Posts Tagged: People

Samsung Motion Photos for Street Photography

The Galaxy S7/Edge can take photos with a few seconds of video before the photo. iOS and Windows Phone devices can do the same, as I’m sure many other phones can. I was curious about how well it would work on the street, as it might be useful to show how a shot came about. Surprisingly, it worked well! I could even take two photos in quick succession, and the phone would record overlapping video for each. I didn’t notice any lag.

The phone records the motion photo as a regular jpg file. It’s much bigger though, as there’s a mp4 video files appended to the Jpeg image. You can find some technical info about the file format here.

Yes you can manually do this is 10 seconds with a hex editor by opening your original Photo and searching for MotionPhoto_Data then select everything above MotionPhoto_Data and copy and paste it as a new file and save as a JPG. Do the same for the MPG BUT this time select every thing BELOW MotionPhoto_Data make sure for either one you are doing not to copy the MotionPhoto_Data text. Also the hex for the MotionPhoto_Data is 4D 6F 74 69 6F 6E 50 68 6F 74 6F 5F 44 61 74 61.

Technically the JPG ends at รฟร™ or FF D9 so the รฟร™ SHOULD be included too.
Technically You really want to delete all this “……..Image_UTC_Data1458170015363SEFHe……… ..#…#…….SEFT..0…..MotionPhoto_Data”
But if you leave all this “……..Image_UTC_Data1458170015363SEFHe……… ..#…#…….SEFT..0…..MotionPhoto_Data” in the end of the JPG you can easily merge them back together and have the display and play on your phone

I was going to create a shell script to extract the image and video files but I found this Ruby script that does the same. Saved me searching binary files and splitting them. ๐Ÿ™‚

For this first test of motion photos I just used the phone to extract the images. Here’s what I did:

  • Load up Samsung Gallery, and select all the motion photos. Then tap the share button, and a popup appears asking to pick picture or video. I picked video, so it worked away for a few seconds, up popped the list of sharing applications and I hit back. The videos were now in my Camera folder next to the Jpeg files.
  • Copy files to computer, but rename videos (add “-1” or something to the end). Lightroom stacks jpg/mp4 files and it’s not possible to edit Jpeg files when they’re stacked like this.
  • Backup Jpeg files, run them through an optimizer to remove embedded videos. ImageOptim will half the file size.

    Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 21.15.39

  • Import into Lightroom.
  • Edit Jpeg files, upload mp4 files and have fun!

Note:
Sometimes ImageOptim messes up and Lightroom shows the image as a sort of double-image with interlaced lines like this:

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 21.34.25

If you don’t have any backups, I found I could fix the problem by loading the image in GIMP and saving it again. Then I’d have to update the EXIF data or overwrite it in Lightroom.

Using the Ruby script above is even easier. Point it at your import directory and it’ll extract any images and videos it finds, appending “_Extracted” to the filename. It’s probably worth renaming them in some deterministic way to avoid the stacking problem I talked about above. Since it extracts everything, you can delete the original jpg file. I should modify the Ruby script so it does the rename step..

I doubt I’ll use this feature much but I’m sure I’ll use it from time to time.

Street Photography with the Samsung Galaxy S7

The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have a 12MP camera, which is fairly mediocre as far as megapixel counting goes these days. The Galaxy S5 produced 16MP photos, and that device is two years old now! It’s not the megapixel count that matters of course but what kind of pixels they are and what software processes the data they create.

Photo by: Donncha O Caoimh (http://inphotos.org)

Apparently because the camera has fewer pixels, those pixels can be larger, and therefore collect more light, like buckets collecting water. The camera has image stabilisation built in too which helps keep photos sharp when your hand isn’t quite steady enough.
I shoot with the camera held at chest height in both hands and I used the volume buttons to take the photo without looking at the screen to compose. This worked fairly well, except when I accidentally obscured part of the lens with a finger. I need more practise.
I found I sometimes activated image review, probably by brushing against the screen with a finger. That was really annoying, especially when I thought I had captured the moment.

Photo by: Donncha O Caoimh (http://inphotos.org)

It also allows you to shoot RAW photos, capturing in DNG files that Lightroom or other RAW processor can read. You’ll have to enable PRO mode which disables other features like panorama, but it’s worth it. The advantage over Jpeg is that you get more leeway when conditions aren’t perfect for a photo. Say, you’re shooting a photo of someone against a bright sky. You’ll have a decent chance of recovering detail in the shadows.
I tried manually setting the exposure time, hoping the auto ISO would kick in when needed, but when exposure is set, auto ISO is disabled so I went back to auto-everything which worked very well anyway.
The Jpeg files the camera creates are very sharpened. You probably won’t need to apply much sharpening at all to them in development. This is something to keep in mind when switching between Jpeg and RAW.

