Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
- Biggr. Your terabyte of free space is massive, and includes extending the limit on video to 3 minutes of HD video. My old photos dating back to 2005 are back on-line again. This is Big.there is no doubt about that, it dwarfs my post last week about all the free cloud photo storage. Essentially you are getting a free external “cloud” harddrive (albeit with some very real bandwidth limitations) and for a lot of mobile photo snappers that probably more than they will ever want.
- Spectaculr. This presumably refers to bigger photo displays (on a desktops, with access to good internet bandwidth!) and a cleaner "seamless" collage-like view that replaces the thumbnails for your photostream, looks good but makes for a very tedious scroll “endlessly” for anything older. It could easily be google+ photo's album page with fewer photos on the screen, so its not new to me. The new slideshow actually would not start for me, I just watched the spinning balls for a few minutes and gave up. I wonder if calling these changes spectacular in the light of other photo sharing sites is a bit of over hyping the new appearance but I have to admit my photos do look better now. (ie all that white space and text where a distraction).
- Wherevr. Is about mobile and the iphone & andoid apps. Unfortunately the new android app is flagged incompatible with my older Telstra/HTC Wildfire, sad but such is life. I suspect flickr are aiming to become "the photo sharing site" of choice from mobile, through being ease to use, massive storage capacity and full resolution display but instagram and others are a long way ahead already in terms of an established userbase.
The one item I haven't been able to figure out just yet is what has happened to the PRO accounts? I assume it is now called an adfree account, and the only difference to the free account is no ads?
If you loved flickr the way it was, don't stress too much all the old features and functions are still there, you may just have to look around for them. However there doesn't seem to be anyway to go back to the old user interface. So far I have found the edit button on your photostream will get you back to a three column thumbnail display a little like the previous photostream. The film strip view in Organizr, under the three dots on the right hand side of your photostream view, will still let you scan through your images quickly enough. The details of each photo are there, still on a white background, but cleverly hidden under the fold, so just scroll down when you have a single picture displayed. So we will just need to get used to it. I'm not ecstatic but happy enough to give it a try but first it appears I'll have to recreated a bigger better Buddy Icon.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
I always liked the idea of publishing serves directly from lightroom but, perhaps like many I never really used any other than the flickr service. The flickr service, which I still use very occasionally, is pretty simple and doesn’t really do a lot. The only reason I see to use it is to stop double handling (ie exporting a jpeg just for upload then changing to another application to actually do the upload and perhaps add some tags and retype the title etc, you know the tedium I’m sure. The Publish service to hard disk struck me just as a duplication of the export feature. However I figured if I used it to publish to a synched folder, it would then automatically be uploaded to drop box. Such a service is very simple to set up. The imprtant steps are to first identify the directory on your computer that is the one that dropbox has been set to synchronize. Note if you want to use a subdirectory of that it can not be changed once the service is set up, so instead I suggest you created a folder set underneath the published service. Thus allows you to control the folders from within light room.. There are a few other items that can help customize the export to suit web display, such as use the sRGB colour space I also wanted to keep the file size just large enough to get a good screen viewing and added the standards sharpening for screen display. The big advantage of the publish serevice is it will keep track of changes you maked and next time you select the Publish now it makes the appropriate changes into the DorpBox.
I’m also exploiting the new photo sharing & previewing feature in dropbox, You need to download and install the small applet, that syncs a folder from your computer with your box. Once that is set up anything published from lightroom will arrive in the appropriate location in your dropbox storage. In the photo view of your files on dropbox you see a timeline style view with “square” thumbnails of your photos, clicking on a specific photo takes you to dark “lighbox” style view. In addition the drop box owner (and collaborators) have the ability to create albums of the photos in the dropbox collection that are independent of the actual folders. The albums are a virtual organization view and you can have one image in several albums if you desire. I haven’t figured out a way to sync the dropbox albums with the lightroom collection but that doesn’t really matter here. Sharing just the album’s then gives you a lot of control over what you show others. So here is an album of my art for public view.
There were however two disappointments with dropbox photo feature, like so many other downloaded applications it tries to assume control of you photo imports (jumping in as soon as you insert a SD card, USB Key, camera or smart phone and tries to upload everything to dropbox. This is a nice option if that’s what you want to do BUT lucking there is a don’t ask me again option down the bottom (once turned off however I can’t see how to turn it back on). The second disappointment is less forgivable. Whilst the files with in dropbox are exactly as you uploaded them, if some one else downloads them from the photo view, then the metadata (and your copyright message etc) are strip out. Which really make dropbox useless for my application
Saturday, May 18, 2013
One of the biggest issues when photographing art is getting rid of the lens distortions.This barrel morphing of the edges and keystoning, (that trapezoidal effect you see when a projector is at a slant to the screen) means that the frames will not align with the edges. There are some steps you can take when you are taking the photo, like using a prime lens , rather than a wide angle, or especially a wide angle zoom and photographing the work straight on and avoiding strong direct light.
Perspective correction in Photoshop can be used to fix these effect, albeit with a bit of a learning curve. The new upright feature in Lightroom 5 beta is a very easy to use alternative, and ideal for “Fine Tune” straightening up the edges. The above snaps where taken of my art works hanging in private homes, taken hand held in place they hung on the wall, so I was not always able to take a distortion free set up.In Lightroom 5b before I do any other editing I go down to the Lens Correction/Basic Tab and then use either the Auto (which tries to fix the main distorts or the Full (which I probably prefer) which attempts to align both vertical and horizontal strong lines, like the picture frame. I then crop to the art work and do any other exposure adjustments. Remember it is important to get the white balance right but avoid over post processing so you keep the colours real, It’s that easy!
Friday, May 17, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, just a starting point, prompted by the recent upgrades to skydrive & google+. The following services all offer free cloud storage, have a decent TOS (terms of service) that mean you still own the copyright to your files (unlike other Social Net service like Facebook & Instagram who assume they own the copyright to anything you upload, others strip out your metadata) . They have private/public sharing options that you control.. All can be used from a variety of computers and mobile devices (apps are available for most devices) and all have the ability to mirror the cloud storage across your own computer device (desktops, laptops, phones, tablets). In other words all offer a decent service.
|GMail, Google Drive |
Cleary Forty Seven gigabytes of space is a lot. How does that relate to how many photos you can save, its approximately twenty four thousand (or more) jpeg files of the size taken by compact cameras and smart phones, Around three thousand three hundred full sized RAW files, as taken by recent high megapixel model DSLR cameras or four hundred & seventy five-ish HD movie clips (30second to 2minues) or eleven and three quarter eight gigabyte SD cards. So if your an occasional IPhone snapper that’s probably a life time of memories but for a professional photographer it could be just.a few days or a weeks worth of their photographic work. The rest of us will fit somewhere in between and I suspect it will be bandwidth that arbitrates how quickly our photos fill the clouds, but I’m now sure they will.
One “new” feature you should try out immediately is the auto enhance, found under more actions menu item on the lightbox display for a single photo. Picasa has always had the I feel luck button as a kind of auto enhance but this a whole lot better. Google is prompting the highlight feature which supposedly “automatically” chooses the best photos from a collection for a new album. Its good but I’m not totally convinced it’s for me. See a little about these features in the google promotion video below. I haven’t had a chance to play with other new Mix, HDR, Smile, Motion or Pano features as yet.