Spoiled your photo?

Not all spoiled photos are bad!

As I was preparing a post for another blog, I was looking for photos of cafe doors. Searching my archives I came across one that was a nice enough image but for some reason or another I took it with the camera way cockeyed. No idea what I was thinking at the time. The other photos in the series were perfectly alright, but this one was the only one that really fit my story.

Here is the original.

45 South Cafe

45 South Cafe

Just not the way I want it. OK, let’s go to Microsoft Image Composite Editor. Nothing to “composite” here, just one frame. ICE won’t accept a single file. So I duplicated it. Loaded it into ICE, told it I was using “Rotating Motion” and had it “Stitch”. It will do that with two copies of the same photo. Then it lets you manipulate it as you like. For “Projection” I used “Perspective”. This let me do some perspective correction as well as rotating the image freely. Now I had a picture I liked. Saved it without cropping.

Since the image was rotated rather strongly the exported image showed a lot of black around the useful picture. That didn’t look so good. Paint to the rescue! Just drop in “white” in each of the black triangles and here we are. What do you think, will this work?

Evening at 45 South Cafe

Evening at 45 South Cafe

 


.:.

© 2016 Ludwig Keck

 

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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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ObeDrive-Albums-18

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

.:.

© 2015 Ludwig Keck

Managing a SkyDrive Photo Blog

As many of my readers know I like sourcing photos from SkyDrive. This article explains some of the details of how I manage my SkyDrive albums and my photo blog, Gallery Ludwig.

The SkyDrive Desktop App makes the SkyDrive look pretty much like any other folder on the computer. Updating a SkyDrive album is just a matter of dragging the photo or pictures to the folder. That can be done just as easily using SkyDrive in the browser, but with the Desktop folder not just files but folders – albums – can be copied to SkyDrive.

Copy pictures to SkyDrive folder

Of course, any subfolder can be the destination, just like copying or moving stuff around on your computer.

Like other files on a computer, the order of files inside a folder cannot be customized when using the SkyDrive desktop folder. However, using the SkyDrive in a browser provides the Rearrange option – a drag-and-drop feature.

Rearrange SkyDrive photos

You can arrange your SkyDrive photo gallery just the way you want, with the individual photos in just the order you like. As a “front end” or “lobby” to your gallery you need another site. I like using a photo blog for this. You can build some nice pages and have a blog post page showing the latest additions and any stories you would like to tell.

The photo blog is, of course, managed using Windows Live Writer. There is no better blogging tool. The Insert > Photo album feature can place nice link arrangements on a blog page or post. Just take a look at Silver Canvas – Gallery EXP 2. But even a single photo with a hyperlink to your album will be a fine “front end”. Let me explain that a bit more.

I use an album called Gallery EXP as one of my SkyDrive prime galleries. Inside this album are albums, folders for various topics. When a visitor gets to this album the tiles for the sub-folders show little slide shows of the contents. I think this is pretty neat. Here is a still photo of my gallery. Click the image to go to the live one.

Gallery EXP

Getting the link for the albums and photos is just a little bit complicated. For the prime gallery, sign in to your SkyDrive using the browser version. Navigate to your “prime gallery” folder. Click the little image“details” icon to open the information pane on the right side. Click Sharing then click Share folder. In the next dialog click Get a link. Then click Make public. You will now see a somewhat long URL in the address box. Copy this URL and file it so you can use it in the future to provide links to your gallery. You can click the Shorten link to get a short URL. You can see my short URL for Gallery EXP when you move the pointer over the image above. You can similarly obtain URLs for any folders in your gallery.

To inform my visitors of new photos in the gallery, I like to include the picture in an update post in the blog portion of my photo blog – my “landing page” for visitors. Here is how to go about that:

Navigate to the newly added photo in SkyDrive (not in the desktop folder, this requires the browser version).

Get image URL

Insert web image in Live WriterClick View original in the top taskbar. This gets you a view of the photo on a separate page. The address in the browser address field is the URL for this photo. It is rather long. Copy it and file it away. When you insert a photo in Live Writer – Insert > Picture > From the web…  this URL will allow you to source your actual photo and show it in your post.

Here is what such a post looks like:

Azalea Blossoms postOf course, you can see it better by clicking the image to go to that post. Be sure to click Latest in the menu bar to see the most recent posts. And don’t be shy about clicking the Gallery EXP link, it gets you to my gallery.

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

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More than a stitch

Assembling panoramas with Photo Gallery

There was a time when panoramic pictures were laboriously assembled with straightedges and knives and sticky tape. Then came photo editing software did not do much more than help you align the edges. But all that was long ago, it is amazing what today’s tools can do. The one I reach for first is Photo Gallery. It is impressive to see how well it works.

There is a favorite barn that I like photographing under various light and in different seasons. Walking by recently, I thought I would see how wide a picture I can get with my smartphone. The 24mm equivalent wide angle was not wide enough. So I also took a shot toward each end. Before I show you my originals, here is the uncropped result from Photo Gallery.

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Photo Gallery warps the images, matches and blends them together. For those who are interested in the math and science, here is some if the metadata Photo Gallery writes into the resulting image file.

EXIF-pan-stitch-c

What is not at all obvious from the picture above, is that the individual photos did not match in exposure. Take a look.

LK_000266-1024

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Digital Pictures Basics - 2012No corrections were made to the images before submitting them to the panorama tool in Photo Gallery. The left shot was more than a stop underexposed compared to the others. That was no problem for Photo Gallery.

 

In all fairness I must admit to being a big fan of Windows Photo Gallery. Enough so that I have written my second book about it.

You just might like to take a look.

 

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

LiveWriter-credit-360

Screens and dirty windows in front of your camera lens

Sometimes the conditions for taking pictures are very marginal but the photo is a must. Such was the situation recently for me. We have not had any rain lately and even the deer that live around our neighborhood were getting desperate. It was after dinner when a doe wandered to the bowl of water I have sitting our for the chipmunks and small birds. It was unusual and I wanted a photo. The only view was from a window with a heavy screen. There was a good deal of light falling on the screen from a window behind me.

image

Here is the result. The exposure was 1/15 sec , f/5.6 at ISO 1600. Marginal at best. Note the histogram, nothing on the black end as the illuminated screen provided glare and nothing on the high end as it was dark and there was not enough light for a hand-held exposure. My lens was as open as it goes at the zoom setting I used.

Those little controls on the histogram are the salvation for shots like this. I moved the bottom one up to just were the histogram curve starts and the top one down enough to brighten up the photo. A little bit of added contrast and a small boost of  color saturation was all, I did not crop the photo.

Deer

DeerMuch more acceptable, don’t you think? As a record of the event it will serve just fine. I only managed a few exposures. Our guest only stayed for a long drink and then scampered back into the woods. Maybe I should have told you, this drinking bowl is in our front yard! You can see a little more of the lawn in the parting shot.

The moral of this story is this: Don’t let screens, veils, or dirty windows stop you. Even in impossible situations, take the photo. Then use a bit of processing magic to bring out the picture.

 

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck