About iPhones’ Cameras.

Howdy! A friend of mine asked me about iPhone’s camera capability, and to which extent the camera can be used manually.

There are many differences between the different iPhone models, especially if we start considering them from, let’s say, the 4th gen onwards. Of course camera got better and better with time, and Apple wisely stayed away from the Megapixels war.

As this post is for amateur/pro photographers, I won’t explain why the megapixels in a camera are important up to a point, and why the sensor is much more important; I will instead focus on what manual features software (Apps) can enable on iPhones.

If you have an iPhone which supports iOS8 (so, from the 4S onwards), then there is already a AE/AF lock, and a manual slider to adjust exposure. Here are the infos to do so:

1. Launch the Camera app like you normally would to take a photo.
2. Press and hold on your focal point until you see an AE/AF Lock banner appear at the top of the screen. The image will stay locked to that particular point you’ve selected.
3. If you slide (anywhere on screen) your finger up/down, you will be able to adjust exposure.

And that’s it! Simple as that. Now, to obtain a more manual experience, you will need a dedicated App. Oh, and before you go looking for it; iPhone lenses are fixed-aperture by design and do not have an adjustable iris (yet!).

Personally, I like those two apps:

Manual - This is a paid app, around 2 bucks. This will give you the ability to control the following:

• Shutter
• White Balance
• Focus
• Exposure Compensation

It also has a few perks, like:

• Live monitor automatic exposure values
• Live Histogram
• Photos save directly to Camera Roll
• Fill Flash (Flashlight) Mode
• Grid Overlays (Rule of Thirds, Square)
• Light & Dark Themes
• EXIF viewer

VSCO Cam - This is a free app. It gives probably less manual options, but you will still be able to control: Focus, Exposure, White Balance, shutter speed. It also has some nice presets which will make your Instagram pics look much better.

There are other Apps, like Camera+ or PROCam, but honestly the stock camera App in the iPhone is powerful enough for my point-and-shoot needs, with great image editing features, and Manual takes care of my more artistic needs when I don’t have my DSLR with me.

And as a lot of photographers know, the best camera is the one you have with you.

What they did n…

What they did not want you to ever find out is that your generation, the generation born between 1980 – 1995, actually outnumbers the baby boomers. They knew that if you ever turned your eye towards political reform, you could change the world. They tried to keep you sated on vapid television shows and vapid music. They cut off your education and fed you brain candy. They took away your music and gave you Top Ten Pop stations. They cut off your art and replaced it with endless reality shows for you to plug into, hoping you would sit quietly by as they ran the world. We as a society are only as strong as our weakest link. Give em hell, kids.

The Irish Summer

It is 3 years I live in Ireland. I could spend countless words praising how beautiful this place is; how lovely the people, how genuine the life, how dramatic the landscapes are.
But I won’t.
I want to talk about the thing that bugs the shit out of me.
The rain. The fucking rain.
It rains always. Basically every day, multiple times a day. You think one day you’ll get a break because there’s no wind and a little pale sun. Don’t fall for it; it’s a trap. As soon as you’ll be outside the clouds will say “poor you, we gotcha again” and pour. If you’re thinking of being safe with an umbrella, fuggeddaboutit. It rains sideways. Little rain droplets organize ambushes at the corner of the streets, coming up from the pathway.
At first you say, “oh, I don’t mind”. Which is true. I lived 28 years in the sun. I thought my batteries were charged enough. Yeah, sure. According to my calculations, one year in Ireland will deplete your sunshine reserves of 7 years. It’s like dog years. So my batteries are kinda drained, and it is not enough the (very rare) days of sunshine when all the people get crazy and run in the parks almost naked even though there are only 15 degrees (Celsius) but hey, there is the sun. And they (me included!!) lay over the grass like huge white sea lions and fall asleep (me again!) and wake up 2 hours later with a nice glowing shade of red number 9 and sweaty – the first because for some genetic trick my skin is worst than the Irish one, the latter because even though it’s 15 it’s like the sun is hotter up here.
Did I tell I swam in the ocean? It was last year when we had the tropical heat wave (26degrees – which converted to Irish degrees is equal to 36/38, always Celsius, depending on the amount of wind and the amount of sunshine. It’s like rocket science). So, I swam in the ocean, and I would love to do it again. Cut me some slack, Irish weather! Look, I become red as a lobster, exactly like your sons or any Albion’s kid! It’s like a have honorary genes! Without the freckles! And I love being here, so, please. Just a bit. Today I wanted to leave my hair untied (I have long hair that I always tie up because of wind/rain/humidity. Today I trusted the weather and left them untied. Now I look like a blonde Robert Smith) and it was a disaster. But it’s Friday. There is that.
My weather tip for the day is, cut your hair short. Always buy waterproof clothes. And if the rain gets you and messes with your long hair and your non-waterproof clothes, because you, like me, did not follow my advice, make sure you wear smeared red lipstick and sing “boys don’t cry”.

