Affinity Photo Panoramas: A Quick Tip

Hi Folks:

A little while back we did a post on Affinity Photo, HDR and Panoramas; this is a follow-up of sorts to that.

Marcia and I were out at Rithet’s Bog recently and among the images made that day I took six images that were made into a panorama. When one creates a panorama in Affinity Photo (or any other panorama program), the software uses control points (matching features in two or more images) to bend, stretch, twist and manipulate the individual images into something resembling one image. In the film days this was called a photo-mosaic and its completion was much more complicated. In any event, the result inevitably ends up with having some ragged edges, depending on how well one lines up the base images. An example:

Continue Reading →

Affinity Photo, HDR and Panoramas

Hi Folks:

I’ll be the first to admit there’s a lot about colour I don’t know, so feel free to correct me if I misstep. I have a Sony A7RIII, Capture One Pro for Sony 20.1 and Affinity Photo 1.8.3.

NB: I can’t see what you’re seeing because your monitor is different. Also, these are sRGB .jpg screen captures of what I’m seeing. Still, there’s value in comparing them to each other.

Since Lightroom (Lr) 6.14 doesn’t work very well with my .arw files, I’ve been using Affinity Photo (AP) to combine my HDRs and panoramas. I’ve learned a few things. I took nine images made last October to play with. None of this is worth keeping, but it’s good to play with.

Continue Reading →

Earth Day, 2020

Hi Folks: We wrote this as one of our first ‘He Says, She Says…” posts back in 2010. What we each wrote then is still relevant today. Here’s what we had to say then: Marcia’s View / Mike’s View

Be well, and wherever you are, remote hugs from US!!

M&M
_____
Following is our original post from 2010:

Hello, Dear Reader:

Well, today is Sunday, April 25, so this is the last official day of ‘Earth Week 2010‘.  Of course, as the adage goes, we should all make every day Earth Day.  We’ve had some fun this week, taking part in several of the various local activities.  On Earth Day itself we stayed close to home but we were at the Earth Day Parade yesterday and at the local Sierra Club’s Earth Fest today.  So, with that in mind we thought we’d make the topic of today’s ‘He Says, She Says‘ post about ‘Earth Day’.

Have a great week!

Hugs,
M&M

Follow these links to read what He Says/She Says: Marcia’s View / Mike’s View

Rayna, the Robot Loves You Too…

Just ask the Skin Horse. He knows the truth of these things.

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. This reminds us of the story of the father and son who went fishing in a quarry where everyone knew there were no fish. They caught four.

Share Virtual Hugs With Loved Ones…

Hi Folks:

Free Hugs, March 1, 2020

As we mentioned in our last Free Hugs post, this is our 11th calendar year of sharing hugs with locals and visitors to our fair city. However, as the world closed down we – reluctantly – put our posters away, at least for now. In a given hugs session we have the privilege of meeting and interacting with people from up to a dozen countries, but that’s obviously not appropriate at the moment. After our last Free Hugs session we did our self-isolation bit for 14 days. We’re fine; hugs are great medicine. 🙂 Continue Reading →

Happy π Day!!

Hi Folks:

Happy Pi Day (3-14)! Today, devotees around the world dedicate themselves to the pursuit of all things irrational, and of course, really good desserts. BTW, if you want to know what the first 1,000,000 digits of π are, you can find that at the link.

As we have in previous years, we’re going to celebrate today with some pi(e). Since Marcia has grain sensitivities we’re going to forego the crust, and since we’ve already profiled Michael Smith’s wonderful Potato Bacon Cheddar Tart, we’re going to choose something equally savoury instead: shepherd’s pie. The recipe we’re using today comes from the folks at America’s Test Kitchen, here: Cast Iron Shepherd’s Pie.

NB: They did provide this recipe free for two days, but that period is now over. You can still view it by signing up for a free trial. That of course is up to you. As for us, it’s been so long since either of us have eaten ground beef we don’t remember the last time, but shepherd’s pie has been a comfort food recipe in both of our families for generations. We thought of using ground turkey instead, but we thought we’d go all out. We’re using organic corn instead of peas and while we usually replace potatoes with yams, we did find some lovely organic potatoes to use here. We’ll see how it goes!

