Panorama & HDR Processing – My first attempt

Posted on March 23rd, 2009 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: Photography.
Tags: , , , .

23 03 2009

As you may have gathered I’ve been spending some time with my D60. I must say of all my hobbies it’s probably the most rewarding.

I’ve been looking at loads of pictures on flickr, and there are some stupidly amazing shots. However to get that extra edge a lot oh photographers use a technique called HDR, or High dynamic range imaging. I’ve been itching to have a play, but also watched to play with panoramic stitching.

So before I set off on the trip to work tonight, I quickly nipped pass Southend Seafront, and took a few snaps.

So first I played with the stitching together, it wasn’t as straight forward as the tutorials had made out, the main difficulty I had was filling in the sky. Got over that and this is what I came up with




Then I had a play with HDRs. In my case mine was a psyudo-hdr, the difference being that I did all my editing from a single RAW image, rather than different RAWs, with different exposures. This is what I came up with



I really quite like how it came out, especially for my first attampt.

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Synergy

Posted on March 17th, 2009 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: IT / Tech.
Tags: , , , .

17 03 2009

A friend told me of a magical cross platform application, which I’ve been using for a while, thought I’d share. Synergy;

“Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s). ”

The picture above shows my very small desk, sporting 2x 22 Samsungs, and my Dell D420. Under the desk is an old HP desktop powering the two monitors (and soon to be 9′ touch screen above them, when I get the drivers setup). I rarely use the D420 these days, as I use my MacBook or Advent 4213 notebook when out and about, so didn’t mind giving it up to the desk.

I can use the keyboard and mouse on the laptop, to control both it, and the bigger screens. The neat thing is, with the config setup correctly, I can just move the mouse upwards and the pointer magically moves to the other screen, and the keyboard then controls that computer too. A few other neat options are to have a shared clipboard, and to activate the screensaver/lock screen across all computers with each other.

So on my tiny desk, I can fit in quite a lot of screen real estate. As for using the laptop as a primary keyboard, I started to do this at work when the hotdesk keyboards started to freak me out, and using the laptop keyboard is actually quite nice to use.

Have tested Synergy with os x, and all worked pretty flawlessly there too. Not had a chance to test under windows just yet, as rarely use it these days, but from what I’ve read it all works fine.

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Another toy for the dSLR

Posted on March 16th, 2009 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: Photography.
Tags: , , .

16 03 2009

So my new years resolution has been a bag full of fail, I am a hopeless gadget lover, a magpie of technology.

I really want to get a fish-eye, a wide angle and a macro lens for my D60, but each of these are quite expensive, especially for what should have been a small hobby. (Famous last words). So I was looking on eBay (my favourite night shift pass time) and saw this;

eBay lens

I was dubious, as to whether or not it would produce any quality pictures, due to the relativly cheap price. Alas I clicked the buy button anyways.

I was pleasntly supprised on how much fun it is. It screws onto my 52mm lens, via an adapter, and you then use all the functions on the camera, i.e. focus, shutter, aperature..etc

It’s a bit of a jack of all trades, but doesn’t do it half bad. To use the macro feature, you unscrew the main lens, which can be a bit fiddily vs swapping the Nikon lens. Then to use the ‘fish-eye’ setting you have your lens on the closest mm, and then to use the wide angle you slightly zoom out, to use the whole iris.

As I say, of course it doesn’t perform as well as each of the single lens would, but for £35, you can’t really complain.

Below are a few shots I took over the weekend, using it in ‘fish-eye’ mode. Even though it doesn’t really distort the edges like the pro lens would, I think the photo’s still have a ‘fun’ effect.


fish-eye 1

fish-eye 1

I’d recommend the lens for anyone wanting to take some fun shots. It’ll never deliver the high quality macro, wide angled, or fish-eye pictures, but you can still have a lot of fun with it.

“Another new toy” album, has a few more from the weekend.

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A few snaps

Posted on March 2nd, 2009 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: Photography.
Tags: , , .

2 03 2009

So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Has been quite high on my to do list, but been a tad busy lately.

Have been playing with my D60 quite a lot recently, whilst it’s one of the more beginner dSLRs on the market, it still is a lot of fun. Trying to work out what settings will be the best for each shot, and not cheat with the auto mode.

Bought a new lense, a 55-200mm the other day, which is pretty cool for all those zoomed shots. Would really like a 10-22mm or a fisheye lens, but they’re quite a bit out of my hobby budget at the moment. Also bought a Jessops speedlight. I did want to get a SB-600, but again slightly pricy. I went for the 360AFD, which seems to have a bucket load of features to get me started. I especially like the automatic slave mode.

Went for a midnight drive around the embankment in London last night, a few snaps are below. Was playing with longer shutter speeds, until my tripod fell apart. Am going to read up on HDR processing later, as have seen some amazing photos.


Midnight Snaps

Midnight Snaps

Midnight Snaps

Still a very much work in progress, still lots of fun. More can be seen on my flickr page, or my blog gallery (links from flickr)

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