Book Explores iPhone Photography and Interactive Publishing

iPad Companion Edition of iPhone ObsessedA new book by photographer/designer Dan Marcolina demonstrates the creative possibilities of both the iPhone camera and interactive books.

Entitled “iPhone Obsessed: Photo-Editing Experiments with Apps,” the book published by Peachpit shows how you can use  47 of the best low-cost apps with the iPhone camera and create artistic photographic effects such as blurs and vignettes, high dynamic range, traditional film effects, and black and white images. The “image recipes” in the book are the result of a year-long series of mobile-imaging experiments Dan conducted with his iPhone and various apps.

Marcolina explains how to combine apps to construct images, talking about which apps he used and why. He also includes some advanced tips for integrating Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.  If you want to use your iPhone to create images that are good enough to hang on your wall, you’ll learn which apps to use and where to get them.

Marcolina has been practicing photography for more than 30 years, and his images have appeared in juried shows and dozens of publications worldwide. But he says his obsession with iPhone imagery has reinvigorated his love for both photography and visual experimentation.

What Makes the Book Interactive
To extend your reading pleasure, the print version of the book integrates 75 Microsoft tags that take you beyond the surface of the printed page. After downloading a free Tag Reader (, you can use your iPhone to scan the tags printed in the book. When you scan each tag, you can watch full-screen video clips on your iPhone of Dan Marcolina giving app overviews and step-by-step tutorial of how he created a particular image.

The tags let you uncover more than four hours of bonus video tutorials, app developer websites, and linkes to the iTunes Store for app purchase. You’ll also view inspirational image galleries and free downloadable resource images.

“Microsoft Tag makes the world around you clickable, and now with the scan of Tag, readers will get a richer, more enhanced experience from the pages of the book,” explains Bill McQuain, Microsoft’s director of Tag Product Management.

The iPad Companion Edition
The book “iPhone Obsessed” is one of the first printed books to be released with an iPad Companion Edition authored with Adobe’s new Digital Publishing Suite. The suite enables publishers to create, distribute, monetize, and optimize publications on a variety of mobile devices including iPad and Android media tablets.

When the iPad companion edition of the  “iPhone Obsessed” book is released later this month, Dan will supplement the book’s core content with 25 brand-new image recipes and 35 app reviews, along with expanded video tutorials on some of the images from the book.

About Marcolina Design and Marcolina Slate LLC
Portrait of Dan MarcolinaDan Marcolina’s Philadelphia-based firm Marcolina Design is well-known for their expertise in integrating print, web, and video work. Dan recently launched Marcolina Slate LLC to produce “touchable design for mobile devices.” Applying lessons learned from designing print, interactive, and video, Marcolina Slate LLC will produce unique publication solutions for iPad and Android Slate devices, immersive books, engaging advertising, memorable advertising, and living catalogs.

About Peachpit
Peachpit has been publishing books on the latest in photography, graphic design, web development, digital video, and Mac computing since 1986. Many photographers and designers know Peachpit as the publishing partner for Kelby Training and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.


iPhoneObsessed Book Overview

Microsoft Tag Reader Demo Video


Will You Create the Killer App for Augmented Reality?

Cover of The 6Sight Report April 2011The March/April issue of the 6Sight Report focuses on the growing popularity of mobile imaging, and explains why smart phones provide the perfect combination of camera, display, processor, and connectivity technologies to bring augmented reality experiences to the masses.

The State of Mobile Imaging

The 6Sight Report leads off with Tony Henning’s excellent article on why camera phones are quickly replacing standalone digital cameras as the primary image-capture device used by consumers. He points out that camera phones have always enjoyed two distinct advantages: (1) You carry your phone with you everywhere you go; and (2) Your phone is always connected to family, friends, colleagues and the Internet.

When the first camera phones were introduced in 2000, they were abysmal picture-taking devices.  Yet, in just 10 years, more than 1 billion phones with cameras have been sold.