Cast Iron Shepherd's Pie
Cast Iron Shepherd’s Pie

Okay, that’s it for now. Enjoy Pi Day, however you celebrate it! For more of our Pi Day posts (and recipes) click here.

Remember to hug the ones you love today. If you can’t hug a stranger, then at least offer them a smile. 🙂

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. While you’re wandering around the Cook’s Illustrated site, watch out for their Cast Iron Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!!

Happy Random Acts of Kindness Week!!

Hi Folks:

This is Day 3 of Random Acts of Kindness Week! Monday, being Family Day, of course we went out hugging. As mentioned in a previous post, 2020 marks our 11th calendar year of hugging locals and tourists alike – our 11th year begins officially on June 9, 2020 😉

Continue Reading →

Hugging 2020: Bringing Vision

Hi Folks:

We’ve had so much rain this January that yesterday was our first opportunity to go out hugging this year. We’re not complaining – we’ll appreciate the water supply come summer – but it has put a damper (so to speak) on our hugging activities! Marcia has designated 2020 as a year of vision for her, and 2020 begins our 11th calendar year of sharing hugs with both locals and visitors to our fair city. So far we’ve shared hugs with people from (at least) 88 countries, and just yesterday we got to meet and share hugs with people from Australia, Canada, France, Mexico, Slovakia, U.S. and Venezuela! All of this within the space of an hour. It continues to amaze and delight us. We also had our first vehicle passenger hug for 2020, where a car pulls over, a passenger gets out, runs over for a hug, then dashes back to the car!

Many thanks for all of the smiles, waves, vehicle honks and special thanks to those who took a few moments out of their lives to share them with us. We offer but people have to come to us. We really appreciate it when you do!!

Hugs,
M&M

An Unusual Lightroom Problem… And Solution

Hi Folks:

Last fall we were at Hatley Gardens at Royal Roads University and (among other works) I made some bracketed images for building HDR panoramas. Unfortunately, due to a technical error (the nut behind the camera) I violated one of the basic tenets of making panoramas: always use manual exposure. As such, for one of my panorama images (made from two bracketed sets of exposures), the right group of images came out visibly lighter than the left. Compare the large Douglas fir in both images:

In current versions of Lightroom one can make HDR panoramas in one step, but in my older version I have to do this in two steps. No matter. The challenge was that when I joined the two HDR composites together, it was easy to see where the join between them is:

What to do? Fortunately, Lightroom has a built-in solution, although it’s not well known. In the Library module one selects the group of images involved (two in this case) and moves to the Develop module. Under Settings, about ½ way down the menu, click on Match Total Exposures. We did a blog post on this back several years ago (Match Total Exposures in Lightroom) if you want to know more. Basically the tool works only with the Exposure slider, and – using the most selected image as a baseline – adjusts the exposure of the other selected image(s) to match. In this case it turned down the exposure on the image on the right by ¾ stop:

Comparing the above two images you can see that they’re much more in line with each other. This time when I combined the two into a panorama the results were much more even:

Finally, after setting the white balance and pushing the image around a bit we come to the final output:

Japanese Garden, Royal Roads University

Okay, that’s it for now. Go out and make some photographs!

Hugs,
M&M

For Auld Lang Syne

Hi Folks: This is a re-post of one from six years ago. Unfortunately Google+ no longer exists, but we’ve left the link as it’s the only one we have to the original reference. May 2020 bring you all that you intend!!

Hugs,
M&M
_____

Hi Folks:

Many have heard at least the beginnings of the song ‘For Auld Lang Syne’, but not as many are familiar with the words or their meaning. We came across this ‘wee translation’ from Dolidh Young on Google+ and wanted to share it with you. Her post is here: https://plus.google.com/+DolidhYoung/posts/HuugfJV5sYX Continue Reading →