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Ever taken a snap from the train or the bus on the way home? Well London commuter pj2014 aka Paul Jarman has been doing it pretty much every night with some stunning results.

It is fair to say that his journey home - he takes the Clipper boat on The Thames back to Docklands - might just be a bit prettier than yours - but still he takes stunning images.

Explaining how he does it PJ says '5% of the snaps on Instagram were taken with a Nikon s9100. The beauty of this compact camera is it's 18x zoom which is very handy when you can't be bothered to walk in a forwardly direction.The other 95% of snaps were taken with the iPhone4.

The majority of images have been taken aboard the Thames Clipper, which runs from Westmister to Woolwich. Most 'pro' photographers don't use the Clipper for photography as they prefer their cameras to use slow shutter speeds.. clearly a fast shutter speed is essential given the inherent movement of the boat.

The only app I use is Google's Snapseed - this can enhance brightness, contrast, saturation etc

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It's hard to escape the word "selfie" at the moment now everyone from Barack Obama to your gran are taking them, but now iStrategy Labs want to turn the selfie into more of a tech-powered art and less of a lame social media trend.

The team have developed the S.E.L.F.I.E (that's Self Enhancing Live Feed Image Engine), which utilises a two-way mirror, a web-cam, LEDs, powerful facial recognition software and an Arduino behind-the-scenes to power everything.

Simply stand in the right spot, which is marked on the floor, and the S.E.L.F.I.E will do the rest, ensuring the distance from your face to the camera is spot on, the lighting is flattering, your smile is timed perfectly and the photo sharing afterwards is seamless.

Of course many of us would define the selfie as taken by ourSELVES, but given there's just a Mac powering the S.E.L.F.I.E and not another person, we'll let it slide.

PhotoJoJo, the go-to site for the best camera accessories and quirky photography gadgets, now sells an iPhone Lens Wallet, which is a must-have for Instagram fans and those who are a little obsessed with iPhoneography (and not to mention all of the tiny bits and pieces that come along with it).

You can buy the tough nylon wallet, which comes with soft felt on the inside and a magnetic fastening, empty to load up with all of your mobile photography gear. But those who are only just beginning to unlock the true potential of their iPhone camera can buy it fully equipped with a telephoto lens, a tripod, a macro/wide lens, the Super Fisheye lens, and a polarizer.

The case is $15 empty and $115 fully loaded and ready to go from PhotoJoJo.

Karl Lagerfeld, famous for being a world-renowned fashion designer and expressing a creepy desire to marry his cat, has had iPads built into the walls of the changing rooms inside his new flagship store in London. The reason? To encourage people to take more changing room selfies, of course!

According to reports, the store will also have a whole pack of iPad Minis dotted throughout the store too, to capture all of your favourite designer shopping moments for eternity.

It seems a little intrusive, but you've got to agree that the Lagerfeld team is smart. So many people take selfies as they're trying on clothes, either to show off or get a verdict from their social media fans and followers, so why not provide them with a tool to encourage them to take more photos that's just as much part of the changing room experience as posing in the mirror?

The problem is selfies are inherently super personal. The very nature of a selfie means they're carefully constructed by the person taking them: the pose, the lighting, the timing, the situation. That's what makes them so appealing, for the first time ever people aren't ashamed to take a picture of their face and have complete control over how it looks.

Many argue that this makes them fake, just another way for us to feel the pressure of society and attempt to alter the way we look and pout at the camera and yada, yada, yada. But read this great article from Amy McCarthy on Bustle and you'll see that for many people it can be a really empowering form of self expression. On the other hand, for celebrities like James Franco, who wrote a piece about selfies in the NY Times, it's a way of connecting with his fans that he has complete control over whenever he please. And that's the whole point in a nutshell: selfies are about you and your face, so they can be about whatever YOU want them to be about.

However, if you start forcing people to get into selfie mode and dictating when they should and shouldn't feel like snapping a photo of themselves, then you're taking the self away from the selfie.

This doesn't mean to say many people won't jump at the chance to shout about the fact they're trying on expensive items in the Lagerfeld store, but does mean the big fashion brains need to tread very carefully if this is going to start becoming a trend. Fitting iPads into changing rooms and invading such a personal space could actually lead to many people feeling forced into being on camera all the time, which is how we felt before the "selfie revolution" when people would tag us in really unflattering photos on Facebook.

Whether Karl Lagerfeld's iPad selfie scheme is a win or fail remains to be seen, but brands need to be cautious when they're jumping on the back of such popular and personal trends.

