Use your Phone as a Photo Scanner

Some of the latest smart phones work well to capture your old photo prints. Once captured your photos can be easily edited and shared. Check out this video to see how I do it.


Watch Youtube Faster and Increase Comprehension

If you’ve ever wished you could speed up a video in Youtube, here’s how to do it in Chrome.

This is ideally suited to spoken content and I’ve been listening to audiobooks and podcasts like this for years.

It has been shown that the brain works more efficiently if the information rate through the ears is approximately the “average” reading rate, which is about 200-300 words per minute, yet the average rate of speech is 100-150 words per minute.

It can take a little getting used to but you will get used to it. In the mean time you can always start at 1.5x speed.

Consume content at twice the speed AND increase comprehension, sounds like a good deal to me.


Draw Something Cheat – Free Unlimited New Words

If you’ve ever wanted to swap your Draw Something words for new ones but have no coins or are too tight to spend them, here’s the trick for you!

Instead of proceeding with the dud words (or smelly ones like in the screenshot below), to get new ones just press the home button. You will then be out of the Draw Something app but it’s running in the background. Now double click the home button. You will see all running apps.

Click and hold the Draw Something app. It will then be highlighted with a red minus symbol, let it go then click it  again to close it.

Now reopen the app and select the game you were playing. You will now be presented with brand new words which don’t cost you any coins.

Draw Something Cheat


You can repeat the process as many times as you like if you still aren’t happy with the words.

Happy Drawing!


A Technique For Quick Sky Replacement in Photoshop or PSE

Thanks to Jonathan Calvert of Houston, TX for passing along his tutorial for a quick and easy way to replace skies. Jonathan says, “I know there has been a hundred tutorials on sky replacement, but they all seem too “intricate” for fast turn around real estate pictures, especially if you have multiple outdoor shots on each house and you are shooting 10 homes per day. Therefore, I did a screen recording showing the method I do.”

Read more….


iPhone HDR Camera mode preserves much more detail (sample image)

HDR photography has been around for a few years now and some photographers have been able to get stunning results using this technique. Normally multiple exposures are taken of the same shot, some under exposed and some over exposed. These images are then imported into HDR software for processing to get the final result. The software combines the images so that hopefully, there are no over exposed (blown out) or under exposed (shadow) areas. There are many options to fine tune the image and the result can look artificial if overdone.

It was a surprise to see Apple’s new iPhone 4 sporting this feature and the processing is all done instantly without any user intervention. Once HDR mode is turned on, every time a picture is taken, 2 photos are saved – one standard and one HDR version.

Often I take pictures with my iPhone so I can document things. I took this photo after installing a new GPS DVD player in my car, so I could remember what features were written on the facia.

I forget I left ‘HDR on’ so the iPhone took it’s normal picture plus the HDR version. It was only when reviewing the picture later on my iMac, that I realised I should leave ‘HDR on’ all the time. 

For normal photographs, although HDR mode will keep more data in the highlights and shadow area, the photo will look slightly washed out. Since I use my iPhone a lot to ‘collect data’, the washed out look doesn’t worry me at all as long as I have clearer details in my pictures. The iPhone keeps both images when set to HDR mode anyway.

I’ve started getting in the habit of not keeping business cards, I just photograph them to avoid the clutter. The added detail of the HDR version gives me the best results nearly every time.

Take a look at the images below. As you can see, the highlights in the normal image are blown out and even the colour is lost. The HDR version is much more usable and allows the text on the screen to be easily read.

First, the iPhone 4 standard image.

Next, the iPhone 4 HDR image.