24/9/2017

Valletta in Malta has to be one of the most stunning cities I’ve ever had the luck to visit.

Sailing into Valletta seemed a lot like arriving on a Game of Thrones set. It is a spectacular city in a beautiful nation, with a people that was very inviting.

I will add more images from Malta over time, but I would certainly recommend it as a place to visit.

View this image on 500px or Flickr

31/8/2017 File 30-8-17, 9 10 30 pm
3/8/2017

A thought in reply to Followers on Microblog

Ron Chester lays out an approach to finding people to follow on Micro.blog.

I like Ron’s four strategies, although I might call them four stages of evolution as I went through a very similar process—and still do. Strategies 2 and 4 are the ones that I find most rewarding.

The concluding paragraphs of Ron’s post, however, have some real gold. In particular:

There are no visible scores on Microblog. This is a very good thing. It means I can just concentrate on posting things others might find interesting and then being interested in things I might find posted by others. There’s no way to tell who’s popular, nor a way to game a system to look more popular. I hope that doesn’t change.

I hope that others might see this post, and choose to follow Ron on Micro.blog, or maybe to subscribe to Ron’s new blog on Blot.im.

If you’re a Micro.blog user looking for people to follow, take a look at Ron’s post, and perhaps also take a look at Colin Walker’s Webmentions directory, or perhaps my webmention directory.

Micro Thoughts
1/8/2017

Bringing Life to Still Images on iPad Pro with Plotagraph+

My passion is still photography — capturing wonderful landscapes, seascape, underwater and travel scenes is what inspires my photography. I have put together some short videos (mostly timelapse), but the truth of it is that still images grab me, and the challenge of creating an image that tells a story in the sort time a shutter is open is motivating.

Movement, however, catches the eye, and although a good still image can imply movement there are a number of emerging methods of bringing life to still images.

Since the middle of last year I have been Playing around with Plotagraph Pro as a way of bringing some animation to still images. I like the results, and Plotagraph Pro in that time has come out of beta, introduced new pricing tiers (including a free one) and started to rollout social sharing features.

The Plotagraphs website features some very impressive examples of Plotagraphs (Plotagraphy??) by some very talented image makers.

Recently the Plotagraph team, with the support of image makers like Trey Ratcliff, has released an iOS app called Plotagraph + which brings the functionality to mobile devices1. Alongside Affinity Photo for iPad this app is truly positioning the iPad Pro at the core of my on-the-go photo workflow.

I created this Plotagraph in a few short minutes on the iPad on Sunday afternoon.

Red Sky Blue Pools from Des Paroz on Vimeo.

The image below shows the edits I made to the original image

Plotagraph+ edits in progress on iPad

Essentially the green-dots-leading-to-red-dashed-lines-to-blue-arrowheads are what I set for the direction and speed of movement, and the red dots near the horizon are anchor points that prevent movement beyond them.

Plotagraph+ Pros

  • Easy (very easy) to use.
  • Easy output to video and animated PNG formats.
  • Price effective.

Plotagraph+ Cons

  • No output to animated GIF for simple sharing2.
  • App crashes if you try to load a RAW file3.
  • Only sharing option is through Photos. I’d love to be able to share to Dropbox or other galleries (such as Plotagraphs.com) more directly.

Final Thoughts

I love this app, and the promise it provides for a fun and easy way to give life to images. Like HDR4 Plotagraphs will likely allow image makers to express their worldview in their own art, and of course beauty will be in the eye of the beholder. A lot of Plotagraphs will be good, some will be great and some will have faces that only the owner could love.

For me, a relatively small portion of my images will be Plotagraphs, but I will have fun creating and sharing some when it suits the image and the story I am trying to tell with it.

For more info on Plotagraph+ take a look at this video by Trey Ratcliff


  1. iOS only for now, but Trey Ratcliff and team Plotagraph have blogged and tweeted that an Android version is coming soon.

  2. At least that I could see. I did look.

  3. RAW support would be a big ask, but ideally the app shouldn’t crash, but simply return a dialogue box to inform the user.

  4. Perhaps not coincidentally, Trey Ratcliff was also a pioneer of HDR photography, literally writing the book on the subject.

Photography iPad
30/7/2017

Rockpool Sunrise

A spectacular sunrise in Sydney.

The Narrabeen Rockpools are a favourite spot I like to get back to from time-to-time, and although it is a bit of a hike and an early start, it has always paid off.

Rockpool Sunrise

View Rockpool Sunrise on 500px | View Rockpool Sunrise on Flickr

Affinity Photo for iOS

This image was shot yesterday (as I write this) and was downloaded from my camera to my iPad. It was processed in Affinity Photo on my iPad Pro, and uploaded to this blog, and to 500px and Flickr using the built in share extensions.

Affinity Photo is an awesomely powerful photo editor, and marks, IMHO, the first real professional grade photo editing app for iPad. I think that I am really going to love this app. Affinity Photo has all the controls and capabilities that I would expect from a powerful imaging app, including HDR merge, panos and even focus stack merging.

I also really enjoy editing on an iPad Pro. The interaction of editing on a touch screen, and using the Pencil makes for a very enjoyable experience.

The downside to the process, at the moment, is that the DAM1 functionality is provided only by Apple’s Photos app. While a decent app in some areas, it doesn’t allow true organisation and meta-data management. The limitations of Photos is the true limiting factor for serious amateur and professional photographers.

I hope that Affinity Photo or other another app will soon step up to provide DAM functionality.

Other apps are also emerging that position iPad for excellent photo editing. I plan to blog about Plotagraph+ shortly.


  1. DAM=digital asset management.

Photography POTD
28/7/2017

The end of the iPod?

I was at the Apple Store yesterday. While waiting for a Genius appointment browsing through the store we took a look at the small iPod display. I commented to my Dad that just a few years back the iPod was a major part of the floor display, and now the iPods nano and shuffle took up half a shelf in the accessories area.

This really demonstrated to me how much other products now account for Apple’s revenues and profits.

When I woke up this morning I saw several blog posts in my RSS reader, and notes on Micro.blog and Twitter, noting that Apple had removed iPod nano and iPod shuffle from their online store and web.

iPod remains an incredibly important part of Apple’s history, and it was probably the first introduction to Apple for many current users — it certainly was for me.

Micro Thoughts