Easy-way to call yourself a writer.

So basically I just made some rough calculations. It turns out that I started my book in November more or less, and planned to finish it after the summer (at least the first draft). 

Anyway, calculations. At the rhythm I was writing, I would have probably ended the book by the world cup – not the one that will kick-off in Brazil next month, but the next one, 4 years from now, which will be held fuck knows where.
Now – bear with me – I was actually writing here and there, when the planets were aligned on their plane and only if it was full moon. Basically I was slacking around helping my ego to not-write, to have the illusion that “well, when I write I kick asses” and “this book is gonna be huge” without having to confront with the reality – which is, you cannot call yourself a writer if you are not actually writing something. 
It is all in the words.
To call yourself a writer, you have to write. Same goes for a soccer player (what is with me and soccer today?) – he has to play. Teacher has to teach, hooker has to hook and so on. 
Now, I can live with the idea of not finishing the book, or not being published, and keep doing stuff in the meanwhile. But I have been calling myself a writer for a bit now – and I would never say things which aren’t true about myself. So basically I committed to write every day – even short things like this one. If you write every day, you are a writer – then you can append any status to it, like famouspublished, or, in my case, unknown and broke.
(I ask forgiveness for the humongous use of the word “basically” in this post.)

First chapter of the book I wrote 10 years ago.


The human life only lasts

for a moment,

and we should spend it doing

what we like.

In this world, short-lived like a dream,

to live in anxiety is


- Nabeshima Rongo



The second entrance, the dirtiest, led straight to the decaying apartment of a sweet old man, who was striking his blind dog with tenderness: Spike. The plot develops as follows, a wise, farsighted old man, so many stories on his back, so many fantasies. So many dreams. He’s only waiting for someone to be willing to listen, the reward is all the knowledge in the world.

In the movies,

at least.

But it was all upside down.

Hope Road was spotless. Lou, a dirty drunk. Hard to tell. Maybe it was him hanging on to his bottle of beer, maybe the opposite. You realized they were two separate things only when he let go of it: just for the time to pick another one, grab a smoke. He wouldn’t stop, not even when he had to speak, spilling beer all over himself. His eyes were wide shut, you could never see them open.

But he wasn’t blind.

He perfectly saw that Carola was intimidated, almost scared. She hid her repulsion well (information matters).


…I wanted……information. About…

I’m no longer a hype, little bitch. Go home, no afternoon buzz for today.

There’s no pearls in the jaws of a lion,

Carola thought.

Her nanny, Miss Marble, always used to say that. Pearls. In the oysters. That information could be like a pearl, and Carola was in the jaws of a lion.


No, sorry, your nephew sent me here; Lukas, he’s got a shop between seven and the bridge


Indeed, a pearl in the jaws of a lion? Perhaps lions eat oysters?

                                 He has a picture, a picture that concerns me closely, and I wanted to know


Or at least, I was hoping to know


if you could give me… some information. About it.

Information? There’s a price to pay, baby. And I charge. A lot.


Not again with that price thing. Now I know who raised  Lukas.


I don’t have much… money, with me…

Who wants your money?


The beer seemed to slip naturally out of old Lou’s mouth. Old he was old, let’s say seventy, his nose beaded with red and his hair still strong and dirtywhite.


Now he’ll ask me to undress, the dirty old pig. At the very least. I’m sure, he wants to bang me, or make me play some kind of an erotic game. Maybe with the beer. With the bottle. Disgusting.




