Thursday, March 29, 2007

Geotagging: google maps on your phone

using gogle map on my mobile to confirm location data of jell's park lake
If you have a newish mobile phone, with net access and the ability to run java applications you can get google maps on your phone. Being google maps (as opposed to flickr's yahoo maps) local detail and the related satellite imagery for Australia is pretty good. In the town you can get down to street level, no worries. It is basically designed to help you find things (like business) However it is off the beaten track that geotagging photographers will find the google maps satellite images impressive, not quiet as good as a GPS but with a little practise I'm sure most of use will be able to get our photographic locations within at least a few 100 meters AND it is easy to save these locations as placemarkers in favourites (pressing the * key will redisplay them) BUT I haven't figured out how to merge the location details into my cameras EXIF data, well yet!

If you are interested, enter the following URL into your phone's browser -
It will initially download the 129kb of software then guide you into the maps.

Panorama of Jells Park lake
See where this picture was taken. [?]

Small Warning: Zooming and panning satellite photos can involves serious amounts of data downloading, so check your phone contract before you start and get too enthusiastic, to make sure it is not too expensive!

PS: Seems I have not checked yahoo maps, via flickr, recently enough; the resolution in melbourne was improved a dramatically (it needed too)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

red sky in the morning


it has been so long since decent rains down here in south eastern asutralia, is the the "shepards warning" we are all waiting for?
Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 26, 2007

multi-exposure photomosaics

These two images are multi-exposure photomosaics, using the picasa collage tool


original photo same photo cropped

One of the very best "enhancement" technique for a new digital photopgrapher(and experienced ones, and film photographer as well) is the simple method of trimming out unnecessary parts of the image, a technique know as cropping.

How you do it is very simple you just selecet a smaller area of the photo, normally using the mouse to drag out or reposition a selection rectangle. The cropping tools in software varies a lot, and here I am using picasa. Even photo kiosk at the photo processor will offer cropping and it can both make an artstic difference (by improving composition) and avoid chopping off peoples heads (when those machines "crop to fit" the usually centralize the portion to display). Some cameras even have a cropping feature. If you have tried you systems cropping tool yet, do an experiment get two of three ok photos and cropp them, print them out and show them around. See how many peope realise they are even the same photo.

Finally a work of warning, remember the size pou want to print, and crop to this size. Good software these days will autoresize your selection box to match that aspect ratio. If there are strong artistic/composition reasons, to go to other sizes remember you will probably have to it print larger and use the scissors on the print

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Uploading photos made easy

One of the first task to become urgent when you get a new digital cameras, is what to do when the memory card, or camera memory fills up. You might even have to start reading instructions, or loading software, or connecting cables, or ... the list of anxieties goes on for way too long. Well don't panic if you know how to remove the memory card or where to attach the usb cable to your camera, you don't have to learn much else.

I'm not sure about apple's mac computers, but I have gotten the distinct impression you need the iLife program iPhoto. So I suppose mac user mistakenly expect that you have to have adobe photoshop to load photos onto a PC.

Well it is really easy on a PC running microsoft XP, and I expect as easy using Vista. Just plug your memory card into a card reader or plug in the USB connector and you will see an autoplay dialog box spring into view.

The first option will take you through XP's built in Scanner & Camera Wizard, which is really simple to use, but only give you the oppotunity to copy the images you select to your computer.

I like to scroll down a bit and use the open in explorer option, its the little open folder icon. This the opens the access to you card as if it where a folder on your hard drive. Normally you will see a DCIM Folder (which stands for Digital Camera IMages), I also label my cards with a "" file. When you click on this folder it will open to show a second folder with an abbreviated name of your camera name model. Clicking on this will take you down into a folder view of your images.

As soon as you select one of more of the images you will see the File and Folder Task menu on left hand panel. From here you can do a lot, but I prefer to move the images to a special "new camera downloads" folder I have made under the standard My Pictures folde XP creates. I have even change the icon on the folder to a camera. I like to stored my images by date so each new day I create a new folder as I do the upload. WARNING: some folk recommend you only copy images from your card, because cards can occasionally malfunction, and then only when you have them safely backed up, or printed, should you delete them from the card. Myself I think moving them is fine and its cleans the card in one step

A final world, you don't have to upload your photos to a computer at all, you can take them down to local camera shop, or photo processor, some chemists and a lot of places in shopping malls and tourist resorts; and use the wonderful little kiosk units. They generally have a screen and a number of memory cards readers and often a CD unit. You'll find most of them come with built in software to crop, rotate and even enhance your images.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Web Based Lighting Photofix

You don't have to have the latest and greatest photo editing software to get access to some good basic photo fix routines. After cropping, and straightening, improving lighting is probably the most desirable fix. However this is often a multi-step process.

Original Photo of the Eagle Nest Enhanced with DxO

This is a one step automatic automatic lighting correction called DxO lighting is available as a net based fix from the Fd's flickr toys site (which has a lot of other fun photo manipulation toys). Even if you don't have a flickr accont you can use this site, but it is flickr oriented. If you like the results and want to look at the commercial package check out the DxO site.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Mum...?, originally uploaded by imageo.

Not sure why I overlooked posting this photo when I took it. Its one of those warn fuzzy feeling photos. The big yellow duck is actually a public sculpture on show for the monash gallery of art. What I liked is the juxapositon with the real ducks, which don't seem very overwhelmed by their over sized cousin.

The panorama gives you a better view of the gallery and lake, a great setting for public art.

waverly art gallery panorama

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A much ado about nothing, or not!

Now that Microsoft's Vista operating system is rolled out expect to see a fair bit of hype about their "native" photo gallery/management features built into the software. They do look good but don't despair most of these features are already available in XP, or free downloadable packages like picasa. Seeing all the hype I feel a little series of post on what you can do now without vista is warranted. So watch this space for future posts

However if you want to follow the "official" vista story, check out Microsoft's own Photo Blog & Vista Blog

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Laughing Kookaburra [Dacelo novaeguineae]

This kookaburra has spent some time relaxing in the same large banksia for the past two days. I suspect it is also a great vantage point to watch the grass lands below.

The characteristic laught can be heard early morning and in the evening at the moment (but not during the day)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

birds in flight collage(s)

I'm still feelling a bit challenged to get a nice series of birds in flight. Its a much harder subject than you may imagine, the fly past at a decent speed, so it is essential to pan, and have them clearly in focus, and be able to take multiple frames, and zoom in, and well the list goes on and on, Before long you start think special cameras, special lens. However I'd rather just figure out how to do it all with my camera.

So I have a lot of experimental panning sequences and thought they would make great photomosaics or collages. The collage is made with picasa.

The photomosaic, refused to work in autostich, but i was able to achieve what I wanted with the sitch facility in corel paint, but joining the waves as best I could (you will probably need to click on the image to see the larger version)

Monday, March 12, 2007

An uncommon visitor

the transulcent bladder is used as a sail the tentacles can still sting when washed up on the beach
Blue bottles (Portuguese Man of War) (Physalia utriculus) are not a common sight on the Venus Bay beach, being more common in warmer nor then waters. They are not true jelly fish but can still pack a nasty sting even when washed up damaged and dying.

Is this the first sign of warming or just a unusual occurrence of currents, wind and waves?

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Originally uploaded by imageo.
Looking towards the coast in south east kalimantan (indonesian borneo). On the left is original rainforest, then partly logged area, then wild rice farm (slash and burn type farming), then palm oil plantations in the distance