Thursday, December 25, 2014
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Sunday, December 21, 2014
|A Google+ MOTION* Autoawesome|
The I realised I was panning along a breaking wave with a telephoto taking this set. So the series should stack together like the series for a panorama. What has seemed to have happened is the images have been matched up on the white wash of the broken wave, setting this as a fixed point, If you look at the wave in the foreground you can see it breaking shape is moving to the left.
Friday, December 19, 2014
I think the scheme is fine but it should be based on an opt-in or at least and invitation to participate for selected images (it is supposedly curated after all). The good outcome is flickr reacted quickly and in tune with their community.
Are you listening google+ and facebook?
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
So Suite 9 is a serious contender to run in the browser mode before importing into lightroom, to add metadata, select and star the best and cull the duds. Unfortunately I didn't get to play with the smart photo edits (which supposedly lets you revisit past edits)
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Most kids today will not know of the excitement of watching a polaroid develop for the first time and the thrill of getting the physical picture immediately. So there will me a period of wide eyed wonderment! However these one-off small pictures may not be what a modern kid wants since you can’t upload them to instagram, doesn’t come with a phone app etc…
So what has happened to instant photography in the digital era? Most significantly Polaroid (and Kodak) famously stopped production of their instant films. A dedicated group of enthusiast banded together, the are now called the impossible project, bought the polaroid equipment and now produce a range of film (albeit expensive, it works out at about $2 per shot), So the charm of those white bordered prints lives on, at least for some. There is a nice summary of the Status of Instant Photography in the blog post by Cameron Knight.
The other way to get an almost instant prints is to pair up your phone or digital camera via Bluetooth or WiFi to a suitable printer (not all camera and printers allow this but many of the most recent models do). The difficulty is finding a suitably portable printer and this is where polaroid are currently betting their future, they have teamed up with Pogo, which have been producing portable printers that use Zink technology (it stands for zero ink and use special paper impregnated with dye crystals that start transparent but change to colours when heated)
Friday, December 12, 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I was visiting the mga gallery, the Monash Gallery of Art (it has specialised in Photographic collection and I am a member of the friends of gallery) and browsing through their small shop. When I realised I had overlooked a great source of christmas gifts in my previous list, So if you are still looking for a gift for a keen photographer and you live in Melbouirne, the MGA gallery is worth a visits. It has an amazing range of things in their smallish gift shop; photo centric badges and button, through the fisheye keyring (shown on right) that can snap onto your smart phone (and they also have the macro lens version), through a range of classic plastic film cameras to a very comprehensive range of the best photo books and well as other refined but less photographic gifts. A stop off at the mga Cafe is a way perfect to keep this all low stress shopping and enjoyable. If you live out on the east side of Melbourne you might also consider a gift of a Friends of the Gallery Membership, they organize plenty of activities to interest almost everyone.
Sunday, December 07, 2014
Whilst I did try a HDR Camera image (it takes and processes the image in your phone). I liked the simple phone photo more and have used Perfect photo to clean up the noise, used dynamic tonal adjustment and warmed the colours as my leading lines composition.
Apologies to Cliff, for being so similar, but maybe its the problem of having such generic shopping “temples” .
So the problem remains why is it happening now? Also it seems to be far more common when loading from my Canon EOS DSLR than any other cameras., Further it is often only a few photos that are duplicated in a batch. So I’ve tried out loading with picasa and then overloading with a few other software and it seems that the most likely suspect is ligfhtroom. Perhaps it happens to be running when I insert a card but because it is so slow it only gets a chance to load a few images. However the problem is I don’t have lightroom set up to autoload images.
I’d be interested if anyone else has seen this lately.
So for the moment its back to checking as backup I my images and move them to the archive.
I realise this post is probably getting a little late because the time has almost run out to have this delivered from overseas (unless you are happy to pay for priority frieght). However there is still time if you act this week and look for a local source. You can get your photos reproduced on almost anything today but there are a few favourites, like calenders, photobooks and wall canvases, but a few things like T-shirts, Photo Mugs and Mouse Mats that have probably become passé. Here is a list of some newer items, old favourites and the services that offer them online (just click on the icons to get to their sites). Big W and Ted’s offer on-line ordering and in-store pickup.Tthe photo processor in your local shopping canter may also offer similar gifts.
