Out Now for iOS! All About PhotoClock Pro (Podcast 773)

Out Now for iOS! All About PhotoClock Pro (Podcast 773)

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Although it took a few days, or weeks, longer than I’d hoped, I am really happy to be able to announce today that my latest iOS app, PhotoClock Pro has just gone live on the Apple App Store! And, at just $7 I’m starting with a 12.5% discount, saving you a dollar for the first week to celebrate the launch. The price will go to a still very reasonable $8 from April 8, 2022, but I think it’s worth every penny at either price and today I’m going to share with you information on all of the major features of PhotoClock Pro with lots os screenshots and a couple of video captures. I am incredibly proud of what I’ve built over the last three months, so I have been really looking forward to being able to share full details with you.

My Dream App – Hopefully Yours Too!

For many years I’ve wanted an app that does what PhotoClock Pro does, which is in essence, to provide an analog clock on my iPhone or iPad screen and display images behind the clock. The basic design was relatively easy to complete, but as I worked on PhotoClock Pro I started to want more and more features, and have actually added one more feature in version 1.1 which I put in for review today, and I’ll show you that shortly as well. The base price, which as I say, I’ve set at $6.99 for the first week of sales, gets you the fully functional app. I added the Pro designation to the name because many of the features are pro-level, more than a regular consumer app, but that’s how I like to work.

You can add as many images as you like, although I will warn you that if you try to add more than 50 or so the app may crash, depending on the spec of your device. The method defined to limit the number of images imported doesn’t work, although I’ll keep working on this area. For now, though, try to limit imports to 50 or fewer images at a time. In addition to your own images, as we’ll see, the app actually comes with In-App Purchases that enable you to buy additional Background Image Packs of my photos, if you want to use them. Most photographers though and probably many people are going to just use their own photos, so the optional image packs are completely optional and can be hidden when you don’t need to see them. So as not to unnecessarily take up space on your device with my images, apart from multiple app icons that you can choose from, there are no images actually stored inside PhotoClock Pro when you buy it. They are only downloaded and stored on your device if you buy them. Even the thumbnails for the Background Image Packs are only downloaded as you need them, so out of the box PhotoClock Pro is a relatively lean 50MB download.

Here is a series of three screenshots that I’ve captured to show you the ten image packs that I’m launching with, and you will also notice a My Image folder at the top of the list. If you don’t want to see my image packs, just tap the eye icon in the top right corner and they’ll collapse away, leaving just the user albums visible. We start off with one album for you to load your own image into, but as you can see in the right-most of the three screenshots, you can slide the albums to the left to reveal an option to create a new album. When you no longer need an album, you can slide it to the right to delete the album and all of the images inside it.

PhotoClock Pro - Background Images
PhotoClock Pro – Background Images

Image Management

When you tap on an album you go inside to see a list of thumbnails showing what each image looks like and provides a few more options via the management panel at the top of the list and by sliding the images themselves. In the user albums, if you tap the pen in the top right corner you can edit the album name and description, to help you organize your albums as I’ve organized the image packs. If you enter an image pack that you don’t yet own, you will see a button at the top of the list to buy the pack, as you can see in this screenshot of my FlowerScape pack. Note too that there is a cloud icon below each image title showing that the pack is not yet downloaded. Once you buy an image pack it will be automatically downloaded and all images marked as Included, meaning that they will be included in the slideshow behind the clock, which we will get to very soon.

PhotoClock Pro - Image Management
PhotoClock Pro – Image Management

As you can see in the center of these three screenshots, if you swipe the band above the list of thumbnails there is an option to exclude all images in that set from the slideshow. If you swipe there again, they will all be reincluded in the slideshow. You can also swipe the top band to the right to delete all images in the folder. Swiping on each individual image includes or excludes that image. There is a second image swipe option that enables you to change the master photo for any of the albums. Unfortunately at this point, you have to close and reopen the Image Manager for that change to take effect.

To get into the Image Manager you just have to tap the center icon in the bottom toolbar. Note that the bottom icons dim and become almost completely transparent after seven seconds, so that they don’t obscure the background images in the slideshow. They are still easily visible while the Image Manager or Settings screens are displayed, but can be difficult to see while images are displaying, depending on the contents of the image, so you may need to tap down there to un-dim them when you need to change an option.

OK, so I created a short video capture of PhotoClock Pro on the iPad, running through the twelve images in the FlowerScapes image pack with the default clock showing, and I’ve embedded that here for you to check out. Of course, you can change the duration of the slides from 3 seconds to 5 hours, via a pulldown list in the settings, and you can also simply pause the background image by tapping on the Play button right of the center button at the bottom of the screen.

