Web and PC related

The internet is a place where I spend a huge amount of time, to learn, to be inspired, to promote, and to get appreciation. Mainly photography related. Of course I have a website (the one you are looking at now) and a Facebook page. I use both to show and promote my work. Next to my Facebook page I also have a personal Facebook account with which I visit photography related groups. In these groups I post photos to get feedback and to discuss about my work and that from others. It is a nice way to spend your spare time if nothing better presents itself.

Curator Websites

But next to these I also participate on several other websites. Mainly what they call curator websites. For those not familiar with curator websites, these are sites where you can post your work and other people, sometimes other members, and sometimes professionals, will comment on, and criticize your work. And you as submitter hope to receive good critiques and comments, as in peers who appreciate your work. Every curator website has its own way of handling these comments and critique (CC). Some award you for the number of likes, and others are mainly driven by the judgement of the website administrators.

Competition Websites

Next to the curator websites I also try my luck once in a while by joining a competition. There are several examples that you can find on the internet. My impression is that they differ a lot. Not only in the prices they award but also in the way they judge your work. There are photo competitions that are mainly judged by other members and in my opinion that is all about the number of friends or followers you have. The more you promote your work the more votes

I got a nice email today. My colleague pointed out a weekly competition from Digifoto Pro a photo magazine and I tried my luck. So I uploaded one photo and guess what, I won. So today they notified me by email that I won a Joby GripTight GorillaPod Video. It’s always nice to win a price and especially when you try for the first time. What is also nice, is that they promote it a lot as well, so for me that is some nice exposure, on the web, Facebook, Twitter and so on. The photo I uploaded was from my bearded series of self portraits.

For the first time I joined a competition at Gurushots. “Dazzling Portraits” was the name of the competition and I joined while it was already halfway so I missed a few voting rounds. Although I still managed to get up to the 13th place out of 2952 competitors. Not a bad first time, right? So I am aiming for next time, and hopefully I have more luck. Currently I am in a new competition named “Surprising Yellow” and I am on the 5th place at the moment. So fingers crossed.

For the third time one of my photos has been published on 1x.com. This is so great, I’m thrilled and feeling very proud. It also make my mind spinning in circles trying to figure out what to do next. I do realize I cannot drain this series for ever and I do have to come up with something new.  But I definitely will try to get more photos published on 1x.com. As soon as I have new ideas I will let you all know. For now I will just be enjoying my little success.

I’m really happy to announce that my second photo has been published on OneExposure 1x.com. After I had a photo published last week I was bold enough to try a second one and success! It’s a photo from the same series and is seems that this series is a winner. So I will continue being bold and by the end of the week I will submit a third one. Hopefully with the same success.

It is great to receive all the positive comments and remarks as soon as you get published. On other websites I get many request for an explanation on how I get the effect done. I never realized that I was actually doing something extraordinary. Yes of course I liked the end results and the effect otherwise I would not create the images the way I do, but now it seems  that the manipulation that I use is special is such a way that it makes people wonder.

I actually prepared a video that shows the actual steps to achieve this result but at the moment I am reluctant to put it online. Almost a bit afraid to give away the secret of this ‘Pisa-effect’. More to come I hope.

I tried, many, many times to get a publication on 1x.com and now… my first publication on 1x.com is a fact. I finally managed to get published and wow, does that makes me feel proud.

I submitted a self portrait from the bearded series which I made a week ago. After I received many good comments and critique on several other websites, I thought “what the heck” lets try on 1x. So I uploaded my ‘self portrait’ on 1x.com and was hoping for the best. I discovered that they show you some sort of score while your photo is under curation and in the beginning it kept on 75%, not knowing if this was a good or bad thing I was just hoping for the best. Then I started to receive curator comments, which were kind of good but my score dropped under 65%, so what the hell was going on. Was I again missing the boat? And then out of the blue, I received an email congratulating me with my publication on 1x.com

Looking at the comments I got on my other work form the same series I will be trying to still my hunger for more by submitting the others for curation also….

check this link for my publication on 1x.com

For a while I have been looking for a good before and after plugin that can show a before and after photo in WordPress. And I think I just found it. (link) Unfortunately it is a plugin of which the support stopped 4 years ago. But nevertheless I decided to give it a try. And after some tweaking (mostly due to my own theme) I got it working the way I want. Show please see below for a few examples. I used the shots of last week which i made for project 50mm.

Just move the slider which is initial in the middle of the photo to the left or the right to see the before or the after version of the photo. Or use the links directly under the photo. Please let me know if you like the way the plugin works and I’m also curious what you think of the way how I processed the photos. So please leave your comments at the end of this post.

Nicki Joan Betty

Today I went live with frozentimes.net version 5.0.

A complete new look & feel.
A new user interface.
A new approach to blogging.
A new gallery backend.

I am hoping that by replacing the gallery backend the whole site will gain in performance (speed) and it will be easier for me to maintain the gallery and export photos from my library software to the website.

Further more I felt like that the design was outdated. I went from a traditional way of presenting blog posts (top to bottom) to a magazine style.

See the images below.



I also added a new way to search. You now can search thru the articles and the photos. Or just the articles or just the photos. Change the mode by clicking the small icons next to the search button. ()

About navigation, there also a few things changed. You now can flip thru the pages with [shift][left arrow] and [shift][right arrow], you can use the same key combination for flipping thru the posts and the gallery pages.