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In a surprising move, Getty Images has announced today that it has made more than 35 million of its images completely free under a non-commercial usage agreement.

This means that any kind of online publisher - from a 14 year old blogger in her bedroom to a journo at The New York Times - will be able to browse the images and then use Getty's new embed tool to obtain them.

The images they pick will then be served up in an embedded player (kinda like embedding a YouTube video or a Tweet) that also contains the full copyright information and a link back to the image's licensing page on the Getty Images website.

Although it may seem like madness that Getty Images is handing its content out for free, in actual fact it's getting a lot from the agreement - links back to its site, the correct attribution and all kinds of insights into where, when and how the images are being used.

Getty Images has made it clear that these images can be used in an editorial context and on sites with ads, just not part of promotional materials in order to shout about a particular product or business.

The controversial move attempts to add a bit of order to the murky world of online photography. Craig Peters, senior vice president of business development, content and marketing at Getty Images said:

"In essence, everybody today is a publisher thanks to social media and self-publishing platforms. And it's incredibly easy to find content online and simply right-click to utilise it."

This new method provides online publishers with a wealth of images for free and in a round-about way also gives the power back to Getty at the same time.

Jonathan Klein, co-founder and CEO of Getty Images said:

"Innovation and disruption are the foundation of Getty Images, and we are excited to open up our vast and growing image collection for easy, legal sharing in a new way that benefits our content contributors and partners, and advances our core mission to enable a more visually-rich world."

The link you can use to search through all of the embeddable, free images is here.

Ellen DeGeneres has managed to break the record for most retweets EVER with this awesome star-studded selfie taken at last night's Oscars.

So far the tweet has had more than two and a half million retweets and counting, which reportedly even scrambled the platform's servers and contributed to a (very brief) Twitter outage.

Image via @TheEllenShow.

selfies-weird-2.jpgToday's Tumblr needs to approached with a degree of caution for it is a gallery of people shooting selfies in rather inappropriate places. Like this fella who shot himself with a large fire burning behind him.

There's much, much worse too. Be warned.

the site is called Selfies At Serious Places and you can find it here.

And if you want to know what your selfie says about you - go here.

41-millions-reasons.jpgOne of the most exciting phones of 2013 looks set to be Nokia's 41 mega pixel cameraphone the EOS PureView. Except that the handset hasn't yet been confirmed by the company.

Or has it? Nokia posted the above image on its blog today "41 Million Reasons" in na bid to encourage punters to tune into its launch event scheduled for July 11th in New York.

This follows the teasers that the company sent to journalists last week which had the words "Zoom. Reinvented."

Basically if it isn't a camera phone that Nokia is launching in early July then what the hell is it?

In addition to the 41 megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, which incidentally takes a high res shot for storing and a low res one for sharing simultaneously, the phone also boasts a 720p display, has 32GB of internal storage and runs the latest version of Windows Mobile.

There's more on the mobile here.

purevieweos2.jpgSo how do you differentiate your flagship phone from your rivals?If you are Samsung you go for a larger screen size and stack it out with software goodies. If you are Sony you make it waterproof and ensure that the build quality is outstanding.

And as for Nokia, well the maker seems to be focusing on producing the best camera phones ever. To be fair the Finnish maker has always lead the pack with its snappers. They were among the first to really push for serious mega pixels on mobiles while at the same time experimenting with high-end Carl Zeis lenses

Last year they launched the intriguing 808 PureView. This was slightly bizarre handset that featured an astonishing camera which could take 41 mega pixel images and sported Carl Zeiss-branded optics in a mobile that way was thinner and lighter than it had any right to be.

The only problem was that it ran Nokia's rather outdated Symbian operating system which rendered it rather second rate as a general smartphone.

Well judging by the amount of leaks the company is having another crack at re-inventing the camera phone. It has lined up a model, which is known by the moniker of Elvis but is likely to land as with a more sensible name, that pairs the best camera ever on a smartphone with the Windows Mobile OS used on its recent Lumia mobiles. For now we can call it the EOS PureView.

There has been a deluge of leaks of the product in the last few days, which the clever money says will launch in July or August, and they show a phone with a huge bulge on the back which is there to accomodate the rather serious lens that a high end camera phone requires.

As for the rumours about the handset, well it is expected to sport at least a 41 mega pixel camera and a powerful Xenon flash. The really smart bit is that it takes two copies of each image you take - a 35-megapixel shot and 5-megapixel shot so you have one for storing and one for instant uploading - genius idea!

Also on board is likely to be the Nokia Pro Camera app which has a range of effects and tools such as an 11x zoom, anti-shake, manual focus, face detection and a self timer.

