Mummy Cheetah.

You might have realized by now that I’m a big fan of the zoo Vienna, the oldest zoo in the world. Almost each year, the zoo has new baby animals like Pandas, Cheetahs, Arctic Wolves, Lemurs, Penguins, Reindeers, Flamingos, Giraffes, Meerkats, Crocodiles and Elephants. And those were just the new born animals in 2013 and 2014!

If you want to get good photos from the animals in the zoo vienna, go there as early as possible, especially on weekends.

The photo is from “Mummy Cheetah” who gave birth to 3 absolutely cute baby “big cats” this year. I made it using the Sony QX100 (here’s a review) and converted it to black and white with Tonality, an awesome tool for really sophisticated black and white conversions [Mac App Store Link].
DC Tower black and white conversion with iOS8.

During the last days I experimented (again) with the new photo editing tools in iOS8. I used some photos I made earlier this year, like this one from a photowalk at the DC Tower in Vienna.

I really love that Apple didn’t just add more filters but provided ways to fine tune light, color and black and white settings for a photo. If you know iPhoto for iOS, you know what i mean. By sliding your finger across a slider, the iOS8 photo app applies different settings to a photo. But unlike iPhoto for iOS, you can pop up a menu and adjust various settings individually.

I made this photo with a Sony QX100 attachable lens style camera  that uses my iPhone as a viewfinder and then immediately transfers the 20 Megapixel photo to my iPhone using WiFi.
Black and White Long Exposure of the Sea shot with an iPhone.

During my stay in Croatia, I tried some long time exposures with the iPhone. The rocky coast was the ideal place for this. A long time exposure of the sea usually flattens its surface and makes it look like a sea of clouds.

For this long time exposure, I used Slow Shutter App [iTunes Store] on the iPhone 5S with iOS8 beta 5. With Slow Shutter App, I can take long time exposures between 1/4 second and 30 seconds with the iPhone.

To avoid camera shake and a blurry photo, I mounted the iPhone to my Manfrotto Tripod [see Amazon] using a Joby Griptight mount [see Amazon] and used a Muku Shutter as a wireless remote shutter release. Finally, I converted the photo to black and white with iOS8.
The Bamboo Forrest in Croatia.

I believed that I would have to travel much further than Croatia to photograph a bamboo forrest. I was surprised to discover three small bamboo groves in Croatia close to the sea. I learned, that allegedly 80% of the plants that grow in Croatia are imported like bamboo.

I created the photo with the Sony Nex 7 from three bracketed shots and combined them to an HDR with Photomatix Pro. For landscape and nature HDR photo I usually start from the natural preset in Photomatix, which changed the process to Exposure Fusion instead of Tone Mapping and produces more natural looking results.
The Girl and the Seagull.

During my last trip to Croatia, I experimented around with the new photo editing functions in iOS8 (beta 4). I made this shot in Opatija, Croatia and it shows a statue called “The Girl and the Seagull”, which is one of the major landmarks in Opatija, I guess.

Like I outlined in this post iPhone photographers get a wide range of editing possibilities with iOS8 and Apple has done an impressive job making photo editing easy and convenient on the iPhone. I did a lot of black and white conversions with iOS8 and I don’t think it can get any easier.

The edits made to a photo on the iPhone or iPad sync  as long as both devices run iOS8, but not yet to iPhoto or Aperture on OSX Yosemite Beta. On the desktop, I just see the unedited photos I took.
The Creek at the bottom of the Ötschergraben.

The Ötschergraben, a canyon in Lower Austria, is a nature photographer’s paradise: Waterfalls, creeks with a stunning landscape, rock formations and if you’re lucky, even some wild animals.

This photo is an HDR from a 3 bracketed shot, processed with Photomatix 5 [Photomatix Homepage]. I used the Photomatix Aperture Plugin before, but switched to the full version of Photomatix after I learned about the de-ghosting functionality it has. That function is really  helpful for free hand bracketed shots like this one. The results are way better than with the plug-in.


Purchase prints of this photo via 
Fine Art America, SmugMug or 500px
Theseus Temple with Perspective Distortion fixed on the iPhone.

In Vienna, you can photograph lots of different architecture styles, from modern to classic to antique. This photo is a part of the Theseus Template in the city park opposite the town hall. It’s a small museum and beautifully illuminated at night.

I photographed the temple with my iPhone during a photo-walk through the city and used the photo to give Skrwt app another try; Skrwt is an iPhone app that corrects falling lines and perspective distortions without overly cropping the final result.

Skrwt App [iTunes App Store Link] impresses me the more I use it. I just open a photo, select the kind of distortion I want to fix and use a slider to correct it. It fixes horizontal, vertical and even spherical distortions.
A Red Kite photographed in Mid-Air.

Red kites belong to the same family as eagles and buzzards. They can grow up to 60-70 cm (24-27 in) with a wingspan of 175-179 cm (69-70 in). This red kite is from a bird photography workshop that I attended 2012.

It took some time until I had figured out the correct settings for my Nikon D7000 [Amazon Link]. As long as the distance between myself and the bird was nearly constant, the autofocus did a pretty good.  I also learned that I needed fast shutter speed like 1/2000 or better. For this photo, I got a shutter speed of 1/5000. I could get such a fast shutter speed only by increasing ISO to 800 which keeps the noise the Nikon D7000 creates within an acceptable range.

I reduced the remaining noise with Topaz Denoise [Topaz Homepage].


Purchase prints or licenses of this photo via 
Fine Art America, SmugMug or 500px
Austrian Parliament with Falling Lines fixed on the iPhone.

A new iPhone photo editing app has earned a top spot on my iPhone: Skrwt App [iTunes App Store Link]. It helps me to fix falling lines and to correct perspective distortions. It’s a great app for improving architecture photos with the iPhone.

It’s simple to use: I open a photo in Skrwt App on the iPhone, select which kind of perspective distortion I want to fix. Then I use a slider to correct the distortion. I like that Skrwt App doesn’t reduce the size of my photos as some other tools do. My tests showed that the photos lose 0.1 megapixel at maximum. I think that’s within an acceptable range.

In the end, I added a Lensflare with Lensflare App [iTunes App Store Link] at the spearhead.