Really Big Download

Really Big Download

That’s right it’s over a Two GigaByte download for the new Windows 10. I have no idea how long that will take with my DSL going full blast. And that’s not that fast.

Personally I’m going to wait a while. If you have downloaded Windows 10 already let us know how it went.

April 2014 Meeting Beginner’s Digital Photography SIG

GPS Embedded With My Tracks and GeoTag Photos Pro

GPS Embedded With My Tracks and GeoTag Photos Pro

SIG Leader: John Krill #3160

We had 8 members at the meeting.

Video For The Day

Showed a short video that explains where the term ISO was derived. Interesting stuff. The photographer, Nick Carver, that explained ISO is local. He has an office/classroom in Tustin, CA. http://www.nickcarverphotography.com/.

Geotagging Your Photos

Many of us have digital cameras that have no GPS built-in but we still want to have GPS data embedded into our digital photos.

Today we had a demonstration of two GPS tracking apps for the Android.

My Tracks

The first is a free app from Google called My Tracks. My Tracks is a general use GPS tracker. Take it on walks and you can keep track of how far you walked, total time of the walk, how fast, the calories consumed. You can view your walk overlaid on Google maps. For photographers you can upload a GPX file that can be used to embed GPS data into your photos. Because the GPX file type is not the default for My Tracks you need to select Export from the menu and then to make it easier for the photographer use the Share option and send the file to yourself. Once that was figured out the app became very useful. It has a simple interface and is easy to use. It’s a recommend.

Geotag Photos Pro

The second program that was shown is called GeoTag Photos Pro. The app works with both Apple and Andriod tablets. The app cost $3.99 when purchased through the Google Play store. Unlike My Tracks GeoTag Photos Pro is strickly for photographers. Once you’re through with your picture taking just stop the app. Then upload the GPX file. It will send a GPX file to the email address you specified during setup.

While preparing this report I went searching for Windows desktop apps that could be used to embed GPS data into photos and avoid using Adobe Lightroom. I found a couple Windows apps that worked and I will report on these apps in a future post. What I did find was the web site for GeoTag Photos Pro. It’s: http://www.geotagphotos.net/. I mention this because they have a Windows and Apple desktop apps that you can use to embed your GPS data from the GPX file you created on your iPhone or Android device. All you need to do is log-in using the Username and Password you created when you first setup the app on your tablet. You don’t even need the GPX file you sent to yourself because they KEEP a copy at their site and use it to embed the GPS data into your photos. All I can say is that it’s easy to use but I think their desktop app works only with JPG files. Haven’t tested with other image formats.

Geotag Photos Pro is easy to use with a simple interface. It’s a recommend.

Note: We paid $3.99 for the Pro version but at the web site it states the cost at $4.99.

Note 09 April 2014: Found a list of supported file types at the Geotag Photos Pro web site. Geotag Photos Pro supports the following file formats: jpg, nef, cr2, crw, dcr, ciff, erf, orf, k25, kdc, mef, mrw, nrw, pef, raf, tif, tiff, raw, arw, rw2, srf, sr2, srw, x3f, dng.

They do support RAW camera formats. Desktop Geotag Photos Pro supports more than 40 RAW files formats, including most common NEF, CRW, CR2, RAW, RW2 and so on.

New Method For Cleaning Your Camera’s Sensor

Showed a youtube video that demonstrated the use of the Sensor Gel Stick. If you are interested then do a search a youtube for: How To Clean A DSLR Sensor: Sensor Gel Stick. You can also go to the web site: http://photographylife.com/product/sensor-gel-stick.

The SIG Blog. I have a link, on the sidebar of the blog, to a youtube playlist for videos I recommend to the SIG members. One of those videos is the above mentioned. Nick Caver videos are also listed. I recommend them.

May Meeting

I will continue to show one or two youtube videos at the beginning of the meeting.

I will demonstrate the additional features I discovered for Geotag Photos Pro.

PS: You have any ideas?

Standard Stuff That Is Always In This Report

If you have a special request for information regarding digital photography let me know. E-mail me using the address listed below.

Check out the SIG BLog for other information and maybe info on what we will discuss at the next meeting.

As always we will answer any and all questions.

If you have a special request for information regarding digital photography let me know. E-mail me using the address listed below.

See you at the next meeting.

Where the Pictures From The Main Meeting Go To Die

Note: I am using a new Web location for the photos I take at the meeting. I now upload the photos I take to Microsoft OneDrive and Flickr. A link will be put here every month to the folder location with the current month’s photos.