Yes, there have been rapid, across-the-board improvements in hardware and functionality. But people didn’t really start using the cameras in their smartphones until Apple introduced the iPhone with software that made the cameras easier and more fun to use. As Henning puts it, “Apple made it easy to find the camera function and take pictures, and made it delightful to view and share and interact with them…Suddenly, handset manufacturers were forced to rethink their convoluted, menu-driven interfaces and consider the user experience.”

He notes that since Apple introduced its App Store in 2008, more than 400,000 different apps have been made available, including more than 8,300 in the photography category.  Photography apps can extend the functionality of the camera, streamline uploads to social-networking sites, enable photo editing, let you send printed postcards or invitations from your phone, translate foreign languages, track your medical condition, show the caloric content of foods, read barcodes, and much more.

Augmented Reality on Your Camera Phone

When you see real-world information about tourist sights, movies, restaurants, and services superimposed over what you’re viewing in your camera, you’re experiencing “augmented reality”—images plus information.

The 6Sight Report features a transcript of the panel discussion on augmented reality that was held at the 2010 Future of Imaging Conference last November. Paul Worthington of the 6Sight Report conducted the discussion. Panelists included: Ivan Franco of Ydreams; Michelle Fallon of YOUReality3D; Greg Davis of Total Immersion; Noora Guldemond of Metaio; and Blair MacIntyre, director of the Augmented Environments Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology

They noted that augmented reality has been used in industrial and commercial applications for several years, but the latest generations of camera phones have made it possible for everyone to start working with augmented reality.

“We still have to find that killer app,” emphasized Franco.

MacIntyre agreed, but believes it’s only a matter of time before someone comes up with a compelling application that will make the use of augmented reality take off. He notes that we couldn’t have imagined Facebook or Twitter of before they happened, and adds that “I don’t think we’ll know what AR is good for until the college student in the dorm figures out what people want, and creates the Facebook of mobile AR.”

Augmented Reality in Museums and Art

It’s always been fascinating to watch what happens when creative professionals start experimenting with new ways to use emerging forms of technology.

A recent NY Times article talked about how museums in New York, Los Angeles, and Europe are developing augmented reality apps that can help visitors better understand some of the exhibitions they are viewing. Some apps will encourage users to interact with the art in new ways.

An international artists’ collective known as Manifest.AR will be experimenting with emerging forms of augmented reality as “interventionist public art.” During the Boston Cyberarts Festival April 22 through May 8, they will be installing virtual objects and artworks in and around Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art.  Manifest.AR has previously participated in augmented-reality interventions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Statue of Liberty, the Venice Biennial, the White House, and the Pentagon.

Another group at the Cyberarts Festival will enable smartphone users to detect virtual alien invaders around Greenway Park, the Boston Children’s Museum and Cyberarts Central at Atlantic Wharf.


Museum of Modern Art Offers MoMA Books App for iPad

Although art lovers will continue to treasure beautifully printed art books, expect to see more museums make some titles available as e-books.

For example, with the new MoMA Books application from The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Apple iPad users can purchase, download, and read MoMA e-books, including favorite backlist titles that are no longer available in print. The MoMA Books App also provides convenient access to exhibition catalogues, scholarly texts on key works and artists in collection, and anthologies of important art-historical texts from around the world. In other words, the e-books provide a way to disseminate a lot more knowledge about the works in the museum’s collections.

Screen shot of MoMA Book App
The first five e-books on the digital shelf feature works by French photographer Eugene Atget, the French artist Odilon Redon, noteworthy Chinese artists, and modern and contemporary women artists. You can also explore key works from MoMA’s architecture and design collection.

With the digital bookshelf in the MoMA Books App, you can preview free sample sections of each book’s contents and purchase books through your Apple ID and account. Once you download an e-book to the MoMA’s App’s Library, you can enjoy an enriched reading experience directly within the App.

MoMA e-books preserve the original design and layout of the print book while enabling you to zoom in on superb, high-resolution reproductions of artwork for close study of details.

