Archive for the ‘digital photography’ Category

Thanks, Photopea!

June 24, 2022

According to The Verge …

Adobe has started testing a free-to-use version of Photoshop on the web and plans to open the service up to everyone as a way to introduce more users to the app. Source Credit: Adobe plans to make Photoshop on the web free to everyone, by Jacob Kastrenakes.

Way to go Photopea — looks like you might have helped to nudge Adobe out of its complacency!

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

What is it?

June 14, 2022

Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages. It’s time for another exciting episode of “What is it?”

If you think you know what is shown in these photos, then please leave a comment. The answer will be revealed in a post update.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Fossil shark tooth, revisited

June 10, 2022

This blog post features a photo of a fossil shark tooth that I collected from the Lee Creek Phosphate Mine in Aurora, North Carolina. I didn’t record the exact date when I collected this specimen, but it was sometime between 1984 and 1989. The mine is currently open for phosphate mining, but it’s closed to the public for fossil collecting.

At the time I collected the tooth, the species of shark was called Carcharodon megalodon. Subsequently, the scientific name was changed to Carcharocles megalodon.

C. megalodon lived in “shallow” seas approximately 10 million years ago. 10 million years seems like a long time on the human time scale, but isn’t long ago on the Geologic Time Scale.

Size and jaw placement

The following annotated image shows one method for measuring the size of a fossil shark tooth. The “slant height” of the tooth is approximately four and one-quarter inches (~4 1/4″) long, as measured along the straighter edge of the tooth (lower edge, relative to the photo).

According to Gareth Williams, a member of the Megalodon Maniacs Facebook group, the tooth is from the upper jaw (lateral).

Lee Creek Phosphate Mine | C. megalodon (lingual side)

Photoblog post flashback

On 11 May 2020 I published a blog post entitled “Focus bracketing using Fujifilm X-T3” that features the same ruler shown in the preceding photo.

The 7″ plastic ruler is from the Calvert Marine Museum. Do you know why the small ruler is 7″ long rather than the more common 6″ length? Please leave a comment if you know the correct answer. Source Credit: Focus bracketing using Fujifilm X-T3.

The reason the ruler is 7″ inches long is because that’s the length of the largest fossil shark teeth ever collected — the holy grail for fossil hunters!

Tech Tips

The Adobe Photoshop “Ruler Tool” can be used to measure the number of pixels between any two points along the ruler shown in the preceding annotated image.

60s ‘shop: Using the ruler tool to measure distances in Photoshop CC, by Photoshop for the Scientist (1:00) provides a clear and concise explanation of how it’s done.

The resulting value (in pixels) can be used to set a custom scale in Photoshop in order to make other measurements of the tooth virtually.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

GoPro: “ProTune” is back, baby!

June 7, 2022

GoPro taketh-away; GoPro giveth back. What?

Thanks to Australian YouTuber Danny Black for a heads-up that the “GoPro Quik” app features the “ProTune” settings again. (See GoPro Tip No. 1 in the following video.)

The following screen captures from my Apple iPad mini 6 running the “GoPro Quik” app show the “ProTune” settings under “Video Settings,” “Photo Settings” …

“GoPro Quik” app | Settings

and “Time Lapse Settings.” Yep, “Protune” is back, baby!

“GoPro Quik” app | Settings

The “ProTune” settings are featured in Version 10.15 of the “GoPro Quik” app, the current version available from the Apple App Store as of this writing.

This is kind of a big deal. I wonder why GoPro didn’t mention the return of the “ProTune” settings in the Version History? It’s just so GoPro to fumble the ball like this!

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Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Fossil shark tooth

June 3, 2022

Sometimes I start working on a blog post by shooting some quick-and-dirty test shots of the subject, such as the following photos of a fossil shark tooth taken using the “Camera” app on my Apple iPad mini 6. Both photos featured in this post are unedited, that is, they are the original JPGs straight from the “Photos” app on the iPad.

Labial side

The first photo was taken with the built-in camera flash turned on. In my opinion, the light is a little too “harsh.”

The photo shows the side of the tooth that faces outward from the mouth of the shark. Notice the tooth edges are serrated.

There are at least two ways to measure the size of a fossil shark tooth. (More about how to measure shark teeth in a follow-up blog post.) This tooth is approximately four and one-quarter inches (~4 1/4″), as measured along the straighter edge of the tooth (right side, relative to the photo).

Lingual side

The last photo was taken was taken using a small LED light and the flash turned off. The LED lighting is better than the flash light, but the specular reflection located near the upper-middle of the tooth enamel is a little distracting.

