I love this effect on photographs. From what I can see it is cross processing mixed with a heavy vignette. If any one has a better insight into this technique, please let me know.
Pic Lens is an amazing plug-in for Firefox.
I hate Firefox plug-ins in general. Mostly they just make Firefox even more of a memory hog and add irritating toolbars, without providing extra functions you might actually want.
Pic Lens is just brilliant, though, if you browse pictures often. This is a screen shot of it in operation – it’s a Flickr page with an image selected.
It takes seconds to download and install this. As soon as you’ve restarted Firefox, you can go to any standard source of images (such as Flickr) and there’s a small red arrow in the bottom right of each image. Just click on the arrow and you are in a virtual gallery, with images shown 3 high along the walls. See the screen shot of the result of a search on Google images:
You just scroll around until you find what you want, zooming in and out and along the gallery by mouse actions. Click on an image to see it larger. (Admittedly, you have to go out to a normal view to find the URL or to comment, as far as I can see so far. I might just be too inexpert.)
It’s intuitive to use, once you stop looking irritatedly for a menu. You can work out the elegantly designed controls by trial and error if you’ve ever used a PC in the past decade. The screen looks beautiful. Images look much better on a black background with all the normal irritating screen bits and pieces.
But incredibly, it’s also really fast. It’s much faster than moving around Google or Flickr under your own steam.
I’ve only found three major drawbacks so far. As I already said, it doesn’t take you straight to the context URL, so you can’t find a website or comment on Flickr pictures from inside it. You have to close it to do anything else – which is difficult because the other drawback is that you can just get sucked into looking at thousands of images and always want to see just one more.
It is brilliant.
The Register reports on Technorati’s problems resulting from its redesign. It knocked itself out of operation (surely not unprecedented for Technorati. I thought it let its imaginary Monster out to ravage it every weekend)
The Register argues that Technorati has more or less given up on indexing blogs and concentrated on images.
So what was always a lousy blog search tool is now little more than a lousy image search tool – this is not going to worry Yahoo! or Google
I hope not. For all my whining about it, Technorati is pretty useful.
It has been a while since I posted some quick edit photographs here, so I will try to make amends. These are two photographs of Stonehenge (World Heritage site in Wiltshire) I took in December when the ground was frosty and the visitors were thin on the ground. I have pushed them through a variety of Photoshop filters to create the additional effects:
On an additional note, in addition to massive visitor numbers, Stonehenge is often inundated by “druids” and new-age hippies in the summer, come the cold weather and they are noticeable by their absence. For some reason the idea that Stonehenge is a “summer” monument.
I can understand, say, 50 years ago, people thinking this but surely almost all modern studies point to any religious significance of this site being focused on the midwinter solstice?
I should point out, there are die-hards who turn up for the midwinter solstice – even if they don’t know what the correct date is – but no where near the scale of the midsummer one.
Maybe modern people just cant take the cold as well….
[tags]Stonehenge, Photographs, Pictures, Images, Photoshop, Image Effects, Black White, Sepia, Megaliths, English Heritage, National Trust, Wiltshire, Druids, Solstice, Midwinter, Midsummer, World Heritage Site, Religion, Stone Age, Cults, Culture, Society[/tags]
Playing with Lightroom a bit more (and a sunny day) has resulted in a new Flash-based photo gallery (Stourhead Gallery – needs flash player). At the moment these are the basic pictures taken earlier today with no editing. It took about 5 minutes to copy the files off the SD-Card, into Lightroom, create the gallery and upload. The first and last stages were the slowest.
Now, I think I should point out that although I like Lightroom (a lot), I have no intention of buying this when the beta runs out. As a free tool it is fantastic. I am not sure I would be willing to pay for this functionality though.
If I was a professional photographer with no IT Skills it may be worth while, but given the ease with which you can create similar sites (flash or otherwise), it strikes me this is a shrinking market. Adobe may have been better giving this away and charging for support.
To try and change the subject away from Religious crackpots for a little while, I thought I would upload some photos! Here are a selection from Stonehenge and Stourhead. As you can see these are quite old photos which have been scanned in.
Ok, in reality, they have been run through Adobe Lightroom which is actually a wonderful bit of software. I downloaded the beta version quite some time ago but never really made any use of it. Today I had a reminder it was going to expire on 28 Feb so I thought I would try it out.
It is not a photo / picture editing package along the lines of Photoshop but it is excellent for photo management and applying quick preset filters to pictures. This one is called “Antique Grayscale” and seems to be a mix of normal greyscale and sepia tones. I quite like the effect 🙂
Where Lightroom really excells is in creating Web Sites for photo galleries. It is amazing how easily this will take a collection of picures and turn them into a functional, usable (valid XHTML!) website. There is only limited control (in the beta version) over the exact style but the look and feel is good enough that most people wont mind. If you are a graphic artist or photographer, and want a quick and easy website, this package really is the best I have seen. Before my trial version runs out, I fully intend to upload some sample sites so you can see the output. At the moment I did two quick sites (one flash gallery and one html gallery) which are now online. Remember, you need ActiveX and flash player to view the flash site in IE.
As a rule of thumb, a site with 28 pictures takes about 30 seconds to select the pictures, a few mins to type in some basic details and then another 30 seconds to build the site. It really is that quick. The longest part is uploading the images!
This is pretty much software that anyone who can actually copy a image to their computer, can use to create photo galleries in seconds.