You can also bookmark favorite pages for future reference. As more MoMA e-books become available, the App will automatically prompt you to update their browsing shelf to show new titles.

If you want to explore collection works, check the exhibition schedule, or purchase admission tickets, the MoMA Books App lets you link directly to Recent MoMA books that are not yet available as e-books can be purchased through a direct link to

The MoMA Books App is available as a free download from the App Store.

If you don’t have an iPad, you can purchase and download MoMA e-books to your personal computer through the MoMA Store.


See New Forms of Art at Boston Cyberarts Festival

Logo for Boston Cybertarts FestivalDozens of events at the Boston Cyberarts Festival scheduled for April 22 through May 8 will challenge the public to look at art in whole new ways. For example, events include: an interactive, virtual-reality visit with an Egyptian oracle; an exhibition of dynamic digital paintings; and two demonstrations of how augmented reality can be used for public art projects.

Virtual Reality Exhibit
Commonly used in gaming, virtual reality refers to computer-simulated environments in which a physical presence is simulated in a real or imaginary world. The Egyptian Oracle event at the Boston Cyberarts Festival will use a virtual-reality, interactive narrative based on the Egyptian tradition of the public oracle to help audiences develop a deeper understanding of Egyptian culture.

Vitural Reality
Courtyard of the virtual Temple of Horus

Scheduled from 2 to 4 pm on Sunday, May 1 at the Cyberarts Central headquarters at Atlantic Wharf, the event will focus on an important religious event from the Ptolemic Period.  An expert puppeteer will virtually control an avatar of an Egyptian high priest, who will collaborate with live educators, other figures in the virtual Temple of Horus, and the audience. The event will be filmed for a general discussion afterward.

Augmented Reality Art Projects
Augmented Reality provides rich, interactive experiences to smartphone users by overlaying images, information, and graphics on top of our real-time view of the world around us. During the CyberArts festival, augmented-reality art projects will be demonstrated to smartphone users at two popular sites in Boston.

See Aliens Invade Boston’s Greenway Park: Mark Swarek and Joseph Hocking will present an augmented reality-experience at Boston’s Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Park. Entitled “Occupation Forces,” the art project enables people who have downloaded a special “alien detection app” to see invading aliens that will go undetected by the unsuspecting public. App users will encounter the invaders at multiple locations and watch the occupation intensify as they near the center of the park.

Occupation Forces Augmented Reality Project at Greenway Park

See Virtual Public Art at the Institute of Contemporary Art: The artists’ collective Manifest.AR has produced an augmented reality app that uses geolocation software to superimpose a virtual exhibition of computer-generated art objects in and around Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. From 3 to 5 pm on Friday, April 22, the artists will be on hand at the ICA to demonstrate how to access the work and talk about individual projects.

Image of iPad showing virutal art at Institute of Contemporary Art
“Parade to Hope” is one of the virtual art projects that will be installed by Manifest.AR and viewed through a Layar augmented-reality app at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Participating artists include Mark Skwarek, John Craig Freeman, Will Pappenheimer, Tamiko Thiel, Sander Veenhof, Virta-Flaneurazine, Patrick Lichty, Lily & Honglei, Christopher Marnzione, Arthur Peters, Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, Nathan Shafer, Joseph Hocking, 4 Gentlemen, and Damon Baker.

Dynamic Digital Imagery
In the “Fluid Perimeters” exhibition of dynamic digital imagery, festival-goers can see examples of dynamic digital painting, digital animations, and algorithmically generated software that explores digital and artificial life.

A dynamic digital painting is one in which a static digital painting slowly, but continuously morphs into something slightly different. (For a demonstration of a dynamic digital painting, watch the YouTube video on the website of the artist San Base:

At the Boston CyberArts Festival, the “Fluid Perimeters” exhibition will feature works by Brian Knep, Robert Arnold, Dennis Miller, Andrew Neumann, Mark Stock, and Dan Hermes.

