Photography is my way of trying to stay in the moment just a few seconds longer, cherishing it by freezing it in time.
Time is fleeting and change relentless, especially in technology. Not much time remains for dwelling in the past. Despite living in technology, I resist change as much as the next person. Photography gives me a chance to hold on a little while longer, to the peace, the comfort of the known and customary behavior, before charging again into the next unknown, the next adventure, the next level where I unlearn what I know and become a rookie all over again to new plateaus and new sites and other ways of doing things better in my profession.
This year’s travels made me realize how much better I have become at selecting special points in my life, holding on to the precious so much better with the help of a great camera on my phone, the Nexus 4, by connecting its storage via Instant Upload to my Google+ photo space. No more need to connect my camera to a computer, waiting until the camera program loads, waiting until the MBs over MBs of digital information travel the USB cable. Until Google+, the process was long from photo taking to editing to sharing with my friends and family.
Google not only took care of creative process, it also thought through the creative process, developing its photo space to make me a better photographer.
I can edit my photos on the fly using my Android app or using the browser on my laptop or desktop. That is true, of course, with the other photo sharing applications: Instragram, Flickr, Eyeem. All allow you to edit your photos, apply filters, enhance the colors or apply framing and drama to the picture.
Google+ however goes further: When the Google+ Photos algorithm encounters a series, it assembles the series and offers various and unique ways of enhancing the experience for the viewer.
Google+ Photos goes for Auto Awesome
Auto Awesome, introduced earlier this summer, comes in five flavors: HDR, Motion, Smile, Pano and Mix. Once your photos are uploaded to Google+ Photos, either via Instant Upload or through the website, it takes a while before the Automation of Awesome kicks in.
Sunrise as Auto Awesome Motion
For a few weeks now, I have been up in the wee hours of the day for a 5k run/walk/run several mornings a week. Most mornings I was greeted by the young day with beautiful sunrises and because I took my Android with me, for tracking my exercise, I also took photos.
Passers by Stop Motion
After we arrived in Nassau, we were waiting for our Jeep tour group to assemble and I took random shots at the people passing by. Each one of them would have been as meaningless as the next one. I didn’t know the people nor was there are story to tell. Now Google+ put a few of those random photos together to a little movie. It’s still a bit goofy, but it tells the story of waiting.
Along comes Google+ Auto Awesomeness with Pano. stitched together.
I grew up as a city kid and Florida, where I now live, is all nature, flat and, sometimes, hard to ‘see’ landscapes. With photography, I learned to see clouds and get a sense for flat landscapes. I was never really able to convey in photos the vastness of Florida’s flat and wild topography. And, of course, I never had the patience to stitch photos together via an elaborate editing process. Here is what Google+ Awesome stitched together from our evening at the beach…
Of course, it’ll work also with a different body of water, the lake where my mother and I grew up: Lake Starnberg in Germany.
These are only a few examples of what can happen when Google+ gets a hand on your photos. I have yet to show the “Smile” and the “Mix” works. Normally, I don’t take that many photos of people, which is where Auto Awesome performs some special magic. If you have tried it already, I’d like to post examples here or on Google. Just +Plus me when you posted them on Google+ and I will find you and your Auto Awesome!
Once you had Google+ do it thing a few times, you learn how to take your photos to make it the best it can be. Allow Google+ elevate your mobile photography, make it a better experience for your followers to participate in any activity you’d like to share after the fact. And hold on to the awesome moment just a while longer.