Snapseed Review – Banús Reflections Like Watercolors

I am not an Apple fanboy. In fact, I was a Microsoft fanboy because I have tried Windows beta and pre-releases since Windows 2000 to Windows 7. But I can admit, that I am happy with the last 2 apple products that I have bought:

-The Macbook Air was my option for a robust and light laptop and I am impressed with its performances running Photoshop.
-And my last acquisition, the iPhone 5 is giving me a lot of fun with its photography possibilities.

I am using iOS camera to shot directly HDR, that it was not for the noise problem for iPhone small camera, it would be very useful for a professional use.

But, what I love more is to spend time when I am on a bus, or traveling or a coffee break… editing with Snapseed.

I am not going to give a detailed description of its features here, you can check some good reviews for example at I just go to explain how is my workflow with this app.

Firstly, clarify that this tool is developed by Nik Software. Whose PS plugins ( Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro) I use a lot. As the PS plugins, you have a simple version for its U-point technology on this app that permits to do some local image adjustments like color, brightness and saturation. But in any case, I use this apps to do some just quick, funny and general image adjustments to my iPhone camera images.

In opposition to my usual workflow, I begin adding some sharpness and micro-contrast (structure) with the ‘Details’ tool. Later, I do some colors adjustments (contrast, brightness, saturation and ambience) with the ‘Tune Image’ tool. And finally you can add some blur with the ‘Focal Point’ or ‘Tilt-Shift’ tools.

The following images compares the different editions in Photoshop and Snapseed.

Photoshop Version:
Processing: Lightroom for catalog > Hue/Saturation + Color Efex Pro + Noiseware + High Pass filter Sharpening technique at Photoshop CS6.

Banús Reflections Like Watercolors Panorama

Snapseed Version:
Processing: Details > Structure + Sharpness > Tune Image > Contrast + Ambience + Saturation.

El Ancon Beach, Marbella (Spain)

iPhone 5 @ 4.13 mm | f2.4, 1/270s, ISO 200.Picture with iOS Camera app using Panorama capture option.


Eilean Donan Castle Panorama

I was in Scotland 5 years ago and I have recovered two photos from the most famous castle and merged them in a panorama. I hope that you enjoy the image as I have done remembering my 7-days road-trip there …

Eilean Donan (Scottish Gaelic Eilean Donnáin), is a small island in Loch Duich in the western Highlands of Scotland. It is connected to the mainland by a footbridge and lies about half a mile from the village of Dornie. Eilean Donan (which means simply “island of Donnán”) is named after Donnán of Eigg, a Celtic saint martyred in the Dark Ages. The island is dominated by a picturesque castle. The castle is located near Kyle of Lochalsh, one of the accesses to the Isle of Skye, that you know it is my favourite place from the Highlands.

The original castle was built in the early 13th century as a defence against the Vikings.By the late 13th century it had become a stronghold of the Mackenzies of Kintail (later the Earls of Seaforth). In 1511, the Macraes, as protectors of the Mackenzies, became the hereditary Constables of the Castle.

In 1539 Iain Dubh Matheson, chief of the Clan Matheson died whilst defending the Castle on Eilean Donan island against the Clan MacDonald of Sleat on behalf of the Clan Macrae and Clan Mackenzie.

In April 1719 the castle was occupied by Spanish troops attempting to start another Jacobite Rising. The castle was recaptured, and then demolished, by three Royal Navy frigates on 10–13 May 1719. The Spanish troops were defeated a month later at the Battle of Glen Shiel.

The castle was restored in the years between 1919 and 1932 by Lt. Col. John MacRae-Gilstrap. The restoration included the construction of an arched bridge to give easier access to the castle. In 1983 The Conchra Charitable Trust was formed by the Macrae family to care for the Castle. A curious distinction is that it has one of only two left-handed spiral staircases in a castle in Great Britain, as the reigning king at the time of building held a sword with his left hand. One strange feature of the castle today is the grey field gun from the Great War, positioned outside the building by a war memorial and fountain dedicated to the men of the Macrae clan who died in the war.

Eilean Donan is the home of the Clan Macrae. In 2001, the island had a population of just one person ;-).

The Castle has appeared in a lot of films such as Highlander (1986),Entrapment (1999), The World Is Not Enough (1999),Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), Made of Honor (2007) and in the television series The New Avengers (1976) and Oliver’s Travels (1995) …

Eilean Donan Castle Panorama

Dornie, Scotland (UK)

Panasonic DMC-FX9 | f5.6, 1/320s, ISO 80.

Almudena Cathedral Reflected On River Manzanares

After being without shooting during one and half months, I decided last Sunday, to go out for a photowalk to the Manzanares Riverside. I had previsualised the spot of the picture previously, so I wait until the blue hour to put my teleobjective lens on the tripod and took a set of 2 x 3 exposures to compose a vertorama. I think that the image is not so sharp for me, cos I forgot to switch off the IS stabiliser.

The atmosphere was puting very interesting after shooting the images but unfortunately, I could not go on the session due to the rain and the short time for blue hour during winter.

Almudena Cathedral Reflected On River Manzanares :: HDR :: DRI

Manzanares riverside, Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | EF70-200mm f2.8L IS USM @ 70 mm | f8, 15s, ISO 100.  HDR /DRI Vertorama from 2 x 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 .. +2 EV ]

Donau City Panorama

I am remembering 5 years ago when I had my 1st digital camera, my dear Ixus 400. This is a re-edited version of a panorama that I shot … and I am very impressed about the quality of this camera seeing the details that provides after post-processing the image again. More megapixels don’t mean better quality in details, this is an example that this depends on the sensor size and optics too.

The Donau City complex is an entirely new part of Vienna, both modern and multi-functional outside the Ring, the old town.

In 1962, the construction of the Danube Tower (‘Donauturm’) began, and two years later, the Garden Festival was held. The site of the garden show was known as Donaupark. Not far from Donaupark, in 1967, the planning of the UNO-City was started, opened in 1979. Through the construction of the U1 and the Reichsbruecke (Empire Bridge), the UN-City had a high-ranking access to the traffic system.

The terrain gained increasing importance with the opening of the congress center Austria Center Vienna in 1987. Next, there were plans, at the end of the 1980s, to hold an EXPO Vienna-Budapest, along the northern bank of the Danube in Vienna. However, the planned EXPO 1995 was canceled, because the Viennese population rejected this project, as part of a referendum, by a majority of the votes.

The project was implemented in three major stages within 12 years. In developing the project master plan, Viennese architects Krischanitz and Neumann concentrated on preserving the functional integrity of the growing city, its consistent urban character and spatial design. Their concept is remarkable for its three utilisation levels: level 0 for pedestrians and cyclists; level -1, the media level, for technical infrastructure; and an underground level, termed level -2, which comprises access streets and car parks.

A third of the total usable floor space is reserved for offices and commercial space, mostly in the twin high-rise buildings by architects Peichl and Isozaki, but also in architect Holzbauer’s Andromeda Tower. Residential space prevails in the buildings along Donaupark and down to the banks of the New Danube; altogether, there are some 1,500 dwellings. A Kindergarten, a primary school (by architect Hollein) and a small centre for local shops have been integrated into this part of the complex. Apart from convenient traffic links and transport connections, the main assets of Donau City include direct access to the nearby recreational areas and a beautiful view across the Danube.

Donau City Panorama

Donau City, Vienna (Austria)

Canon Ixus 400 @ 7 mm | f2.8, 1/160s, ISO 100.  Panorama from 5 exposures.