Photo Christmas Cards
This is one area you will need to get your act together straight awa,, to get the cards back in time to post before Christmas. A number of the offerings are just flat (postcard) style so check that the cards are folded style and perhaps include envelopes.
While many of the items offered in this category have been around for a while it has become a popular grouping in services offering photo gifts
The generally means canvas print, but can cover a wide range of photo blow ups and frequently includes framing (which is usually expensive). The following services are all Australian based, but check delivery dates & freight options and costs.
Sorry, Throw Pillows!, this could be a fad but the products on offer do look good and could easily become loved.
These are perhaps wall calendars are a little over used as gifts but I know one’s I have produce in the past have been well appreciated. I have prepared more thus year as gifts, Keep to the simpler formats and show off your photo skills so the calendars are more personal and unique. Some services offer desk calanders, perfect gifts for working proud parents.
Whilst these have been around some time and ideal for personal gifts. They have been a bit complicated to prepare and expensive to have produced. The Cost and easy of set up have improved along with the general quality. Although it is still true that good quality costs a little more. The key Item in choice now will be delivery times.
Cases & Skins
Quiet a few services now offer Phone and Tablet “covers” (normally a vinyl or plastic sleave/skin for the back) The level of protection these offer may not be much but they can look good. Given all the models and sizes you will need to double check what’s available. The Iphone, Ipad models Samsung Galaxy models seem to have the most services offering such customisable products.
Before you order check the deliver dates. You will probably have to join, set up an account, to use the on-line services.
Friday, December 05, 2014
True Stocking fillers for photographersWell outside the usual suspects, mugs that look like lenses, lens cleaning kits and lens pens , or USB Memory Card Readers I can’t see much in the under $20 range that might excite a photographer anymore.
The one possible exception is memory, SD cards are getting larger capacity (but not all cameras can use the high capacity SDHC cards (so check camera make model, most older cameras will be able to handle the Straight Sd models with come in 1 & 2GB capacities). In simple terms an 8 GB (gigabyte) card will be large enough for any photographer, perhaps except for those taking high Definition movies. After capacity, the faster the card the better (its show as the the number inside the @ symbol or called class, larger numbers are faster, again make sure the camera can read these newer cards). Well known brands like Scandisk and Lexar are a little more expensive but likely to be more reliable. (~AUD$9.99+)
If you are considering giving SD cards perhaps include an SD card Wallet as well.
Slightly More Expensive and Just for FunSelfie Poles, (and monopods) seem to me the big new toy this year. Frankly I’m not so sure they are necessary but there are a lot of damn selfies these days all disturbing close up and distorted, and all so similar. So anything to change the view (ie get a bit further away and thus less distorted) could be an advantage (ie give you more views on Social media). The extender pole shown here with the butterfly bracket caught my eye. Importantly it has a remote trigger in the handle (you do need to plug in a cable to your earphone jack) and no (expensive) app to have to download. (~$30 to AUD$100)
The Photoshop Fridge Magnet set is a bit pricy and I can not find any Australia Distributors, but it is available from Photojojo (who have a good reptuation delivering here but you’ll need to add priority UPS delivery to get things by Christmas). It looks like fun, you get magnets that are Abode PS menus, toolbars and Pop-up Dialgue box. Stick your photos to the fridge door (or a magnetic noticeboard and create the illusion that your are a mater photoshopper! (~USD$25 plus frieght)
More expensive but likely to be useful/appreciatedVouchers are often seen as a cop-out but giving the voucher for a photo book can be the right trigger for the lucky person receiving the gift to produce something they will be proud off. If you know someone that takes hundred of photos but they all just sit on their computer or cloud account consider giving them a photo book voucher (starting in the range AUD $50 to $100 should get you a decent 20 page book). You may find cheaper offers around but you probably want to make sure that doesn’t come with an extra and expensive deliver and or too few pages
Stylus pen for Ipad (or Android Tablet), most of the hype for these is around Paper for IPads app and I gather its been a bit of a hit and miss affair. What I have heard first hand is that wacom’s bambo or intuos stylus have better drivers/compatibility for a whole range of applications including many photo editors, making tasks that are difficulty for fat fingers a breeze. (~AUD$30+)
A simplie fun drawing app (free or low cost) or itunes voucher to get such an app might be a nice addition so the pen can be used straight away.
