Waverley Camera Club

Archive for July 22nd, 2009

WCC Identitiy Crisis – Important

by on Jul.22, 2009, under General

It has become apparent that there is a serious identity problem occuring within the club and hopefully I will be able to address the issues and resolve them with this BLOG article.

Over the previous few months it has become apparent to the parties concerned that there is a major identity problem that has arisen within the club and the persons concerned have decided that enough is enough and it is time that this was sorted out once and for all.

It wasn’t really a problem at first and being handed a disk with images on it on a Tuesday night didn’t really bother me. However this little problem seems to have escalated over the last few months seemingly in line with the clubs expansion.

What happened next was that I found that I was increasingly being cornerned on a Tuesday night and was being asked about competition images by several different people. I found this odd really as I had nothing to do with competition images apart from enetering my own. The first clue I got was when someone called me Peter, it hit me then. Being a fellow countryman of Peter Myers, even though he was born on the wrong side of the border, it occured to me that we sounded pretty similar when we talked. This was obviously causing confusion amongst people and they were mixing the two of us up.

The next time I was handed a disk or asked a question I said to the person “do you think I am the Competition Steward, Peter”? The look of confusion on the face of Alan (oops) was enough to confirm that in fact he did think this and after a chuckle and correcting him in the error of his ways all was good.

The reason I decided to write this article was because after having quite an amusing email conversation with Peter this morning about the images in the previous article, it transpired that Peter was called Dave several times during the night and I was interestingly called Andy???? (I don’t know either). The person (who shall remain nameless) who took pictures of the room that I was after for the BLOG and also called me Andy last night, was asked by me if he would send the images to me for the BLOG report. He actually sent them to Peter, so for George’s sake (oops) and all you others out there (you know who you are) who need guiding on who is Peter and who is David, see the picture below.

I am David, I’m in the left hand side of this image and I am the BLOG and Newsletter Editor.

I am Peter, I’m in the right hand side of the picture and I am the EDI Competition Steward.

Of course I have written this in jest and neither of us really mind if you get us mixed up, we know that some of you struggle with the spoken English language especially the Aussie’s amongst you so we are happy to assist with the intricacy of the Yorkshire and Lancastrian dialects. If you don’t know where Ilkley Moor is or the term ‘aye up!’ confuses or you have no idea what the significance of a whippet and flat cap is, you can either speak to us on a Tuesday night or obtain the Hale & Pace DVD collection from your local store and watch the episode marked ‘Yorkshire Airlines’ or ‘Northern Calypso’ to assist you in clarifying these absolutely normal English terms.

* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm6VC5gdaFA
* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DqvXRd64Mo

Dave Sumner

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Workshop Night – Another Great Night

by on Jul.22, 2009, under Workshops

Here’s a quick write up regarding last nights (Tue 21st July 2009) workshop, which was another huge success.

Workshop Night – Another Great Night

Originally, this night’s theme’s were to be The Geotagging of Photo’s & The 4-Club Selection Night. Therefore when the President’s email arrived adorned with capital letters and RED text, I wondered in my own mind how successful the suggested alternative of table top photography was going to be. I knew exactly why the red text was there but being at work and leaving late meant that I wasn’t able to bring anything along for a table top display as I had to go straight to the club.

I was really concerned when I arrived, I wondered if we had enough to fill the evening but how wrong can someone be. I don’t mind admitting that I was totally wrong and when people started arriving with armfuls of backcloths and display items the room almost turned into a craft market. We had antique drawing sets, wooden snakes, flowers, russian dolls and even an old SU carburettor from an engine.

In all we ended up with four or five displays, John kindly brought his stands and backdrop paper and there were lights everywhere. I saw several members going around offering advice to beginners and there was equipment being shared everywhere. I loaned my 16-35 L Series lens and tripod to Rodelle who I hope got some great pictures for her collection. Peter had loaned a lens to Dijana who was also getting instruction on the techniques of table top photography from Peter.

There were three guests turned up and they got stuck into taking pictures and hopefully they enjoyed their evening and we’ll see them again in the near future.

2 hours had passed and it was time to pack up and get into the geo-tagging lecture which had been kidly arranged by Craig and Peter. I’ve often seen Pete’s GPS hanging from his jacket and wondered how he managed to get the information into Light Room to geotag his images. Craig instructed us on the his equipment, giving us the necessary technical information required to answer any questions we may have had before moving on to how the software matches up the GPS track to the pictures. I must add that the Google Earth tracks that Craig showed us were pretty impressive and gave a lot of us a bit of a thirst to have a go at geotagging.

