Photography homework this week for the boy was to use a freeware manual panorama maker (Hugin) to manually make a panorama.
I like the approach of the photography teacher: they have lessons on hardware and software, then they get to go away and try what they have learned. But not everyone wants to (or can afford to) go down the route of paid-for editing software, and so they are learning how to use freeware like GIMP and… well… Hugin. They also have critique sessions, where they can – as a group – praise others’ work and suggest ways to improve. It’s a great way to work and they’re a very positive, enthusiastic group.
Hugin is free, and it does what it says it will, but it is cumbersome and time-consuming. Simply as a comparison, we took the same photos, fed them into Lightroom and pressed the magic Panorama button.
Here’s the result:
You can have a look at the full 63MP version here.
This isn’t perfect, but given that it was a last minute dot com effort from a bridge near his school, with the light fading and after he had been hiking all day in a Scouting competition, I think it’s pretty good.
The Hugin version was not as good and took longer to make, but as I mentioned, it was free.
And while we’re on about photography, I found myself waiting outside a coffee shop this morning, waiting for it to open. Wandering into the park opposite, I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera along: the mist was subduing all of the colours aside from the bright yellows and oranges of the American Sweetgums. Fortunately, I had my phone, but this quite nice image could have been really nice.
Always have your camera with you. That’s something else they should be teaching the kids.
I haven’t found one specific thing worthy of a blog post of its own yet today, so I thought I’d share several of the thing which were almost worthy of a blog post of their own. Collectively, these things are worth far more than a single blog post, so you’re certainly getting your money’s worth today.
Insane! Or rather not in Seine at all right now. This is of specific interest to me because we’ve just booked a trip to Europe in June/July and Paris and French waterways are included. I particularly enjoyed the line:
The national flood monitoring agency Vigicrues said the water levels hit a maximum height of 5.84 meters (19 feet, 2 inches) on the Austerlitz scale early Monday. That’s below initial fears last week, and well below record levels of 8.62 meters in 1910.
Yeah. But that’s only really a bonus if your property lies between 5.85 and 8.62m on the Austerlitz scale though, isn’t it?
Am I the only one who finds this headline vaguely threatening? The “are gathering” bit does sound as if there is some common porpoise (stop it!) to their behaviour, and I think we’re all aware that what I mean by that is dolphin invasion, something we’ve covered here before. Researchers suggest that it may rather be something to do with defending themselves against sharks, but then researchers would suggest that, wouldn’t they? They’re in on the act. It’s telling that the majority of the pods have been sighted off the sleepy seaside village of Port Elizabeth. PE is the ideal place to begin an takeover: by the time the locals have worked out what is going on and release the emergency carrier pigeons from the Campanile, the tanks (either kind, you do the maths) of invading dolphins will be on the Free State border.
Playing with photos
Practice, they say, makes perfect. And one day, I’d like my photo editing to be perfect. So, whenever I can, I’m finding photos to practice on. Since I didn’t take any this weekend (again, despite this), I’ve borrowed one from Brian Micklethwait over at BrianMicklethwait.com. I loved his photo of Victoria Station (link), and so I shamelessly stole borrowed it and put a bit of a spin on it with Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.
Just for absolute clarity, I’m not suggesting that my version is in any way better. I’m just suggesting that it’s different. I was inspired by two things: firstly, the “vintage” look of the station roof, and secondly, Brian’s own thoughts on his image:
I like how this kind of scene permits bright colours, like those little union jacks, but turns fainter colours monochrome, like when that little girl in a red coat appears in Schindler’s List.
The more washed out feel that I’ve tried to give it still allows for those flags to stand out. Maybe they should stand out more. Maybe I should practice more.
I don’t recall there being two Lightrooms when I installed it just a few weeks ago. Suddenly there’s Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC (which is the new name for Lightroom CC).
I want to talk about Lightroom versus Lightroom. The new version versus the… the new version versus the old version which is the new version.
Thankfully, through a heady mix of good luck and vaguely informed guesswork, I think I managed to select the right version (for me, anyway). And I got free access to Adobe Photoshop too. Excellent.
And I was at peace.
Briefly, because this morning, I woke up to an email:
All-new “Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC”? So, is this different to the other two? Or is it the same package as one (or both of them?) of the them, just under a different name? Worse still, the email was entitled “Adobe Capture CC”, which just adds further confusion to an already baffling stew. And how did that dog get up there? Presumably, he was lifted up there by the hippie hanging out of the passenger window, but why? The roof of a vintage Mercedes estate is no place for a canine. He wants to be sniffing around in the corn. Get him down. Now.
But I digress; the dehaze tool, which had disappeared in the new version of Lightroom Classic CC (which is also the old version of Lightroom CC, not to be confused with Lightroom CC, which (lest we forget) is the new version of Lightroom CC) apparently makes a welcome return in one (or more?) of these software packages.
I have absolutely no idea which one, so I’m just going to switch on my laptop and see what happens.
So, I took the plunge and I bought myself an Adobe Lightroom subscription. I’ve actually been using their free trial version to sort out the Shamwari photos, and I think it’s been going ok (and I’ve actually had some nice comments), so it seems to be worth it.
I took advice from (amongst others) this guy, who clearly knows what he is doing in the ‘togging game, and whose input is therefore to be acted upon. UPDATE: Apparently that Flickr link will only work if you have a Flickr account.
Earlier, he dropped this little number*:
… which he took from his living room!
Yeah. Not many places you can do that from, so either he lives near the sea (he does) or he lives in Shropshire (the UK equivalent of the Free State) and just has some really good lenses.
Anyway, you might be wondering why I’m rambling on this way, even more annoyingly and pointlessly than usual, and it’s because when you buy Lightroom, you need to re-download it. No upgrading or simple activating of the free trial version here.
And have you seen how fast SA internet isn’t?
There’s time to fill before I can play with my new purchase…