Monday, December 30, 2013
Happy New Year to everyone.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Monday, September 23, 2013
|In the beginning|
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Google searches uncovered an Android bug where IP addresses allocated via DHCP were not being properly recorded in the Android device. Each affected Android device shows it's IP as "Unknown" (Settings/About device/Status).
Although repeated connecting and disconnecting from the network can restore a device to working order, this is hit and miss at best, and frustratingly annoying at worst. The actual answer is to reserve IP addresses on the DHCP server for use by Android devices and to set each Android device using one of these "static" IPs rather than DHCP. Everything else in the network can continue using DHCP but the Android devices each get their own dedicated IP. It's a bit of a pain to set up but once it is done everything works more smoothly and devices connect more quickly.
Hope that helps someone out there with a misbehaving Android.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Would impromptu art spaces, like this photo exhibition, have found a place on the more crowded city streets?
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Monday, September 2, 2013
- Develop your image in Lightroom to create a good quality, natural, colour image
- Take the image into PhotoShop or equivalent (layer 1)
- Create a duplicate layer and make it into a black and white image (layer 2). I usually use Topaz Black and White Effects.
- Duplicate layer 1 again and move it to the top of the stack (layer 3)
- Take layer 3 and reduce it to splashes of colour only (no outlines). I do this in Topaz Simplify, using a variation of the Buz Sim preset.
- Change the blending mode of layer 3 to 'color' and reduce the opacity to taste (30%is a good stating point)
- Duplicate layer 1 again and move it to the top of the stack (layer 4)
- Take layer 4 and reduce it to outlines on a white background (no colour). I also do this in Topaz Simplify using the same Buz Sim preset, but set to generate black outlines only.
- Remove unwanted outlines (usually in the background and sky) by painting them out with white on layer 4 (try to outline only the main subjects)
- Change the blending mode of layer 4 to 'Linear Burn" and reduce the opacity to taste (30%-50% is usually good). Then examine it critically and paint out any outlines which don't look natural (the edges of shadows are an example)
- Flatten the image and return it to Lightroom
- In Lightroom make any final adjustments to colour and tone and then create a radial gradient (LR5) to fill the image (Ctrl+double click) then lighten and reduce contrast, saturation, clarity and sharpness at the outer edge of the gradient.
- Finally create a narrow white border around the image with feathered edges - this should blend with the lightening you did in step 12 to produce the milky white edges and corners of the final image.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
So, a year on and I'm still loving the D600 - can't blame the tools any more :-)
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Today I received my first book order from Artisan State (http://www.artisanstate.com/little-black-book.html). Including shipping the book cost NZ$17.50. For that I got a 7"x5", 20 page book with thick board pages printed on a satin finished paper. The quality is phenomenal and far exceeds a similar priced offering from Blurb. Well worth checking them out if you want to get some photos printed. Or, in my case, some fractal images.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
The Galaxy Note came pre-loaded with Adobe's PhotoShop Touch. Adobe has done a fantastic job of shoe-horning what is effectively PhotoShop Elements into a tablet format. Of course, it's not PhotoShop Elements but, feature for feature, it's pretty close, so there is a lot that a user can do with it on the tablet, even down to compositing.
But, and its a big BUT, compared with a laptop or desktop, editing pictures with PhotoShop Touch is like trying to thread a needle while wearing boxing gloves - possible but not recommended. Unless, that is, you also take the pictures with the tablet and need to edit them before uploading to your favourite social media site. In that situation PhotoShop Touch does make some sense, but wether it makes sense for someone who uses a 'real' camera, is another matter entirely.
Still, and despite my reservations, PhotoShop Touch is a masterpiece of ingenuity, like getting a ship into a bottle, and I shall keep it around - just in case.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
A lot has been written about the Note, so I won't repeat all that others have said, but simply focus on what makes this tablet such a stand-out. At the end of the day, it comes down to the incorporation of a Wacom tablet and pen - what Samsung call the 'S Pen'. Coupled with the Note's large screen the pen brings a huge increase in precision over the usual capacitive screen and pudgy finger, though you can still go the pudgy route if you wish.