The pics and rumours are here and here.

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newflickr.jpgYesterday was a pretty busy day for Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. Not only did she finish ensuring that the deal to buy blogging service Tumblr had gone through she then turned her attention to the phoot sharing service Flickr which Yahoo bought a while ago.

Perhaps stung by criticism that Yahoo has not really moved the service along the company yesterday announced a new look for the desktop and its Android app and that users who pay for the service get a terabyte of storage.

By far the most important thing is the storage which means that users will now be able to store an astonishing 537,731 photos.

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's chief executive officer, said: "You can take all the pictures ever taken and upload them to Flickr... and there would [still be room].

There have been some other tweaks too. The basic service remains free and is subsidised by ads but heavy users can now opt for an ad free, paid-for option at $50 a year, called Ad Free, as well Doublr, which is targeted at heavy users and costs $500 for 2 TB of storage.

There have been some tweaks to the design too so that albums now get a new-look cover photo and images are presented in streamlined in rows.

photosofyou.pngThere's a small, but rather useful tweak to Instagram today. The photo app/social network has added a new feature called Photos of You, which it is billing as a new way to add people and things to photos.

According to Instagram one of the most common things people do on Instagram is @ mention their friends when they want to add them to a photo. .

With the latest tweak when you upload a photo to Instagram, you're now able to add the people and things in the photo in a similar way to how you add a location and hashtags.

And when you get tagged you'll receive a notification and the photo will appear in your "Photos of You" - a new section on your profile where you can curate all of the photos you've been added to.

If you are picky about what shots of you get tagged you can also adjust the setting so that no photos of you appear on your profile until you approve them.

The Photos of You feature will be available on Instagram for iOS version 3.5 in the App Store and Instagram for Android version 3.5 in the Google Play Store.

Here's a quick vid from Instagram that shows how it works. More info here.

Introducing Photos of You from Instagram on Vimeo.

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Back in the ancient days - well before digital cameras got any good in around 2002 - to take a picture involved pointing and shooting using a camera that captured the image on 35mm film. There was of course no reviewing or deleting images and if you made any silly mistake loading and unloading the images then you might find a whole roll of pics deleted - aaah those were the days.

Of course there are still some diehard masochists creative types who love Lomography and still capture pics on film.

Anyway if that's your or your or your family have attic full of 35mm print negatives that are just gathering dust then Firebox has a neat little gadget that is well worth having a look at.

The rather tiny Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner apparently lets you scan any image from 35mm negatives direct to you smartphone. And there, thanks to its accompanying Lomography app, you can also edit and share it.

The £59.99 scanner- which Firebox claims is a UK exclusive to them - works with both iPhones and Android handset and works by using a direct light panel that evenly and efficiently scan negatives and slides. The on board Lomo technology also lets the user create slideshows, movies and panoramas.

It is available now from here.

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One of our favourite online photo editing sites, PicMonkey, has had a new, festive makeover for the Christmas season, allowing users to add all kinds of snowy, wintery and twee effects to their photos.

Just like before, you upload a photo to PicMonkey or drag one from your desktop if you're feeling fancy. You can then make all kinds of basic edits, like cropping and even adding filters, but you'll find there's a secret snowflake at the bottom of the sidebar and that's where all of the Christmas features live. You can play around with different themes like "snowfall", "frosty" and "chilly", add overlays like "holly", "flakery" and "sprigs and twigs" or position different frames and special effects over your images for cards and present tags.

We love that PicMonkey is always simple to use, but tries something a bit different every now and then to keep its fans on their toes (remember the Halloween version?!).

Check out: www.picmonkey.com


Although cool lens dials or handy tripods may seem like strange Christmas presents when the rest of your family are handing out sweaters and chocolates, there are plenty of gadgets and accessories available at the moment that'd make perfect stocking fillers for mobile photography lovers.

Whether you're buying for someone who's serious about their photography or just likes to mess around with Instagram now and again, we've collected together some of our favourite accessories that'll help them get the best results from their phone's camera. Or at least give them something to play around with on Christmas day.

It's nearly that time of year again boys and girls, we hope you're all ready to carve out pumpkins, go trick or treating and scare the living daylights out of your friends and family this Halloween.

If you're a big fan of photo apps or tweaking your images online you'll be happy to know there are plenty of apps that have been specially designed to add zombie features, scary eyes and lots of fake blood to different faces and places. However, in our round-up we've also included some of our favourite sites and apps, which have some great tools to make your photos look spooky, scary and eerie quite unintentionally too.

