Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Flickr Lock-out Day has arrived

imageI fell short a few hundred photo when I did my first pass on the great flickr clean up. So I figured I had a good opportunity to find out what would happee on the 8th. Well nothing happened yesterday because in Australia we are a day ahead of the USA. However today when I logged into fickr I got a very obvious notification in RED. the Lock-out has begun.

No need to panic. I’ve had a break from deleting photo so I’ll have to return to the task a fresh, before I can upload.

A significant side benefit of this project is I have reacquainted myself with a lot of my earlier work (which was actually better than I expected) and I have been able to review what was popular. One thing I did notice was the effect of better post processing, firstly when lightroom reached version 3 and the tonal adjustment made editing RAW photos amazing. Then Nik software (still great) and On1 Photo and recently auroraHDR. Flickr has three different measures, View (just how many people stopped and looked), Favs (photo others liked a bit like the heart in instagram) & Comments (self explanatory). I’m more likely to keep those with more favs and comments but less than 200-ish views seems to be the “sweet spot” on those photos that have gone unnoticed and can be deleted.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Preserving Albums, Collections & Organization as you move digital photos

In the process of downloading my files from flickr I’m reminded of the unexpected issue most folk find when trying to transfer a lot of files between different photo managers. Things like EXIF and key words can be embedded in the files (in the case of Jpeg and Tiff, also DNG but not other RAW formats) and sidecar files (eg .xml can also carry this data with photos as they are transferred between packages. Unfortunately the organization features such as Albums (or Collections in Lightroom) are not transfered and/or not compatible between packages.


There is a simple solutions I have written about before. It is using special key words to identify the albums. I use names beginning with the tilde key ~ and write that into the keywords (or tags in flickr jargon). In most software you need to enable writing back of the keywords into the embedded data and/or writing the sidecar file beside each file. When you load into the new software it will read in these keywords and you can selective filter on a given ~keyword then do whatever is required to create the new album or collection.

Very simple really.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Selectively Deleting Photos on Flickr? :: The obvious next question

What a task deleting 3,500 photos one at a time is a big task. Even if I allow one minute for each delete (which includes moving through my photo stream, wait for the edit icon and then selecting delete takes time and is very repetitive) it will take over 58 hours. Blimey! I wont be doing that in one hit. At say 2 hours, which could be do-able, that’s almost a month (29days). Ouch!

Surely their is a quicker way, and in fact their are two decent alternatives. The first I wrote about back in 2016, when several social media service where spruiking massive photo storage for free, “one place for all your photos, free on-line backup. It worried me then enough warn my readers don’t use these services as your only backup and also to investigate how to recover and download those photos stored on-line. Both flickr and google do offer ways to get your photos but you have to do a bit of investigation to work out how (see my post with link above)

Using Camera Roll, to select, download & delete

imageThe Camera Roll is a fairly recent development by YAHOO/Flickr standards, and it allows you to see a chronological “list” (can be date taken or date uploaded) of thumbnails of your photos. On the left hand side is the hierarchy of years and s you click on a given year you cam work through the months and days (from youngest to oldest. Its a really fast way to find photos if you know roughly the dates.

The magic happens when you select one or more of the photos. You get the same little icon tool set you get on the full single photo display from your photostream, but at the bottom of your screen Only now it works on all the photos you have selected. The Thumbnails of the selected are displayed in a film strip style view just above the icon and you can use your mouse of the arrow keys to scroll through the film strip thumbnails, which also show a tick in front of the image. click on the tick will deselect the image from the selected set.

You can change privacy, edit, share or add the selected photos to an album, but the two tools useful now are on the right hand side (at the bottom of the screen). First if you want (or more particularly if you need to) download a copy of the photos before deleting it click on the download item. This starts a background process where by the selected items are all written to a Zip file. The link to that location from which that zip file can be downloaded is then emailed to you, So You need to wit a few moments to get the email (generally It arrives within a minute or so but time required probably depends on how many photos and how busy the flickr server is. To be safe I download this zip file and check it before O go onto delete the selcted photos, which are still selected in my film strip at the bottom of the camera roll view.

This process may seem overly complex but it is probably based on sound privacy advice This process will stop others scraping your photos using this facility, because the email link is only sent to you. I have found about 3 minutes is the average time for this round about trip. So the next question is how many photos to add to each selected group. So far I have found 30-60 photos works well and I try to keep them in logical groups, months or trip, or family events. At an average of 50 per group, downloading and deleting 3,500photo become roughly 70 sessions or say the  minutes each (ie approx 210 minutes) or roughly 3 hours 30minutes, which is now not so daunting (eg 1 hour a day for three days.

If you just want to delete files and not download them first you can power through the deleting process using select all on the dates ad deleting month long or longer batches. Be careful deleting files is permanent.

Using Organize, to tag and delete

imageAnother alternative that is considerable more flexible but might require a little more work is to your the Organize tools. Firstly you need to select the files you want to delete. You can do this is small manageable batches, use the addimage tags option from the menu at the top of the screen. I use a the very specific tag [DEL] to avoid confusion with anything else mentioning delete. This key word is then added to all the photos selected. Next you use the advances search option at the bottom of this display (just above the film strip). Select tag only and enter the [DEL] code in the search box. You will see the photos again in the film strip and thus have a second chance to deselect items you might have included by accident. Next using select all under the search dialogue, which outlines all the photos selected so you can easily drag them up on to the batch organize work place. Finally under the edit menu option at the top of the screen the last item on the drop down menu is delete.

This approach may take longer but it does let you interact with the photos and see them in larger format, compared with just thumbnails in the camera roll view. Also you get a second chance to review what you are about to delete.

