Blog entries from July, 2009

The third Melbourne Photo Walk

Monday, July 27th, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Sunday week ago I went on the third Melbourne Photo Walk. I have just completed sorting through the photos and uploading them to Flickr.

How I have processed them is a bit of a mixture. The range from pretty much as shot:


to HDR processed that start to look unnatural:


I also played around with the levels of a few to make silouhettes:



All of the images can be seen in the set: Melbourne Photo Walk #3 (July 2009)

Now I really need to get back to the photos I took a few weeks ago on the WCC outing to Macedon as well as the photos from the past three Web Standards Group meetings…

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Geotagging my photos

Sunday, July 26th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

For a long time now I have been using the map within Flickr to locate the photos that I have uploaded.

Since I bought a GPS unit I have taken it on long rides as well as some other journeys to allow me to follow a route and to track where I have been.

In the back of my mind I was aware that you can add GPS information to the EXIF data of images, but it wasn’t until a talk and presentation on geotagging last Tuesday at the camera club that I finally put them together for geotagging.

So, from this point on, I am going to attempt to geotag as many of my photos as I can where the location is appropriate (eg it isn’t for model shots of lego). For photo walks or camera club outings this means that I will have my GPS unit in the top of my camera bag. While for events such as Web Standards Group which is at a fixed location, I will add the location of the venue to the EXIF data instead of just in Flickr.

So how do I actually add the location?

I already use exiftool to sort my images into date based directories and to shift the dates if needed, so one initial thought was to write my own program.

No, first I would see what free programs were available. So over the past few days I have been looking at the first few programs I found: GPicSync, Geotag and PhotoMapper. I also came across which I will keep in mind if I write my own program as it is in perl, but I’m not looking at a command line tool yet.

  • GPicSync worked, but was slow and didn’t give a preview before writing to the files and generating a KML file
  • Geotag was fast and allowed me to preview before writing to the files. It also allowed me to tweak the time offset of the photos within the program, but I would still prefer to sync the files with GPS time first.
  • PhotoMapper was also fast and it provides a preview using Google Maps within the program before modifying the files. Unfortunately it only appears to support JPG, I also need support for RAW files.

I will keep looking at different programs until I am clear on how to fit geotagging into my workflow and which program will best do that.

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An outing to Montsalvat

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Over a month ago, back at the start of June, I went out to Montsalvat for the monthly outing of the the Waverley Camera Club. I have finally found some time to finish sorting through the photos I took that day and uploaded them to Flickr.


I had never been there before and although the weather didn’t quite cooperate – a fair amount of rain – it was quite a good day out, although the eclectic mix of buildings doesn’t really appeal to me.


The photos in the Flickr set have been minimally processed – cropped and levels tweaked to increase contrast. I do have a few more that I took multiple exposures of for processing as HDR, but they will be posted later with another blog post.

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July photo competition results

Thursday, July 9th, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Two nights ago it was the first Tuesday of the month, ie judging night at the camera club. I had four entries, two digital and two prints, but none of them received an award.

The two prints (this time in mounts I cut out myself) were:

Incomplete cover Tupperware

Yes, that toy dog is real Tupperware, it is part of the Zoo-it-Yourself set. I had planned to take a photo of the three animals in the set for the still life competition, but that didn’t happen.

The two digital entries were:

Orange glow Connecting rods

My original plan had been to enter the bridge as a print instead of the sunset image. However when David printed it for me the orange wasn’t quite as intense, but the sunset one came out fine. The close up on the connecting rod was taken on the Puffing Billy outing a few months ago.

As usual I prefer to keep the image manipulation to a minimum. All of the photos have been cropped and the levels tweaked a bit. The connecting rod image was the most manipulated, however that was a focal black and white filter to only keep the colour on the brass plates.

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At least 100 minutes per charge

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Two months ago I started using an LED torch as my bicycle light. It has been working very well in conjunction with one of my smaller Cateye lights as a flasher.

To mount it I ended up going the extreemly high tech route by using rubber bands – doubled up – and the mount for the Cateye light that I am no longer using. As it turned out there is a groove on top of the mount which is enough to keep the light pointed in a consistent direction. The rubber bands simply hold the light to the mount.

Despite this solution being quite workable I am planning on making a proper mount. In the long term what I want is a mount that I can use for swapping back and forth between lights and a camera.

One of my original concerns was about battery life. After going through a couple of pairs of alkaline batteries I bought a new charger and a set of four NiMH batteries. From the rechargeable batteries the light is still very bright (I haven’t done a side by side test with alkalines) and I have been needing to charge the batteries only once or twice a week.

I haven’t been keeping a detailed record, but I can say that on my way home the light faded out to nothing from batteries that I started using last Friday. So a full charge gave around 25 minutes flashing (it was dull and rainy on the way to work one morning) and 4×25 minutes on turbo.

I’m quite happy with it and I doubt that I will get a second one – either on the bike or helmet.

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