The default clock is one of 12 preset themes. There were originally going to be ten themes, but then the Ukraine situation arose, so I added a theme called Ukraine Pride using the yellow and blue national colors, and eleven themes felt clunky, so I added one more to make it twelve. Then I realized that it would be nice to be able to create additional groups of themes, so I added that feature, but an empty second theme also felt clunky so I added seven more. Then I realized I could simply enable the creation and deletion of themes to your heart’s content, and because you might at some point decide that you just want all of the default themes back, I added an option to reset all of the themes back to their default twelve and seven in two groups. Because there are so many options, there are a lot of pull-down menus that save space, and I added two sections that collapse down until you hit the gear icons, to the right of the Clock Theme Groups section and the Background & Frame options.

Here are four more screenshots, with the two on either side showing all of the options on the settings screen, the second showing the theme management options, and the third showing what I internally called the theme maniac options, and they are where you can change the color of the clock hands and digits, etc. At the top of the Settings screen, you’ll find the most commonly used settings for the clock itself. As you can see, you can change pretty much everything about the clock, including the color and opacity of the background, the color and thickness of the frame, and whether you use Arabic numbers or Roman numerals. If the writing is a bit small in the screenshot click on it to open it up in the Lightbox for a better view.

PhotoClock Pro Settings Screen
PhotoClock Pro Settings Screen

At the bottom of the third screenshot, you’ll also see that there is an option to force the screen of your device to always stay on if you want it to. With that option active you can of course still lock your screen manually, and it will stay off, but unless you do manually lock your screen, it will stay illuminated so that you can always see the clock. This is useful if you want to keep it displayed on your desk, or even as a night clock beside your bed. You may not want to keep the screen on full time using your main iPhone, but if, like me, you have some old devices hanging around, this is a great way to give them a second life, rather than pushing them to the bottom of a drawer.

Just below that is a button to open the icon browser, where you can choose from 19 icons using the twelve default themes and another 7 copies of some of the themes with photos in the background. I like to roll the iPhone over to landscape orientation when looking at the icon browser because the 3D effect that I applied to the icons is more obvious in landscape mode. Just tap an icon you like and press OK to apply it and then when you close PhotoClock Pro you’ll find that it’s using your newly selected icon.

Custom Icons
Custom Icons

The themes are of course just ideas, so show you some of the possible combinations of settings. There are literally thousands of combinations that you could create, and although you’d get lost with that many, you can save anything that you create as well. Note that changes are saved as you make them, so you have to save a copy of something that you like before you start to modify it. I mentioned a new feature earlier that I added a new feature that will be released in the first update after the initial version goes live, and that is that you can now double-tap the clock to switch to the next theme. You can also long-press the clock to move through the theme groups. I did this mainly to make it easier to show you all the themes without going into the Settings screen every time to select a new theme. It enabled me to create this second video capture showing the themes and group names in a small notification at the top of the iPhone screen.

Moving the Clock

The right-most icon in the bottom toolbar changes the size of the clock. To move the clock you simply press and drag it. We remember where you place the clock for all of the orientations of the device, so you can have the clock in a different location for landscape and portrait modes, and we separately save the location for landscape and portrait orientation flat modes, for when you lay the device down. The clock generally starts in the middle although occasionally, if you install and first launch PhotoClock Pro with the device at a certain angle we can’t get the coordinates and it appears in the top left corner. Once you move it though, we’ll remember where it’s placed.

Clock Position and Size
Clock Position and Size

Screen Brightness

The lightbulb button on the left of the toolbar is to change the screen brightness. If you leave the Brightness slider at the bottom it will simply use the brightness set on your device. If you move the slider though you can change the brightness and we remember where you place it, so you can set it, for example, to a very dark screen for use in bed. When you close PhotoClock Pro though we set the brightness back to your original device brightness, so it doesn’t interfere with your usual settings.

OK, so I think that just about covers all the features of note in my latest software release, PhotoClock Pro. I am really excited to be able to put this out into the world, and really hope that you find it useful. I can imagine a professional photographer sitting at their desk with a client and an iPad sitting there running through some of the photographer’s best work, or a family with photos of old family holidays rolling through while they have dinner. I think PhotoClock Pro has the potential to become a major part of peoples’ lives, regardless of what you do for a living. It’s probably as useful on a personal basis as on a professional basis, so I’m really hoping that people like it. There are a few areas that I’d like to build out more and will work on them in due course. Before that, I’m going to start working on an Android version, and hope to have something for you within a few months. If you’d like to pick up a copy for iOS though, you can do that today, using the button below or the short link https://mbp.ac/aspcp

I do hope that you find PhotoClock Pro useful, and if you come up with an elegant, beautiful, or completely whacky clock with all of the customization options available to you, please do a screenshot or a value capture and share it online, and send me a link so that I can check it out.

