Saturday, November 24, 2007

Integrating Flickr with Lightroom

I've long been a Flickr fan, and more recently, a firm Adobe Lightroom fan. With the recent release of version 1.3 of Lightroom, Adobe has started opening it up to third-party developers, and Jeffrey Friedl has put two and two together, creating what is sure to be a very popular plug-in, allowing you to export directly from Lightroom to Flickr.

I haven't upgraded from version 1.2 yet, but I will do very shortly. One of the big annoyances for me is tagging all my photos carefully in Lightroom, then having to tag them all over again in Flickr. Hopefully, this plug-in will automatically copy them over, as well as saving me the trouble of wading through Explorer looking for photos to upload.

UPDATE: the good news it that it does, as well as other metadata. The Title and Description fields can be populated from several different ITPC fields in Lightroom (selectable in the plug-in), and the tags are all copied over. Now, I wonder if you can have a tag-exclusion list (so, for example, I could add a tag in Lightroom to indicate that the photo had been uploaded to Flickr, then if I wanted to re-upload it, that tag wouldn't get uploaded too).

Friday, November 09, 2007

Blog readability

For those who like to maintain that they did actually receive some form of education in their lives, why not run The Blog Readability Test over your blog? It analyses your blogging style, and then gives you a rating based on the quality of your vocabulary and grammar - at least, that's what one would rather assume it does, the tool doesn't explicitly to do that. It could be plucking numbers out of thin air as far as I could tell.

Anyway, if you're wondering whether your blogging style is more suited to MySpace and LiveJournal than to Wordpress or Blogspot, give it a go. For those who really like a bit of self-validation, you can then add an image link on your blog, although beware that the site does use the image for a bit of advertising as well.

Apparently I write at undergraduate level. I'm not too sure if I should be happy with that or not though.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Lightroom to the rescue!

The other weekend I was doing photography for a couple in the church, and what with one shooting photos inside and outside in rapid succession, I eventually ended up with a bunch of photos that were horribly overexposed.

A horribly overexposed photo of some very nice young ladies

Fortunately, I use Adobe Lightroom, which works really well with my Canon EOS30D's RAW file format. RAW files store the data directly off the camera's sensor, unlike JPEG, which throws away large chunks of it to keep file sizes down. Lightroom can access all that data, and rescue many an otherwise-ruined picture; here's what 60 seconds in Lightroom will do for you.

A little bit of tweaking in Lightroom later, and most of the colour is restored

Of course, it's not perfect - the bridesmaids' dresses were actually a pale green, but the picture was too overexposed to rescue that. The solution there would be to paint the colour back in using Photoshop, but since I can't afford the scandalous markup that products sold in Australia attract...

The moral of this story (other than checking settings before a shot and then checking the result afterwards) - if you use a DSLR, use RAW always.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Return to the IT Dark Ages

Last year I bought an LG S1 Express laptop, which at the time was about as top-of-the-line as you could buy in Australia. Of course, shortly after, Intel came out with the Core 2 Duo, which immediately put me a generation behind, but never mind.

For the last few months, I've been bumping against the limits of its 100Gb hard drive, and what with holidays overseas and the opening of the wedding photography season, I decided it was time to upgrade to a bigger hard drive.

I picked up a 250Gb model from MWave, did a full system backup, swapped in the new drive, and restored the backup onto the new drive. So far, so flawless. However, when I started up, I noticed that I was missing some 100Gb of disk space.

Incredible though it may seem to anyone who's into computers, but top-end laptops in 1996 still seem to have 32-bit addressing issues, so the laptop won't recognise more than 137Gb. Just to rub extra salt into the wound, LG have no plans to add 48-bit addressing to the BIOS (and in fact, from the forums, LG just don't do BIOS upgrades - way to provide service, guys).

These laptops are very nice to use and to look at. Just don't buy one if you think you'll ever need to upgrade the hard drive.