Friday, August 01, 2014

Bad Hair Day

_IGP4970 copy

The return to cold and windy wintery weather has apparently forced a lot of the birds to ground. This galah suffered the double indignity of being photographed as the wind ruffled his head feathers. Then the image suffered further as I has a play around with textures, layering and boarders in Perfect Photo Suite 8. I’ve also had a play with watermarking, adding a little to alvin’s campaign to bring creative commons licences back to prominence on the social webs

Thursday, July 31, 2014

 I just happened to be in Jells Park as the cold front approached, Making an interesting sky, which Google+ Autoawesome HDR* has captured

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

PhotoProject :: Creating a “Joiner” collage in picasa

This is another Picture Collage view called Contact Sheet
ne thing I probably have included enough of in this blog is how I do stuff. This is not really as a step my step recipe because I’d rather inspire you to follow the approach than copy what I have done. This should just be something that opens the possibilities not a set of fixed steps. Picasa is being side stepped in preference to google+ photos (ie the on-line service) but it is still available for download for free (as at the time of this blog post at least). One feature it does have that hasn’t (yet) made it onto the on-line side is a wonderful collage maker set of tools. Here is one way you can use them to make a David Hockney style joiner.
The first step is to take a series of slightly overlapping photos. In this case I’m talking a set of the south east horizon at the southern end of Jells park and I’ve taken them with the camera turn into a portrait aspect, to let me have more photos across the vista. Once they are loaded onto Picasa I selected the ones I want (notice they are in reverse order (ie I was moving anticlockwise, but it doesn’t matter for this process) and open the Create/Picture Collage item from the menu (or just click on the collage button if you have that showing). In this example I’m using the Picture Pile setting (on the upper left)
Manipulating the Overlapping Photos  in the Picture Pile
Once you have the pile of pictures on the screen you can move them roughly into order and there will be overlap. Rather than try and match everything up (which you can do) I want to give that joiner style look so I am deliberately rotating some images a little (To do this click on a photo and a scaling and orientation scale appears if you grab the “handle” with the mouse and rotate it the photo rotate of move it in and out to scale the photo). You can do this individually or select a few or all the photos, and scale or rotate them in unison.If you want to change the order of the pile, right click on the photo you want, which brings up a submenu and you can Move to to Bottom or Bring to the Top.  I have left a lot of overlap in my photo set, probably more than I need, so I am taking some images out of the foreground making them a fraction large and putting them at the back to emphasis the overlapping nature.
Using Eyedropper to pick backgroung colour
You can shuffle around the set however you want. I’m not looking for such a regular appearance and don’t mind a bend of two in the horizon, as I feel this emphasise the fact that this is a set of images. You can select them all and scale them to best fit your frame (I’m using a special 2:1 landscape shape I have created in the printout options in Picasa). Then to finish off I use the eye dropper to pick a blue shade from the sky (you have to click in the colour swatch to get the eye dropper icon then just select a suitable point in the image or colour from the pop up colour menu). I have also choosen to use a drop shadow to further emphasise the overlapping photo feel. That’s it just click on create collage to save you creation. You can always come back and edit the collage, if you leave it in the special collage album.
Finished "joiner" style collage
My joiner is only a single layer and you can easily use this approach to assemble a large matrix of photos, All that is required are more photos and a bit time for the fun shuffling them around (and/or patience).

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Silent Drummer

This is a simple Time Lapse movie made using picasa from the 355 images I captured in burst mode, as I was creating my submission for this week the patch.

Monday, July 28, 2014

ThePatch :: Celebration/Musical Instrument

Queue the samba drums, Timbalada, Daniela Mercury and/or Olodum, that’s my idea of celebration music. Well a good excuse to get out the bongle drums and another party shirt. It was a dull day and the light fading but It did let me experiment with a few options to try and capture the rhythm of the carnival.
Composite image using Perfect Photo Multi-Exposure using Picasa Collage Talk about Stop motion
Ok none of these get close to the atmosphere of the real thing, but I’m not in Brazil I’m in Oz. AND Hopefully the light will be better tomorrow when I can work on finding a better composition. in the meantime …

I know this clip is a little on the long side but if you enjoy drum music it is worthwhile (and you will recognise that Paul Simon used them and their rhythms in his obvious child.)

imageSo the new plan too many hands!is to try the composite motion again by perhaps more front on and playing the bongos in the more conventional sitting position, so more hand action can be captured. So I found a sunny spot, turned up the burst mode to max and only captured jpeg, Set up the tripod and delay, then pressed the shutter, quickly in position. Now I have 355 images pretty much the same from which to find half a dozen hand positions and learn how to do multiple masking bug techniques in Perfect Layers, ok I have bitten off more than I can chew, So I’ve settled on using just a few hands, less is more,  in my final submission.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Is Google+ the Kragle?

I’ve made a lot about all the many mistresses (software applications) managing my photos on my computers, but that number pales into insignificance against all the potential software available on the net and/or via smartphone or tablet apps. There are just way too many. So I will tell you of just a few.

Flickr & Photobucket, both are well established services that began in the time before the social media thing exploded and they offer fairly similar features. They are primarily place to share photos on line, and the have features to suit groups and communities for those with similar interests . They have grown and now offer many other facilities such as on-line editing, book printing, slide shows, its a long list. I like them both but haven’t been using them much at all, Possibly I’ve become too obsessed with trying to understand what's happening with the next mistress google+ photo.

I do still feel I was railroaded into google+, from gmail & youtube but mainly from Picasa,the web side view of which is now google+ photos. There are certainly a lot of “features” and I only use a few but the auto-backup and notifications are driving me crazy. There have been a few nice surprises, some of the HDR images have been fine and I working hard on being a member of a communities. While google+ photo does give access to a larger and growing community of photographers its really only on her terms. They are not well explained, kind of just take it or leave it.  The on-line google+ photos edit features are pretty good, and This is the notice that pushed me over the edgecertainly cover most basic needs. The picasa web style albums are still fine but auto-backup is creating a really big conglomerated mess (if you can't remember the date taken good luck finding your photos!). The highlights (seem to overlook too many good photos) the stories are not worth mentioning and the “gifts” aren’t in my view autoawesome at all. They are more like the second rule of lord business,"Never listen to anyone else's ideas, yours are the best", in the lego movie. Perhaps google+ is really the kragle to make things social web permanently the way the google-verse wants? 

There was only one, I find notification are often wrong and/or out of date)I am taking steps to get less involved, only letting her backup from a specific directory, returning to picasa as my preferred method of sharing, reducing the number of people in my circles and turning off notification (with  the exception of  ThePatch Community)

The last on-line mistresses I want to discussed, she is actually more like a butler, she is DropBox. The service that provides easy file transfer between computers and across the web. Unlike the other services above her photographic credentials are pretty simple (Ok I haven’t tested carousel, because my android phone is still running an old version, however most android apps have no trouble sharing with her, ie DropBox) She can be instructed to atomically upload any photos from you phone (or tablet) when she detects a WiFi signal. She can also manage a small part of your file system on your computer onto which any new files will get synchronise. So one minute a photo is on your phone the next it can easily be accessed from any computer you have connected and synched. If you want you can set up little albums (virtual  organizations of these photos) still within the drop box synch area (and synched across all devices). It is also easy to share with one (via email) or many (email and conventional HTML links). I do appreciate DropBox.