Saturday, 25 February 2017

Lightroom, draining the light from my soul

A new update of Lightroom from Adobe. hurrah, lots of new features, there's the Reference View and performance enhancements according to one site.

Adobe's "What's New" shows Reference View.

Great get downloading.

Can I find the Reference View? Certainly have not found any performance improvements within Lightroom yet.

Lots of websites heralding the arrival of "Reference View" ... it hasn't arrived on my copy...finally an Adobe page that announces it's not on your version only on the pay monthly version, pure coincidence that I found that particular page.

So once again Adobe are releasing features in a product priced for heavy users / professionals but forgetting your basic home user which is a real shame.

Features in Lightroom that I know about that I would like to see come to my desktop so far :

  • Dehaze
  • Reference View

What a shame Adobe cannot be up front and honest about the quality of support provided for, what I assume, as a community of users it wants to forget exist.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Lens, lens everywhere

Take one Olymopus E-M10.

Start with the "kits" lens' 14-42mm and 40-150mm.

They work and get some good pictures.

Add the 25mm f1.8, now that is a step up in sharpness and just a better picture.

Add the 45mm f1.8 and the results again move onto another level, that has become the goto lens.

There are lots of desirable lens'  but costs sky rockt quickly so the wishlist remains unfulfilled and tthe 60mm macro, 12mm f1.2, 75mm f1.2 and any of the new pro range remain in the shops.

But all is not lost.

A pair of extension tubes (10mm &16mm from "Meke" on Amazon, something like 30) produces good macro results, pleased with that, another set added good make for some interesting results.

Today a step further.

I read a article (I don't have the link, it was on an RSS feed and it took a few days for the content to percolate through) about connecting an old Canon lens to a body and getting some impressive results. Again a trip to Amazon to find that a cheap and cheerful OM to M4/3 converter is 6.99.

3 days uncle's old Soligor 500mm mirror lens is strapped to the front of the camera, it is rather large and most certainly the part that needs a tripod.

Here is the scene taken with the 25mm lens.

Photos are duly taken, focussing is much harder and there is a noticeable wind in the garden today which does little to assist. The Oly's 2x magnification helps little with focus because the wind effect is magnified close up.

Here is the same picture with the 500mm mirror lens.

Ok so there must be a loss of focal length because the converter is essentially the same bit of kit as a macro tube (must try that!) but with a 500mm lens attached to a 2x crop factor camera I have something like 1000mm of lens and I am thinking moon photos.

Returning indoors to the bag of camera bits to find an end cap to discover an OM2x converter, so 2000mm is looking good.

Here is the same picture taken with the 2x converter and the 500mm lens, I gave up attempting to focus a this point.

Lastly, just to test I attached my dad's 50mm OM f1.8 zuiko lens and took the same shot again.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Solar Panels

We have new solar panels on the roof as of today.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Nexus 4 sync

Just got a nexus 4 and need to test how the blogger app synchronises, or doesn't.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Photoshop has gone mad

I've suffered from file corruption before, I find the occassional jpeg file that has a working thumbnail but on opening the file is corrupt - mostly they still open and a bit of cut and paste work can stitch shifted blocks of pixels back into the right places. Consistently I've found the pictures have been like that for so long that the issue pre-dates my earliest backups.

I am yet to discover any software that can automatically detect corruption and having pictures on a RAID array seems to make no difference - the drives system must thing the corruption is deliberate.

I had problems in the past when using ZIP compressed TIF files - nice and small but minority support - eg Windows Media Center / Media Player / Explorer cannot cope so not much good on the usability front.

Today I have discovered another problem with TIF files, namely Photoshop reports "this file format is not supported", similarly Elements (CS3 & 7.0 respectively) so presumably the code is the same. The very files affected are some of my favourite pictures and after various attempts at convincing Photoshop to open them I downloaded some alternative products - XnView, GIMP and Irfanview. I've used Irfanview extensively in the past as it's a great lightweight tool particularly for bulk format conversions, TIFF files not problem. Xnview, great looking tool & lovelly screen display (my picture looked great) and also no problem with TIF files. Finally, GIMP, I hadn't expected much as a Linux port particularly as last time I looked at Gimp, on Linux I didn't need to spend much time concluding it was pants. However, the current version looks great (an obvious downside is that all of the initial panes either appeared partly or fully off screen and the loading time was measured in aeons) - a clean interface and clearly based on Photoshop, enough so that I think it will be worth investing some time as the interface feels, if anything, more user friendly than Photoshop but not as amateur as Elements, so thumbs up Gimp, it too handled my problem TIF files perfectly.

So, come on Adobe, why does Photoshop take a disliking to some TIF files at random, furthermore, until today those files were both created in and only ever editted in Photoshop so what changed? Googling shows I have not been the only one suffering this bizarre issue.

Anyway, to show the files are alive and well here are my pictures :

this was a clematis growing unpruned at my first home, a woody mess most of the year but when flowering a riot of bloom and the other picture is that of an owl taken at a swan rescue centre display in Christchurch when they were clearly short on swans.

As a worthy footnote, I have used Microsoft's volume shadow service on Windows servers and have duly left the capability in place for Windows 7 on my laptop and that did come the rescue in finding earlier copies of my file which I could use for comparison purposes - not my only backup but a very handy emergency option - so for Windows 7 users don't feel tempted to turn off

Friday, 2 November 2012

My favourite photographic gear

A little tongue in check favourite photographic gear must either be my push bike or Andy, pictured below, because almost the only time I ever get the chance to take photos is with one or the other around.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Tooth Fairy

It seems that even when a first tooth is lost the tooth fairy still comes.

Alex's first wobbly baby tooth disappeared at school when he knocked it out during karate but nowadays a simple note to the tooth fairy suffices.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Windows 7 Libraries

I've been driven to distraction over the last few days - Media Centre (64 bit Win 7) has lost its music and no amount of rebuilding libraries has helped.

Finally had to ask for help and cracked the problem by artificially adding then removing items from the library. Along the way I discovered that the performance of music in WMC is massively improved by stopping Windows Media Player from accessing the internet for album covers & info (set it manually and be done with it).

I also found that the default WMP on Win 7 64 bit is the 32 bit version (so you can change the short cut to point at the 64 bit folder rather than 32 bit, no problems there).

Also documented in the posts I made on The Green Button (title above is the link) are some checks to ensure folders are set correctly in the registry - they probably aren't if you've made drive / path changes.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

SQL Server Installation Problem

Another day and another install of SQL Server Developer Edition (2005 in this case). Installation complete & there's no way to connect to reporting services or analysis services. Strange, no icons, nothing in the object explorer connection.

Turns out SQL Server Express edition is installed and it is a higher version that I've just tried to install so I am missing the options.

The resolution was to install using SKUUPGRADE = 1 as a startup parameter and then when that install completed I had to refer to an earlier post because management studio was still missing.

Got there in the end.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Sql Server Reporting Services 2005 Issue

Again SSRS 2005 has stopped working.

This time it follows install of Sql Server 2008 developer edition on my machine so I've been trying to figure out how to get both working on the same box - it is possible according to the documentation but there is no mention of how.

Unfortunately I am getting the following message when attempting to connection to Reporting Services via SQL Management Studio "unable to connect to the remote server. No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it."

Now that's not very nice is it, I ask nicely & it does nothing.

Anyway after a few weeks of digging I've finally found my problem is not related to the Dev 2008 install - it is in fact our network wide security settings, they have been changed!

So the solution was to go into IIS Admin console, goto the properties of my default web site (which hosts my SSRS pages) and goto the Home Directory tab and then change the Execute Permissions to Script and Executables.

Job done.