Masthead header

Pics2Mov App Tested

I downloaded this this app yesterday when it was free.  It is installed on my iPhone and iPad.  It’s purpose is to turn images into a slide show with titles and music.  Without any real consideration as to which photos would be best I just grabbed a load from my Facebook Timeline Photos, dropped them in, gave it a title to appear on every page and uploaded to Facebook.  Whilst the quality leaves something to be desired the speed and ease of creating the slide show is pretty good.

After saving and exporting there are several options, Facebook worked OK, email failed, so I guess it was too big for my USP. Vimeo worked and to prove it its below. It saved Ok to my timeline which is great as iCloud takes this available everywhere. For the next one I will take a lot more care and a bit more time and will see just what it is capable of. Note also that I have not altered the Vimeo Embed codes but will experement next time.

You iPhone photographers will find it in the App Store, if it’s not free anymore it will be less than £3, so not a lot to lose?



Testing Pics2Mov from Tony Smith on Vimeo.

My New Photographic Journey

Over the past months I have been preparing for a big change in my photographic journey.  From the big heavy cameras and lenses  to the iPhone.  I don’t intend to stop using the heavy stuff as there will be times and events when nothing else will do.  Having said that I am still waiting for the “perfect” mirrorless camera to appear when the heavy stuff will definitely go.  Not far away I reckon?

I know its been said thousands of time before but, the best camera is the one in your pocket.  Just this morning I photographed a local treasure on my way to my morning latte, whom I would otherwise have missed.  See below.  There are other advantages too.  People are far more willing to be photographed with a phone camera and stealing shots is far easier.  Try concealing a Nikon D800 with a 24-70 2.8 lens.

Apart from the fun I have using my iPhone, the other big changes will be: less time at the computer, being able to share my work more easily and quickly via social networking and I feel far less disappointed when a photo is crap, after all it’s only a phone!

This is quite a bold statement, so check it out.  There is far more “photo art” being created with iPhones than cameras!  I am amazed by the superb images I see every day of the week.  Works of art created on a phone or tablet using Apps costing nothing to a couple of pounds.  Sitting in a comfortable armchair with a glass of wine and an iPad apping an image to death is very relaxing, absorbing and rewarding.

So where am I with all this?  I have the iPhone 5s with a few gadgets: An Ollo wide angle lens, tripod mount, a lightweight £10 tripod off eBay and a bluetooth shutter release.

I have an iPad that is connected by wifi to my iPhone so when they are in the same place and on the same WiFi network my images leap from the phone to the iPad – as if by magic.  On the iPad are several apps I have been teaching myself to use.  Duplicating, blending, masking, grunging, ageing, enhancing, enlarging etc.  Far more than I can do with Photoshop and Lightroom and the various apps I have.  I do use Lightroom to hold my iPhone catalogue but never work on the images there – absolutely forbidden if I am to ever enter images into competitions or exhibitions. I have an instagram account and my new website for the best stuff is almost ready.

Next season in my photo club I have decided to only enter iPhone photos into competitions  and the annual exhibition – that should be interesting!

Tomorrow Pam and I are off to Spain to collect our car and will be off to The Pelerinage de Gitanes at Saintes Maries de la Mer on the Carmarge coast of France before touring Southern Italy, when I intend to use my iPhone as my main camera – for the first time.  Liberating or restricting?  We shall see.  I will post regularly when I have an internet connection.

I hope my friends and followers on Facebook will enjoy “My Journey” and as always I welcome your comments.





Winchester High Street at Christmas


I was more than delighted when the Night Shelter Charity asked to use my High Street photo for the front of their Christmas Card.  A good cause run by nice, caring people.

Anne DoughtyJanuary 7, 2014 - 2:22 pm


Angelines Yague OrmadJanuary 8, 2014 - 10:31 pm


Claire LaneJune 22, 2014 - 8:10 pm

I hadn’t realised this was the best selling Christmas card! that’s wicked. When did you find that out?

Big Storm Monday

When I was convinced that the storm really was on its way I booked a hotel in Lyme Regis, a lovely little town on the Dorset coast. My hotel was two minutes from the sea.

With my kit ready and alarm set I went to sleep dreaming of 20 foot waves crashing into the Cobb, as the local breakwater is called.  What a surprise, sure it was windy and yes the waves were bigger than the previous day but not spectacular.  The BBC weather people had got it wrong again!  It was only later when I turned on the radio in the car I learned that there was a storm, it just wasn’t in Lyme Regis.

After a hour on the coast watching a magnificent sunrise I hot-footed it to Kimmeridge Bay where I photographed the wind surfers.  Very exhilarating!

The first two shots were taken with the Nikon D800 with a 24-70 f2.8 lens.  The rest with the D7100 with the f4 200-400 zoom on a mono pod.

Happy Birthday – Max Boyce


Max Boyce and Welsh Rugby Football have been part of me for as long as I can remember. In my twenties and thirties playing rugby in Southern England when Wales ruled supreme in the Northern Hemisphere and the Welsh dominated British and Irish Lions were conquering overseas, Max was very much part of that scene.

This ex-miner turned singer songwriter very quickly became a national treasure, throughout the whole of Wales and not just amongst the rugby communities.  For a Welshman, like me, away from home he was a link back to my roots.  Every time I played his records or a cassette in the car I knew exactly what I was – proudly Welsh.  With other Welsh ex-pats we sang his songs in English rugby clubs after playing oblivious of of everyone else.

Max’ songs are still sung in rugby clubs 40 years on.  When the English rugby team need uplifting or congratulating the spectators sing a negro spiritual, Swing Low Sweet Chariot.  When Wales are doing well we sing a Max Boyce song “Hymns and Arias”!  When I spoke with Max before a game in Cardiff last year I asked hime how he felt sitting in the Millennium Stadium with 50,000 welshmen and women singing his song?  He said it makes him incredibly proud and brought a tear to his eye every time.

With two Six Nations Grand Slams and a Championship win in recent years and a good showing in the previous World Cup – and the predominantly Welsh British and Irish Lions team stuffing Australia I’m getting a bit of deja vu!

When Max leaves this place there will be a hole in Wales that will never be filled.  Let’s hope it will be a long time yet.  Happy 70th Birthday Max!