New Photo Project: Oslo Rooftops

I created a new photo project called Oslo Rooftops. In this project I want to showcase beautiful photos of Oslo rooftops.

The project is also available on Instagram and Facebook.

Here are a few photos from this project:

  • 2013-02-07 - House
  • 2013-09-09 - Majorstuen Sunrise
  • 2013-12-15 - Snarøya
  • 2011-07-13 - Harry Potter
  • 2011-01-31 - Winter Sunset
  • 2011-02-02 - English Houses

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How to add a diffuse glow effect in Photoshop

In this article, we are going to turn an ordinary-looking photo taken with the point-and-shoot camera Olympus µ850SW into something nicer.

I took this photo at the Carnival of Venice in February 2013. Hundreds of photographers were present in San Marco Square in the early hours of the morning (5-6 AM!) to take photos of people dressed in beautiful costumes, and to avoid the crowds of tourists which usually are coming around 8-9.

  • Olympus µ850SW : ƒ/3.5, 1/13 sec, ISO 200, 0 EV

Having only a point-and-shoot camera (Olympus µ850SW), I felt almost out of place being surrounded by all those photographers with their professional gear with lots of lenses and tripods etc. That didn’t prevent me from having fun though!

And I think the photos I took are not too bad, even comparable with other photos I’ve seen from the same day. Most photographers were taking the same shots, zooming in on the costumes and emphasizing the same features of each costume, but I think by doing this they forgot about the context of the shot – the beautiful city of Venice! My photo contains the Grand Canal and the gondolas as background, which I think many so-called “professional” photos from the carnival are missing.

The shot can be improved though, and I think that by adding a Diffuse Glow effect in Photoshop, the mood of the photo improved a bit. The Carnival of Venice is a surreal event in a way, both timeless and out-of-time in today’s technological world, and a glow look in the photo takes the real subject and surroundings and puts them in a different light, transporting the viewer to another dimension, and hopefully achieving the same timeless effect as being at the carnival for one week in a year full of high-tech gadgets and down-to-earth routine.

Load the photo in Photoshop, then use the menu option Filter->Distort->Diffuse Glow…
Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 16.59.42

Experiment with the sliders until you get the desired effect:
Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 17.02.14

Graininess specifies how grainy (extra white pixels, like an old TV) the photo should look. Normally this should be as low as possible, unless you want a specific look for the photo.

Glow Amount is the amount of light added to each light area in the photo – the more you add, the more light will be in the photo.

Clear Amount specifies how light should the darker areas of the photo look like: 0 makes the whole photo white, 20 makes the whole photo as in the beginning if Glow is 0, or makes the photo look “surreal” if Glow is higher than 0.

The end result – please click on the photo to see it on 500px and leave a comment or an appreciation sign (Like, Favorite):

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Starting my 500px portfolio

I signed-up on 500px and started creating my 500px portfolio.

Here are a few photos which I uploaded in the beginning. In the next weeks I will create a series of articles about how to turn ordinary photos taken with point-and-shoot and smartphone cameras into beautiful works of art. Stay tuned!

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Just for fun: My Top Facebook Visitors phone covers

We all know that there is no way to see who viewed your Facebook profile. If you ever find an app or website which tells you that you can, please stay away.

However, nothing prevents you to make fun of those apps which claim that you can see your Facebook visitors. One way to make fun is to embrace those apps and sarcastically display in public a “fake” list of Facebook visitors: the global surveillance networks employed by governments (well, those lists can actually be real).

So here you are: iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S3 phone covers with your top Facebook visitors. Order now from our design shop!

My Top Facebook Visitors iPhone 4 Cover
My Top Facebook Visitors iPhone 4 Cover by stanoidesign
Find more iPhone 4 Covers at Zazzle
My Top Facebook Visitors Galaxy S3 Cover
My Top Facebook Visitors Galaxy S3 Cover by stanoidesign
View more Galaxy cover Casemate Cases at

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New store with Stanoi Design products

I opened a store on Zazzle with my own design products: Stanoi Design.

Inspired by blending arts, science and fashion, I attempt to create beautiful, intriguing and funny design products for decorating your home and your person. Examples for this are funny smartphone cases, artistic pillow cases, unusual posters inspired by world-famous works of art etc.

The page Store on my website will be updated with the best-selling products.

Here is an example of a design product:

The Scream by Edvard Munch, ASCII Art Mug
The Scream by Edvard Munch, ASCII Art Mug by stanoidesign
Put your photos on mug designs at
In association with

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Oslo Fotomaraton 2013

On 24 August I participated in the Oslo Fotomaraton photo competition, my second such competition. The idea is to take 12 photos during the 12 hours of the competition, each photo with a different theme.