Download on the App Store

Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries and regions. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

Show Notes

You can buy PhotoClock Pro on the App Store here: https://mbp.ac/aspcp

For further details and the latest information, please check out our product page: https://mbp.ac/pcp

Music by Martin Bailey


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Download this Podcast as an MP3 with Chapters.

Visit this page for help on how to view the images in MP3 files.

The 5DayDeal 2020 Photography Bundle (Podcast 721)

The 5DayDeal 2020 Photography Bundle (Podcast 721)

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The 5DayDeal 2020 Photography Bundle has just gone live until Oct 20, and this is such a great sale that I decided to dedicate this week’s Podcast to telling you all about it. I’ll assume that you are here because you love photography, but all too often I hear from photographers that spend so much time on post-processing or business-related tasks that they start to lose interest in photography. That is a crying shame considering that many of the background tasks that surround photography can be optimized to the point that they are simply part of the fun, and it thanks to the 5DayDeal Team, a multitude of training tools that will help you to streamline your photography are available until October 20 for just $89 for the Main Bundle! There is also a Pro Bundle add-on which costs $39 and a Complete Bundle which adds the Charity Bundle to the Main and Pro Bundles for an additional $29.

The Photography Bundle 2020 contains 55 hours of training in 319 videos. If you were to buy everything individually the total would be thousands of dollars, but through the generosity of the contributors and sponsors and through the audience that this global sale attracts, it’s possible to bring this to you at a 96% discount. There’s so much inside the Photography Bundle that it would take hours to walk you through everything, so I’m going to talk a little about some of my favorite tools to give you a taste of what’s inside, but really, you need to go and grab your Bundle before October 20 or this will be gone forever! To ensure that the 5DayDeal Team knows who you heard about the sale from and to help support my efforts in providing the content that I do, please use my link which is mbp.ac/5daydeal, or use the button below.

It’s also important to mention that the 5DayDeal team gives 10% of every purchase directly to a number of charities, and will be raising funds to help offset food insecurity brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. During checkout, you get to choose which charity you would like to help. For example, Make-A-Wish helps create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. The Colorado chapter alone has granted more than 5000 wishes to eligible children. Orbis transforms lives through the treatment and prevention of avoidable blindness by providing hands-on training, public health education, and more. Mercy Ships manages hospital ships that provide free, lifesaving surgeries for people where medical care is nearly non-existent. And the 5DayDeal Foundation lends a helping hand to scientific, environmental, humanitarian, and other charitable causes worldwide.

Make A Wish
Mercy Ships
The 5DayDeal Foundation

This post will, of course, remain in my feed indefinitely, so if you missed it, and would like a remember when future sales are underway, please subscribe to the General Information interest group of my newsletters which you can find at mbp.news. Anyway, here are some of my favorite tools from the 2020 Photography Bundle.

Main Bundle

Magic with Any Light – Jerry Ghionis

One of my favorite courses is Magic with Any Light from Jerry Ghionis. In this Masterclass, Jerry shows you how to shoot in a variety of challenging situations, from full sun to a candlelit room. Jerry provides help with obtaining consistency in different lighting conditions, help with posing your subjects, and provides advice on post-processing. Finally, he takes you through the entire post-photography process giving tips on how to achieve a minimum stress workflow.

Jerry Ghionis Magic With Any Light - 1
Joel Grimes One Light Masterclass 01

One Light Masterclass – Joel Grimes

Another favorite is the One Light Masterclass from Joel Grimes, in which Joel takes you through his One Light Masterclass showing how to master creating dramatic portraits using only one light. You’ll learn about the inverse square law and using the Zone System, as well as what High-Speed Sync is, and how to create shallow depth of field images in full sunlight. This is a 26-course class with almost five and a half hours of tuition.

Lighting 101 | Introduction to Flash Photography from SLR Lounge

If you are just getting started with flash photography or need a refresher, we’ve got you covered as well, with the Lighting 101 Introduction to Flash Photography from the SLR Lounge, which will help you to create flattering light anywhere! You’ll get a better understanding of creative white balance and light modifiers and how to create multi-point light with one flash, among other things. Every image in the workshop is created with just one on-camera flash and basic light modifiers, proving that you don’t necessarily need expensive lighting to get great results. This workshop includes 60 video lessons with 9 hours of content.

Shooting Digital Like Film – Sebastian Michaels

A subject that is close to my heart is Shooting Digital Like Film and Sebastian Michaels covers this masterfully as he helps you to learn how to reframe how you think about photography. I’m not going to quote everything that Sebastian says about the course as frankly, I find it a little presumptuous, but it’s a good course all the same and highly recommended.

