The stand alone Google Photos app went live last night and I’m playing with it this morning. I love that I can search my photos for animals, family or San Francisco and it will return meaningful results.
The app is really nice to use now, I love the new month view for quickly moving back through the years. I only wish Google Backup would work on all DNG files. Despite what their documentation says those files aren’t getting backed up.
I’m not so fond of the limited editing features. Many of my older photos need to be rotated because they were shot in Jpeg and some app I used long ago changed the rotation bit in the files. To rotate I have to select an image, click the pencil to edit, click the crop tool, click rotate 3 times, save, X. Then move on to another. Hopefully they’ll allow batch editing of photos in the future.
Thankfully I’ve only ever come across selfie sticks in the grounds of Blarney Castle where there’s plenty of room.
I hope the sales of monopods hasn’t been hurt as photographer’s rushed to not be associated with this devilish device!
Anthony Morganti uses an interesting technique to create photos with a black and white HDR look in Lightroom. It can transform a photo so it looks something like this. (I added a vignette as well.)
It doesn’t suit all photos of course, it’s also only a starting point as you should develop your photos in whatever way you desire. To avoid repeating all those steps every time I created a Lightroom preset.
Grab that file and install it in the same way you’d install any Lightroom preset. What d’you think?
A thoughtful, frank video from a very talented photographer.
Remember DVDs? Last night while looking for the original photo of this dancing in the street photo I was horrified to find an empty directory!
I had no idea when they were deleted. I searched my backups but of course the directories had been synced a long time ago and they were gone. I checked Backblaze and there was no sign of them. I even checked Google Plus for their backups but still no sign of them. I must have deleted them more than two years ago.
I hate that. I have multiple copies of every photo just because this might happen and yet it wasn’t enough! My backups sync every night so any deletes were synced within twenty four hours.
Almost. Later, I remembered that I had backed up photos to DVDs before I started using multiple drives and Backblaze. They were up in the attic!
It didn’t take long to get them, the first DVD worked and my photos from The St. Patrick’s Festival in 2006 were restored, but the photos from April 20th were on the second DVD. The second DVD didn’t work. Nooooo!
The rest of the photos did survive their stay in my cold, damp attic and were restored. I’m thinking now about monthly offline backups to a drive I’ll plug in occasionally.
Do I have any photos from April 20th, 2006? I remember the day well because I was in St. Finbarr’s Hospital with my wife helping a family member. While the others waited I went outside to take photos of a derelict building at the back of the hospital grounds. People passed me going to work while I was take pictures of the daisies, flowers and old architecture. Soon enough a security guard showed up but he just asked me to stop taking photos. I do have a few photos. We called to a friend later in the day and I got some shots of her cat so that’s here too.
This phone booth is gone now
What’s the take home message from all this?
- You can never have too many backups.
- You need versioned backups (of a few days at least) in case you notice a mistake a few days later after your backups have been synced.
- You need an offline backup that’s synced periodically.
- You need cloud backup that will keep your files safe for a length of time after they’re deleted. Backblaze holds on to your files for thirty days after they’re deleted!
- When you export files from Lightroom, Photoshop or whatever graphics app you use, always make sure you export a full size original version, not just a web version.
I’m sad that those files are gone, but glad I have a few reminders of an eventful day.
Canon commandos set out on a rescue mission. (Via Mark Gorman of Blarney Photography Club)
We had dinner in the Sultan restaurant this evening and it was delicious. This is Meshawi Mix, a mixture of marinated lamb and chicken, Lebanese bread and more. Check out their menu.
Android L, the next major release of Android will allow apps to get raw data from the camera. This lets photographers extract more information and develop photos a lot more than they could with simple Jpeg files. They’ll be able to “push” the image further to recover blown out highlights and recover detail from shadows.
At least that’s the theory. You’re still working with the relatively small lenses and sensors in camera phones so they’re not going to compare to a DSLR or dedicated camera but images will get closer in quality.
This thread on r/Android has some samples of DNG files you can work on in Lightroom or whatever your RAW processor of choice is. The photos were taken with lcamera as the official Google camera app only records to Jpeg images. I took a stab at the “auto exposure” image here and came up with this:
That’s pretty good for a photo taken by a Nexus 5 at ISO 1635. Lightroom settings were as follows:
- Temp: -1.65
- Tint: +59
- Exposure: -1.65
- Highlights: -100
- Shadows: 100
- Whites: +2
- Blacks: -29
- Clarity: +22
- Amount: 67
- Radius: 1.0
- Detail: 10
- Masking: 70
- Noise Reduction
- Luminance: 20
- Detail: 50
- Contrast: 0
I’m really excited to see what Android L will bring to camera apps once it’s officially out in the wild and more phones have it installed!
I had to develop a bunch of photos I took at an event recently and some of the faces in the photos had distracting highlights. The shine wasn’t too bad, but it mocked me and my initial attempts to fix it!
Lightroom is limited in it’s editing tools but it does have a powerful brush tool. The instructions I found here worked a treat. You can use the brush tool, healing tool or a combination of both.
- Select the brush tool and change the colour to a shade close to the skin colour. Do this by clicking on the colour tool and when the colour picker popups up drag the cursor to where you want to grab the colour in the picture.
- Set the brush to a low opacity and colour in the shine. Go slowly, it’ll take a number of passes.
You can also use the heal tool, but again make sure the opacity is set low.
Just a few photos that have been sitting in my “upload folder” for the last year or so after attending jQuery UK. Look at all those old 90s consoles! Snes and Megadrive machines? There’s another machine there too but I don’t recognise it. I wasn’t a fan of console gaming back then, but if they’d thrown in a C64 I’d have had fun!
It was an amazing conference and best of all, the talks are online. I remember being blown away by Wait, Chrome DevTools can do THAT? by Ilya Grigorick.
Scenic photos of Oxford will eventually make their way to my photoblog at In Photos dot Org.