OneDrive Photos for the April 2014 Club Meeting: http://1drv.ms/1oHA3UO
Flickr Photos for April 2014 Club Meeting: http://tinyurl.com/lpcogsu

SIG BLog: https://nocccbgphotosig.wordpress.com/

Email: noccc.bgphotosig@gmail.com

November Meeting Beginner’s Digital Photography SIG

SIG Leader: John Krill #3160

We had 8 members at the meeting.

Shutterfly

The holidays are upon us and we all need holiday cards and gifts such as calendars. Shutterfly provides us with a way to send out photos of the family, as calendars and cards, especially those that aren’t confident with the computer.

For this meeting I brought in two examples of Shutterfly products and demonstrated how to create holiday cards.

Calendars are a specialty of Shutterfly. I show a 12-month calendar and a one-year poster calendar.

Everything on Shutterfly starts with the picture. Once the pictures are uploaded to Shutterfly you then create your card, calendar, etc using Shutterfly templates.

The two calendars I created for the meeting arrived in less than a week.

We discovered that the 12-month calendar had one picture that was not printed properly. So Monday morning I got on the Shutterfly web site and used the Customer Service links to report the problem with the calendar. The customer service links are at the bottom of the page. Once I figured out how to send in a report it took another two days of back and forth messaging before they provided me with a procedure to get a replacement calendar. Even though they put a RUSH on the order it took the same number of days to get the replacement as it did to get the original calendar.

I was not required to send back the bad calendar.

Sending Photos Via E-Mail

Even though we talked about sending pictures through e-mail I’m again putting it in the minutes because of the holidays coming up, especially Thanksgiving.

One member has been having problems sending photos via email. Suggested they ZIP all the photos into one file and send them via Adobe’s SendNow. Some e-mail providers the size of attachments to e-mail and others limit the number of attachments to an e-mail. Some even do both.

By using SendNow you by pass both of these restrictions. Your photos are sent via SendNow and held until the recipient downloads them.

December Meeting

Not sure at this time what we will be talking about in the December meeting. Maybe something to do with Christmas.

I still want to do a ‘Walk About.’ Didn’t I say that last month? Bring your camera and we’ll walk about and see what kind of picture taking problems we can find and maybe answer.

If you have specific picture taking problems then bring your camera and just maybe we can solve your problem.

Standard Stuff That Is Always In This Report

If you have a special request for information regarding digital photography let me know. E-mail me using the address listed below.

Check out the SIG BLog for other information and maybe info on what we will discuss at the next meeting.

As always we will answer any and all questions.

If you have a special request for information regarding digital photography let me know. E-mail me using the address listed below.

See you at the next meeting.

Note: I am using a new Web location for the photos I take at the meeting. I now upload the photos I take to Microsoft SkyDrive and Flickr. A link will be put here every month to the folder location with the current month’s photos.

SkyDrive Photos for the November 2013 Club Meeting: http://sdrv.ms/1aWl7Jl.
Flickr Photos for November 2013 Club Meeting: http://tinyurl.com/lvzhbgz.

SIG BLog: https://nocccbgphotosig.wordpress.com/

Email: noccc.bgphotosig@gmail.com

Erick Wolf, President of Air Wolf 3D, Demos Their 3D Printer

Erick Wolf, standing behind an Air Wolf 3D Printer.

Erick Wolf, standing behind an Air Wolf 3D Printer.

Our August 11 speaker was Erick Wolf, President of Airwolf 3D. who talked about 3D printing. Based in Costa Mesa, they manufacture open rigid frame 3D printers and printer kits. To see the type of machines they manufacture, go to http://www.airwolf3D.com. It appears that the printer can use eight different types of plastics.

Their 3D printer is $1,695 while comparable units are $19,000.

3D printing can be used for rapid prototyping and models. The objects are built up layer by layer based on engineering drawings from a computer. It looks like they are using one of the Arduino related controller boards and the software they offer is open source.

Eric is also an intellectual property attorney and has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.

On the 3D printer is a completed turbine that was printed in less time than Erick’s talk. Like fast.

July 2013 Beginning Digital Photography SIG Report

SIG Leader: John Krill #3160

It was a small group that met this Sunday. I suspect the reason was the July 4th was a long weekend.

One question I couldn’t answer was: Can you arrange your images in the order you want for a Slideshow? Will have to look into this and put up an answer on the SIG Blog: nocccbgphotosig.wordpress.com.

Lightroom 5 (LR5)

There is one really cool new tool in LR5. It’s a new version of perspective correction. I demonstrated what this tool could do on one of my own photos. In previous versions of LR you need to use the manual mode to correct for any distortions in the image. You still can manually correct distortation  in LR5 but always try the AUTO mode first.

The best way to see what’s new in LR5 go to Adobe and examine the videos for LR5. A good starting point at Adobe is: http://tinyurl.com/l9mpvlf.

