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August, 2008

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Philippines (part 2)

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

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

Philippines 073

Philippines 084

And a Panoramic of the volcano:

Philippines Panoramic 3

Watermarks, Tagging and Copyrights

Friday, August 29th, 2008

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.

Philippines (part 1)

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

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

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

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

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 12163×6069 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 92266×4959 4.6MB file. Here is a slightly smaller version:

Battersea HDR Panoramic G4 final

Hong Kong (part 4)

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

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!

Technorati – Test post – ignore

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Technorati Profile

Hong Kong (part 3)

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Sign for The Peak Tram in Hong Kong:

Journey to the Peak

View of the Hong Kong Skyline from The Peak:

Hong Kong Skyline

Hong Kong (part 2)

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

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

Hong Kong (part 1)

Monday, August 18th, 2008

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

New York 2008 (part 10) – Raging Bull

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

The last in the New York pictures:

Raging Bull

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

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