Saturday, May 30, 2015

Back on-line blues

Perhaps I was premature in blaming all my frustration on poor band width. I have been using microsoft's live writer to prepare blog post for a long time now. it not only allows you time to dveleop, reflect on and refine a post it gives you tools to create a much better layout, particularly when including images. Well I can now see that the weird error message I was getting was not a poor connection but I more serious compatibility issues. So far I have not figured out what it is but clearly live writer and blogger are no longer talking to each other.

In between posting my last post at near midnight in the Singapore Airlines Lounge and arriving back in Melbourne the next morning my on-line photos had "appeared" to move from google+ photo to just google photo. Whilst I investigated this in so detail and collated an offline post. I can't post it!!

So I can still post to blogger via the web interfaces? Yes! but now the duplicate posts as google google+ coments are back.

Not only that my phone has been busy for hours downloading updates to most of the google services I use. I'm back in the land of good access, reasonable band width and I'm pretty much being locked out of the tools I normally use. What are you doing to me google?

All apparently as punishment for happily being off-line for a few days (ok I am kidding)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Surviving in the Low Band Width and occasional free WiFi

A pleasant evening in Bandung
Its been almost two decades since I’ve been to this part of Indonesia. Back them I took slides and had to wait till I returned home before I could send then in for development and another week or so till it got back. Now with a digital camera the expectation is to have an image instantly and transmit it globally instantly.  Its not quiet like that what was once a beautiful mountainous area with clean air free from the tropical closeness of the coast is now constantly hazy and the traffic becoming very Jakarta like. Its still a very interesting place BUT internet connections are somewhat hard to fins and the occasional Free WiFi is overcrowded and so slow. Seems eveyone has a smart phone these days in Indonesia, and very few if any have apple logos) , You could also pay exorbitant rate for international roaming but the speed won't be much better.

The solution is simple go back to the old way be patient, dont try and post (or at least wait till you get to the Singapore lounge and good free WiFi.')


This has prompted me to rethink about the fact that some many of the trends in tools for digital photographers are on-line, or as the first step an upload. (Google’s Autobackup and the Flickr’s Uploadr have been going frantic in the low band width. Dropbox has released it should just wait.) I’m quiet happy doing it the old fashion way, but I do carry a laptop that can be my place to upload and edit photos, Trying to access those on-line tools and subsription system are just a real hindrance, I'd rather spend my time wandering around on a pleasant evening.

Friday, May 22, 2015

PhotoFriday :: The Beach

_IGP2260-Pano-2-2 copy

A seven photo stitched panorama testing the perspective panorama feature in Lr CC.

To understand how big this pristine beach is.
Can you see the two people at the edge of the surf?

For PhotoFriday‘s topic Beach

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Flickr’s Uploadr (Beta) …another photo vacuum cleaner?

Is this a new storage offer?

Earlier last week I might have been a bit hasty expressing disappointment at the new standalone uploadr (because I could not log in) the next day I couldn’t wait and tried again with success this time. I wasn’t aware of the 1 terabyte free storage (that’s a lot by the way) being offered. However it didn’t take me long to figure out the new desktop app was much the same as google’s autoback, its just a photo vacuum cleaner, sucking up any images on your computer is a number of default directories (including dropbox) and with no opportunity to tag or cull the collection as it disappears into the cloud, The one consolation is the pictures are loaded as private The default directories uploadr will scanso they won’t flood your photostream but they will flood your camera roll. Perhaps worst it will create new albums to match each folder it finds. It you upload your photos into directories by date (as most software does, you will have a new camera roll item for that day and a new album to duplicate it!

Unlike google’s autobackup the new uploads are more intelligently filtered (the message I saw suggested it was doing a de-duplicating search, which is good but more importantly tags where automatically added to most photos to identify the type of subject. More surprisingly these seemed to be largely correct (I quickly avoid having my whole collection swept up so I have only Ah it did say Betauploaded a few photos but I was impressed with the tagging). I can only assume that flickr is using some form of AI image recognition. You can then use this tags to filter your collection (and possibly created new specific albums. It is somewhat reminiscent of everypix. At least it didn’t also try to autoawesome my stuff.

I was intrigued by the picture tagging so I decided to give the uploadr a diverse test Ah it did say Beta.

