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Participate in the “Monday Window” weekly post. Sharpen your photography skills, blogging techniques, and enjoy what others do on the same topic. You will find it fun and inspiring.
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© 2016 Ludwig Keck
To my great surprise, this blog was nominated for the “Liebster Award” an award that is passed from blogger to blogger in order to help readers find new blogs to follow and for bloggers new to the community to expand their reach.
The nomination came from a new-found fellow blogger friend who participated with me in a Blogging 101 training session. My award came from Irmgard Rahn and her mostly German language blog BOOKS OF REALITY. She received the nomination from a fellow Blogging 101 participant and describes the award in her post Mein liebster Award.
1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
2. Answer 10 questions that the blogger gives you.
3. Give 10 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 10 blogs with under 200 followers.
5. Notify the bloggers that you have nominated them.
6. Give them 10 questions to answer.
The first rule is satisfied above. Never one to follow the expected path, the next two rules, to answer the tem questions posed and to present tem random facts, I answer in my blog Ludwig’s Ramblings. This blog, Café Ludwig, has not been my place for many personal chats. I used the newly launched Ludwig’s Ramblings for interactions and assigned tasks in the Blogging 101 course. It seems fitting to me to make it part of my Liebster Award response, so go there for my answers and tidbits.
For my nominees I have also chosen from Blogging 101 colleagues.
… and my nominees are
I found the blogs that I have nominated above to be delightful, pleasant and interesting. I hope that you, my dear reader, will visit them and enjoy these blogs. They may not yet be the most polished in many ways, but I am sure you will find them “a good read”.
Here are my questions for my nominees
- How long does it take you from the moment an idea pops up to pushing the Publish button?
- How much time do you spend online in a typical week?
- What other passions do you have besides blogging?
- What do you value in blogs you read?
- How often do you carry a camera with you?
- Are pictures more or less important than the story in your posts?
- How long have you been blogging?
- Do you have more than one blog?
- Have you bought any art from an individual artist online?
- What means do you use to follow blogs, computer, tablet, smartphone?
How about just a close-up of a tag? This one even leads you to yet another blog of mine if you just click the image.
Will that do?
© 2016 Ludwig Keck
Bring out what’s hiding in the shadows
Pictures taken indoors with on-camera-flash usually have dingy, dark backgrounds. There is little that can be done about the behavior of light. An object at twice the distance from the flash will get only a quarter as much light. That means it will be darker in the picture.
There is no need to live with that problem. Post-processing, just a little bit of adjustments, can substantially enhance such photos. That is what the Shadows slider in Photo Gallery can correct substantially. With some judicious use of the Hightlights slider, and maybe a bit of adjustments with the others, a flash photo can be made to look quite good.
Here are a couple of screen shots to illustrate what can be done with a flash picture.
This is the oroginal photograph, just the way it came from the camera. It looks like what you expect from a flash picture, the objects close to the camera, the table and chairs here, are properly exposed, things farther away look progressively darker.
Next the picture with some enhancements.
The Shadows slider was moved all the way to the right to make darker areas of the photo lighter. Sometimes such a drastic adjustment may turn out to be way too much, but for this picture it worked well. The Highlights slider is moved a little to the left to make the lightes areas a bit darker. The Contrast slider was also moved to the right jut a little bit to increase contrast. Note how much lighter the far wall is, it looks almost normal they way you would see it.
Other photo editors have similar tools. Sometimes they have different names. In Picasa the Fill Light slider brings the details out of the shadows. The Shadows slider makes intermediate toned areas darker. Careful use and a little trial and error will help you get the best pictures out of your flash photos.
© 2016 Ludwig Keck
Panoramas with People
There was a time when making a panorama was a tedious task. Taking the pictures had to be done just so and the assembly of different shots into a finished panorama was arduous. Having people in the panorama was difficult and mostly a no-no. Of course, that was a long time ago. Nowadays you just shoot a number of exposures moving the camera some to get overlapping pictures and the rest is just a few clicks away.
My favorite picture handling tool is Photo Gallery. I use it to import and manage my photos and to do the primary touch-ups and enhancements. But Photo Gallery is a powerful tool even though it is “long in tooth”, not having had an update in three years. It has a panorama tool right on the Create bar. You just select the photos to be combined and it does the rest.
I had a group of six shots taken on a busy street with food trucks. There were people all over the road including some children on the sidewalk in front of me. The photos were taken in rapid succession but the kids moved along quite a ways in the few seconds between the frames. I had planned to make a panorama of this scene. I just selected the photos the way they came out of the camera and sent them to Create > Panorama.
Photo Gallery uses the “engine” from the Microsoft Image Composite Editor to make panoramas. It overlaps the photos and makes alignments, warping each frame to achieve its ends. It even adjusts the exposures as necessary. Here is what it looked like before cropping:
With cropping and some enhancing my panorama looked like this:
If you look really hard you will notice the running boy on the sidewalk is also pictured a little farther along. Cute. I checked my originals and indeed the boy appears in all six, but the panorama tool only shows him twice. Here is a portion of that panorama done as “café art”:
Photo Gallery also incorporates a link to ICE, the Microsoft Image Composite Editor (if installed). Now this program has been updated recently and has powerful ways of controlling the image. So I passed the six photos, now a bit enhanced but not cropped, to ICE. It assembled the parts a bit differently. The boy is still duplicated, along with his companion, and another passerby has been cloned. In the default assembly ICE did make a noticeable stitching error but it is minor. Here the uncropped version:
ICE can save the assembled composite to your computer of upload it directly to Photosynth. I did that. If you click on the image above you will be taken to the panorama in Photosynth.
Here are enlargements of the sections with cloned pedestrians:
Note how nice the “clones” fit into the crowd. They look like regular people. You might even miss them on first glance.
There is more fun that can be made out of these six photos, but that is for another time. Here are the six photos, click on them any you can see them in Photosynth. Note: If you are running Windows 10 and using the Edge browser, you probably will not be able to see this display in Photosynth. Switch to Firefox or Opera and the presentation will run. (Hey Microsoft, do you get the message?)
© 2015 Ludwig Keck