LR5 Lens and Perspective Adjustment Before and After Using The Auto Mode

RAW Image Before Perspective Correction

Image After Using Auto Mode

Notice there is some cropping. I’ve set LR5 to automatically crop the image (Constrain Crop) to eliminate white space.

The New Flickr

Because of the small size of the group I didn’t go to deeply into Flickr but because of the amount of storage now available, one terabyte, this may be a good place to store your photos. In August I will go deeper into Flickr’s possibilities.

Questions and Comments

Touch Screen Laptops

It was good to see someone at the club WANTED a laptop with the touch screen option. Only problem was he wants a laptop with a 17” screen and Dell didn’t have the Touch option for the 17” laptop.

Keep bringing in your questions. It really is the fun part of being a SIG Leader – answering question.

August Meeting

We will continue to take a look at Flickr. It’s changed but are the changes an improvement?

I still want to do a ‘Walk About.’ Didn’t I say that last month? Bring your camera and we’ll walk about and see what kind of picture taking problems we can find and maybe answer.

If you have specific picture taking problems then bring your camera and just maybe we can solve your problem.

Adobe Lightroom or A New SIG Maybe

I got so wrapped up in the Print Test that I forgot all about trying to start a new Lightroom SIG. No one showed up at Irvine Hall and complained about the lack of a meeting. So what follows is just a repeat of last month. I STILL want to try and get some kind of Lightroom SIG.

It will be at 12 Noon in Science 131. I plan to start at the very beginning and gradually go through the entire program in the coming months.

Note: I’ve changed the room location to Science 131. Since both photo SIGs meet in this room I’ve decided to add Lightroom to the list.

Or maybe only experienced Lightroom users will show up and we then can discuss just about anything related to Lightroom.

Or maybe it will be a little bit of both.

Sadly, for me, no one showed up for the July meeting. Maybe a little more publicity will help. Can’t give up yet.

If you’re interested in a Lightroom SIG then e-mail me at: noccc.bgphotosig@gmail.com

Standard Stuff That Is Always In This Report

If you have a special request for information regarding digital photography let me know. E-mail me using the address listed below.

Check out the SIG BLog for other information and maybe info on what we will discuss at the next meeting.

As always we will answer any and all questions.

If you have a special request for information regarding digital photography let me know. E-mail me using the address listed below.

We had 2 members at our SIG meeting.

See you at the next meeting.

Note: I am using a new Web location for the photos I take at the meeting. I now upload the photos I take to Microsoft SkyDrive. A link will be put here every month to the folder location with the current month’s photos.

SkyDrive Photos for the July 2013 Club Meeting: http://sdrv.ms/13v7P63.

Flickr Photos for July 2013 Club Meeting: http://tinyurl.com/m9nxh9x.

SIG BLog: https://nocccbgphotosig.wordpress.com/

Email: noccc.bgphotosig@gmail.com

It Sure Is Getting Cloudy Around Here

Cloud Hunters

Cloud Hunters

by John S. Krill 3160 NOCCC
Beginning Digital Photography SIG Leader

It seems that every time I install a program or get an account online I’m offered free online, or cloud, storage.  For me it totals 25 GBytes of cloud storage. And that’s using a single account at each location. And it’s all free.

I don’t use cloud storage for file backup. It’s primary usage is to share my photos and documents with others.

Lets list what I have in cloud storage and what I get for free.

  • Amazon Cloud Storage, 5 GBytes Free.
  • Microsoft SkyDrive, 7 GBytes Free.
  • Google Drive, 5 GBytes Free
  • Google+, 5 GBytes Free.
  • Adobe Online Storage, 2 GBytes Free.

It should be noted that all this free storage is a floating situation. What I mean is what you get for free at these locations is in constant flux. For example Microsoft SkyDrive was 15 GBytes and has been shrinking since I first signed up for an Hotmail/Live account. Google Drive was 10 GBytes and Google+ was 2 GBytes. Both are now 5 GBytes.

More than one account. At Microsoft Live I have more than one account. Though one is for my NOCCC photos and the other is my only personal account. But still I use both accounts to store pictures. I think I have 5 accounts at Google with one being the NOCCC e-mail account for my Photo SIG. At Google Drive and Google+ I use only one personal account.

Which of these I actually use varies. At Microsoft Live I use both accounts. And for all you Microsoft haters I actually like their could storage the best.  Not just it’s size but how you can assign sharing for what you store there. It’s very flexible. Google+ is the fun one. I enjoy how I can display photos. It’s sharing right is basic but it works. Now that Google+ maximum free storage has been increased from 2 GBytes to 5 GBytes is a big plus what with the file size of photos these days.

Automatic upload. Both Amazon Cloud Storage and Google Drive use automatic upload of files. Save a file to their special folders and the file will be uploaded automatically. Correction: Microsoft SkyDrive also has automatic upload but I haven’t used it. Yet.

What I don’t use. Adobe.

I’m considering doing a more detailed review of all these cloud services. So stay tuned.

More clouds on the way. I’m sure there are more free online storage sites out there. What are you using and what’s your opinion?

Is New Better?

StartMenuOld

Start Button used in previous versions of Windows.

Is Windows 8 New Start Screen Better Than Older Windows Start Button?

by John Krill NOCCC 3160

If you are a Windows RT tablet or phone user you may like the new Start Screen because it looks and acts like a Windows tablet and phone. If you have used Windows in the past you might not like the new Windows 8 Start Screen.

I’ve been using Windows 8 and it’s new Start Screen for about 3 weeks and I’m still not completely liking it.

My Reasons Are As Follows:

First naming conventions: In past Windows we had the Start Button and in the new Windows 8 we have the Start Screen. For this article then ‘Start Button’ is old versions of Windows and ‘Start Screen’ is the new Windows 8 version. Confusing? It should be.

1. The Start has been Balkanized.

No longer is everything you had in the old Start Button in the Windows 8 Start Screen. You want to ‘Shutdown’ that’s inside all Charm menus and the Power Icon. Want to ‘Log Off’ then go to the Start Screen and you’ll find user info as well as logging off  in the upper right corner. Want to go to ‘All Programs’ then first go to the Start Screen then Right Click the mouse and then click the ‘All Apps’ Icon in the lower right of Start Screen. Got all that? In other words go here or there or maybe over there to accomplish what you could do directly from the Start button.

Want the Control Panel: Go to the Charm menu from the Desktop.

Want to do a search: There is a Search Icon in every Charm menu but they’re all not equal. Good luck there.

Remember ‘Run’ in the Start button? Go to the Start Screen then to ‘All Apps’ and over in the Windows System section is ‘Run.’

Note: Like the old Start button any program could be put in the Start menu and likewise any App can be put on the Start Screen. This means you can collect your favorite old Start Button apps into one section of Start Screen.

Weirdness of the Start Screen: Try arranging the apps on the Start Screen the way YOU want them. Good luck with that. And if you find a way to keep them from moving all over the place please let me know. I’ve given up on that little project.

2. Productivity has been reduced with Windows 8.

Balkanized Start functions is one example.

Because I haven’t been able to organize the Start Screen I’m always looking for the program I want. For this reason I’ve put a lot more programs into the Task Bar than I did in the past.

More mouse clicks is another. Almost everything I have to do in Windows 8 involves extra mouse clicks. Also you spend more time moving from one screen to another as well as one area of a screen to another area to accomplish a task.

For instance why do I need to right-click the mouse in the Start Screen in order to get the ‘All Apps’ Icon? Why can’t that Icon always be present?

Win8 apps designed especially for this OS can’t replace the same program of old. They just don’t have the flexibility. Only those apps that have limited functionality, like Twitter, work well as a Win8 app. Win8 app what’s that? Technically, and I’m no expert, I believe those are apps that have been ported to Windows 8 from the RT OS that the Microsoft tablets and phones use.

A really good example of a Win8 app is Twitter.

OK we have Windows programs and Win8 apps. I know how to install a Windows program but how do you install a Win8 app? Good question. Here’s the answer. Go to the Windows Store. What Windows Store? You mean the one downtown? Or maybe you mean the Windows store at microsoft.com? The answer is NO to both.

You will find the Windows Store on the Start Screen. Keep looking, it’s there. Find it? OK start the Windows Store app and begin searching for and installing all those free Win8 apps. Wait a minute how do I do a Search? OK I’ll tell you – look in the Charm menu. Click Search. Isn’t this fun.

I suggest you install the Twitter Win8 app first because it really is a well thought out app and it actually works.

A lot of the Win8 apps, maybe all of them, are web sites also, like Twitter. This means you can always just fall back on the old web version of the app. In general I suggest you use the Web version instead of the Win8 app. Remember the win8 app had to be ported over to Windows 8. The Web version is usually the REAL thing. Again Twitter seems to have gone over to the dark side and still remained workable and friendly.

Want to experience a bad Win8 app then try one of the Facebook Win8 apps. That’s right there is more than one.

Remember Win8 apps were originally designed for small screens like the Microsoft phone and on your big screen they can look weird.

My Biggest Complaint:

Windows 8 just isn’t that intuitive. Logic isn’t part of the Windows 8 experience. Why do I have to leave a Win8 app before I can close that app?

For us old time Windows users getting used to Windows 8 is going to take a while. But I may never stop being annoyed at some of the methods of this new Windows OS.