First Question was how many in the audience had a smart phone? 70% did. 30% did not. Second Question: What kind is your smart phone? 56% had Android. 37% had iPhone. 2% had Windows. But 5% of the audience didn’t know what kind of phone they had!

First Maureen briefly explained composition, lighting, tonal range, balance — all that stuff old school photographers learned (that our phone cameras mostly do automatically now!). Then she launched into descriptions of several phone apps she had used with her genealogy photos, along with samples.

LensMag: Technically it’s an add-on, not an app. Maureen found it at the NGS conference last week, and absolutely loves it. Says she can’t get along without it now. Two high-powered magnetic magnifiers you slip over your camera lens on your phone. If I remember correctly, these macro lenses were 10x and 15x zoom. [iOS]

Retro Camera: An app which takes “delicious old-school pics your friends will drool over.” In the examples she showed from her phone, they could serve a purpose in genealogy photos, or in gift-making. Also lets you create postcards and send to friends. [Android]

Hipstamatic/Oggl: “Digital photography never looked so analog.” Share photos on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Flickr. Experiment with gear, lens, film, flash. Maureen seemed quite intrigued with everything it could do. I believe it was an app her daughter uses all the time and recommended. Oggl is a photo-sharing community. [iOS]

Vignette: 70 customisable filters and 50 frames – create many photo effects. Also a full-featured camera application, featuring digital zoom, time-lapse, self-timer and more. She also mentioned something about panoramic seaming that she thought was easy, but I don’t see that mentioned in the app description. [Android]

Big Camera Button Lite: Basically makes your camera screen into a camera button. Good for people who have trouble pushing a little button when doing selfies. Not quite sure how this works into genealogy unless you’re trying to post pics of yourself in your tree. But Maureen liked it. (maybe I missed something!) [Android]

Ztitch: An immersive panorama viewing experience. Full 360° panoramas giving you semi-3D experience. [Windows]

Thumba: Free image editor for your computer (requires Chrome). Out of all the things she reviewed, it seemed like she enjoyed this the best because of all the things she could do with her photos. She showed many different pictures she had worked on, and kept saying it had a lot of things that Adobe Photoshop Elements had, but it was free. [online]

Pixlr Express: A free online photo editor. Using Pixlr Editor, she had cropped several different photos (different ages) of one of her ancestors, then built them into a beautiful collage and saved to her computer to print or share. Pretty cool. View one of the other collages she created. Also available for your iOS or Android device.

Fotor: Another free online photo editor. Categories: photo editing, photo collage, HDR, Beauty retouching, and photo cards. More things than I could begin to explain! Go play with it online, and if you like it, download to your iOS or Android device.

It was about this time my note-taking slacked off, and we were only halfway through the webinar! Maureen covered some social media sites like Instagram, other apps: Snapseed, Aviary, PicMonkey (great fonts, she says), Shuttersong, how to use the tools built into your camera phone, and a bunch of other stuff in the second half. My head was spinning by the end!

If you want to learn how to use photo apps for genealogy, it’s free to watch her webinar until May 21, 2014.

Visit Maureen’s website for more info, or check out her blog.

 

 

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