That’s how it came out. Spontaneous; fast. The word first, then the thought. Disgusting. So spontaneous as not to be offensive, or saddening.


Yes, disgusting. I’ve finished the beer. I’ll give you all the information you want, but bring me the beer. And a pack of cigarettes. The brand doesn’t matter, but strong, that burn your throat with the last puffs. And hurry up, or say good-bye.


No strip-tease? Relief. A beer and a pack of cigarettes.


(everything has a price. sometimes it’s cheaper than how much we’re ready to pay.)


A beer, cigarettes. Strong ones. Downstairs quickly, she turned right, asked a question, back to the left, got in. The cigarettes weren’t a problem. Nicotine 1,1. That’ll do. But the beer, that was a problem. Not a big deal, all she had to do was enter a liquor store. If only there had been a liquor store in Hope Road. More information, straight ahead, just a block from here.


Smile on her face, she got back to old Lou, who was waiting with his eyes closed. He opened them to enjoy her smile. Nothing special. Just a smile. But full of spontaneous happiness. A rare display. Like Lou’s eyes. Tormented, tortured by who knows what kinds of images. But full, still full of desire to live.

Even if, of course, just for the beer and the cigs.


That’s perfect, baby, perfect. It took you a while, but: perfect.


It wasn’t that great. It was enough to brighten up Lou. He and the bottle joined together again, tenderly, like two lowers separated from fate. It was a less disgusting show. Rather, it was almost nice.

Except for when he spilled it all over himself.


So, what is it you wanted to know? Be quick, or I’ll send you to buy another beer.


The information couldn’t last longer than three beers.

She calculated quickly: to buy one she used the change from the cigarettes, and that was exactly one third of what she had left. Then, money for two more beers. And the one he’s drinking makes three. Three beers for the question and answer. The question only, would already take ten of them. And if there was an answer, she would have to buy all the beer in the world.

Yet, he could only have three. Ironic.


I’ve seen a picture inside Lukas’s shop. A special picture. The canvas is white; maybe creamy white. Yes, creamy white, and yellow-veined. On the picture, there are thick, black marks, from left to right, sorted by lines, separated by white spaces. They’re words. Letters, sentences. It’s a picture.


It’s made of words, wisely painted descriptions.

With love, passion. They’re words. Just words. Not “just”. Words. Sentences. It’s a picture. Made of.

Sentences. The sentences describe the picture, the colors. Lukas thought it was dirty. I cleaned it up, and the words appeared.

Strong, better than the colors, you know? Sweet, sometimes; sometimes tough: intense. Words turned into picture, picture turned into words. Nothing more beautiful than that. The description is beautiful – perfect – but it’s words. The words, they make room for the thought. When you read a book, you can imagine everything: the places, the characters, the expressions. And even if they’ve been described, the book is unique in everyone’s head. You’ll never find another like that. Or someone else with the same images inside their heads; yet, the book is the same, the description is the same. It’s the words,


spilling out beer, endlessly, repeatedly, nonexistent semantics of fate, metaphor for the flowing, the end of the bottle is close, closer than usual, half swinging.


That’s not fair, Carola thought; if he didn’t spill it all, I’d have more time. Vanishing thought, let’s go back to the talking.


words turning into images. And they’re always unique. Even if always the same. If you read it twice, the images change, although the words stay the same. It’s a beautiful picture, changing and still, unique for everyone, yet identical for all. My father made it.

May I Envy The Blossom


Well written piece. Thanks.

Originally posted on Poems & People:

Amidst a flurry of dropping blossoms pale,
I watch these moth wings fragrant so much
turning white in a lifeless sail,
the arms and branches praying as such.
In wait for autumn, the progeny of colors,
while patiently all the watchful turn old.
Would it be too much, to envy the pallor
of fleeting lovers drifting in the cold?
An empty shade, with receding light,
another hour has come and gone,
another moment, the blossoms in flight,
fallen, found love, waiting, found dawn.

View original

“There are peop…

“There are people who are generic. They make generic responses and they expect generic answers. They live inside a box and they think people who don’t fit into their box are weird. But I’ll tell you what, generic people are the weird people. They are like genetically-manipulated plants growing inside a laboratory, like indistinguishable faces, like droids. Like ignorance.”

C. JoyBell C.