iPhone Olloclip review

Olloclip and iPhone Like Peas in a Pod

My friend, artist extraordinaire,  inventor and all around super hero Dan Burkholder is always on the leading edge of trends.  As such he is a fanatic with iPhonography.  He teaches workshops on the subject that get filled quickly, speaks about it in his travels,  heck he even wrote one of the bestselling books on taking pics with your iPhone.

Me on the other hand…well I have been slow to “convert”.  I didnt even have an iPhone until a year ago.  My biggest challenge with taking pics with my phone was how I was stuck with the single attached lens.  Admittedly I really like having a pocket size camera that I always had with me.  The quality is actually better than my first full blown pro DSLR but I found my self wanting a different set of lenses.  That is where Olloclip comes in.

The story of Olloclip is very cool all by itself.  Being a business geek and entrepreneur I love the fact that they raised the initial investment capital using kickstarter.  What I like best about this product is the wide angle lens.  It seems my phone gets used mostly to capture in promtu landscapes and cityscapes.

There is no need for me to balst out a long review, I would simply be rehashing what has been said many times already. You can see reviews from the big dogs in the industry on the Olloclip website review page.  If you like shooting pics with your phone and want to step up your image options check out the Olloclip.

Ollocip iPhonography


Stock Photo Review: Depositphotos

Depositphotos Review

For the last six months or so I have been using more stock images through the online stock houses to illustrate some of our other magazines.   Another thing I have used online imagery for is for unique stock backgrounds to paint.  It generally is not a big deal to create something quickly but there are times where I just want to cruise some sites and check out images for background purposes, a brainstorming type of activity.  When I find something totally cool that I may have fun with, I might buy it.  Backgrounds and textures are an addiction of mine much like books are; I have far too many to ever make use of but I still collect more.  I shoot textures almost daily and paint backgrounds weekly as well as sell backgrounds and textures so it seems weird that I buy them.  Half the fun though as I mentioned is seeing a large variety of images in one place to get the creative juices flowing.  Sometimes I run into a texture or background that I can use for a totally different purpose than what I was initially looking for like this fractal design that I am going to make a Corel Painter 12 brush from, or the tree frog illustration further below that I can use for the top of my email sign-up form on my Eco Village magazine.

fractal backgrounds(Fractal design background for a Corel Painter 12 brush)

One of the things that I noticed right way as I began researching companies is that there are way more stock photo sites in existence now compared to a few years ago. One of the rising stars that popped up during my research was a company called Depositphotos.   I won’t profess to have done a ton of due diligence on any specific company, them included.  I usually find some things I like about the user interface where I am looking and rock and roll. I am a visual creative and dyslexic so ease of use seems to be a big deal with me.   I like the way things are laid out at Depositphotos and it is intuitive which helps those of us over fifty to feel almost normal when attempting anything new online.

Tree Frog illustration(tree frog illustration I can use on the Eco Village Magazine opt-in form)

Another thing I like is outward communication, that is, the phone number is listed at the top of the home page and there is a chat box as well.  I have underestimated the importance of that for years with our own sites and just recently completely redid the Digital Paint Magazine site to make it more communication friendly.  I haven’t actually called the number at Depositphotos as I have not had a need to but it does add a nice layer of transparency which I like.

Depositphotos boasts 14 and a half million files and nearly one million customers. They have been around since 2008. They have been around long enough to have the bugs worked out of their system and to have a great group of images that don’t break the bank.  Like many other stock image companies Depositphotos has subscription plans or the opportunity to buy credits for less frequent purchasers.  Overall I have enjoyed my perusal of the site and came up with a few new ideas of fun things to create while I was there.  If you find yourself in need of some inspiration or images to paint cruise over and check out Depositphotos Blog  to see what you might come up with.

Royalty Free Stock Photo

Digital Art Creation Magazine is Mobile Device Ready

Digital Art Creation is device ready and available again on iPad.

One of the bigger challenges I have had in publishing so far is trying to figure out a way to get the publication available in a variety of mediums.  Being an Apple geek I really wanted to embrace the iTunes store and have the magazine available for iPads from there and for Kindle and other devices through other venues.

When I started first publishing on iTunes I quickly found out that the technical challenges of doing so didn’t align with my vision of how much time it would take.  Worse, there did not seem to be provisions being able to change the frequency of the publication without starting fresh and there was no control over the flow of monies.  I didn’t even have the opportunity to see the list of subscribers, that was a hassle.  One challenge I had was when I wanted to move to a quarterly publication there was no way to change the billing so people were being billed for a publication they were not receiving.  After several bouts of correspondence with Apple this is the final note they sent,

“Please include the line below in follow-up emails for this request.

Follow-up: 263431375


You will need to remove everything off of the iTunes Store. We cannot stop or hold payments.

Kind regards,


Certainly they have been very nice, the challenge is in the sentence “We cannot stop or hold payments.”   I figured I was the only one who could not stop or otherwise hold the payments.  Weird.  So anyway as many of you know I am not a fan of auto-pay systems.  It is just a personal dislike of mine but I don’t have any auto pay subscriptions personally or from any of my products.  I get slammed all of the time from the online marketing community because I am “leaving money on the table.”  True, this publication was never intended to be a device to optimize opportunities to extract cash from its readers.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, we are all business people after all.  It is just that the goals for the magazine never rally were tied to a dollar amount.

So all of that explanation is simply to give some context to the message saying that I am now using HP’s MagCloud application to helpt to make the publication device ready.  MagCloud is pretty cool, we have set the pricing to be one dollar higher than what it will cost to purchase a download from this site.  The difference is that when you buy the download from the MagCloud site you also get access via iPad for that price whereas here you get the download only.  One other point about MagCloud is that you can get a high quality physical printed magazine as well.  It is pretty expensive in my opinion but it does give those that want a physical copy of the magazine the opportunity buy one.  They charge by the page so each month the publication will cost a little bit different based on how many pages there are.

We will still have the magazine downloads listed for sale here on the back issues tab and the read only version is still free.  If you want to purchase a physical copy or a download for your mobile device you can click on the magazine below.

New Publication

By Tim ONeill in Digital Art Creation Magazine

60 pages, published 4/10/2013

The February issue of Digital Art Creation is a special edition dedicated to profiling the artists presenting during the 2013 Digital Art Summit in March of 2013.

Digital Painting Video Tutorial With John Derry

Digital Painting Video Tutorial-Setting Up Your Intuos 4 Tablet

Setting Up your Intuos tablet

February 2013 Issue Digital Paint Magazine

Here is the February issue! Enjoy reading about the presenting artist in the Digital Art Summit.

Download link