The photo shows the side of the tooth that faces inward. Three prominent parts of the tooth are easy to identify in the following photo, including the crown/enamel (top), bourlette (middle), and root (bottom).

In the opinion of the author, the lingual side of a shark tooth is often displayed because it is more visually appealing than the labial side.

What’s next?

I plan to shoot better photos, of course, and annotate some of them in order to make it easier to identify the parts of the tooth.

I will describe when and where I collected the fossil shark tooth, identify the species of shark, and provide an estimate of its approximate age on the Geologic Time Scale.

Finally I will explain how to measure the size of a fossil shark tooth, and how to determine whether the tooth is from the upper- or lower jaw, including its approximate position along the jaw line.

Related Resource: Fossil shark tooth, revisited.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

GoPro: “Quik for Desktop”

May 24, 2022

GoPro legacy software “Quik for Desktop” (Ver. 2.7.0) can be used to add “Stickers” to video shot with a GoPro HERO5, 6, and 7, but doesn’t work with GoPro HERO8, 9, and 10. “Can be,” that is assuming the feature works with your camera/video. Huh? Please continue reading.

“Quik for Desktop”

My former colleague Kyle Margenau sent a video clip to me that he shot using his GoPro HERO5 Black action camera.

GoPro “Quik for Desktop” | Media

In order to edit a video, double-click on its icon in the Media library.

Editor’s Note: DO NOT click on “Open in Create Mode,” shown along the blue bar near the top of the screen — otherwise “you’re entering a world of pain!” “Create Mode” seems to be GoPro’s quick-and-dirty process for creating simple videos with added music for the purpose of sharing on social media. I tested the process so you don’t have to be frustrated — “Create Mode” was an epic fail!

There are four buttons for editing video, located along the lower-middle of the window. Shown from left-to-right, the four icons are “Create a Clip,” “Rotate 90°,” “Grab a Photo,” and “Adjust Gauges.”

GoPro “Quik for Desktop” | “Adjust Gauges” button

When I clicked the “Adjust Gauges” button (shown above, highlighted by a red square), the following error message appeared on-screen.

GoPro “Quik for Desktop” | No GPS Data

There are/were six “Stickers” available in “Quik for Desktop,” and they are somewhat different from the seven “Stickers” available in the “Quik” app (Ver. 10.15). Using “Quik for Desktop,” you can add as many stickers as you like; using the “Quik” app, you can add four stickers.

  • GoPro Logo
  • Info Cluster
  • Speed Tracker
  • GPS Path ← line with no context
  • Speedometer ← better than the version in “Quik” app
  • G-Force

I think it would be nice to include the exact latitude and longitude of the camera in the “Info Cluster.”

“Quik” app

The following JPG frame grab (2 MP) was saved from the “GoPro Quik” app (Ver. 10.15) running on my Apple iPad mini 6. Kyle’s vehicle is heading southeast at 17 mph.

Notice I juxtaposed the “Path” gauge (upper-left) with the “Terrain” gauge (lower-left) in order to underscore a point that I made in my last blog post — a line without any context/frame of reference is pointless.

GoPro “Quik” app.

As you can see by the telemetry “Stickers” shown in the preceding frame grab, Kyle’s video does in fact include GPS data. It’s worth noting the frame grab (shown above) does include EXIF but does not include GPS info for latitude, longitude, and elevation. C’mon GoPro — frame grabs from video could, and should include GPS info!

If you can determine the exact time of each video frame, you can use the exiftool -geotag and -geosync options to read the GPX file and geotag the extracted frames. Source Credit: ExifTool Forum.

I have NO IDEA why the “Adjust Gauges” feature in “Quik for Desktop” doesn’t work. I tested “Quik for Desktop” running on an older Apple iMac desktop computer (Intel) as well as a newer Apple MacBook Air (M1) — the “Adjust Gauges” feature didn’t work on either device.

I have watched several tutorial videos on YouTube that show the feature does work, or at least it did at one time.

Please contact me if you have any suggestions for troubleshooting this problem. Thanks!

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

 

GoPro: How to add “Stickers”

May 20, 2022

Every GoPro action camera since the GoPro HERO5 Black features a built-in global positioning system (GPS) receiver; my GoPro HERO4 Black does not.

Assuming you own a GPS-capable GoPro camera, there is another case for using either “Quik for Desktop” or the “GoPro Quik” app to edit video: adding overlays to video, including stickers and telemetry gauges.

GoPro legacy software “Quik for Desktop” can be used to add “Stickers” to video shot with a GoPro HERO5, 6, and 7, but doesn’t work with GoPro HERO8, 9, and 10.

The “GoPro Quik” app can be used to add “Stickers” to video shot with HERO8, 9, and 10 cameras; it’s also backward-compatible with HERO5, 6, and 7.

