Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Category

Check Out the Angry Sky Over London

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

I had to work this morning so after I finished I decided to pop into the Tate Modern as it was close by. Check out the photo of the angry sky over the city. I took this as 2 photos on my iPhone then stitched them together using the Autostitch App.

It is very busy here today and everyone seems to be taking photos of the artwork. Quite annoying as I have to keep dodging out of photos while I try to look at work on the walls. I might sit and sketch for a bit before I head home as the heavens have now opened, as Terry Pratchett puts it – the rain is like the sea cut into strips.

Alnwick and Bamburgh

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

A few photos I took at Alnwick Gardens, Alnwick Castle and along the coast between Beadnell and Bamburgh. I took the first 11 of these on my iPhone 4 and had a play around with the new HDR function on a couple of them (I’m quite impressed with it btw). The last 4 are taken on my DSLR using Mat’s lovely 10-22mm lens (I love that lens, I would love one of my own but can hardly justify it).

I’ve been trying to post these photos for days but just before uploading them I noticed an update to the iPad WordPress App and stupidly decided to install it. They have since released another update to ‘fix some bugs’ but even after installing that it seems to crash every minute or so. It is very buggy when uploading multiple photos, gets very confused over aspect ratios of photos especially when switching between landscape and portrait, it now doesn’t want to let me delete posts and won’t let me change the publish date. It took much longer to post this than it would have on the earlier version. The problems are so many and so glaringly obvious I really don’t understand why they rolled out the update. Very frustrating as I don’t really have access to post from a PC unless I stay late at work which I don’t want to do.

My headphones…They saved my life

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

I have had a go at detailed drawing using Layers Pro on the iPad. I was quite impressed at the level of detail possible with this app especially using a stylus. The stylus I use is basically a thin tube of metal with a bit of conductive foam stuffed into one end. It is not as precise as an ordinary stylus is on a resistive touch screen. With the capacitive touch screen on the iPad you have to use a fair bit of pressure for it to register contact and you have to zoom right in when you need to position lines precisely.

The result is that I found it difficult to get the shape of my headphones correct. The shape still isn’t right but I got it as close as I could.

I decided to draw my headphones as they are my favourite pair and I spend so much of my time wearing them. Lovely and comfy, though they are a little warm for this time of year, also lovely sound quality and noise isolation. The title btw is a song lyric but I doubt many people would know the song. Feel free to guess.

Sky

Friday, August 13th, 2010

I’ve never really like the results when I try to draw skies. Somehow I can never get them down on paper the right way. I saw a couple of examples that someone had drawn on their iPad using the smudging tool on Layers and I thought I could see how it was done so I gave it a try.

This one is drawn from a photo I took in Prague last year…

This one I drew looking out of our bedroom window yesterday evening as there was a spectacular sunset. I think it is noticeable that my main problem with the sky is drawing it fast enough to capture it accurately. I am really not good at drawing from memory and by the time I finished this, the sun had set, there was just a bit of an orange glow left on the horizon.

This week has felt a bit rubbish so far. Hopefully today’s date will bring me luck ;) I might even buy myself a lottery ticket.

Vector Orchids

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Orchids are my favorite flower. When I was in Singapore several years ago I visited the orchid gardens on Sentosa island. Mat and I spent a lot of time walking around the gardens and as I didn’t have a camera of my own in those days Mat kindly leant me his so that I could take some photos. If I had been allowed to I’m sure I could have spent the rest of our holiday in those gardens alone!

I decided to have a go at converting one of my favourite photos that I took that day into a vector drawing using the iPad app iDraw by Indeeo. I was quite pleased with the result.

The reference photo:

My vector drawing:

Unfortunately there are bugs in iDraw and for this drawing I had to keep remembering to close and reopen it to save each tiny change to avoid the frustration of loosing a significant chunk of work. However there is a new update just out and hopefully this will fix these issues.

Drawing on iPad

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

I guess I am behind the times somewhat here but I have to share links to something Mat showed me a little while ago. An American artist David Kassan has been busy creating these amazing portraits using the Brushes app on his iPad.

There is also a time-lapse video showing him ‘painting the first of the portraits in the gallery.