Related: Shiny Shiny's ultimate guide to girl geek Halloween costumes

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We've written about photo printing and cool-book-making service Keepsy a few times in the past for our "awesome things you can do with your Instagram snaps" round-ups and it's a firm favourite in a sea of similar offerings.

Well now this week Keepsy differentiates itself from the competition that little bit more, because it's launched an iPhone application, complete with new sharing and printing options, as well as a whole host of other features.

The first cool feature of the Keepsy app is it sifts through all of the photos in your camera roll and then divides them into different sets based on where and when they were taken. So for instance, I have two albums called "Bethnal Green" but one is from Field Day Festival last year and the other is from a night out in Hoxton a few weeks ago, so I was pretty impressed with the way everything had been organised automatically.

Once you've browsed through your sets to check they all make sense and added in any rogue photos that didn't appear (all of ours were neat and tidy, so we didn't need to bother), you can share them to your social networks or scroll through options to have them printed with Keepsy's book services.

However, the app isn't just about sharing, using and creating new things from your photos, there are also a number of photography tips and photo projects to get you capturing more adventurous images too.

Obviously the app is geared up to get you to buy Keepsy's stuff and we can't guarantee you'll ditch your current photo sharing and organising apps in favour, but it's a cool app wrapped up in a great user experience and because it comes with sharing options and photo tips too it doesn't seem "salesy" at all.

Available from iTunes for free.

There are all kinds of different photography gadgets and camera accessories on the market at the moment, whether you're really serious about your photos or just like to fool around with Instagram on your iPhone.

We've collected together some of our favourite accessories that'll help you take better photos, transport your kit around in style and transform your photos into dreamy nightscapes.

It seems we're not the only ones who leave our fancy cameras at home in favour of our mobile phones, as a Guardian photojournalist has been attending the Olympics and taking great looking images with only an iPhone 4S.

Dan Chung has been at the games over the past few days and has been snapping photos of athletes, fans and the stadium. He has a dedicated page on the Guardian website called Dan Chung's smartphone photoblog, where you can view his images and see what he used alongside the iPhone, as one or two of the photos were taken with the help of a lens and binoculars. But regardless of what extra accessories were used, Chung's images are a great testament to the iPhone 4S' awesome camera.

Related: Photo comparison proves iPhone 4S camera really IS worth shouting about

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A very cool and slick new web app called This Is Now collects real-time photos from Instagram and displays them on websites dedicated to big cities across the globe. We're going to warn you in advance that you'll be pretty damn mesmerised, so look away now if you don't have at least a few minutes to spare...

This Is Now is actually a network of different web apps, which are all tapping into Instagram's API in order to stream photos from certain locations in real-time. Right now there are dedicated sites for London, New York, Sydney, Sau Palo and Tokyo.

Once you're on the city of your choice you can watch photos scroll past you as they're uploaded to the app. If a photo takes your fancy you can click on it before it whizzes off into the ether, where you can like it, comment on it and even find out the user's name so you can go follow them later.

The sites use the geolocation data that Instagram stores whenever you take a photo, so even if you upload something when you're back from a trip to New York, it'll still appear on that website.

What we love most about This Is Now at the moment is that the London real-time feed has a fair few photos of the Olympic stadium and even some sports from inside, which we imagine there'll be more and more of as the games progress.

Visit: london-now.jit.su/

[Via Digital Trends]

view-profile-instagram.jpegInstagram has become insanely popular as a photo application, editing tool and even social network in its own right despite the fact it exists solely on our mobile phones. However, many are now wondering whether it's set to make the big leap onto the web following a number of recent changes and a discovery by web designer Cole Reinke last week.

At the end of last month Instagram launched a new way to view photos, make changes to your profile and manage the way different third party apps interact with your account all from the web. Now it seems there are set to be a whole range of other features added to the Instagram web experience, following a discovery by web designer Cole Reinke, who came across a suspicious looking "View Profile" link last week (see photo).

There's been no official confirmation from the Instagram team just yet about whether the link (which has now disappeared) means web profiles are on the horizon, but if the experience is translated onto the internetz soon it'll be interesting to see what this means for the countless third party apps that have cropped up over the past year or so. Will people stick to what they know? Will they be deemed completely useless? And most importantly will an Instagram that's available anywhere and everywhere be just as appealing?

Related: Instagram finally comes to the web (kind of) / Top 5 web apps for Instagram: Inkstagram, Webstagram and Insta-great

[Via Digital Trends Via TechCrunch Image via Cole Reinke's blog]

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