welcome to Café Ludwig

There are many nooks and crannies in this place, this corner is for chats and tips about cameras, enhancing,  manipulating and sharing photos, aimed at folks fairly new to the hobby. From the “front door” you can get to other topic areas and especially the galleries. Do visit the other corner of Café Ludwig for more on photos and photography.

Relax and read about your favorite pastime, you do need to bring your own cup of coffee.

 

Photographers

On the Hunt

Photographers are a crazy bunch. They are dedicated, opinionated, persistent, enthusiastic, and always looking for things and places to photograph. They can make captivating images of mundane trash and find new ways to show thrilling sights. They drag their gear into difficult places, at odd hours, and take unreasonable risks to get their shot. They turn their cameras on most anything, why, even on each other!

Here then, my pictorial ode to my fellow photographers. You may smile and chuckle and wonder what they captured. Why do they do all that? The last photo in this collection should answer that question.

So why do we stick to our hobby? It’s fun!

.:.

© 2015 Ludwig Keck

ICE-2 Distortion and Correction

This is my second look at ICE 2.o, the Microsoft Research Image Composite Editor version 2.0. In this article we will take a look at distorting and correcting images and more.

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If you just open ICE you get mostly advertising. This front page is the only one soliciting. Microsoft Research has fallen on hard times, but at least they are still there and turning out superb tools.

The way I operate, I never get to see this opening screen, but I am getting ahead of my story. ICE-2-D C-05First some very good news. ICE 2.0 work perfectly in Windows 10, that is in the Technical Preview, but tit should work just as well in the final version. It does require a C++ Runtime Library. It tells you that and the installation is just a matter of clicking along.

Once installed, it can be called right from Photo Gallery. Yes, Photo Gallery, although now three years since the last update, works quite well in Windows 10. Not perfectly and not as smoothly as in Windows 7, but I have hope.

ICE-2-D C-07In this article I want to touch on how a composite image can be distorted, or more importantly, corrected in various ways. For perspective correction, straightening “falling” buildings, I have always preferred ICE. No ICE does not work on a single image, it requires at least two to generate a composite. It can easily be tricked by supplying it with two copies of the same image. When ICE is installed you can find it and pass images to it right from inside Photo Gallery. Click the Create tab, then More tools and it is right there.

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When ICE opens the images selected in Photo Gallery will be right there. Under Camera motion, select Rotating motion in order for ICE to provide the various projection options.

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The new version has a richer collection of projection tools: Cylindrical, Transverse Cylindrical, Mercator, Transverse Mercator, Spherical, Transverse Spherical, Orthographic, Fisheye, Stereographic, and Perspective.

It is real fun playing with these projection tools. For this article, with just the single image, I will just mention perspective correction. The image is manipulated by dragging it up or down, right or left, or dragging a corner to rotate it.  It is much easier to demonstrate than to explain, take a look at this short video (just a couple of minutes).

Click on the image or the link, whichever shows in your browser.

//player.vimeo.com/video/120834937

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In the video you noticed that after I settled on the correction I also employed the new Auto complete option. This feature is called “content aware fill” in some other editing tools. In ICE it works to fill in the “dark” corners in a composite.

The screen shots here and the video are from ICE working in Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9926. The video is shown unedited (except for the addition of titles front and back).

You can get an idea what a smooth working tool ICE is.

Here is the perspective corrected photo with some additional post processing done. Note how nicely the trees on either side were filled in. And of course, there is also a “café art” art version as well.

.:.

© 2015 Ludwig Keck

ICE-2 Auto complete

Originally posted on This 'n That:

Image Composite Editor – Auto complete

The Microsoft Image Composite Editor has been one of my favorite tools for years. Just a short while back I was lamenting its apparent demise, when, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a new version was released. ICE version 2 brings many new features and the tool leaps back into the lead. In this article I will give you a look at one of the new features, “Auto complete”. Other photo editors have had this technology for some time, but I have not seen it working with such ease and quite effectively too.

Here are a couple of photos that I took years ago at Ft. Pulaski, Georgia. The photos were not taken with the idea of stitching them together, but they overlap a good bit – a requirement for ICE.

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You can see that the angle of view also changed between the…

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Tags in OneDrive

Originally posted on This 'n That:

Tags are now supported in OneDrive

OneDrive extracts text from photos

For a long time photos uploaded to the former SkyDrive, what is now OneDrive, retained any tags associated with them, but they did not show and were of no use inside the online storage service. Then for a while the tags were shown but not further supported. This has changed. Tags are now prominently featured and supported in OneDrive. As the ads say, “but wait there is more”. Indeed there is an intelligent genie inside OneDrive now that looks at your photos and assigns tags and extracts text. Lest I get too far ahead of my story, let me back up and explain the new tag features in OneDrive from the beginning.

Tags are words or phrases “attached” to a photo file to tell what the photo is about. Tags help organize and find pictures. More formally, tags are…

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OneDrive Albums

 

Albums are back!

Way back when Microsoft had Spaces and Live the online folders for photos were called “albums”. In time the online store became SkyDrive and the term “album” vanished. What persisted and still exists in OneDrive is “Folder type”. Folders can be either “Document” or “Pictures” folders.  Other than that folders are treated just like folders in a PC.

Now “Albums” are back. First a look at what an album appears like:

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As you can see, an album looks quite nice. Reminiscent of Flickr and Google+? Yep, it helps to have competition. Albums are not folders. Like Flickr albums, the OneDrive albums are collections of links to photos elsewhere. For OneDrive albums the photos need to exist in one of the folders. The linked images are nicely displayed.

How do you get to albums and how do you make a OneDrive album?

When you go to your OneDrive you see your folders in the main area. The left pane shows links to other places. ObeDrive-Albums-15

The Photos link opens a page that shows your photos. Somewhat like the Photostream in Flickr.

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See the black menu bar? There is an Albums link. Click it and you will see your albums, or, if you do not have any, a blank page and an opportunity to create an album. In create mode, or when adding images, you can do so either from your, pardon the expression, stream, or by selecting from a folder.

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The pictures you pick for an album stay in their “home” places but will be shown in the album. Once you have an album created you can share a link just as you would for a regular OneDrive folder.

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You can also get a link to the album if you wish to share just a link and not a special email.

ObeDrive-Albums-19Your albums are shown on the album page about like you see here.

Clicking on the live tiles gets you to the album. You can try this with the albums shown here by clicking the images here.

 

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Enjoy this new feature in OneDrive! There are more new things, and more are coming!

.:.

© 2015 Ludwig Keck