Overall the night was a huge success again and on behalf of the committee and members, I would like to thank everyone who put time and effort into making this a successful night.

Unfortunately due to the amount of questions asked about geotagging, we weren’t able to carry out the resizing and saving images demo as planned. We have therefore supplied several written pages on this which can be found on the Tech Help Blog. There is a link in the ‘Links’ section in the right hand column of this BLOG.

Photographs courtesy of George Skarbek

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Photo Note – Compressing for Emailing

by on Jul.22, 2009, under General

Another informative article from Fred which can also be made available in PDF format by request to me.

Photo Note – Compressing for Emailing

Preface for Waverley Camera Club
I wrote these notes for the photographers in the bushwalking club, most of whom do not use software such as Photoshop. Unfortunately their emailed photos were often reduced to postcard size and quality, and occasionally were inconveniently large. Some were not attached to the email, but were embedded in it and were difficult to extract for use in a slideshow. Most contributors, even the experienced photographers, were unaware of the problems in their contributions.

I have revised the notes for placing on the WCC blog, because the slide steward is encountering similar problems in some of our contributions. If your projected images don’t look sharp or don’t fit the screen, please read on.

Fred Bullock, 23 June 09.

Introduction
Email is a handy vehicle for sending photos. Problems are unlikely if you use a tool like Photoshop to resize your pictures for emailing and then use the email application’s own attachment tool to attach it.

Unfortunately, many photos are spoiled by the obscure settings of other photo and email tools, usually by excessive resizing down to postcard or thumbnail size, which destroys detail, sharpness and quality. And some settings embed the photos in the email, making them difficult to extract and save in a slideshow.

These problems are not apparent to the sender unless looked for. To check, note the file size of the photo’s .jpg icon which is actually in the email’s attachments header, and double-click on it to inspect the picture (ignore any picture showing in the body of your email). If the photo’s icon is not in the attachments header, or if the file size is too large, or if it opens as a small or blurry or blotchy picture, please read on. Sometimes re-compression is not done until the email is saved or sent (eg compressing within MS Outlook), so also check the email when it is in the Draftbox , Outbox or Sent Items . (If you open an email which is in Outlook’s Outbox , you may have to click Send again, otherwise it will not be sent even when you click Send All .)

Please continue to use the finest settings on your cameras so you can tweak your photos and get high quality large prints occasionally. The photos are usually lightly compressed by the camera, to about 5 MByte size. However it’s easier to email photos if they are re-compressed carefully, such that sufficient quality is retained. They transmit faster and there is reduced congestion in the recipients’ mailboxes.

The settings for the email tools are usually adjustable, but often hidden. The settings described in this note yield photos fit for projection, yet they have about 200 to 400 kByte file size and are fairly easily emailed.

General guidelines, then guidelines for some Windows email tools and popular photo software are shown below. Moderate PC skills are assumed. The descriptions are cryptic, so it is best to follow those for your chosen compression tool while you operate it. The exact procedures may differ because of software upgrades or individual PC configurations.

General guidelines
Typical 10 Megapixel cameras take and store images about 3900 x 2600 pixels size, compressed with the JPEG algorithm from 30 MBytes to about 5 MBytes. By the way, JPEG is the Joint Photographic Experts Group of the International Standards Organization, and PCs use the .jpg suffix for the files.

Most resizing tools provide a combination of resampling and JPEG re-compression. The JPEG re-compression control is often just labelled “quality”. JPEG needs more processing power than resizing, but usually yields superior quality for the same file size.
The data projector resolution is W x H = 1024 x 768 pixels (also called XGA resolution). So, first set the resize control to fit a 1024 x 768 window.

Then set the JPEG compression quality to produce a compressed file size of about 200 to 400 kByte. Unlike resizing, JPEG compression does not reduce the image size (pixels) and largely retains the sharpness remaining after the resizing step. (If used excessively it causes randomly blotchy tones, or ripples at hard edges, and in extreme cases its 8×8 blocks of pixels become visible).

Unfortunately different tools have different descriptions of each level of JPEG compression (“quality”). Some tools show an estimated file size before doing the processing, but this can be very inaccurate. So a little trial and error may be needed – start again with your originals, not with the incorrectly compressed photos.