Hmm I need to get practising…a lot! ;)

I have been playing around a bit more with Sketchbook Pro:

Yes I know Mat’s head is not that flat! ;)

and with Layers Pro:

Layers has a lovely smudge tool which I think could be very interesting to play with. I just need to find time and something to draw now.

iPhone Photos of Portsmouth

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

My weekend in Portsmouth was my first weekend with my new iPhone (Yes I was one of the idiots who queued for the iPhone 4). I have to say though, idiot or not I am very impressed with it so far. As a very portable point and shoot camera it is now not bad and the higher definition screen makes viewing photos lovely.

Yes I know, there have been much cheaper and better quality camera phones on the market for some time now. Some of those phones can do everything mine can, probably plus a bit more. And yes it does irritate me that Apple limit what I can do with my product and refuse to make it easy to sync with a PC trying to force me into buying a mac. But I can’t help it, I just love the way my iPhone works and as much as people hate apple you have to admit they spend a lot of time and energy on getting their products right. I can’t see how that’s a bad thing.

Oh and that last photo?…There was a bunk bed over our bed in the hotel so Mat built a fort :) Who says we have to be adults anyway? :)

New Toy

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

There is going to be a fair bit of old news on my blog for a little while. By the time I finally decided to start writing it down I had already collected quite a few things I wanted to blog about. The first on the list has to be my (relatively) new toy.

It seems that I have become one of those slightly overexcited early adopter Apple Fans and a bit of a gadget hoarder. When I first heard about the iPad, before it was released in the US, I thought, ‘that sounds cool and I will no doubt get one in the future but I’ll leave it about a year for the kinks to be ironed out and to give iPad apps time to come down to sensible prices’. Then the iPad was released in the US but was not yet released in the UK. This meant I had time to read reviews and watch videos online before preorder was available here. The temptation proved too great and I preordered mine the first day I was able to.

In the end what swayed it for me was a couple of the apps that I found out would be available from day one and thinking about how I used the gadgets I already have.

1) I already read most of my books as ebooks either on my iPhone or my Kindle (I already mentioned the unhealthy gadget habit right?). I had found out that a couple of the eReader apps that I already use would also be available on the iPad and I liked the idea of reading on a larger backlit screen.

2) I tend to be an impulsive Internet user, when I think of something I like to look it up straight away. I do not have the patience to wait for my PC to boot up so it had got to the point that I was doing most of my Internet surfing on my iPhone. So an iPhone with a huge screen? Brilliant!

3) I had tried to use Autodesk sketchbook Mobile on my iPhone and although I could see the potential I found it almost impossible to use because the iPhone screen is too small. I figured a large screen would make it brilliant. I then found out Sketchbook Pro would be available on the iPad straight away.

When my new toy arrived I had the usual frustration of waiting the best part of a day for it to sync but once that was out of the way I finally got started playing around with it on 29th May and I knew I had done the right thing getting it. I love it!

So far the best app I have found is one that I knew nothing at all about. An app called iDraw for creating vector graphics. I had never played around with vectors before and I found it very entertaining and was very satisfied with what I could produce. The only problem I have found is that as it is a new app and they are working very hard to introduce new features ASAP, as a result it can be a bit temperamental and crashy so I have to remember to save very often.

Below are two images I produced during my first weekend with my iPad. The first was produced using Sketchbook Pro and the second using iDraw.

Contact Me
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Please email me: web@amystace.com
Copyright
Creative Commons License
All artwork by
Amy Stace published on www.amystace.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Books
Reading Now
A Game of Thrones
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Read Recently
Her Fearful Symmetry
Water for Elephants
Blueeyedboy
A Week in December
Tickling the English
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ
The Little Stranger
Thinking In Pictures and Other Reports from My Life with Autism
What Alice Forgot
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Favorite Books
Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1
Infidel
The Gargoyle
Runemarks
The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Gentlemen and Players
Breaking Dawn
Eclipse
Midnight Sun
New Moon
Twilight
The Hobbit
The Book Thief
The Matchmaker of Perigord
The Lollipop Shoes
The Day of the Triffids
Complicity
The Subtle Knife
The Kraken Wakes
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