About The Boston CyberArts Festival
The biennial Boston Cyberarts Festival showcases the rich and vibrant world of art and high technology in New England. Cyberart encompasses any artistic endeavor in which computer technology is used to expand artistic possibilities.


The Boston Cyberarts Festival

Egyptian Oracle Virtual-Reality Interactive Narrative

Occupation Forces: an Augmented Reality Experience

Manifest.AR: Interventionist Public Art

Fluid Perimeters: An Exhibition of Dynamic Digital Imagery


Boston Festival Celebrates the Cyberarts

Exhibit Your Favorite Photos in Your Own Virtual 3D Gallery

Here’s an excellent example of some of the fun and creative ways marketers are encouraging customers and prospects to engage with their brands. With the launch of MyPhotoExhibits (MPE), Tamron USA is inviting photography enthusiasts to showcase their favorite images in a unique, free online venue. Unlike traditional static online galleries, Tamron’s MyPhotoExhibits interface allows you to create your own customizable, 3D exhibit space.

Screen shot of Tamron My Photo Exhibit

You start by setting up a user avatar and bio, then uploading your favorite high-resolution images. After organizing your exhibit and captioning the photos, you can put the finishing touches on your exhibit space by choosing from different options for the gallery space (wall and floor textures and colors), photo frames, furniture, and lighting.

After the space has been created, you can go back into the MPE interface to add more photos, tweak presentation specs, or create additional exhibits.

iPhone app for Tamron
Use the iPhone app to browse other MPE exhibits, view your own exhibit, or invite others to view your exhibit.

Once your exhibit is ready to “open,” you can choose to have the exhibit viewed “by invitation only” or remain open to the public. Invitations to view the exhibit can be sent from the website’s iPhone app via Facebook or other social media, or by email. Viewers of the exhibit can sign the your “guest book,” choose “favorite” exhibits, and “follow” exhibiting photographers.


MyPhotoExhibits iPhone App


Self-Publishers Can Use to Produce iPad Publications

iBuildApp ScreenShot of iPad AppsIf you would like to produce your own iPad magazine, catalog, or book app, check out the free iPad Publishing solution announced by Silicon Valley-based start-up The company  has created templates that make it much less complicated for authors and other non-coders to format and publish content to mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

The solution was designed to deliver a good experience for the reader. “We believe that a digital magazine or newspaper should feel like a media app, not like a magazine reader,” said Rafael Soultanov, of “When someone swipes from page to page they can choose different stories to read. Images are vivid, and video is optimized. If a reader wants to comment or share what they’re reading, they just tap a button.”

The fully functional publishing app takes about 2 to 3 hours to create and publish content. Just copy/paste content into the pre-made templates for the iPad for free. With the templates, self-publishers can focus on their content and leave the formatting, publishing and distribution to iBuildApp.

The company plans to integrate the iBuildApp iPad solution with other CMS platforms such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. It will simply require snippets of code from iBuildApp to be inserted into the CMS code.

Unlike other services, iBuildApp Self-Publishing Solution provides authors with a free online editor, free formatting and design templates, and integrated publishing for iPad and Web.

Founded in 2010, iBuildApp is headquartered in Foster City, California. Their goal is to make it easy and affordable for businesses of all sizes to build and manage mobile apps.

iBuildApp’s first product was a do-it-yourself platform for making iPhone/Android apps without knowledge of coding. As of the end of March, the iBuildApp solution had been used to produce about 2,000 of the iPhone apps available on iTunes.

LINKS iPad Self-Publishing Solution


What’s The Difference Between Cross-Media Marketing and Transmedia Storytelling?

Do you know the difference between cross-media marketing and transmedia storytelling? What about interactive advertising?

I hadn’t given any of these buzzwords much thought until I started compiling a list of technology-related trends that creative professionals probably need to think about as they try to anticipate where their next opportunities might come from.  The more I learn about these trends, the brighter the future looks for creative professionals with a natural gift for conceptual thinking.