Sebastian Michaels Shooting Digital Like Film - 1
Nicolsey Creative Control & Creative Control II - 1

Creative Control 1 & 2 – Nicole S. Young

Nicole S. Young has contributed her Creative Control Lightroom presets 1 & 2 to the sale. Nicole is a lovely person and great photographer, and although I personally never use third party presets, or Lightroom for that matter, I do know that it can be a huge help if you are still trying to figure out how to get certain results by applying and studying presets.

Each pack includes 100 presets you can use to completely process your photographs from start-to-finish. You can selectively edit the colors, tones, contrast, and much more just by working your way through each sub-set. It’s an excellent way to quickly create a polished image and control the look of your photographs, or to make a few changes to any of your existing presets.

Pro Bundle

Pricing Your Photography Workshop – Jessica Whitaker

If you are thinking of selling your photography but having a hard time developing a pricing strategy, Jessica Whitaker comes to the rescue with her Pricing Your Photography Workshop as part of the Pro Bundle. Jessica says “You have to stop treating your photography business like a hobby!” and that is so true. Of course, if photography is a hobby for you, there is no shame in keeping it that way, but if you start to do photography as a business, this is solid advice from someone who knows what she’s talking about.

Jessica Whitaker Pricing Your Photography Workshop - 1200px
The Law Tog - Office Organization for Photographers - 1

Office Organization For Photographers – The LawTog

Another great tool is Office Organization for Photographers from The LawTog, which helps you to manage business finances and general office organization.

Complete Bundle

From the Complete Bundle, and again, this is just a few of my favorites, Courtney Slazinik has contributed the Beginners Guide to Manual Mode Course to help you to master your digital camera and take great photos in all kinds of situations and environments over a 4-week course. Ana Brandt also contributes with the adorable Creative Baby Wrapping course to help with newborn and maternity photography. This is ten videos on creative wrapping and posing. There is also a Street Photography Masterclass from Thorsten Overgaard, to give you a whole new perspective on street photography.

Courtney Slazinik Beginners Guide to Manual Mode Course - 1
Ana Brandt Creative Baby Wrapping - 1
Thorsten von Overgaard Street Photography Masterclass - 1

This is just the tip of the iceberg, as there is so much content in this bundle, I have only scratched the surface here, but I hope it gives you an idea of what you’ll get. Even if you are still on the fence, do go and take a look at the bundle and check out the rest of what is available, and remember, you are helping not only your own photography but some very worthy charities at the same time by getting involved.

So, please visit mbp.ac/5daydeal, or click on the button above to check this out, and take your photography to the next level!

Show Notes

Check out the 2020 Photography Bundle here: https://mbp.ac/5daydeal

Music by Martin Bailey


Subscribe in iTunes to get Podcasts delivered automatically to your computer.

Download this Podcast as an MP3 with Chapters.

Visit this page for help on how to view the images in MP3 files.

Nik Software’s Creative Efex Collection – Limited Offer

Nik Software’s Creative Efex Collection – Limited Offer

[NOTE: Since I posted this, Nik Software have now made all of their plugins available in one complete package for just $149! Our code MBP15 still gives you a 15% discount too, which is great!]

[Since then, Google made the Nik package free, so the code was no longer valid, and now they’ve killed the software completely.]

As a Nik Software affiliate, I’ve just been made aware of an amazing offer from our friends at Nik, the Creative Efex Collection, comprised of Color Efex Pro 4, Silver Efex Pro 2, and HDR Efex Pro. Many of you already know that I’m a huge fan of Silver Efex Pro 2, and since the recent update to Color Efex Pro to version 4, this is now an irreplaceable tool in my digital photography toolbox.

Unfortunately the offer is only available in the US and Canada, and it’s a boxed set, not available as a download, but providing you enter our discount code MBP15 when you add the collection to your shopping cart, you will save $200 over what these three plugins would cost to buy individually. If you’ve been hankering after these tools but the price was a little prohibitive in the past, this is a great chance to kit yourself out.

There are only 400 boxed collections available, and I’m told that when they are gone, that’s it, so don’t hang around, and don’t forget to enter our code MBP15, or you will pay more than necessary, and we won’t get any recognition for the sale either. 🙂

Nik Software's Creative Efex CollectionI don’t do HDR photography, so I can’t really comment on HDR Efex Pro, but I have recently done a couple of videos on Silver Efex Pro 2 and Color Efex Pro 4, so I’ll embed them below too in case you haven’t caught up with these yet.

These applications work either as a round trip edit from Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture, or you can use them as a plugin in Photoshop, and they also work with Smart Objects in Photoshop, so you can go back and adjust your changes later.

Don’t forget to hit the full-screen button Full-Screen Button in the video window to view the video, erm, full-screen. If the full-screen button isn’t available, click on the Vimeo link and go full-screen from there.


And here is the Color Efex Pro 4 video.


If you have any questions about this offer or these software packages, just leave a comment below or drop me a line.