Posts in Category: Words

Shooting panoramas el cheapo

112588_panoheadcamera2.jpg If you’ve ever tried stitching photos together to create a panoramic photograph you’ll be more than aware of the awful distortion between one frame and the next. That’s one reason why it’s recommended that frames overlap by at least a third.

There is so much distortion because the camera is rotated around using a normal tripod or worse still, handheld. The axis around which the camera is rotated is centered on the camera body usually, but a panoramic tripod is different. The center of rotation should be the lens of the camera, specifically the “nodal point” of the lens where light paths cross before hitting the camera’s film or sensor.

Make Blog links to a tutorial on building a panoramic tripod head for $10! That’s a lot more reasonable than what you’d pay for a head from Manfrotto or manufacturer. It probably isn’t quite as portable or nice looking though and you might have to invest in some tools to cut the wood and build it but it would be an interesting project.

If that’s too complicated, you can build a battery using a bit of wire, a screw and a magnet!

Non-photography day

Today was Non Photography Day! The aim of the day is to enjoy the moment instead of trying to record it for posterity. Luckily I wasn’t doing anything wildly interesting visually today!

Paul Butzi writes that he is half-sympathetic to the cause being championed by Becca Bland. I have to admit she has a point too, but it’s a hobby, and a safe, enjoyable one at that. If I had something interesting to photograph I would have!

Maybe we should call “enjoying the moment” by another name? Call it “taking a non-photograph” instead. Enjoy the sun, and the peace and quiet or watch the world go by as you sit down with your lunch.
Did you take a non-photograph today?

US Book earns 306,000 Euro for Childline

Last year Ray D’Arcy and his team asked thousands of people all over Ireland to send in photographs to Today FM on October 1st. It was a huge success with over 20,000 photos sent in and eventually whittled down to 2,000. I had a few photos included which you can see in the US Book category on my blog.

30,000 copies of the US Book were sold, and yesterday, Childline were presented with a cheque for 306,000 Euro. That’s a great achievement and hopefully similar projects involving the public will happen again!

A Photo – how far would you go?

Thomas Hawk is defending himself from Jill Greenberg’s attacks and threats of court action because, in his opinion, what she is doing is abusing children.

Her photos capture emotional children who are distraught and frightened. Tears run down their faces, hands are held to eyes to hide tears. She apparently works them up to this state herself. Who would do that to a child?

She is taking babies, toddlers under three years old, stripping them of their clothes and then provoking them to various states of emotional distress, anger, rage etc. — so that she can then take photos of them this way to “illustrate her personal beliefs.”

Well done Thomas for standing up to her.

Airbrush a pretty girl

You may have seen this already, it’s on delicious, but it’s something I’ll read over later so I want to mention it. This airbrush tutorial is very detailed, showing each step with accompanying screenshots.
The result is quite a stunning image in the Playboy tradition of perfect skin and tones. Fake but it’s what people want!

I posted a similar touch-up tutorial a few months ago, but it concentrated on general techniques for giving a portrait more punch.

PSPI – Using Photoshop plugins in GIMP

2006-06-27_ptlens.png PSPI has long been the best way of running Photoshop in the Win32 version of GIMP. I’ve waited for a Linux version with anticipation and it has now been ported! Not all plugins will work, but I tried the trial version of PTLens and once I pointed it at the .dat file it worked perfectly, if quite slowly.

As well as the efforts to run Photoshop actions in GIMP this is a great addition to the GIMP arsenal of plugins and tools to aid photographers!

Need Photoshop plugins? This article reviews 10 free Photoshop plugins. I installed the Virtual Photographer one. It works quite well, although the preview window is a little wonky and don’t move the window or it won’t redraw.

GIMP Tutorial Videos

Jakub ‘jimmac’ Steiner has published several demos of the GIMP in action.
Subjects such as defining shortcuts, image templates, transformations and paths and more are covered. Use the mirrors, because I haven’t downloaded the videos myself yet!

Noise Ninja Beta

A new Noise Ninja release candidate is out now for Linux, Mac and Windows!

I tried the Linux version, and despite having a strange file selector it worked really well! You can try it for yourself, but the unregistered version saves images with a watermark. I’m going to test it on a few more images and may purchase it myslf.
Make sure you download a camera profile for your camera. The 20D one works well!

Making the top ten of Interestingness

The Swan Gang, a photo I posted three days ago, became the 4th most interesting photo on Flickr two days ago.


Nuggets of Gold
Flickr Interestingness uses a secret algorithm to decide what is interesting, but is biased against users who consistently get a lot of attention. Up until last month I would add my photos to many groups in the hope of attracting attention and eyeballs and yes, a number of my photos are in the interesting list but it was getting harder for me to get high results.
Last month I got married, took the month off and hardly touched a computer. Most of the photos published that month haven’t been added to any group so I think that helped me when it came to publishing this photo.

There are a number of photo groups on Flickr where members are encouraged to leave comments on the photographs of other users. If you look at my Swan photo again some of them are listed down the right hand side. That’s a good way of getting attention. Don’t even consider posting to these groups if you haven’t got time to participate yourself. For every photo you post, you may have to leave comments on up to 5 other photos. It’s extra work, but viewing other people’s work is inspiring and always a good way to improve your own technique.

The thumbnail looks good. The swans have these bright orange beaks and are looking into the camera. It screams “Click Me!”

The Swan Gang

I uploaded the photo to Flickr around 10:30am Irish time but I didn’t add it to any groups until much later in the day when the US is awake. I have consistently noticed that photos I add to Flickr groups early in the morning don’t build up the same number of views as quickly as when they’re posted later on in the day.

One other factor that interestingness is judged upon is where traffic comes from. If someone links to your photos from outside Flickr like happened here that will help a lot. I have seen this a few times and each time it made a noticeable difference to how high a particular photo went.

And then add some Flickr magic to finish off!

Further Reading: