ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

THINGS ARE MOSTLY LOOKING UP. (02/04/13)

I haven’t posted very much over Easter but I have been very, very busy.

For years I’ve played with panoramas. Everything else that took my fancy as well, macro, long lenses, fish eyes, one thing I have learnt is that the lens is king. Good lenses cost a fortune and zoom is a thing I dislike, my legs do the zooming. I only get prime lenses now and am waiting for Canon to admit Zeiss and Scneider do it better. No use pretending a Porsche is a Ford we all know it isn’t.

It  only a laugh the beauty and nasty of digital. One sees what one has without a weeks delay for processing. I was never a black and white person. If I win the lottery I’d love to shoot it digitally on the new Phase One back…Dream on Phase one and even Leica at an tenth the price is far too expensive for me. Digital is getting their. I’m now looking at a new printer I have an old 9000 Canon it’s great to me for A3 and under. I’m not always happy. Paper is a small fortune, I use Perma Jet. I like it.

I realized that wonderful as the wee apps and even the stitcher in PS elements is it distorts the edges of equirectangular panoramas, normal ones to thee and me. I thought before this weekend that it was just the lens. Some of it is so I decided to shoot lots of panoramas and leave a generous fifty percent overlap, crop them square to centre and bang them through the PS Elements 9 algorithm. I didn’t see very much improvement and I haven’t got any control or I have little control so I downloaded HUGIN, it’s free and fine but not user friendly.  Banged a couple of 360x180 25 image sets into it and it was better. I then tried PTGui. A bit easier to use for me as I can drag and drop a series of images in. It is also slightly more intuitive. This is better as it knows when it has fouled up and one is given the images that require manual anchor points adding. I’m not there yet but corner distortion has gone.

I then realized that parallax was causing problems….I always knew it did in the foreground …..I used to just clone the errant bits away . Not the way a purist like what I am is happy with.

I spent an hour or more trying to adjust my Benro gimbal head to act as a panoramic head. I got rid of any sign of parallax at ninety degrees but it reappeared in the second row of images. Bother I said to myself and pointed the camera straight down at the tripod and mount. Could I hell as like adjust it to be pop and over the vertical centre. That’s the problem!… I said….you little tinker you!… Nothing wrong with the Benro head. It does what it says on the box and more. But they are not going to give a tripod head away that does two jobs.

I should get out more!

I have looked all over for a second hand  Spherical Panoramic Head and not surprisingly could not find one I fancied. There are one hell of a lot of bits in these and they require a levelling base. Oh Hum! It’s my Easter egg.

IMG_9951_edited-1      This one of about two hundred images shot on manual……It’s at the lowest resolution the EOS 5D II can take. I only have 4GB of RAM so have to shoot big images like this or the laptop gives up. I used to be able to give these jobs Scratch Memory but I can’t now. Help Please.

I can see a RAM update for me sometime soon. This modern software is getting very RAM hungry. I suspect that four times as much wouldn’t be over icing the cake. Yet another thing to look into…. I also suspect that with tablets and all that a new laptop will cost twice what it used to ten years ago.Told you I was busy…Busy worrying.

In addition to all  this I had to have a shower and find my posh shoes. I had offered to take the site owners out for a meal…Mike and Carol are brilliant here at Ravenglass and have looked after me as if I were a king. They deserved a treat. A good evening was had by all so it was no hardship for me eating good food and drinking good beer.

Went to bed after walking the dogs…….Woke up and walked the dogs…

No rest for the wicked……Gordon arrived just after breakfast to sort the axles. I only did supervising, my sort of work. He brought an assistant with him so apart from offering helpful advice like push harder I was, thankfully, superfluous.

I went on the train to Millom and got some money to pay him. An uneventful trip and I wasn’t mugged so a good day. The people of Millom must be carrying vestiges of Christian Spirit or the spirits of Easter.

I arrived back to find both axles fitted.

IMG_9959_edited-2

IMG_9958_edited-1 Here they are in all their newness. Brilliant.

The only damper on the weekend was from Bob  BIRDS AND NATURE IN THE FOREST OF DEAN… His dad died on Saturday  I expect he is hard hit so think of him as I do and wish him well. It’s never easy is death and a family demise can be far worse. All the best Bob and remember it happened in the natural order of life.

Make the best of this week.

35 comments:

  1. je maakt nogal wat mee in een paar dagen.

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    1. Ja maar geen uitgewerkt tot mijn tevredenheid Nik

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  2. Oh that's so sad to hear about. Thanks for the heads up.

    About the pics. You certainly do know your camera stuff and I love the shots you take. I don't know why but I love the last two shots without the wheels. They're great shots.

    It has been busy over here. No rest for the wicked:)

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    1. Thanks Chris, amazing what a quick blast of flash does.

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  3. For a low res shot, it's very good indeed. We both looked and though yep! Glad to see the wheels being fixed at last. Is the site you are on the c&cc one?

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    1. Gary it doesn't usually matter unless I'm doing a lot of post processing as I still compress for the web.

      Yes it is....I usually end up here once or twice a year.

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  4. I've been sitting here happily pretending I know what you're talking about. I now feel very sophisticated and knowledgeable. (But am secretly clueless.)

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    1. Lucy, don't worry.....I should get out more.

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  5. Those axles look great, and the landscape is very beautiful. Glad things are going well.

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  6. I thought them axles were going to be moer of a pain then what they were.

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    1. Douglas, I was not looking forward to the job. The van is now on all six wheels and the brakes are bled. All seems fine.

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  7. Hi Adrian, is your motorhome a front wheel drive? I don't see a differential on those axles. I hope your weather is getting better.

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    1. Horst, yes it is. It's built on a Fiat Ducatto drive. Bright and sunny but with a very cool breeze.

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  8. Hi Adrian...I was confused from the beginning, but that's par for the course with me..PS elements and fifty percent overlap..oh sure ; )
    Now the axle thing I can understand and know more about : )
    So happy you made the trip, and back without being mugged, would miss your mind scrambling post's!!
    I saw Bob's post about his Dad..sad, but it happens at some point!!
    Grace

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    1. Millom is a strange place. The lady in the bank spoke English which came as a surprise. I was surprised she could speak at all.

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  9. Don't have a clue about your photographer's language, but love your pics, nonetheless, Adrian ... Just returned back from Europe ... Man, o, man ... was it ever cold in your neck of the woods ... Canada seems balmy compared to what you have to endure right now ... anyway, I'm back to the grind ... 3 more years, and I will be done ... unless I win the lottery ... but then again , I don't play ... so 3 more years it'll be ... dreaming of an everlasting 'round the world trip on a working ship ...

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    1. Cat, it's warming up now. I just love playing with digital images. Good luck with your trip. Three years is along time to wait.

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  10. You work extremely hard on the photography and axles. It's funny how we have all the super technical photography stuff and we still have to really know what we're doing with it or we're no better off.

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    1. Red, you can get by straight out of many cameras now. As always it's the last 10% that takes all the time and then nothing is ever perfect.

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  11. Glad to hear the axles are fixed. a lot of that photography stuff goes way over my head, I am embarrassed to say that I rely heavily on the cameras auto settings.
    Very sorry to hear about Bob's Dad, I'll go over and visit him next.

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    1. Gillian, it is my hobby.....One can't spend all day in the pub though it would probably be cheaper.

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  12. Shame you didn't have a bit more time to spare to interpret all that you wrote for those who don't speak photography as a first language (or even second, third....) I went to the funeral of a dear friend today, there have been far too many of them lately. Will hop over to give my sympathy to Bob.

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    1. Pauline, which bit of 'Boring old fool' are you struggling with? I'll do my best to define Nerdy for you.

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  13. I have to say that Pauline's comment on your photography words is absolutely what I would have said had I had the wit to think them. The irony is that I was brought up speaking photography but that was in the days when it was All Very Simple. But you know what, Adrian? 99% of us can tell the difference. Your photos look brilliant to me. Some people tell me that life's too short to iron bedclothes. I like my bedclothes ironed. That's one reason why I don't have time to worry about parallax correction on my panoramas.

    So glad the axles are back in place. It's a lot of drum brake to cope with though. Took me years to come to terms with them simple though they are in theory. I love disk brakes.

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    1. Graham, I do make life more complicated than it needs to be.

      I was dreading the job but in the end It was done for me I'm away to York for a few days on Friday. Then Darlington after that it will be Scotland for the summer.

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  14. While I don't usually advise people to use software from Microsoft, by far the easiest panorama app I've used is ICE from Microsoft Research. You can choose different rotational types (the non-rotational is fun too as you can move down a street taking photos at 90 degrees to the road and then stitch them together). You can also tweak the resulting panorama by dragging it around the inside of the sphere it was projected onto which helps with some of the paralax problems etc. (you get to this via one of the toolbar buttons once it has built the initial panorama).

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    1. I'll have a look at ICE Mark. It must be the only stitcher I haven't tried. Adobe's is good and used with Flexify 2 can create some wondrous images. Flexify is a plug in so has to be used with some sort of paint programme. It drops into PS Elements fine once one has located the correct file to pop it into.

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    2. Mark, thanks I've just given ICE a quick job and it is very fast and easy. I'll compare it with Adobe and PTGui. Now I'll have to get some work done.

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  15. Adrian, I understood all that photographic speak up to the end of the first sentence!...then it started to Phase One of my eyes and the other went all Parallax on me...then I got an Algorithm overload to my Panoramic Head! I think I need to RAM some Equirectangular Panorama pills into my brain...perhaps that will stop all the Overlaps and Corner Distortion of my Elements?...or maybe I just need a big HUGIN!!

    I like that first image, a lot of work and effort though?

    Good to see the axles back in their proper place, looks like a good job well done? I guess that this means you'll soon be off on your travels once more?...[;o)

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    1. Trevor, this is brilliant.....I should employ you as a writer.

      Yes I hope to be away on Friday.

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  16. Good to see you are almost back in traveller mode.

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    1. John it is. I'm away to York on Friday.

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  17. Nice to hear about the axles. Top image that by the way, wish I could contre jour like that. I always have to remember to clean the filter 1st :-) or clone it out later !!!

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    1. Jay, I try not to use a filter. Even the expensive ones attract dust which is always the main culprit. I can't remember what I did but i suspect it was a bit of dodging and burning on the sun.

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