Posted in Project Ideas

Storytelling With Clips

Apple released Clips [iOS – free] on the first day of our cross-country trip last year. The notice popped up on my iPhone while we were driving across the Florida panhandle. It only took a couple of minutes to download and I was soon experimenting to see how it works. At first look my thoughts were it was too simple to be of much use, but by the time we reached Texas I knew this app was a game-changer.

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Clips is available for both iPhones and iPads but only the 64-bit ones. That means an iPhone 5s or later, iPad Mini 2 or later, iPad Air and Air2 or an iPad Pro.

With Clips you create a project made up of photos, video, narration and soundtracks. You can take photos and videos with Clips or import them from your library. Tap the appropriate option from the items found under the viewer and off you go. In this example, video is the chosen option so the big red HOLD TO RECORD button appears. The microphone icon on the left turns the microphone on or off while the camera icon on the right switches between the front and back camera. When the PHOTO option is selected, you will see the flash button, the shutter button and the camera icon which switches between the front and rear cameras. Choose the LIBRARY option and the viewer area displays your photos. Tap to select the ones you want to choose.

img_2191With Clips you create a project then add and arrange “clips” to build your story. Tap the down icon shown at the top left corner of the Clips screen to create a new project. As you add video and photos to your project, those elements appear at the bottom of the screen. In this example, you’ll see a video clip at the bottom. Tap it to select it and several icons appear above it giving you some editing options. In this example, the selected clip is a video clip so the editing options include cutting part of the video or trashing the entire clip. In this example the video was recorded without audio so there is an editing option greyed out. It is the mute icon. If you create a video with sound, that icon is available should you want to mute the audio.

Once you have collected multiple clips for your project, you can tap and drag individual clips to rearrange their order in your project’s timeline. If a video clip needs trimming, select the clip then tap the scissors icon to display the trim box. Tap and drag the left or right trim control to remove the section that needs trimming. When ready, tap Apply.

img_2192At any time you can save any clip to your iPhone’s Camera Roll. Select the clip you wish to save by tapping it then tap the Save button located at the top right corner of the screen. The save icon is visible in the screen shot above. Clips that are saved on your phone can be used in other projects.

In addition to clips and photos, there are all kinds of elements you can use to enhance your project. You can add music from a collection of “soundtracks” or from your own music library. You can also add “Live Titles” by dictation. Not only will Clips convert your words to on-screen text, it gives you the option to style that text too. There are also some interesting filters and effects to jazz things up a bit.

Once your project is finished, in addition to saving it to your Camera Roll, you have a number of sharing options too. You can email or text a project to others and share it on your favorite social networks. They can be forwarded to your account at YouTube and Vimeo. Best of all, if Clips recognizes your friends in any of the videos/photos included in the Clip project, they will be listed on your share sheet.

Here’s my first project “clipped” while driving the Natchez Trace from Natchez to Vicksburg. I’m not a very good dash cam operator and the windshield it a bit buggy but it did show me how useful this amazing little app can be.

And this is just the beginning! Wait to see what else you can do with this delightful little app.

Posted in Graphic Resources

Toolbox for iWork

Toolbox for iWork provides a library of clipart, templates, frames, graphic elements, patterns, badges and much more that can be used with both the Keynote and Pages apps. The iOS version costs $24.99 and the Mac version costs $49.99. Both give you access to all these design elements as well as free lifetime content updates. Almost every month there is new content added to your app. Here’s a look at some of the graphical goodness found in this collection.

Toolbox for iWork [iOS] – $24.99
Toolbox for iWork [Mac] – $49.99

Posted in Project Ideas

Trip Journals

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Taking a trip? Add some photo-editing apps on your phone to build more than just a photo album of your travels. In this example, the photo was turned into a painted card with an added caption. The photo was edited using the Brushstroke app [iOS – $3.99] to get the painted effect, then sent to the Supermatic app [iOS – $1.99] to choose an appropriate card style and add the caption. You can share your finished creations individually via email and social media. You can also use the Blurb app [iOS – free] to build a print photo book using the “souped-up” photo graphics you created with Supermatic.

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Email it in with a Posthaven blog.

The Posthaven blog platform is a great way to share your travel adventures just with family and friends. Posting is as simple as emailing your photo(s) along with any comments you want to include. Set up your family and friends as site subscribers and each new post will be delivered to their inbox. You can also make your travel blog private so that only those you’ve given access will see your posts and pics. Posthaven will cost you $5.00/month to use, but that gives you up to 10 blog sites.

journal entry

Don’t forget the Day One journal app [iOS – free] or [Mac – free]. The apps are free but you will need a premium subscription [$3.99/mo or $34.99/yr] to take advantage of the premium features – unlimited photo storage, unlimited journals, cloud sync to all your Day One apps, encrypted cloud storage and 25% discount for any books created using their printing service.

Other features include an impressive collection of sharing options including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress and Evernote along with the ability to save an entry as PDF to iBooks. Of course, you can easily email any journal entry to anyone.

Today we have a broad range of apps and services making it easy to document your travel adventures. Not only will you have your own memories but you will also be able to save them for future generations to enjoy. See which options suit you best.

Posted in Storytelling

Why Journaling Is Important

Vital records and DNA can only tell us so much about an ancestor. It’s the photographs, letters, diaries and journals that bring them to life. Those of us lucky enough to inherit any of these from our ancestors are delighted to have a closer look into their world.

Today we have many ways to quickly capture a moment and share it with others. Our cameras will automatically embed the date, time and often location for us. With a little bit of effort, we can add a few words to better describe what is happening in each photo. This is journaling. What do you add? Consider the things you would love to know about the old photos in your collection and use that to help you describe today’s pics.

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What you see here is a photo I have “doctored” to look more like a painting. It got doctored because the original was very faded and needed help. Once the image looked the way I wanted it, I used the Collect app [iPhone – $1.99] to create the frame and add a title and caption. The date was automatically pulled from the photo’s metadata.

This is journaling. It didn’t take long to add the paragraph of information about this photo. Collect is just one of a number of journaling apps that make it easy to create eye-catching stories. Once you get into the journaling habit, your collection of little stories will quickly become a family history.