It’s worth noting that the “GoPro Quik” app can be used to edit a single video clip for free, with some limitations. For details see GoPro Quik: Free Vs. Subscription Features. See also GoPro Quik App- All Your Questions Answered by Jordan Hetrick (12:33).

Add “Stickers”

My good friend and former colleague Kyle Margenau sent a video clip to me that he shot using his GoPro HERO8 Black. First the video clip was saved to “Photos” on my iPad mini 6, then it was added to “Media” in the “GoPro Quik” app.

Tap the “Media” icon (shown below, highlighted by a red square) to see “All Media” saved to the “GoPro Quik” app. Kyle’s video appears at the top of the list on the page, last saved on Friday, May 13 [2022].

GoPro “Quik” app | All Media

As you can see, I already edited the video to add several “Stickers.” Tap the pencil icon (shown below, highlighted by a red square) to edit the video.

GoPro “Quik” app.

Tap the “Stickers” button (shown below, highlighted by a red square).

GoPro “Quik” app.

Up to four stickers can be displayed on the video, one in each corner.

There are currently 7 stickers available in the app:

  1. GoPro Logo
  2. Speedometer ← speed plus compass heading
  3. Terrain ← unavailable in “Quik for Desktop”
  4. Path ← line with no context
  5. Speed Chart
  6. Altitude
  7. G-Force

Source Credit: GoPro Quik: How To View Stickers.

In the following screenshot notice that blue tick marks indicate the “Stickers” that have been added to the movie.

GoPro “Quik” app | Stickers

Add more “Stickers” by tapping one of the icons (shown above, highlighted by a red rectangle). By default, the new sticker will be shown in the upper-left corner of the movie. Tap the same icon again in order to reposition the sticker to the upper-right corner. Tap the same icon again to move the sticker to the lower-right corner; tap it a fourth time to move it to the lower-left corner. Tap the same sticker icon five times in order to delete it from the movie.

Tap the ✔️ icon (lower-right corner) when you are finished (shown above, highlighted by a red square).

Save Media

Wait, you need to do one more thing. Tap the “Save” icon (shown below, highlighted by a red square) in the upper-right corner in order to save your edited video.

GoPro “Quik” app.

The following screenshot shows where the video can be saved. There are three (3) options; I recommend “Save to Photos” (shown below, highlighted by a red rectangle).

GoPro “Quik” app.

Grab Photo

Play the annotated video clip and when you see a frame you’d like to grab, pause playback and tap the “Extract Photo Icon” located along the bottom of the screen (shown below, highlighted by a red square). For more detailed directions, see GoPro: How to “Grab Photo” from Video.

GoPro “Quik” app.

You have the option to scrub through the video frame-by-frame (by using the left and right arrows) until you find a frame that you’d like to save as a photo. Tap the blue “Save Frame” button located in the upper-right corner of the “Grab Photo” screen (shown below, highlighted by a red rectangle). Then choose the location where you would like to save the frame grab: Save to App; Save to Photos; Share Media.

GoPro “Quik” app | Grab Photo

The following video frame grab (4 MP) was saved from the “GoPro-Quik” app. Kyle’s vehicle is heading southeast at 22 mph.

GoPro “Quik” app.

The last screenshot was taken from the video using the Apple “Photos” app. Notice the black bars along the top and bottom of the screen. Kyle’s vehicle is heading southeast at 12 mph.

Apple “Photos” app.

What are the take-aways?

Could the GoPro Logo “Sticker” be any bigger? It’s ridiculously big! It shouldn’t be too difficult to update the “GoPro Quik” app to enable the user to resize/reposition “Stickers,” similar to the way it works in “Quik for Desktop.”

In my opinion, the Speedometer and Terrain “Stickers” are two of the more useful telemetry gauges.

It would be nice to add numbers to the tick marks on the Speedometer. In this case, the Speedometer is marked in increments of 10 mph, but the increment varies depending upon what is shown in your movie. Also, it would be nice to show an exact number for compass direction, from 0-360°.

The Terrain “Sticker” shows the path of the camera superimposed on a map. It would be nice to have the option to select the map type, such as street, terrain, or satellite. In contrast, the Path “Sticker” is simply a line that traces, well, the path of your camera. In my opinion, a line without any context/frame of reference is pointless, but hey, use the Path “Sticker” if you like.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

GoPro: How to “Grab Photo” from Video

May 17, 2022

When you use either the “GoPro app” or “GoPro Quik” app to remotely control your camera, you can save still photos from a video clip. For example, here’s how it works using “GoPro Quik” on my Apple iPad mini 6.

