capturing our life: photo apps

(both photos: taken with instagram)

A lot of the posts that I’ve been wanting to write on Living the Life Fantastic have been inspired by a photo. A memory triggered from a moment captured and placed on the hard drive of my computer.

I’ve always loved taking photos, but, although I have a good eye, I’m admittedly not very good at it. My iphone has been a huge help in allowing me to always have a camera at the ready. I have a fancy schnancy DSLR. But it is usually too cumbersome to carry around, especially when I know that what I take will usually turn out shaky and poorly lit. (Maybe a cute camera bag would help? Or… maybe I just need to finally learn how to use it?)

Give me a good app from the iTunes store and I’m good to go in the photography department.

So on that note, here are some of my favorites that I regularly use:

Instagram (free)
A photo social network. I’ve been having so much fun being social with my photos and seeing what other people are doing with theirs. Right now, it is relatively new, so it feels more intimate, but it is growing at an insane pace. I take photos with my camera, and sometimes edit them in other apps before pulling them on into Instagram and sharing them.

(If you join: I’m KarlaArcher)

(taken with camera, edited in TiltShiftGen, finished in instagram)


TiltShiftGen ($.99)
the purpose of this app is creating photos that looks like you are taking photos of tiny things. I haven’t perfected that technique, but I love the blur and saturation options.

(taken with TiltShiftGen)


PictureShow ($1.99)
FUN! and I love the sound it makes when you move from option to option. I doubt I’ll ever use some of the filters, but I still love looking at what they all can do. I especially love the grungy looks.

(taken with PictureShow)


Polarize (free)
I like being able to write on the photo, and the retro color is awesome. (High Res output)

(taken with Polarize)


Fun Camera (free)
This is so fun to play with; we all get huge laughs from it! It does put an ad on the photo, but just crop it off.

(taken with iphone camera. brought into Fun Camera app [for sparkles], and finished in instagram)

Old Photo Pro (free)
The edge effects in this one are great, and the antiquing effects looks really pretty. Love the “scratchy” look as well.

PS Express (free)
I mainly use this for cropping, but also like the softening and sharpening effects.

Your Turn: What photography apps do you use and love?

Fly on Lufthansa and share your itinerary on social networks


Social Media and Customer Service are working hand-in-hand, as companies discover new ways to incorporate new media into their marketing and business plans.

Lufthansa Airlines has recently introduced MySkyStatus. When you go to the MySkyStatus page, you simply input your flight information and your Twitter and Facebook pages will be updated automatically with your flight schedule information, including departures and arrivals.

I’m sure it won’t be long before most US airlines implement something similar.

photo credit

Dial2Do: a simple way to update Twitter, Facebook and your blog

on phone

There are a lot of ways that you can now send emails and update your Twitter, Facebook and blog. Smartphones make it easier to do so when away from your computer. What if you don’t have a smartphone yet, or access to all of the handy apps that are available? Or what if you do, but want a quick easy way to do it?

Dial2Do is a free site that does these things for you. You call a number. Say what you want posted, then finish with “Twitter”, or “email” etc. They transcribe it and take care of the rest.

From the site:

Dial2Do lets you do common tasks by just calling a number and speaking. Use it to send EMAIL or TEXT messages, record REMINDERS to help you remember things, post updates to your TWITTER or JAIKU stream and LISTEN to your favourite internet content. It’s easy and handsfree..

For more info: watch the tutorial video here and read the FAQs.

Note: There are currently 26 countries that this site works in [though it only works in English]. See the listing on the FAQs page.

photo credit

Revisiting Open Source

j0430817 Any regular reader of Modern Media Mom has surely noticed that I have an affinity for Open Source software (OSS) and applications. After all, when people join together, ideas can come flooding out, thereby increasing the chance for a quality product.

I’ve written about several Open Source sites on MMM, and have also come across more sites that keep up-to-date listings of Open Source sites in development.

One such site is Open Source Living. Not only does the site keep a current list of OSS, but it is a community built around the idea of collaboration and member involvement. The types of OSS are broken into relevant categories and each OSS can be reviewed by users. Unfortunately, the sites ‘sourced’ section isn’t being updated regularly, but the listing of OSS is quite thorough, and the forums seem to be relatively active.

Damicon’s List of Open Source Software is another great listing of OSS. They also readily admit “Open source is not for everyone (but neither is Windows). DAMICON simply wants to help you to make an informed decision.”

Sound off: What OSS have you tried? If you haven’t tried it, what are your reasons?

Publish and Share Your Documents Using Scribd


image common property

The Publishing world has changed immensely in the past five to 10 years. No longer must you submit a transcript to 30 different publishing houses, only to receive 30 rejection letters.

Perhaps you have something you’d like to share, not for money, but just because you realize that others might benefit from it: a pattern, a list of recipes, a tutorial.

If you are like me, you have a lot of ideas swirling around – maybe you’ve written some of them down or stored them on your computer. Or maybe, just maybe, you sense that others might enjoy reading your term paper from your junior year of college.

None of these items are items that a traditional publishing house would consider publishing. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an audience looking for just that topic. If you upload your documents to Scribd and categorize them, you can share them with other readers.

Not only is it a site that is beneficial to writers looking for an audience, but there are many helpful tutorials, how-tos, menus, patterns etc for readers to seek out.

Using the iPaper area of the site, you can convert just about any major document format, including Word docs, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, OpenOffice documents, and PostScript files. Upload your documents and embed them on your blog/website. The embedding feature is really helpful and is a tidy and efficient way to place an entire document on your blog page or site. (see below for a sample of an embedded document)

Look into the Group area to find materials that are already sorted. Or use it to create your own mini-library. Create a group and choose whether it is private or open to anyone.

Consider using Scribd to free up space on your hard drive, or to finally be able to get rid of those boxes of old college term papers (scan them and upload them) There are many ways to use the site: learn something, share something, store something.

*One word of warning: there are no rating labels to show materials that may not be appropriate for children. I haven’t come across anything offensive, but, as with any other site, that doesn’t mean it isn’t on there.

(For more help or support visit the Support Desk.)

Sample Embedded Document:

Easter Peeps in a Jar

Your turn: Would you be willing to post documents for free?