Monday, April 27, 2009

More on geotagging

David Crandall, of Cornell University has analysed the 35 million geotagged photos already uploaded to Flickr and produced a gallery of photos organised into maps, created accurate global and city maps and identified popular snapping sites.


I have been geotagging a selection my photos since back in 2005 and was an early member of the flickr geotagging group/community. This is probably the best place still to find out how to tag your photos and what's new. Even if you don't use flickr other sites like picas web albums and photobucket let you make your own maps.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cropping & Rule of Thirds

I was scanning some older photos, colour prints, taken on film on a Cannon compact camera. Whilst this one was a fraction ”misty” I saw it had potential but falls down, as so many holiday snaps do, compositionally.

starting colour print (as scanned)

“Good composition gets the viewer to look into the picture, not scan across it”

    ….quote from my upcoming workshop

cropping in picasa not the imaginary lines of  thirds

Cropping is one of the easiest ways to improve the composition of a photo, and typically that means identifying the areas of interest, and placing then is a good place for the eye to settle. The rule of thirds is often quotes a the gospel for photographers, but it is just a simplification of the golden ratio used by artist for centuries. The idea is to put the most important compositional elements, like the shore of the lake , the villa and the silhouetted trees, onto or straddling the imaginary lines dividing the image into thirds. Some digital cameras now even come with a mode to display these lines on the LCD “viewfinder”.

Final cropped image Yes I used the picasa retouch (cloning tool) to hide the date stamp.

Friday, April 17, 2009

developing my rock art

I finally got around to joining YouTube not that I have gone over to the dark side, like replacing my SLR with a movie camera, no I just wanted to start showing a slideshow/documentary style thing of the creation on one of my rok art pieces, it was all made in picasa movie option. It tells the story from a future geological perspective, after the sea level rise

Friday, April 10, 2009

What does “internet friendly” mean?

It was time for a family member to get a new camera, and there are so many around. It just had to be a camera and take nice pictures (and be easy to use and see the pictures), which narrowed the range down to a few hundred compact cameras! There is a pretty good range available now and most are not so expensive. After looking around for a camera that used SD cards (a card standard I like), used standard batteries and had a decent screen that was readable in sunlight, I was leaning towards the Pentax E60. So we choose the Fujifilm Finepix Z30, reason: it comes in a hot pink colour!

P1010002 What got my attention first was the sticker that announced it was internet friendly. What the heck does that mean? I scoured the manual (which is in PDF format on one of the two CDs supplied). The interent is mentioned only 8 times and as shown below it warns you, you will have to pay for internet, actually it is very legal about it “the user bears all applicable fees”. Like most other compact cameras it comes with a USB cable that connects it to a computer, and presumably then onto net friendliness.


It did give me an excuse to revisit an old theme of the self referencing screen wallpaper.


The little pink camera is already well loved, takes great photos (and movies)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Emailing photos

Digital cameras have advanced in photo resolution at a much greater rate than the average Internet connection capacity (and remember RuddNet is pretty much still a pipe dream). Further many companies and ISPs have limits on attachment size, frequently this is only a couple of megabytes and that might only be enough for half your photo! So here are a couple things you might want to considered and set up before you start emailing lots of photos from your new camera to aunty Flo with her old (and very slow) bigpond dial up internet connection.


Most camera will allow you to take photos in JPEG format (the file will end in .jpg or .jpeg) or the camera manufacturer will normally bundle software to convert its .RAW format to jpeg. This jpeg format has two very important advantages
  1. Compressable, there is a trade off between image file size and quality but 10:1 compression can normally be achieved with with little perceptible loss in image quality.
  2. (almost) Universally supported for the format by software (especially file & photo viewers, browsers)
Photographing directly in jpeg format will mean you can fit many more photos on your camera card.

Use a photo email feature

Most new digital cameras (and that includes mobile phones with cameras) come bundled with software, to upload, manage and do some editing of photos. Usually there will be an option to email photos and a ability to select the size to email, it may called share rather than email and it may involve reading the dreaded manual, assuming you kept it.
vista emai; Alternatively you can use tools probably already on your computer, for example in vista when you just click on an image in a normal explorer view, you will see the menu bar change to include and email option  If you click on this you will get a submenu to select the capture2photo size for the attachment. Usually the small (800 by 600 pixels) is more than adequate for an emailed photo and the files size is likely to be less that 300kb.
If you are still using XP you can get the same feature by downloading the Windows Live Photo Gallery. The most recent version of which gives you some fairly nifty formatting features inside Windows Live email so that the photo is part of the email, much more aunt or grandma friendly, instead of as an attachment that must be downloaded and/or opened separately.
email picasa However I prefer to use the excellent email feature within picasa, which lets you edit and crop the image and just press the email button. You can both select a number of default capture7formats and size or choose between using your default email and gmail on the fly. If you have outlook you can also create a HTML story book (ie photos are embedded in the email rather than as attachments.)
Having shown you all this one thing I definitely don't recommend is resizing your photo directly, because you can so easily accidentally overwrite the original and lose a lot of detail if you ever wanted to get a blow up printed at a later date.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

pearl beach multi-image panorama

I have been forced back to my old faithfull olympus, but the panorama feature semed to be malfunctioning so I did this in autosketch. I still like the extra wide angle

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Not good

P1010005 Is it sadder that I have just worn out my third pentax body in 30 years, or that I still have the other two?

My much loved K100D gave out last week when I was taking some shots for the virtual gallery try-out. One moment I took the card out and loaded the photos onto my computer (via picasa import as usual), I put the card back and turned on the camera and a momentary flash of the familiar then nothing, and nothing is what has been happening ever since. The real problem is I can not longer find a place around here to get it fixed (the typical camera shop says, “Is it under warrantee?” “ No” “Ok, it will be cheaper to buy a new one”. The K100D is just three years old, the others lasted better (ok the second film body is still officially working, if I keep the rubber band around it to stop the back opening unexpectedly). I would so dearly like to get it fixed at a reasonable cost

well not exactly free anymore

easy share At first I thought the email from kodak may have been an april fool’s day joke, or maybe a phishing scam, sadly it was neither. I have stopped uploading to easy share long ago, but I did get a few photos printed and was happy enough with the services, Now the Free service isn’t quiet as free anymore, from now on if you don’t make a purchase to won’t have free one line storage. Once upon a time the brilliance of Kodak easy share was sharing your family and special occasion snaps with your friends & family in such a way they could also order prints, not anymore!

Special Note to Members: In order to maintain free storage of your images on the Site, you need to make purchases totaling at least $4.99 or $19.99, depending upon your storage usage, at least once every 12 months.

extract from the fine print in kodak’s easy share gallery terms

There is no need to panic there are plenty of other “free” on-line galleries, try picasa web album, flickr, photobucket, they also allow security for relatives and friends, download photo and purchase prints