If you open the photos in large format you can flip thru them with just the arrow keys [arrow left], [arrow right].

I also decided to abandon my old ‘bumper’page. And I am sure I am going to miss it. For old times sake, I left it on the server (it can be found here)

 

Leaves me to thank my ‘nerding’ buddy Jeroen for all the help and the advice whilst building this new template.

I do hope you enjoy the new version, so please let me know your thoughts on the new design via the comments form at the bottom of this post.

I was looking for a good noise reduction tool. When I looked on the internet it was not clear to me what would be the best program, so I did some testing.
My main goal is to reduce most of the noise without the use of all the fancy settings. Personally I do not hate some noise in my pictures. Probably because I own a Canon 5D which doesn’t generate much noise at all. But the main reason why I’m looking for noise reduction software has to do with HDR. When I generate a HDR image I always get more noise in my images then I wished for. So I am in need of some good noise reduction tool

Don’t expect too much of this mini test. Basically what I did was the following, I opened the original photo with the appropriate program or plug-in (within Adobe Photoshop CS4). If the program or plug-in had an automatic setting I used that. If not I only used the most basic adjustments/settings to get a decent result. Maybe I am just lazy, but hey I don’t want to spend my precious time with reducing noise.

So the image on the top left is a crop of the original HDR file. (the un-cropped image can be found in the following article Curacao misty water HDR). The other images are the results of one of the following tools:

  • Noise Ninja 2.2.1 (Stand Alone)
  • Noise Ware 2.6 (Stand Alone)
  • Noise Ware 4.2 (Photoshop plug-in)
  • Photoshop CS4 (Stand Alone)
  • Lightroom 3 (Stand Alone)
  • NikSoft Dfine 2 (Photoshop plug-in)
  • Neat Image Pro 6.0 (Stand Alone)
  • Topaz Denoise 4(Photoshop plug-in)

The most important thing for me is that I don’t loose any important details in the photo, so that is one of the things I based my conclusion

I have added 2 new galleries which are accessible via the top menu. These galleries are dynamic, so the content is different every time you visit them.

The first is filled with the most recent photos, the second is filled with with random photos. Use the links on the top of this page to see the content.

Google together with Life magazine has published a photo archive of over more then 2 million photos. They promise that this collection will expand to 8 million.

Check it out via this link: http://images.google.com/hosted/life.

In this collection you will find photos that were published in Life magazine and also many unknown, never published before photos. Many of my favourite photographers can be found in this collection. It is a delight to scan thru the immense database.

If you experience dark and flat colors when you print to your Canon Selphy from Adobe Lightroom, don’t worry. There is a easy solution to fix this problem.

You need an ICC printer profile. And you need to activate it in Lightroom.
Tested on a Canon Selphy ES-30 (but should give same result on older models)

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Download the profile canon-selphy.icc.
  2. Save it somewhere on your PC where you will be able to find it again.
  3. Go to the file and double click it. (or right click and choose ‘install profile’)
  4. Then open Lightroom and select the photos that you want to print to your Canon Selphy.
  5. Got to the print module and on the right side scroll down to ‘color management’
  6. There you can set your profile, click on the arrows next to ‘managed by printer’ and choose ‘other’, the ‘Canon Selphy.icc’ should be in the list. If not something went wrong at step 3.
  7. Make sure you set the other settings like ‘page setup’ and everything else you want to change
  8. Press print.

You should have a photo printed by your Canon Selphy that has the right colors and the right contrast.

Hope this helped.

And if you want to read more about ICC profiles then follow this link International Color Consortium.

UPDATE:
I have found an ICC profile for the Selphy CP720. I do not have that model but maybe you do and is this file helpfull. Use the file following the method described above.
Download the profile Selphy-CP720-OK.icc.

I bought a Canon Selphy, a small photo printer that is easy to use and compact in storage. After some consideration I decided to go for the ES30 model, due to the fact that I do not need the internal storage. So I didn’t need the ES3 model which was more expensive.

The first test was a print from a memory card that can be plugged into the device. And I have to say I was slightly impressed (looking at the price / quality ratio). Then I decided to place the photo on my PC and connect the Selphy via an USB cable and print via the Lightroom print module. I used the included software, Ulead Photo Express LE. I got the same result as when I printed from the memory card.

After toying a bit with Photo Express I decided to try printing via Adobe Lightroom 2.0. I used the printer module in LR and I was shocked by the result. The photos were too dark, did not had any contrast, and the colors were too flat. Huge problem! All my work is stored in Lightroom and if I want to print something, I would like to do this via Lightroom.

Several searches via Google did not bring my any result. So I decided to call the Canon service center, big mistake! Total waste of money! A very rude conversation via the telephone, and no solution was given. But I will spare you the details.

After several more searches I found an article that described a similar problem but for an older Selphy model. They writer suggested to use an ICC profile. I could have figured that out by myself. But the problem is that you need expensive hard- and software to create a good profile.

Then in another

After I had uploaded a new Photo on gallery.zoom.nl it was voted Photo of the day. After a few days it even became photo of the week. Unfotunately I did not make it to photo of the month , but hey personally I am a bit proud.

When you click on the thumbnail on the left you will find a screenshot of the website. It is the series of my mum that people voted on.

The final score was a 9.8 out of 10.