Cross-media marketing is defined by InfoTrends as “the use of two or more media types (print, e-mail, Web, mobile, and/or social) in an orchestrated campaign targeting a specific demographic and/or psychographic segment…A cross-media campaign delivers relevant content and a call to action through multiple media simultaneously as an integrated campaign.”

JWT Transmedia Rising CoverTransmedia storytelling, as explained by JWTIntelligence, “involves narrative threads tailored for different channels (from mobile to big screens, from social to traditional media) and audiences (gamers, readers, Tweeters, etc.)…For brand marketers, this means that rather than striving for consistency across multiple touchpoints, the goal is for different channels to communicate different things (within the overarching strategy), with an emphasis on putting the brand community at the center.”

JWT’s Dean Baker explains it this way: “What we need to do is figure out the story behind the brand, the place it wants to occupy in the consumer’s mind, deconstruct it, make it relevant and reassemble it for the relevant audiences on the appropriate channels. Then, through social media, let the experience and associations grow organically.”

Interactive advertising, as described in the excellent documentation on The Barbarian Group website, is “any advertising that a potential customer can interact with.” While most interactive advertising takes place on the Internet, it could also be advertising on a mobile phone, a kiosk on a salesroom floor, or a billboard on Times Square. Interactive advertising is not human, it is not e-commerce, and it is more than banners and websites. Most importantly, says The Barbarian Group, “It is the one form of advertising that the customer initiates.”

I learned about The Barbarian Group when I read a news item about a billboard they had created that uses facial-recognition technology to interpret the characteristics and movements of viewers and adjust the advertising content accordingly.

Is your mind boggled yet? Mine certainly is.

But the reason I feel optimistic for creatives is because success in all three of these areas will require higher levels of both analytical and conceptual thinking.

For marketing execs (analytical thinkers), these trends add new layers of complexity to planning and measuring integrated marketing strategies.

Marketing-service providers will have to innovate in order to help their clients execute all of the elements of cross-media, transmedia, and interactive campaigns in the most cost-effective, efficient, and timely manner.

Then, it will be left up to conceptual thinkers (the creatives) to come up with the novel ideas and fresh approaches to storytelling that will effectively engage targeted consumers at every point in the process.

This could present some refreshing opportunities for creatives, because so much of the work formerly trusted to creative professionals has been boiled down into “formulas,” then automated in the form of templates and artificial intelligence embedded in graphic-design and image-editing software.

Perhaps because of the sheer volume of fresh content that must be continually fed to the Internet, creative professionals often find themselves regarded more as assembly-line production laborers than as potential contributors of innovative strategies.  In my opinion, creative talent is sometimes under-utilized.

Hopefully, creative professionals will find new ways to contribute as marketing (and entertainment) becomes more dependent on finding new ways to construct and deliver coherent and emotionally powerful stories across multiple platforms.


The Barbarian Group defines themselves as “a digital services and creation company that delivers the best possible experience for the consumer through the integrated and disciplined use of the best possible practices, good ideas, people and technology.” The portfolio portion of their website features examples of interactive advertising, including a trade-show backdrop projection wall in which blades of grass sway in a virtual breeze created as visitors walk past.  Their Barbaripedia includes a wealth of information about how interactive production differs from traditional advertising and broadcast production. They recommend way to avoid potential pitfalls.

InfoTrends is a worldwide market-research and strategic consulting firm serving the digital-imaging and document solutions industries. Their recent study, entitled “The Cross-Media Direct Marketing Opportunity,” explains how marketing executives are using print, online, mobile, and social media in their businesses.

JWTIntelligence, part of the JWT marketing-communications agency, is described as “a center for provocative thinking.” They describe their mission as follows: “We make sense of the chaos in a world of hyper-abundant information and constant innovation—finding quality amid the quantity.”  Their trendletter entitled “Transmedia Rising,” explains why “The days of broadcasting to consumers are over, a new era of entertaining, engaging, and empowering consumers is upon us.” The report highlights examples of transmedia projects such as Mattel’s Ken and Barbie campaign and The Old Spice campaign featuring The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.