Here is a collage with all my 12 photos:

  • 2013-08-24 - Oslo Fotomaraton 2013

And all the individual photos, together with the themes for each:

  • IMG_20130824_114209
  • IMG_20130824_120656
  • IMG_20130824_130258
  • IMG_20130824_140453
  • IMG_20130824_151540
  • IMG_20130824_154215
  • IMG_20130824_173621
  • IMG_20130824_185413
  • IMG_20130824_190459
  • IMG_20130824_202244
  • IMG_20130824_203417
  • IMG_20130824_210601

I took all the photos with my Samsung Galaxy S3 phone, with the Camera ICS+ app.

The collage was created with the free web tool Pixlr Express.

Participating in photo competitions is a good way to improve your photography skills, as noted by this article from Lifehacker: Enter Photo Contests and Competitions to Boost Your Photography Skills.

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Take pictures of your kids before heading into crowds

When you go on a trip with your kids in a foreign country, or even just through a shopping mall or crowded street in your own city, it’s easy to lose them in the crowd. To make the process of finding them easier when asking people around, the site Lifehacker recommends to take a picture of them in their current outfits. Phones (or tablets) work best for this.

You can take this step a bit further and take a picture of *you* on your kid’s phone (if any). Makes it easier for them to find you.

Take Photos of Your Kids Before Heading Into Crowds | Lifehacker

  • 2011-04-10 - Turist i egen by

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iOS photo editors reviews

This blog post is the start of a series of reviews of iOS photo editor apps. Each photo editor app will be reviewed in a separate blog post, and all reviews will be linked from this blog post, to have an overview of all apps.

Adobe Photoshop Touch

The “little brother” of the well-known Adobe Photoshop for PC/Mac. Having this app on your phone/tablet allows for quick fixes to photos right there where you take them, before uploading them to social media sites. It has layers, selections, photo adjustments (like saturation, shadows/highlights etc), crop, gradient, photo effects, and more goodies. There are also brushes, erasers, magic wand, text and more.

Full review coming soon


A great photo editor, with allows you to make adjustments such as red-eye correction, color balance, saturation. There are also effects, frames, crop, text. One cool feature is adding meme text to photos (one line on the top and one line on the bottom).

Full review coming soon

BeFunky Pro

Full review coming soon


Full review coming soon

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iOS camera apps reviews

This blog post is the start of a series of reviews of iOS camera apps. Each camera app will be reviewed in a separate blog post, and all reviews will be linked from this blog post, to have an overview of all apps.


Full review coming soon


Full review coming soon

Camera Awesome

Full review coming soon

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New blog about photography

After taking a lot of photos over the past 8 years or so, I decided it was time to start a blog about photography. So far I only used point-and-shoot cameras and smartphone cameras, and I will share my knowledge about these cameras. I took some of the cameras to the limits of their capabilities, sometimes creating good pictures (in my opinion) with simple cameras.

In this new blog I will post about:
* how to take good pictures with simple cameras (such as point-and-shoot and smartphones)
* how to edit photos with simple programs (such as photo editors for smartphones and tablets)
* how to create photo projects such as 365 (which I did since 2007 – see my sets on flickr)
* how to use photography accessories and different camera apps for smartphones
* how to create nice Instagram photos (here is my Instagram profile)
* and hopefully lots of other tips, which can help you become a better photographer with simple cameras, which can be taken anywhere, unlike bulky DSLRs.

Here are a few photos which I took over the years with point-and-shoot cameras, which I consider “good enough” (I will process those and other photos with different programs during the tutorials on this blog, to create even better versions of them).

  • Olympus µ850SW : ƒ/3.5, 1/13 sec, ISO 200, 0 EV
  • Canon PowerShot A590 IS : ƒ/3.5, 1/125 sec, ISO 400, -2 EV
  • Canon PowerShot A570 IS : ƒ/5.0, 1/500 sec, ISO 400, 0 EV
  • Agfa T5 : ƒ/9.5, 1/400 sec, ISO 100, 0 EV
  • Olympus µ850SW : ƒ/4.8, 1/400 sec, ISO 64, 0 EV
  • Canon PowerShot A570 IS : ƒ/4.0, 6 sec, ISO 100, 0 EV
  • Canon PowerShot A590 IS : ƒ/3.5, 1/125 sec, ISO 400, -2 EV

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