OFF TOPIC

Being a computer geek since age 12, I periodically fail to refrain from sharing my enthusiasm for software discoveries. It appears I have failed again today. I recently found two great iPhone apps that I use a lot and that have become permanent residents of my smart phone.

  • Pano ($2.99, Debacle Software) – This iPhone app is for panoramic photography. You can take multiple pictures and this software stitches them together into one wide-screen photograph. Below is a shot I took recently at the Air Force One exhibit in Simi Valley for SantaBarbara.com’s Day Trips guide. It is 4 pictures stitched together.
     
  • Pro HDR ($1.99, eyeApps LLC) – The Pro HDR (high dynamic range) iPhone app takes two photos (one slightly over exposed, one slightly underexposed) and merges them into one shot, using the best parts of each. The net result is that you no longer have too-bright and too-dark areas in your photo. Everything is more evenly exposed. The pictures tend to look a bit unnatural because normal photographs don’t look this way but it is very useful when taking pictures of high-contrast subjects. You need to hold the camera still and be sure any people in the photo also remain still while the app takes two pictures.
       To the right is a Pro HDR shot I took recently at the Air Force One exhibit in Simi Valley for SantaBarbara.com’s ever-growing Day Trips guide. If I had taken this shot with a normal camera I would have had two choices: a well-lit helicopter with a completely white window behind it, or a completely black helicopter with properly-exposed landscape behind it. Pro HDR let me have the best of both.
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