The email commands in some photo programs may not work with some email applications, sometimes merely because the default email setting of the PC and the application are inconsistent. Otherwise, there is usually an edit or export command that can be used instead. With all exporting or editing tools, take care not to overwrite your original photos. Some cameras store each photo twice, one version is highly compressed thumbnails for quick access on very slow computers. Do not use the highly compressed versions.

Some useful photo tools
Windows XP, Send To > Mail Recipient command
This is a simple and widespread tool, best used as follows. Right-click on the selected photo file icon(s) and select Send To > and Mail Recipient in the cascaded menus that appear. Then in the dialog box that appears, click Show more options… and click the Make all my pictures smaller and the Large (fits in a 1024 by 768 window) buttons. The JPEG compression quality is not adjustable. Click OK to create the email.

Windows Vista, Send To > Mail Recipient command
Right-click on the selected photo file icon(s) and select Send To > and Mail Recipient in the cascaded menus that appear. Then in the dialog box that appears, select Picture size: Medium: 1024 x 768. The JPEG compression quality is not adjustable. Click Attach to create the email. Beware that the Vista version of this application generates noticable fringing of some fine patterns, eg in photographs of feathers, but it is OK for general photography.

Picasa (a freeware photo manager, owned by Google)
Picasa fits horizontally oriented photos correctly to XGA resolution (WxH 1024×768) but incorrectly fits vertically oriented photos to WxH 768×1024, which is larger than required and these will be resampled by the club’s PC.

Picasa’s Email button must be set up before use. The email settings are stored in its Tools menu, Options dialog box, Email tab. Choose which email client is to be used. Set the resize slider full right (1024 pixels) and click the 1024 pixels button just below it. The JPEG compression quality is not adjustable. Make sure the Send as HTML storybook button is not ticked because it embeds the photos. Click OK to store the settings . Then select some photos and click the Email button to create an email.

Use the Export button if the email button doesn’t work with your email application or if you want more options. Select some photos and click Export . In the dialog, browse to a temporary export location, click Resize to and set to 1024 pixels, set Image Quality to Normal or to Minimum. Click OK to export the compressed photos. Attach the exported photos in your email application.

Microsoft Outlook (comes with MS Office Professional)
(This paragraph was contributed by an Outlook user.)
Create a new message and attach your photos with Insert , File command or the paperclip button (do not use Insert , Picture because that command embeds the photo in the mail message). Then click on the Attachment Options button next to the attachment line and select under Picture Options the picture size Large (1024 x 768 px) from the drop-down menu. The JPEG compression quality is not adjustable. The file size of the attached photos does not change at this stage, the smaller file size will be apparent only after saving to the Drafts folder or having pressed the Send button (look in your Sent Items folder or in the Outbox if the actual transmission is still pending). (If the Attachment Options button does not show, use the Options command to get it).

Microsoft Outlook Express etc
The Insert, File function is not available in Outlook Express, the lightweight version of Microsoft Outlook. Re-compress using a photo editing application and then attach the saved re-compressed photos with Outlook’s Insert , File Attachment command or the Attach (paperclip) button. Or use the Windows Send To > Mail Recipient command (see above), or the email command of a photo application.

Photoshop Elements
Open the picture and do the required cropping and editing (levels adjustments etc) before downsampling it.

Crop without resampling by selecting the crop tool and clicking the Clear button in its options bar, then do the cropping. To constrain the crop shape (eg to the projector shape) set suitably proportioned and easily remembered dimensions like 1024 cm x 768 cm and clear the Resolution: box. The units of size (cm, inches etc) do not matter for projection, but do not set dimensions in pixels (eg 1024 px x 768 px), because that will invoke downsampling before you have done the editing.

To resample an image (after editing it), in the Image menu choose Resize > Image Size. In the dialog box, select Resample Image , and choose Bicubic interpolation (and the options of superior interpolating filters or some sharpening may be available in later versions of PSE). Select Constrain Proportions . In Pixel Dimensions , enter values for width or height, choose pixels as the unit of measurement. Depending on the shape of your picture, set W = 1024 and check that H is 768 or less, or set H = 768 and check that W is 1024 or less. Click OK . The image will be shown as a smaller size on screen. Zoom in to check the quality. Some sharpening may improve the quality.

Save As a new file using the competition format for the filename. Select the JPEG format and tick ICC Profile. Click Save and in the next window select Medium or High quality and Baseline (Standard) format. Tick Preview to see an estimate of the file size, adjust the quality to change the size if required. Click OK.