PS I’ve turned the new beta uploadr off,  and will stick with the previous version which allows manual tagging, choosing sharing options, album and group posting and adding comments at the time of upload.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Last of Autumn Start of Winter

Photo Shop Express test on my phoneThis was taken with my new android phone during a break in the rain. It was taken using HDR Camera+ and then lightly adjusted to soften the colour a square crop and add the ragged frame using Adobe’s Photoshop Express for Android. Photoshop express was one of the early photo editor apps I used on my previous Android phone so I am roughly familiar with its basic operation. By the way the controls are nothing like other adobe photo editors, At first impressions it has more in the common format of small filter icons to pick the effect you want from a scrollable ribbon underneath the phone giving the impression of a one-click fix. However if you look a bit deeper on the icon on the bottom line there are a number of useful tools for basic edit. The key is the several filters can be used cumulatively on the one image. The first three overlapping circle control cropping tool, which bring up the filters related to colour with a horizontal slider bar to increase of decrease the effect. Next is a small icon with two overlapping l shapes which is the cropping took. Then a simplified icon of two sliders to control exposure, and many tonal and sharpening/noise options. The eye is for red eye reduction and the small frame icon is for adding a frame or fancy edge. Finally there is a band aid to remove blemishes. All in all most of the edit tools you might want to use.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Auto Awesome Blooper or Optical Illusion?

I took these photos of my footprints in the sand late yesterday afternoon. The Auto awesome HDR* photo on the left is taken looking away from the sun and the HDR* on the right is taken towards the sun. The effect is not as noticeable in the single images, but is very apparent in the google+ autoawesome HDR*(which by the way was not intended to be created and sorry about the annoying solarizing-style effect on the wet sand in the upper right of the left hand image, my interest in in the footprints which appear inverted)
Taken looking away from the sun  Taken looking away towards the sun

Do the footprints on the right hand side look inverted?

PhotoProject :: Mapping the night sky

I have had a personal project for a while of trying to map the night sky, the southern half of the milky way. i have a great vanatge point at venus bay and when the night is clear and moonless I brave the cool and take a number if long exposure shoots. then my ambition is to stitch them altogether and create a map of the visiable sky (like our eye sees it rather tan through a telescope. It can be  pretty damn amazing. Night sky panorama.jpg

However I have found myself up against a numbers of technical issues. Trying to solve these will probably make interesting reading so I’ll post a little about my progress or lack of here, from time to time. The first issue is most panorama stitching software refuses to stitch stars on a black background. The exception is when I have a section of the horizon dimly lit as above which cover from due south to due east

Monday, May 11, 2015

Unifying the flickr experience

when you next log into flickr you will see this pop upIf you are a long time web based user of flickr, you may be getting a little deja vu, “the Interface is being changed again!” However looking a bit deeper flickr is seeking to bring a “beautiful seamless experience across a range of platforms” and they have focussed on seeking an “elegant design that allows you to enjoy your images and your memories from any device, anywhere in the world”. This is a pretty high aim but will it be enough to please the faithful and perhaps even bring others back to what was once the home of photography on the net. I suspect it might.

The phone and tablet apps have been much improved, I already like the android app and it has a  prominent of my camera app panel, not that I’m doing a lot of uploading from there. The addition of groups from the phone app is a big deal because groups seemed to have been forgotten for a long time on flickrm a hole community ethos withered away and probably the main reason I drifted away too.

Having first experienced the new interface on the phone I totally get the changes on the web based pages. I like the extra white space, even though its probably only there to help the “adaptive” magic as the display fits to different size and shape screens. The ability to sort by date taken versus upload order is a nice touch as is being able to view everything or just the way the public and/or your friends see the photos is also commendable. So existing users don’t panic.

I still like the old three column view, with lots of white space, so I went searching for that and it is still under the photostream view but now the first item on the more sub-menu button over on the right of the header area. The upper menu bar has been heavily simplified and some items moved down on the photostream sub-menu but I have managed to find those aspects of flickr I normally use.

So here is a challenge for exiting flickr faithful see if you can find the Magic View in the Camera Roll, its rather nice, but not yet perfect.

The wed based flickr upload doesn’t seem so different to me its real benefit is still the ability to upload and organize many photos at once, including  being able to select a specific creative common style licence under user settings.

Not a good look flickr! log in error from Uploadr

The one disappointment was when I downloaded the updated loadr app (still in beta) for my windows laptop I just got into a cycle of errors where I couldn’t log into flickr. Not a good look. So I’ll wait and check it a bit later.