Friends who are fervent Instagram (“IG”) users have urged me countless times to share more photos on Instagram. I signed up an account sometimes in April 2012, shared my first photo I took at a client’s dinner and dance party. Fast forward three years to present day, I have shared a lowly total of 80 images. Here’s the thing: it’s not that I don’t want to share more, it’s that I find the lack of direct upload (Instagram does not provide an API for such purpose) from Windows a major inconvenience for me. I manage a huge repository of images in the Windows desktop environment and I’m not fond of the tried and true method of emailing myself the image files each time I have images to upload.
After several years of on and off hiatus, I found what I consider to be a very convenient method to quickly get my images from desktop to the iPad where I have IG installed (big screen and all). Between the PC and iPad, I use an incredible free networking app called Dukto that lets Windows/Android/iOS devices effortlessly see each other for the purpose of text and file transfers (I like it so much I paid for the pro version on iOS).
The left screenshot is my Windows 7 desktop while the right screenshot is the iPad. Once the images are prepared on the desktop for Instagram upload, it’s just a matter of dragging them to Dukto container. Within seconds the images are wirelessly transferred to the iPad.
Because Instagram doesn’t provide an API for any third-party app to play nice with it, there is no direct sharing to IG. Next best alternative is a free and highly popular companion app called InstaSize. Within the Dukto iOS container, clicking Open in InstaSize immediately loads the image for customizing options before it opens in Instagram app for take off.
You can do loads with InstaSize but I use the app mainly for transit to IG. Non square images are automatically “instasized” to fit in the window and I usually just choose black for border colour where appropriate. Click on the red arrow and image opens in IG where you enter your caption and hashtags — within seconds it’s published.
I am hopeful that someday soon we can do away with the intermediary steps to easily share images. Meanwhile this is my account https://instagram.com/janshim/
The kids are on their school holiday and the rainy season of December has brought much rain to many parts of the Belait district. To my delight, I had waited since August for this otherwise semi parched lake to be filled up again. Tipped by recent pictures of Luagan Lalak on Facebook I made an impromptu trip (Facebook link) there with Jamie and Jewel. After I was done photographing multiple shots of the panoramic view across the lake, we headed to one of the huts for a short rest. There, I was going through the camera menu and happened to stop on the Multiple Exposure and HDR settings page.
I know how multiple exposures are made using Digital Photo Professional but doing the same in-camera I thought would be tricky in that you would have to visualize the results before taking the shots. There wasn’t a better time to experiment so off I went with two frames, one to the left of the lake zoomed to fill the whole frame and the other a wide perspective of the landscape. The resulting composite is the image below straight out of the camera (with a few localized tweaks in Photoshop).
click on image below to see a larger version
I do not normally pack a camera, compact or otherwise, when I am out and about on the hills of Bukit Pak Natu in Sungai Liang, a location that has become a favourite to hike because of several steep hills that ensure a productive workout. Compared to Bukit Shahbandar which is an hour away, this is the next best thing for those of us staying in the Belait District. This time, I brought my PowerShot G11 along with a Lollipod just in case we felt like a quality group photo (as opposed to poor smartphone front camera IQ). And group photo we did except this time we had owner of Mr Baker’s Bakeshop Eric Pui hike with us for the first time on these hills.
The regular fab 4 + 1 at a scenic spot of Bukit Pak Natu overlooking the green landscape.
An hour and nineteen minutes later we were back where we started — oblivious to us chatting away during our descend to the car park that we would end our hike the most spectacular way imaginable — fire in the sky sunset! Normally, I don’t pay much attention to sunsets as I’m not particularly fond of dark clouds typical of sunsets that I’ve seen over the years at the beach but clearly this is the exception.
This image was captured using the G11 in two separate frames that I stitched to produce a breathtaking panoramic view. I was able to capture the same scene using my Samsung S3 but IQ wouldn’t be nearly as good as the G11’s sensor.