So now all I need to do is Do It.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

The great flickr lock-out looms

Staying with a free account is not such a hard decisionI’ve been away from the “real” internet for the past week (and it feels good), no junk email or time wasting distractions (yes that’s you YouTube). I wasn’t totally off-line because I had my mobile phone, which of cause has several apps that access the internet (eg Instgram and Flickr, both of which I did use).

Somehow this meant that I missed the rescheduling of the date flickr would start locking out uploads to free account users with more than 1000 photos. I currently have 4,384 so I will have to delete 3,500 photo in the next couple of days and I don’t think that’s going to happen. I have more important things to do right now.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just spend the AUD$84 each year to avoid this hassle?

Well No. I’ve always had a free account and that allowed me to interact with other photographers and special interest groups. I have never really wanted to use flickr as a photo backup or archiving facility. True flickr has several good organizational features and I did use it for a while as a way to share photos into my blog. Yet to me it is the community aspects of flickr that make it worthwhile. Sadly spending money on the PRO account really doesn’t enhance that community at all.

Also important I’m retired and thus have a very fixed and probably diminishing cashflow so I need to avoid  unnecessary commitments  to ongoing costs. Finally I’d rather have fun taking photos and I’m happy to reduce my on-line photos to less than 1000, you never know it might increase the quality of the collection. I’m really not complaining I’ll wear it I just don’t want to fret over extra expenditure.

Monday, December 03, 2018

PhotoProject :: Overexposing to the right

Something I have been continually remining myself of is, that colour quickly loses it brilliance (vibrance) as the light increases in digital images, put another way colours stay richer in the shadows. I’m not sure I have the full technical explanation of what is driving this observation yet, However today I had the opportunity to put my observation into practise.luminance histogram

It was very grey and overcast and a number of Rainbow Lorikeets were enjoying a good feed on the silky oak in my backyard, However they where on the dark side in the shadows and silhouetted against a grey but still bright sky. A recipe of black birds hidden in black foliage against a white sky. So I set my camera to just focus and take the exposure from a central spot and zoomed in on the birds. Immediately the sky was blow out but because my little Olympus is a mirrorless camera I could see the immediate results into my view finder and the beautiful colours of the Lorikeets was showing, Great, but these little parrots jump around a lot so I had to up the speed (and significantly up the ISO) to get them sharp and colourful. I even started to adjust the EV to +1 in this case. Being able to see what was going to happen when I pressed the shutter was amazing. Basically I was shooting to the right, shifting the shadows up into midtones albeit overexposing the sky (which doesn’t really matter pictorially in this shot).This is the Jpeg straight out of the camera (no lengthy post processing required (other than cropping and scxreen capture of the histogram).


Sunday, December 02, 2018

Seeing Colour :: Through The Camera Lens

Let’s move onto the more Scientific/Enginering aspects of how the camera captures light of a specific intensity and wavelength. My schematic sketches of the camera cross section is meant to represent both traditional DSLR and newer mirrorless cameras. Both have exchangeable lens elements that focus an inverted image onto the sensor (or in the case of older SLR film). The DSLR however has a mirror that reflects the light up into a prism whose job it is to turn the inverted image up the right way and back through the view finder. So the DSLR user sees optically what the lens is focussing on. Whereas the mirrorless camera (obviously doesn’t have a mirror) and the image is captured on the sensor (often continuously) and this is sent to a graphics processor in the camera where the data from the sensor is converted into a conventional image (a jpeg) and this is displayed in a small screen behind the view finder (or alternatively the LCD screen on the back of the camera). The diagrams do not include the shutter and both systems have a shutter which control the length of time the sensor can capture light to give the required exposure.

The camera sensor (or film) collects the light that falls on it and the more light the closer to white the resulting image will be. In conventional SRGB Black is given the value 0 (zero) and white 255. This is usually called luminance. In a digital camera there are a multiplicity of small compartments each collecting its own luminance value.

How does this create colour, well it doesn’t for each compartment, but instead each set of 2 by 2 compartments have a set of coloured filters (known as Bayer Filters) over them. Each allowing only Red, Green or Blue Light to pass through. In a process known as demosaicing sets of these 2 by 2 colours are combined into single pixels with 3 colour. See the Cambridge in Colour page for a more detailed discussion of bayer demosaicing.

The best way to consider what is happening is to use the CIE chromaticity diagram, Unfortunately I have not been able to locate and camera manufacturers publishing their colour gamut, they seem to prefer to say they have better “colour science”. They all seem to offer a close fit to sRGB colour space and some offer the extra colour space and bit depth of Adobe RGB &/or ProPhoto RGB

I will again hand over to Craig Blackwell, To continue the journey of how the RGB colour space can be used to create colours.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Seeing Colour :: Spectral Colours and other basics

Let’s begin taking a look at the Spectral Colours. They are the colours in white light that can be split out using a prism, discovered (or at least first analysed) by Issac Netwon. They are the colours of the rainbow.

As an aside How many colours are ther in the rainbow?

There is actually a broad range of colours and each corresponds with a given wavelength of light. The light passing through the prism (or drops of rain) gets refracted (bent) according to the wavelength. the short wavelength bent toe least, medium wavelength greens and yellow slightly more and the long wavelength reds bent the most.

Craig Blackwell, an ophthalmologist, has prepared a series of videos that provide great summaries of the technical aspects of understanding the basics of colour, then colour matching and finally leading to the chromaticity diagram. I will include videos from his series as I move through the various aspect of seeing colour.

For now we will start at the beginning.

Next investigate creating all colours just mixing Red Green & Blue