Moving on with #LetsSpeakApp2 at Commune PH

It’s the second of our 3-part LetsSpeakApp talk series for IGersManila, and we’re so thankful to have been generously accommodated by Ros Juan of Commune PH, the perfect venue for this rather intimate gathering of Instagram’ers who answered to our #iCoss invite, as this time we focused on apps for video snapping and editing, thus the theme “moving on.”


The past workdays were engrossing for me, and I haven’t been able to snap-shoot and post to Instagram lately, so I asked fellow moderators @iPetim and @EdCalaycay to do the talk. They of course did a great job of presenting video apps they actually use. What would usually take an hour or so for stitching videos, putting text, adding effects and transitions, as well as matching background music, can now be done in a few minutes, and all via a smartphone. While most video apps would claim to be “easy and instant” following on our snap-filter-share workflow, the learning curve might be a bit of a challenge at first, but the key to enjoying and improving your mobile videography skills is “patience.”


Because Commune PH is a cafe + bar, well-snapped in Instagram with its relaxed setting and for serving coffee with latte art of cute animals, Instagram’ers were treated to a quick coffee making workshop with Ros Juan and a latte art demo by chief barista JV, as they snap photos and videos to put the apps to the test. We then gave away an Olloclip and Boostcase (both for iPhone 5) courtesy of Beyond The Box, to two of the most creative tagged Instagram posts especially picked by Ros Juan, concluding the #LetsSpeakApp2 meet-up with more snapshots.

Please support Commune PH by following on Twitter and Instagram. Stay tuned this November 2013 for #LetsSpeakApp3 as we prepare to close the year with whoawesome activities.

All photos snapped with iPhone 5; collage using Diptic app.


I was experimenting on snapping portrait shots with my iPhone 5 the other night, when the fluorescent bulb in our room got busted, needing an instant fix I thought of using my iPad 4 as my only ambient lighting, as I prefer portraiture with shadows and silhouettes, and like to play around with textured noir filters that I can only get from the PictureShow app. Thus my #Ambienture photo series on Instagram – portraiture using your iPhone/iPad/iPod as single key lighting – which you can of course easily move around or ask your model to hold, which is what I did, for creative illumination and to focus a certain angle, in composing the intended exposure.

I needn’t go far to jumpstart this project, as you can see in the gallery, the first batch of #Ambienture was of my family and then of fellow Instagram’ers. If you’re into Instagram’ing, feel free to tag your iDevice-illuminated portrait shots. All you need is a room without lights, two Apple devices (any mobile device on other platforms actually, such as Android and Windows Phone) one for lighting and the other for snapping photos.

Can’t wait to snap more #Ambienture! Join us as we’re having the 2nd Philippine Instagram Exhibit this November 2013, see the full mechanics here. Keep the good vibes rolling!

iOS 7 turned Instagram flat and roundish

It’s been a week since Apple released iOS 7, its totally revamped mobile operating system that embraces what most call as flat but a clean and bright design statement, ditching its skeuomorphic tendencies, of which critics were quick to proclaim as Android-ish. And while Instagram may have missed the first week of rollout, today it has released version 4.2 that adopts the iOS 7 look and feel, and a few aesthetic tweaks.


Yesterday I was playing around with Studio Design app and posted circle-cropped posts on Instagram and it was such a coincidence that the app would later release an update with a simplified (read: flat) interface and rounded profile photos in the feed. And yes, today’s my birthday 🙂


Thin borders, clean background all throughout, and the photos and videos are now larger (and padding smaller) in grid views, with the resolution enhanced as well, supposedly for a better Instagram’ing experience. So far I’m not complaining. Go ahead and update your Instagram app for iOS.

From Instagram Blog.

All Day On Instagram’ing with BoostCase for iPhone 5

For iPhone 5 users like me, having to charge its battery two to three times a day, or easily discharging it after only a few hours of use, is a major turnoff, especially if you’re into Instagram’ing or phoneography. The iPhone 5 is a beautiful do-it-all device, but it shouldn’t stop you from snapping special moments just because it’s battery-dead. Thank goodness there’s a BoostCase Hybrid Battery for iPhone 5, that will let you enjoy Instagram’ing all day on, and you can get yours now at Beyond The Box.


The BoostCase is a two-piece solution for the iPhone 5: (1) use the slim snap-case for everyday protection and (2) attach the battery case to charge your iPhone 5, then easily slide it off when fully charged. The stylishly designed snap-on case is velvety, maintaining the iPhone 5’s thin and sleek profile, while the detachable extended battery sleeve provides up to 80% more battery life, conveniently recharged via micro USB port and cable, which can also be used for syncing with iTunes. continue reading »

Sideways snapping with Instagram for iOS version 4.0.2

If you’re faithfully using Instagram’s inbuilt camera to snap photos (and lately videos) and have been wanting to do it in the more comfortable sideways or landscape mode, then version 4.0.2 of the iOS app is for you. While this latest update lets you take photos and record videos holding your iDevice in landscape orientation, the output is still in square format, which means followers of your Instagram feed won’t really notice. 


A weird oversight on this release is that, given that it lets you now snap photos like we do with our digital cameras, the volume button can’t be used as a shutter release, so you still need to tap on the camera button to snap a photo or video.

But for Instagram’ers who are fond of snapping selfies, this will be a very welcome update as it now provides support for Cinema (or video stabilization) using the front-facing camera.

Though minor, this is sort of a sweet and silly update, crossing fingers for a better release soon. No news on when these changes will be reflected on the Android counterpart.

Visual storytelling via VSCO Grid

Just got my VSCO Grid, the free minimalist publishing platform directly integrated into the new VSCO Cam app, that’s currently on a scaled deployment. Visual Supply Co, the company behind this and other creativity tools, is quick to note that VSCO Grid is not a social network – no followers, likes, or comments – instead it’s focused on craft, curation, and content, and therefore not competing with Instagram. And that should differentiate its service for showcasing mobile photography.  


I have yet to upload more snapshots (most have been posted in Instagram) but I intend to fill my VSCO Grid with a unique set of visual stories.

Magic hour, golden sunset

Last week, what my wife and I intended as a quick getaway to Marinduque to attend a wedding, turned out to be an extended, stay-where-you-are vacation, the day after witnessing a golden sunset past the magic hour, that got spoiled when typhoon Gorio moved across the Philippines, with public storm warnings causing the cancellation of sea travel until Sunday evening. In short, we got stranded.

The bipolar weather of rain showers and sunshine in between, forced us to stay indoors for about two days. With power outages (though the huge house we stayed in had a generator running), intermittent Internet connection, and weak to dead signal on our mobile phones, our digital personalities kind of taken the days off. Stranded and offline (and running out of clothes), we took the opportunity to do things without our gadgets – spend hours talking about anything and everything!

We prayed for and was blessed with a magical, golden sunset for a blissful wedding, while we’re of course not expecting to get stranded in an island, being off the grid even for a while, surely made it an unforgettable misadventure.