Google maps

Google maps has finally come back to the iPhone and its really really nice. It feels like a modern app and works really fast. I’m being more impressed by google every day.

I heart my iPad…first generation

All the talk recently is about the New iPad. All of the other talk is about how people need to upgrade from their iPad 2s. I’m sure the new retina display wielding iPad is gorgeous, especially for such a visual device. As a photographer I think it will probably be the best device around for displaying your portfolio and showing off lovely hi res shots, perhaps something from the new D800. The new processor also, I’m sure is excellent and there’s nothing better than faster deceives and being able to handle content better and deal with more powerful apps such as the new iPhoto which by the way looks gorgeous. (It makes me think apple should buy adobe and have a play with photoshop and Lightroom. That auto photo recognition system that shows you all of the similar looking photos is ace!) As for the camera on the new iPad, well if you’re one of those people who uses the iPad as a camera then I’m sure you’ll appreciate this new lens and sensor, likewise for the 1080 video. I’d imagine there will be some feature films this year entirely shot and edited on an iPad. Watch out for them. As a photographer though I’ve never seen the appeal of taking photos on an iPad. I love my iPhone especially the 4s, the new 8mp camera is intense, but I think the iPad is a consumption device and Apple are just trying to change this with the new camera and 1080 video and new GarageBand apps etc. I’ve tried using the iPad for content creation however, and it’s clumsy. It is just awkward to do things on when it would be much simpler on a Mac. I am typing this on an iPad and I think I’d be finished by now if I was on my laptop, but I’m watching the rugby and was using my iPad and thought about writing this post so here we are. I am only typing this though, I will add the pictures in later on my laptop as doing that here takes just two many steps for such a small task.
Anyway, I was talking with Alan the other day about the new iPad and made the point that if the first gen iPad was still Apple’s current iPad I think it would still be the tablet marker leader. It got me thinking about the new iPad. It’s lovely, so is the iPad2 but it’s mostly the same as the original. I’m using the original, I got one maybe 10 months after it came out. I loved it. A groundbreaking device that was changing how we interact with digital content again! Then the iPad 2 came out and as far as I was concerned it was no different to the first one. They had put a camera on it. Big deal. It was slightly thinner, so what?!, my iPad isn’t fat. What else was different? I can’t remember. But I had no desire to upgrade. Now the new iPad is out. Ok, so it has that new gorgeous screen, but after that I don’t know why anyone would upgrade. It’s put on weight! (not that … continue reading here

Photography and design. Creative Cousins.

Originally blogged on curvecreative.blogspot.com

At Curve Creative a lot of our passion for creativity was grounded on a love of photography. We wanted to nurture a creative studio where design and photography go hand in hand. As creative cousins, design and photography have so much in common and so many areas where crossover expertise is highly beneficial. Having a good knowledge of the rules of making a great photograph such as the rule of thirds, framing, lead in lines, etc. lend a lot to a designer when laying out a photo book or graphic design project. Even the ability for the designer to know a technically great photo and to know how to treat it properly when cropping so as to not damage the effect of the photo is a skill that is essential today where so much depends on decent images.

Vice versa, for a photographer to also be a designer brings with it great advantages. Not only can the photographer pre-visualise when shooting what is going to be required of a photo later at the design stage in terms of composition, leaving space around the edge of the subject, even leaving dead space for copy or shooting multiples of the same scene from different vantage points to give choice at the design stage but the photographer then also has the experience of the shoot and of being there at the time to know the photos that really matter when it comes to using them in the design.

As industrial designers we are also very aware of the relationship between products and photography. Obviously we want our products and designs to look as good as possible online and in print so for this we need great photos of them. Often it is very important to show a product in an environment or in use to communicate it’s meaning or target market. This is where a strong photo can mean the difference between gaining interest or a product going unnoticed.

Industrial designers also benefit from a knowledge of photography when it comes to product or concept visualisation. Using 3D CAD models and rendering software designers can create photorealistic digital images of their designs. Through this the designer has access to a virtual photography studio where lighting can be controlled, environments can be selected and altered, and controls which simulate adjusting values on the virtual camera to capture the scene can be set. Essentially it is the same as using a camera, focal length can be set, aperture, exposure and position of camera can be adjusted to achieve a perfect exposure and composition. This is where a hands on knowledge of photography can help the designer to create great images on the computer.

Following our belief that a strong relationship between the arts can enhance and benefit each art individually we are introducing Curvephoto. www.curvephoto.com

This is now the photography department of Curve Creative. We have always taken our own photos in house for projects and we have also worked as professional photographers individually beforehand. Now we are bring this all together into Curvephoto to offer our professional photography service to you, along side our design services. We have developed our new site where you can look at examples from our portfolio of photographic areas that we like to cover.

We would love if you have a look and also think about how photography affects your field too. We believe great photography can have a benefit for most businesses not just creative ones.

Irish rugby train before 6 Nations bout against Italy…

An opportunity occurred today that meant I found myself taking some shots at the Ireland rugby team’s training session in the Aviva ahead of the 6nations Italy game tomorrow… O’Gara spent quite a while perfecting his toe after everyone else had gone in from training….Good luck in the game tomorrow…

Check out more shots on my flickr… here

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Introducing the Headbuddy… a sports band for your Apple headphones…

Apple’s headphones are great. Stylish, iconic, there when you need them. But we like to run and our Apple headphones don’t.So we went about creating a simple and affordable solution that meant we could use our existing Apple headphones in a more effective way while running.

The result was the Headbuddy. Just loop your apple headphones into the sports band and you’re ready to go. The earbuds are held securely in such a way that retains the sound quality whilst providing a surprisingly comfortable fit, one that is arguably more comfortable than the traditional way of using earbud headphones.

Works great with the new Nano or shuffle. Just clip on and go.

The Headbuddy is made from super strong, flexible, polyamide plastic. It is 3D printed in this material and each one is printed specially when ordered. The channeled design allows the cable of the Apple headphones to wrap around the frame and the earpiece slots hold the ear buds tightly. The flexible design fits overs the ears and holds snug to your head feeding the remainder of the cable down your back or over your shoulder. 

The Headbuddy is specifically designed for iPod and iPhone headphones. Others might work, we haven’t tried all of them yet!

You can buy the Headbuddy here on Shapeways


Clear

An app there is a lot of talk about at the moment is Clear, an easy to use, minimal, gesture based todo list app…

I figured id see what all the fuss was about and downloaded it and have been trying it out for a week or so. It looks great, it really does. The clean, colour based priority layout is nice and the full screen display with no controls is immersive. Well, as immersive as a todo list app can be. The gestures go control are nice and it means that the full screen, no visible control buttons UI can be achieved. At the end of the day it is just a todo list and like every other todo list app i actually didn’t find myself using it that much… All in all a nice remake of a very simple app concept in principal and if you’re the kind of person that uses todo list this could be great for you. It’s not for me.

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Lokofoto

One of Dublin’s hottest new start-up’s Lokofoto is a photography website that allows the user to buy photos of their favourite places from photographers local to that area. I met the guys from Lokofoto back at Dublin Web Summit and they are truly passionate about photography and improving how people can get great photos of anywhere while also benefitting local photographers who are looking for somewhere to sell their work.

I’ve been trying out Lokofoto for a few months and have  a collection of images online now. Check them out here and expect to see more from Lokofoto soon…