Speaking of tablets and pens, I can strongly recommend having a pen tablet input for most photo processing software. These can be expensive but a simple system to start with is the bamboo fun pen & touch. Which comes bundled with both Adobe Photo Shop Elements (Mac or Windows) & Corel Painter Essential (windows only) and by looking around you will probably get this at a good price (~AUD$ 220+).
Finally a word of warning. if you intend buying camera gear, like new cameras, lens, or even tripods for an existing photographer. It is important you check with them that it is firstly suitable/compatible and that they would actually use it. To avoid a very expensive present that sits on the shelf.
PS If you are in Melbourne the mga gallery has a great range of photographically oriented gifts
Thursday, December 04, 2014
Stop it Google+ your just embarrassing yourself.
Friday, November 28, 2014
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
I have steered cleared of doing camera reviews, mainly because I think any digital camera these days are good enough to take decent pictures. However there is a such a range of camera available deciding where to begin is quiet a challenge. I notice on the flickr blog, they are tackling this very question, and they are in the wonderful position of seeing millions of photos loaded with a wide range of camera. They have a neat summary table of the main classes of camera versus the type of photo you wish to take. I have added colour to highlight the great, versus good versus ok. This is the first in a series of articles planned for the flickr blog so make sure you visit them again and follow the series.
I have to admit I own cameras from 3 of these 4 classes (I don’t own a mirrorless/micro 4/3rds. camera;yet!) Smartphones can be expensive, but the camera will seldom be the key purchasing criteria, the other cameras get more expensive as you move to the right. The interesting observation here is that the micro 4/3 cameras are satisfying the more common photography generas, their reasonable pricing probably make them a better choice these days than the compact style cameras, and if you haven’t already invested in the larger and heavier DSLRs they are probably an obvious choice of a new photographer (in training/aspirations).
If your getting down to the purchase decision it might also be worth checking out the Flickr Camera Finder, you get to see not only the cameras popularity and technical specs but importantly you can get to see a range of photos taken with that camera.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Whilst photo collages have been around a long time its is the joiners developed by David Hockney that can bring a rich artistic feel of personality and being an original work. His original joiners where just polaroid images (lots of them) assembled and stuck down to make a larger image. Not necessarily taken from the same vantage and often deliberately not quiet matching. I have found the collage maker in picasa is an idea place to build similar joiner style collages. However there is plenty of software out their to do a similar job (Hockneyizer is a wonderful “filter” style app,originally for flickr photos but you can upload any photo to it directly, that will take a single image and break it into a hockney style collage)
In picasa you just need to select the photos you want and the select the collage builder tool (either the Create/Picture Collage menu item or collage button if you have one on the bottom toolbar). The first step is to select the picture pile format which is as if you are just scattering the photos on your desktop. under that is a series of border templates (the collage above has the polaroid frames, in homage to Hockney but they are not what I wanted for the final image. I prefer borderless option.) However I like to using a drop shadow which emphasis (rather than hides) the join between photos. The next step is to move around and possible resize and reoriented to photos. When you select a given image a control circle if overlayed on the photo click on in and moving your mouse slides the photo over the surface. You can resize the photo with the mouse wheel (or clicking on the orange dot on the little control button on the edge of the circular tool and moving it in and out (horizontally). To rotate the image again click on the orange dot and now move the mouse vertically and you will see the image rotate. the controls are very easy to master and you will soon be able to rotate and resize at the same time.
One of the bigger charms of Hockney’s later joiner work is that he did not try to fill the whole space and left ragged edges and some gaps but he did take time to judge a suitable background colour, something that could bring the whole together. I like this approach and so I used the eye dropper tool to select the dark blue of the sky as my background, Then a bit more rescale and realignment of all the photos together (press select all at the top of the workspace and all the photos will be outlined and can be reoriented and scaled as one). You must then hit the create collage button, which creates the composite image and puts them in a separate album called collages. You can then work on this as any other photo in picasa so I did a fraction more cropping. The advantage of the picasa’s tool is you can return and re-edit the original collages in the collage album at any time.
There should of course be some “art” applied to your selection and arrangement of the images but if you are lost for inspiration you could always try the scramble and/or shuffle button at the bottom of the collage workspace (remembering that any alignment of images will be lost)