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Saturday, 30 August 2008

Philippines (part 2)

Lake Taal (and its volcano) near Alfonso in the Philippines

Philippines 073

Philippines 084

And a Panoramic of the volcano:

Philippines Panoramic 3

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Friday, 29 August 2008

Watermarks, Tagging and Copyrights

Recently on my Flickr page another photographer --Neil Creek (blog)-- commented on one of my photos that he liked.

I like this shot, and I've chosen it as one of my "weekly pics" on my blog, but I have to say, I really dislike your watermark I'm afraid. I think it's too large, the colour is a distraction, and the bezel/shadow makes it look amateurish.

That is my own personal taste of course. However I suggest having a think about it and ask yourself why you use it. If it's to prevent theft, then a larger one covering more of the image, but only 10% or so opaque might be better. If it's just for use as credit, then I think it should be smaller and less obtrusive.

Please feel free to ignore my suggestions if you are happy with it as it :)
That got me to thinking about what the watermark I use on the Flickr site is for? As I'm sure you know I watermark all of my Flickr photos, but why do I do it? I guess there are a couple of possible reasons:
  1. For image protection - but I typically try and push the watermark out to the side to prevent ruining the viewing experience
  2. For recognition - but I don't link back to my website or blog in the watermark nor do I watermark with my name
It seems to me that I am accomplishing neither of my goals and at the same time I am affecting the viewer experience.

Another interesting note is that Neil uses a watermark in his photos (small and to the right of the photo), so I would suggest that he dosen't have an issue with watermarks in principle.


My question to you all is this: what is your opinion of watermarking photos? Do you like them, do you use them, do you think they work (for any purpose)?

I'm not sure what I'm going to do in the future. I currently have about 50 or so photos in the upload queue that are watermarked, so I doubt I will re-process them. For new photos, perhaps I will forgo watermarking them (it will certainly reduce the processing time required!) and see how it goes.

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Thursday, 28 August 2008

Philippines (part 1)

After a brief stop in London, we are back travelling the world; this time in the Philippines.

Taal Volcano:


Philippines 039


The view from the sun deck of Casa Bueza:

Philippines 026

A statue at Alfonso:

Philippines 013

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Wednesday, 27 August 2008

The 23 frame Panoramic HDR (and how I did it)

As many will know, I enjoy taking Panoramics and HDR though I rarely combine the two and this is why...

First the finished product:

Battersea HDR Panoramic G4 final
Now the process:

I started with 23 files at 3 different stops (-1EV, 0EV & +1EV) that's 69 files in total, each around 6MB

I first tried to stitch the three stops separately using Photoshop (under automate and photomerge). Boy was this a mistake. If you use Photoshop to merge many files the results are not consistent each time you run it. This meant that no file matched another, which makes HDR practically impossible.

I tried many iterations (each one takes around an hour to process BTW) including:
  • reducing the number of originals
  • making sure that the files were loaded into Photomerge in the same order (BTW this drastically affects the final result!)
After about 2 days of trying to get something that I could HDR I gave up on this method. I decided to try three new ways of producing the HDR pan
  1. Photomerge the 0EV image and produce three images using adjustment layers -- this worked, but not too well:



  2. Second I tried to HDR one image (Photomatix allows this). Again not much joy:



  3. Finally I tried the option that was least appealing -- HDR the 23 images separately and then Photomerge. This meant that I would have 23 files around 20MB each.
The third option took a long time, but I think it worked. In the end I had a 12163x6069 pixel HDR Panoramic of Battersea Power station (over a GB in size). After a bit of cropping and compression the final image I now have a 92266x4959 4.6MB file. Here is a slightly smaller version:

Battersea HDR Panoramic G4 final

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Saturday, 23 August 2008

Hong Kong (part 4)

Honk Kong Skyline at night from The Peak:

Pondering on the Dragon 's Back


Pondering atop the Dragon's Back (HDR).

Hong Kong Skyline 02

The mini HDR Tutorial is up next!

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Friday, 22 August 2008

Technorati - Test post - ignore

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Thursday, 21 August 2008

Hong Kong (part 3)

Sign for The Peak Tram in Hong Kong:

Journey to the Peak

View of the Hong Kong Skyline from The Peak:

Hong Kong Skyline

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Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Hong Kong (part 2)

A light fixture inside the Mandarin Oriental. This hotel has an amazing sweets shop in it!

Lightplay

A mix of old and new: HSBC building to the left, Bank of China building to the right.

New and old

A wall of Buddha's Inside The Peak shopping mall:

Buddha

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Monday, 18 August 2008

Hong Kong (part 1)

I stopped off in Hong Kong on my way to the Philippines this year. It was the second time that I have been to the island and as ever, the architecture of the place is brilliant!

To start you off slowly, here are some pictures from Kowloon.

An Olympic display with the Hong Kong Island in the background:

Hong Kong 008

The Olympic rings:

Hong Kong 013

Detail of one of the building walls:

Hong Kong 011

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Sunday, 17 August 2008

New York 2008 (part 10) - Raging Bull

The last in the New York pictures:

Raging Bull

I had a great time in NY. Next up, Hong Kong.

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Friday, 15 August 2008

New York 2008 (part 9)

New York 026

New York 017

New York 121

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Thursday, 14 August 2008

New York 2008 (part 8) - Symmetry

New York Architecture allows for some spectacular shots:

Empire States Building:

New York 112

New York Times Building:

New York 054

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Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Which Olympic Sport Are You?

Which Olympic Sport Are You?

With 5 questions, this must be accurate and definitive. This is me:



You Are Archery


You are a bit of a traditionalist. You like old fashioned things with deep traditions.

You also like to see the result of your accomplishments right in front of you.

If practice makes perfect, that's fine by you. You like to practice a skill.

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Tuesday, 12 August 2008

New York 2008 (part 7) - HDR Panoramic

Here is a photo that I am particularly proud of. It's a 7(or8) frame HDR Panoramic of the NY skyline.

New York HDR 002

The shot was taken in Brooklyn on a very cold evening. I used Photoshop to merge the three sets of photos (+1EV, 0EV, -1EV) and then Photomatix to produce the HDR. This method doesn't work very well, and I am in the process of writing my experience and thoughts about a 23 frame pano I did of Battersea Power Station using a much better and reliable work-flow.

On another note, a picture taken at the same time made the photo of the week over at SDuffyPhotography.blog.

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Monday, 11 August 2008

New York 2008 (part 6)

One photo today. A few more still to come!

New York 062

I love the light on this one.

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Sunday, 10 August 2008

New York 2008 (part 5)

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Friday, 8 August 2008

New York 2008 (part 4)

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Thursday, 7 August 2008

New York 2008 (part 3)

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Monday, 4 August 2008

New York 2008 (part 2)

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New York 2008 (part 1)

Hi,

As promised, here are some of my best pictures from the New York trip in March. They are also the first pictures that I took with my Mark III. Quite a few more to come!

New York 122

New York 069

New York 040

New York 034

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Friday, 1 August 2008

Lion HDR at Hampton Court Palace

HCP HDR 002

I really like how this on turned out.

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