Some have said that the pen is suitable for artists but of little practical use to the normal user. But this ignores the best input method yet available on a tablet - hand writing recognition. This complete post was written on the Note using hand writing. Samsung have really worked wonders with the hand writing recognition; after a little tuition it works almost flawlessly through a text input area which replaces the more usual on-screen keyboard.
An early criticism of the first Notes was that the split Screen function only allowed the pairing of a limited subset of applications. With the Jelly Bean release, that has been addressed and over twenty applications can now be paired for multitasking.
In summary, the latest Note 10.1 has, in my opinion, become the premier work-horse of the current tablet world - although that accolade does come at a higher price than most tablets.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Ka 942, a 4-8-4, was built in 1940 as a coal burner but was converted to oil in 1948. It can carry 5,000 gallons of water and 1,600 gallons of fuel oil.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
The Adjustment Brush aside, there have been all round performance improvements in LR5 which are very welcome. The Adjustment Brush however, is still capable of bringing a quad core processor to its knees. Here's a tip - if you have to make extensive use of the adjustment brush then, once you have finished, export the picture to a TIF file and reimport it to Lightroom, then you can carry on working on the TIF file without all the brush history steps bogging the system down.
This picture uses the new Radial filter to darken everything except the flower and underside of the stem. All processing done in Lightroom 5:
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Carbonite was not a contender; I was already paying US$60 a year for unlimited data, but that plan wouldn't backup data on an external hard drive (where my image library sits). To get that facility would cost US$100 a year and was still limited to one machine; what about my laptop? I looked for other cloud solutions some of which appeared to be free (but weren't if you wanted the best speed and service - go read the reviews) and others like Carbonite which were more robust but costly. But, in addition to cost, there was the issue of speed; to upload 1TB of data over DSL was going to take many days. Though, admittedly, once it was there, updates would be much quicker.
Finally I abandoned the idea of cloud storage and decided on a local solution, purchasing two 2TB Seagate external drives at a total cost of US$200. Each drive has more than enough capacity to backup both my workstation and laptop data and still be under 50% capacity. So now I backup daily to disk1 and then at the end of the week disk2 replaces disk1 and disk1 is taken off-site for storage. Next week disk1 and disc2 swap places again. So I always have a local backup that is no more than 1 day old and an off-site backup that is no more than a week old. The two drives are warranted for 3 years so, assuming that is all they will last for, I have saved US$400 over the comparable Carbonite costs for two PCs for three years.
With the costs of storage continuing to fall, cloud storage vendors are going to need to sharpen their act a lot more if they want to remain competitive. And that includes those who claim that their service is 'free'.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
More pictures here!
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Nikon D600, 6 seconds, f22. ISO 100. 300mm on a Nikkor 28-300 - natural light.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Sunday, April 14, 2013
A superficial glance at the before and after versions may possibly show only minor changes, but print them big and the improvements in clarity, detail and depth are quite amazing. I just wish I could show that at web sizes but you'll just have to take my word for it :-)
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Watching the shearers at work is fascinating; a real display of speed, strength and skill. The D600 did a fantastic job under challenging lighting conditions, Lightroom brought out the shadow detail and Topaz dealt with the introduced noise (I keep trying other tools but these are the ones I come back to). 1/2500 sec @ f5.6 and 300mm on a Nikon 28-300 lens. Good job everyone; you too sheep.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Sunday, January 27, 2013
"Bazza" the bronze rugby player was statuesque, until the girls came along, when he would suddenly become very vocal.
Juggling atop a pole in a high wind was not the easiest act in town:
Some could hardly watch; while others did ...
Rockin it (that's a badminton racquet around his waist!) :
L&P famous in New Zealand:
Boy in a ball:
Events like these are good place to do a bit of 'street photography' without feeling intrusive; everyone is in a good mood and there are plenty of cameras about, so people don't tend to view photographers with suspicion. Go, for it; find a crowd-filled event and have fun with your camera :-)