Sunday, August 14, 2022

Visiting the Night Cafe

Returning to the #handrawphoto project

This isn't hand drawn but was once a self-portrait photo, inspired by MC Escher. It is now however a construct using VQGAN+Clip Artifical Intelligence algorithm via the website Night Cafe. Rather than Building a random "white noise" Canvas, I started with my own photo, and using a cubitist style

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Wandering into Midjourney on the way to Dall-E 2

I'm not sure how I managed to wander into the beta of Midjourney in a search to find Dall-E 2 (an AI based graphic tool that uses text to create an image, well so the claim goes!) I've registered an interest but not got into Dalle-E yet.

Ok what does midjourney make of the phrase "wandering in the light"?

These are just four alternatives  and I haven't, figured out how to refine one of them, yet. They do look like wandering, but out of the shadows rather than in the light. Amazing but still a little uncanny valley.

And here is a nice summary of how this form of AIart (text to Image) has been developing.

Will AIart replace artists any day soon? 

No I don't think so. 

Yet all the developments are occurring rapidly and amazing, and I'm guessing social media will soon be flooded with these unique-ish but not quiet original creations and like fake news how will we be able to tell the authentic,

Monday, August 08, 2022

Reluctantly replacing the sky

I'm definitely not a sky replacement guy, but there has been so much discussion and hype about it I figured I should at least try it. This is a photo I was looking to capture the "sparkle" on the lake with a low winter sun backlighting the scene. This is a challenging photo from the rigors of exposure given the Dynamic Range to be captured, Getting detail in the foreground shadows means the sky (which was the vivid Australian sky blue becomes a blown out grey/blue. Importantly I hadn't taken a bracketed set., to no real chance to recover the sky

The original photo
Original Photo

My recent purchase (Update?) to Luminar Neo. With it big promotion of the ease of Sky Replacement meant I really should try it out, despite my reluctance to do such things. So here are three results, all achieve with one click to select a sky from Luminar Neo's library and a couple of tweaks for Sky Orientation (the positioning of the sun) and also the Scene Relighting.

Adding a blue sky (clouds)  & relighting

Making it Overcast

Moving to the Golden Hour?

Does it worry me that they all look uncannily real?
Yes a little.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Are shadows really there?

 Shadows are an example of something visual that our conscious mind normally ignores. Most often folk don't really see them or at least can't recall them.

Yet they can be wonderful aids to getting interesting compositions or even telling an intersting story.  Also on a sunny day they can help get the best exposure (even without a light meter)

So remember "Whats in the Shadows

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Getting Superwide Handheld without the fuss


Stitching panoramas has become a lot simpler, but different programs did have different tolerance (or lack of) when stitching a handheld series of photos. Particular in three areas.

1) Near Perfect alignment woes, one photo out of alignment could sabotage the series.

2) Exposure varying from frame to frame, particularly in a clear sky for super wide views, could lead to obvious striping in the sky rather than a smooth blend.

3) Variable overlap, often tripped up the merging or just stop the merging.

I've been sending my updated ON1 Photo RAW 2022 many of these issues in hand held panorama sequences and I've been pleased that it is handling them well. Its also faster off the blocks (to preview) and much more efficient with time and space with the final render. You still have to export the propriety .onphoto file, which can be easily edited with any other tools in ON1 The export can now be a DNG file (ie.a RAW style format)

A Great Day in Jell's Park

Friday, July 15, 2022

Bye, Bye... ... Stora

My little Netgear Stora, has been serving me well for nearly two decades. Primarily for most of its life it was connected to my LAN as a NAS, backing up my work computers and laptops but mirroring my key working directory whenever those computers were connected to my LAN. It worked so well I only had to use it to recover files on two occasions (both either hard disk or computer update crash). Ok last year after a lot of trouble with windows updates on my studio computer and little portable spectra refused to connect to the Stora at start up. It became tedious to work out if things were running ok and I turned the Stora off and have experimented with file & folder synchronization software (still not sure whether automatic or manual synch suit me better, but it does in theory get me close to mirroring my working files.

During the Stora's life the disk space was expanded from a 250GB single drive up to two 1TB disks, mirrored internally. In the early days it also gave family members their own shared space (discontented because it was seldom used). Then was my photo backup area until I started taking RAW format photos and movies and I soon overflowed space available.

I'm actually choosing to go back to having a traditional files server, (locked away in my old comms room). I have a couple of candidate computers that windows 10 updates have killed, well as far as Microsoft is concerned. I want it to be on 24/7 but secure. I also want this computer to have a DVD reader, perhaps even tape or Zip drive (to allow different media backups and/or reading old technologies). Finally, the ability to have two or more external drives connected (ie be able to copy whole archive disks setup). The downside is this will take up a lot more space than the little black box

Despite having used Ubuntu for some time on my little air gapped archive computer, which I have only been using roughly at six-month intervals and thus I hadn't time to become friends with Ubuntu. I've moved to using Linux Mint (it seems a lot cleaner and simpler for the stuff I want ie. little or no learning curve).

So I'm probably going backwards in technology but I trust I will be keeping things simple and reliable in the old fashion dependable sense.