Attach the picture(s) from within your email application. Or use Photoshop’s File menu, Attach to E-mail command which creates an email and attaches the current picture.

Irfanview
This is freeware, quite handy for slideshows and image file manipulations. Open the picture and in the Image menu select Resize/Resample… , and in the dialog box select or tick Set new size , pixels , Preserve aspect ratio , and Resample , and in the Resample filter box select the Lanczos filter. Depending on the shape of your picture, set Width = 1024 and check Height is 768 or less, or set Height = 768 and check Width is 1024 or less). Selecting Apply sharpen after Resample may give a better looking result. Click OK . Then Save as a new file using the competition format for the filename. In the Save Picture As … dialog box, tick the Show options dialog button to get more control, importantly it is possible to set the JPEG quality, eg to 90%. Check the file size and image quality after saving.

Other photo software
Please discuss it with us.

Software to avoid
Microsoft Office Picture Manager (comes with MS Office)
Be very wary with this application. When its edit tool is used for compression, it easily overwrites your originals even after you have saved the edited images under a new filename – always copy your originals before using this application and work only with the copies. Also, the edit tool or Picture button produce noticable fringing of fine detail (eg coarse ripples in photos of feathers)

There is little reason to use this application unless you want to edit your pictures – and there are alternatives for that.

However MS Vista users who have problems with fringing of fine patterns when using the Send To > Mail Recipient command may find this application solves the problem, but Picasa is much easier and safer to use for equivalent results.

Microsoft Picture It! (a lightweight photo editor that came with MS Works)
Avoid this tool entirely because it produces coarse and ugly fringing and blotchiness of fine detail (eg very coarse ripples in photos of feathers).

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Quick Compression to 1024×768 for Projection

by on Jul.22, 2009, under General

This quick guide to compressing images was provided by Fred and is available in PDF format if anyone wishes it. Please email me for a copy.

Quick compression to 1024×768 for projection.

Using Windows XP
In Windows Explorer, select the required photos and right click on the selection.

Select Send To > and Mail Recipient in the cascaded menus that appear.

Then in the dialog box that appears, click Show more options… .

Click the Make all my pictures smaller and the Large (fits in a 1024 by 768 window) buttons in the larger dialog box that appears.

Click OK . This will create an email with the compressed photo(s) attached.

Using Windows Vista
In Windows Explorer, select the required photos and right click on the selection.

Select Send To > and Mail Recipient in the cascaded menus that appear.

Then in the dialog box that appears, select Picture size: Medium: 1024 x 768.

Click Attach . This will create an email with the compressed photo(s) attached.

Finishing
Edit the email subject and text and send it, if required.

Or if you just wanted to compress the photo(s) without sending an email, copy and save the photo(s) in your PC (and delete the email).

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Rail Trails of Australia Calendar 2010.

by on Jul.22, 2009, under General

If anyone has any images suitable for this then please forward them as it would be nice to see a WCC member getting their images published in this calendar.

Rail Trails of Australia Calendar 2010.

Following the success of the 2009 calendar, Rail-trails Australia is producing a calendar for 2010 and we are now seeking high quality photographs of rail-trails across Australia.

lndividuals or organisations that send in the images used will receive two complimentary calendals for each image used.

This is a qreat opportunity for committees of management to promote your rail-trail or for a rail-trail enthusiast wanting to show a great image from their time on a rail-trail. We will also consider a photo of potential rail-trail if it is a particularly striking image and the trail has a strong prospect of opening in the near future.

Railtrails Australia will accept photos from both amateur and professional photographers, preferably taken in the last two years. Photographs should be suitable to print to at least A4 size, i.e. at least 4 megapixels of resolution and be landscape orientation.

Railtrail Australia will acknowledge the owner of the image if used in the calendar and retain the right to use all images submitted in future publications and/or on our website unless otherwise agreed with the owner.

For those of us that are not professional keep in mind that rail-trails are as much about people as much as the scenery so typically pictures should have trail users in them, preferably approaching the camera. Pictures have to appeal to a wide audience so a close up of family or friends may not be suitable.

Please send your photo files to the secretary at secretary@railtrails.org.au. Attachment size for each email should be limited to 4MB please. Alternatively submit CDs or prints to PO Box 2127 Oak Patk Vic 3046. Minimum information with each photo should be the location and approximate date it was taken. Closing date for submission of photos is Sunday 4th october 2009.

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