Photo by: Donncha O Caoimh (http://inphotos.org)

The DNG files the S7 creates aren’t quite up to the standard you’ll get from a DSLR camera however. Jpeg files record 8 bits of data, a DSLR will commonly create RAW files containing 14 or 16 bit data. The Galaxy S7 outputs 10 bit data according to Lightroom. While that isn’t much different to Jpeg, it’s still enough to make a difference when working in taxing conditions. Laura Shoe has a good article explaining the differences between the different bit depths.

Photo by: Donncha O Caoimh (http://inphotos.org)

There’s something odd about those DNG files too. The files are generally 24-25MB in size, which is similar to the RAW files created by my 20MP DSLR. I thought that was strange enough that I decided to run Lightroom’s “Convert to DNG” on them. Without using lossy compression it converted those large files into much smaller 7-8MB files! Using a new DNG file I tested to see how well it would compress. A 24MB file was zipped down to 12MB. That means most of the file is empty space, not even random data which wouldn’t compress well. For comparison, a RAW file from my DSLR will compress from 20MB to just over 19MB.
It’s worth saving the space by converting the Samsung DNG files to Adobe DNG files.

Photo by: Donncha O Caoimh (http://inphotos.org)

There’s something odd about the metadata in the Samsung DNG files too. Mac OS X Finder won’t show previews of these files. When I looked at the metadata I saw the preview dimensions were set to 0x0. The converted DNG files were fine however.
The metadata problem extends to panoramic photos shot with the camera too. Here’s a lengthy thread on the matter. I fixed the problem by importing the photos into Apple Photos and then exporting the panoramic images. As a side bonus, the size of the file went from 44MB to around 17MB without discernible loss of quality.

Photo by: Donncha O Caoimh (http://inphotos.org)

The camera will record Jpeg and RAW images when in RAW mode, and it saves them to the internal memory, probably for performance reasons. I use the following chunk of code to delete those Jpeg files:

for i in *dng; do rm `basename $i .dng`.jpg; done

Snapseed and Lightroom mobile both allow you to edit DNG files. Snapseed will display a Develop interface where you can “develop” the raw file by adjusting much the same controls as “Tune image” has, but you can stretch them a little more. Here’s a Jpeg I edited in Snapseed.

Photo by: Donncha O Caoimh (http://inphotos.org)

I hate using a smart phone without a case. The S7/Edge is so slippery I’d be afraid to carry it outside without one. I opted for the Galaxy S7 Edge Case – Exact [TANK Series] case. I already have the S5 version and the S7 one is just as good.

I really liked shooting with the Galaxy S7, and I’ll use it again. It’s certainly a pleasure to use, even if there are some problems with the files it makes. A minor problem, given that it’s easy to fix them.

Edit: The S7 is fairly waterproof, able to operate while submerged. I’m not going to test that capability but a little rain doesn’t bother it at all!

Aperture ƒ/1.7
Camera SM-G935F
Focal length 4.2mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/1500s

London Street Photography

A few hours ago Pat Falvey posted this photo from our recent photowalk in London. That’s what they were all looking at on his camera. ๐Ÿ™‚

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 6D
Focal length 97mm
ISO 1000
Shutter speed 1/320s

At the beach in San Diego

Aperture ƒ/9
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 200mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/400s

Pregnant Underground

An exquisite new development…

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 6D
Focal length 105mm
ISO 12800
Shutter speed 1/60s

The Victoria & Albert Museum Cafe

The cafe of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London is a stunning room at the back of the building. I photographed it while visiting London with a group of street photographers from Cork yesterday. We were over for the day and packed a whole lot of photography into the hours we had there.

This photo is a panorama made from five photos in Affinity Photo. The room is quite dark so the photos were shot at ISO 12800 and even then the photos at the right side of the room were relatively long 1/25 second exposures!

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 6D
Focal length 24mm
ISO 12800
Shutter speed 1/30s

Shoelaces

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/125s

St. Patrick’s Day 2013

Aperture ƒ/13
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 21mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/400s

Cuddling a Puppy

Aperture ƒ/5.6
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 179mm
ISO 800
Shutter speed 1/125s