The App and the Lesson (Pano)…

The Pano application

Well, the holidays have come and gone. Everybody’s started on their New Year’s resolution and putting their favorite gifts through their paces (and sadly letting some others collect dust under the bed or at the back of the closet). Well, I have gotten a chance to put my fave so far to use. It’s the Owle Bubo ( Basically, this is a lightweight (think DirecTV remote control weight) device that acts as a housing for your iPhone 4. The rediculous benefit to this is that it allows your iPhone to act more camera-like.

Let me explain. if you’ve ever shot photos with you iPhone, you know that sometimes, depending on your photo app, holding steady for periods of time or lining up frames can prove to be a challenge. This device allows you to be a lot more stable. For me, instant gratification came in the form of being able to more easily align my frames when using an app like Pano, or holding more steady using Slow Shutter. I love it! It also has a space for a microphone that connect directly to your iPhone’s headphone jack. This is great for videos on the go.

The other great feature (at least for me), is that it comes with a 37mm wide-angle lens and a macro lens already attached. This is GREAT if you’re tired of taking steps back to get everything in a frame or not being able to get the detail you want for those small objects. I can see now that 2011 is going to be a great year for photography and iphoneography both!

The only two “drawbacks” are that you can’t effectively use the flash from you iPhone 4. The Bubo’s frame will cause the flash to reflect back into your image - the flash actually would fire through the lens on the Bubo :(
The other issue is that there is currently no support for the new iPod Touch. It’d be great to be able to have one for the Touch and leave it permanently affixed so that it’s just a grab and run. As it is, the Bubo will only support the iPhone 4 and a limited number of cases (no sliders) that would fit in the housing. I’m sure that an adaptation for the Touch is on the way. For now, I’ll just keep switching out cases.

All and all, the Owle Bubo is FANTASTIC. I thank my wife so much for getting me something she knew I’d love. I’ll post photos for comparison/contrast later. If you’re serious about your iphoneography, take a minute and check this out!

The App and the Lesson (TimeLapse)…

Timelapse application

Hey! Today I’m going to keep going with my reviews of camera-related apps for your iPhone and iPod Touch, and how they might be used educationally.

Today, I’d like to talk about an app called Time Lapse. This app allows you to set your phone or iPod totake pictures at specific intervals and for a specified period of time. For example, you could set the app to take one photo every 2 seconds for one hour, or one photo every 2 seconds for 500 exposures (or picutres).Something to think about: it takes 24 frames for 1 second of video and 1440 frames for just 1-minute of video.

From there, the photos are all loaded into the Photo library on your phone or iPod for you to download to your computer, or to sync through iPhoto or Aperture. You can create the video by using iMovie or Quicktime. Here are some examples of Time Lapse videos.

I think this is a great app to use on several fronts. It can help to reinforce concepts previously taught with regard to both photography and video (using iLife or other programs). It also acts as a motivator for students’ creativity. It can be used to create a form of digital flipbook, if you will.

Below, you will find an example of a mini-lesson that you can adapt or expand upon to suit your particular class needs:
App: Time Lapse
Tech Needs: Apple computer, iPhone, iPod Touch (with camera), iLife (iPhoto and/or iMovie)
Subject: Science – Animal Disection
Grade Level: High School
Activity:  Using the TimeLapse app, have the students setup the iPhone or iPod Touch so that they can get a complete picture of the working area. (This may work great in small groups, where your have multiple camera angles to choose from). Have the students to go about the process of disecting the animal (frog, worm, etc.) and documenting the process with TimeLapse. As a starting point, have the interval set to take every 10 seconds for 100 exposures (that’s roughly 16 minutes worth of pictures).  Once completed, import the pictures into iPhoto and arrange them in an appropriate order (at this point, for younger or less experienced students, you could simply make a slideshow out of the photos). Next, go into iMovie, import the photos and have the students to add their own soundtrack or narration, and there you have it!

This could be useful in helping teachers to create a video repository of lab experiments, step-by-step processes, best practices, etc. Heck, it might even be useful in helping students to create their own “claymation” (or action-photo) type of presentations. (Ask any of your students about Adult Swim on Cartoon Network - that will be a crude reference for them, AND you :D)

As always, give it a shot… and let me know what you think about it!