Hong Kong Through My GoPro

On our way from France to Australia earlier this year, we did a one-week stopover in Hong Kong — a great way to make the huge time difference more tolerable for kids.

My weather app had optimistic news and predicted 4 sunny days that week. Check out below how that turned out…

I couldn’t be bothered though. I admit I was impressed by what I saw. Growing up in European cities with architectural height restrictions, Hong Kong was both overwhelming and a brand new photo playground for me. Due to the tall buildings I admittedly couldn’t let go off my GoPro and I took most photos during this one-week trip with it.

So did my 2.5 year old daughter (see second gallery in this article). For some reason she loved getting into photography in Hong Kong and I gave her my GoPro with a lanyard around her neck to secure my precious tool 📷.

And here are my daughter’s takes on Hong Kong:

While I clearly enjoyed photographing Hong Kong with my GoPro Hero 6, I came across a few situations when I preferred using my regular DSLR, especially for views over vast landscapes, night shots and close-ups. Who would have guessed?

Here are some of my favorite Canon 60D photos to complete the Hong Kong gallery above.

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C’est La Vie !

eiffel tower paris

As some of you already know, or guessed, we moved back to France after 3.5 aMaZiNg years in New Zealand. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it had to be taken! I adjusted my blog’s “About” section accordingly.

Right now, we are enjoying French food as well as Paris’ flair and history. And that’s the reason why my coming blog posts will focus more on Europe again. Moving on. C’est la vie!

You have been warned ;)

Snapseed 2.0: Does Google Plan To Pit The App Against Instagram?

I have been using Snapseed, Google’s free mobile photo editing App, exclusively over the past months before sharing my photos on Instagram. So when I read this morning that my favorite App has been completely revamped, I wasn’t even aware that it was a “much-needed overhaul”. Admittedly, it lacked some professional “Photoshop features”, but guess what, some of us like when things are kept simple (though not as simple as the Instagram editing tools).

Of course I still tapped the update button in my App Store. Curiosity 1, Anja 0. To my relief, not THAT many things had changed. Sure, the interface looks completely different; I’m not certain though if the term “modern” really nails it. I noticed that I need one more tap than before to get to my wanted settings and filters. Oh well… But behind the new packaging, not everything had changed radically.

Added features:

  • A slider for highlights in the “Tune Image” section (neat addition to the shadow slider)
  • A feature to transform the image perspective (horizontally and vertically)
  • A brush to add a different exposure, saturation, color temperature or dodge & burn effect to specific parts of the photo
  • A spot repair feature, which sadly neither offers to choose the exact pixels you want to repair, nor the pixels you want to interpolate
  • A few new filter sets (Noir, Glamour Glow and Tonal Contrast)
  • An image stack feature to re-edit the same image lateron
  • A copy feature, allowing you to copy edits from one image to another

Deleted features:

  • The Grunge filter set (not that I am going to miss them)
  • All style presets under “Vignette”, which is truly a shame as they often helped me to see at a glance how much outer and inner brightness I was looking for

I am glad that not more features have been erased, and the new ones have been added in a way that won’t disturb my current workflow, which gives me time to actually go through all new features in the coming days to test them more on various photos.

On a first side note though, the new transform and brush tools look pretty neat and could soon become part of my image editing routine. Here is a first before and after comparison, after playing with “Transform” and “Brush” for around 10 minutes.

Louvre Paris GoPro

Original GoPro photo without any edit. This one looks a bit dull and could need some straight lines.

Louvre Paris with Snapseed

Edited with Snapseed 2.0: The new “Transform” tool interpolated pixels from the Louvre building and the fountain in the foreground (that’s a terrific job!). No need to crop, and the photo looks even more fish-eye than the GoPro original, which I personally love. I changed the saturation and color temperature of single image parts with the new “Brush” tool to make them look more like taken during sunset (which actually was the case).

I certainly think today’s changes put Google a big step ahead of Instagram (with regards to photo editing), and I am glad to see that the App stayed free, without paid “pro options”.

Are you a Snapseed fan too? What are your thoughts?
Which other mobile editing App appears on your primary smartphone or tablet screen?

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Photo Essay: Queensland, Australia

As we travelled from Cairns to Brisbane (North to South) we discovered that Queensland is much more than sunny beaches, surfers and adventure parks. There are also endless stretches of straight boring roads, millions of acres of sugar cane and in between — these treasures…

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Exploring A Tiny Part Of The Great Barrier Reef With The GoPro

Snorkeling the Outer Reef of Cairns gave us a tiny glimpse into an uncomparable underwater universe. Our goal that day was to see a sea turtle; we were lucky enough to swim with one. We hope to be back one day!

Please excuse the camera shake. We actually went out several kilometres to get to the Outer Reef. Big waves were rolling in right behind the corals, making quiet snorkeling almost impossible ;)

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Hermit Crab Shell Change

Hermit crabs are usually extremely shy and patient creatures, not performing any big acts in front of an audience.

However, the crab in my video below was changing from a very perforated shell into a less draughty home. Urgent matters can’t wait I guess!

I filmed this short “crab-changes-shell” movie while stumbling out of Rarotonga’s lagoon with my GoPro. I was actually quite close, but the camera’s fisheye lens makes it look like I’m far away. Just watch the video twice in case of doubt ;)

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Exploring Rarotonga’s Lagoon With The GoPro

[Please click on the Play buttons to view the videos]
1: In the middle of a shoal; literally surrounded by hundreds of goldband fusiliers.

2: Scissor-tail sergeants and butterflyfish circling around me while I was standing in the lagoon, water till the belly button.

3. Curious damselfish attacking my GoPro. The video is a bit shaky because this really made me laugh :)

4: Enjoying the wide frame of the fisheye lens for GoPro selfies during our island roundtrip on the scooter, and while exploring the lagoon by kayak, paddleboard or while snorkeling.

5: This is a slightly longer version of the three videos above including some additional footage of a parrotfish, a pipefish and an impression of how it looks like under water when the sun hits the surface.

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