The first screen capture shows the “splash page” for GoPro Quik, running on my iPad mini 6. Tap the camera icon labeled “GoPro” located in the lower-right corner of the screen. The button works, despite the fact that it’s grayed out.

GoPro “Quik” app splash screen.

Next, tap the button labeled “Control Your GoPro” on the “Cameras” page.

“Cameras” screen, GoPro “Quik” app.

Tap the “Media Icon” located in the lower-right corner of the Live View screen (shown below, highlighted by a red square) in order to see photos and videos that you have recorded using your GoPro camera.

Live View, GoPro “Quik” app.

When you play a video clip shot with the camera and see a frame you’d like to grab, pause playback and tap the “Extract Photo Icon” located in the lower-middle of the screen (shown below, highlighted by a red square).

Video playback, GoPro “Quik” app.

You have the option to scrub through the video frame-by-frame (by using the left and right arrows) until you find a frame that you’d like to save as a photo. Then tap the blue “Save Frame” button located in the upper-right corner of the “Grab Photo” screen.

“Grab Photo” screen, GoPro “Quik” app.

Choose the location where you would like to save the frame grab.

Select “Save to …” location, GoPro “Quik” app.

The frame grab is saved as an 8 MB JPG file, smaller than the 12 MB JPGs created when the camera is set for “Photo Mode.”

The file can be adjusted using your photo editor of choice, but there’s a limit to what you can do during post-processing of JPGs so it’s always a good idea to “get it right” in-camera.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

GoPro time lapse submodes

May 3, 2022

The GoPro HERO4 Black action camera features three ways to either create (in-camera) a simple, time lapse movie in MP4 format or shoot a time series of photos (JPGs) that can be used to create a time lapse movie during post-processing.

Video Mode

“Time Lapse Video” submode

“Time Lapse Video” is one of several submodes under “Video Mode,” as shown below. It’s the simplest way to create a time lapse movie using the HERO4 Black.

GoPro “Quik” app.

There are two user-selectable settings in the “Time Lapse Video” submode (shown below, highlighted by a green rectangle): Interval; and Resolution. I selected an interval of 1 second and a resolution of 4K at 30 frames per sec (fps).

Settings, “GoPro app” (v7.1)

The preceding screen capture from the “GoPro app” (v7.1) seems to suggest there are many more user-selectable settings in “Time Lapse Video” submode; there aren’t. Call it an artifact of lazy app coding. I call it confusing! For reference, see p. 20 in the GoPro HERO4 Black User Manual (shown below).

GoPro HERO4 Black | User Manual

When the GoPro HERO4 Black is set for “Time Lapse Video” submode, the camera records MP4 videos with a 16:9 aspect ratio (3,840 x 2,160 pixels). File size varies depending upon the duration of the video clips.

Try it. I think you’ll like it. Make the same settings that I used and start recording. Just be sure to record long enough to create a “Goldilocks movie,” that is one that isn’t too short and isn’t too long but is just right.

Standard video playback is typically 30 frames per sec in the USA. If you record every second for 30 seconds, your final movie will be 1 second long! Plan to record for at least 10 to 15 minutes.

Based upon my settings the camera created two video clips: the first is 17 seconds in duration; the last is 28 seconds. That’s a total of 45 seconds long, before I trimmed the video clips using Apple iMovie. In order to smooth the playback and lengthen the final movie a little, I used iMovie to adjust the playback speed to 25% of normal.

Multi-Shot Mode

“Time Lapse” and “Night Lapse Photo” submodes enable automated recording of photos that can be used to create a time lapse movie during post-processing.

GoPro HERO4 Black | User Manual

The two submodes are similar, with one key difference: both Interval and Shutter Speed are user-selectable in “Night Lapse Photo” submode; only Interval is user-selectable in “Time Lapse” submode. A wide range of other user-selectable settings are available in both submodes, including “Protune.”

GoPro HERO4 Black | User Manual

“Time Lapse” submode

Untested, so far. Please stay tuned.

GoPro “Quik” app.

“Night Lapse Photo” submode

GoPro “Quik” app.

I tested “Night Lapse Photo” submode on the same day I created the time lapse movie featured in my last blog post. In case you’re wondering why I used “Night Lapse Photo” to record a scene during the day, I did so based upon the camera settings recommended by a well-known time lapse photographer/videographer.

27 APR 2022 | 3:47 pm | DCIM100GOPROG0020165

168 JPG photos were recorded during a 14 minute time period starting at 3:47 pm and stopping at 4:01 pm.

27 APR 2022 | 4:01 pm | DCIM100GOPROG0020332

As you can see in the two sample photos (shown above), the sky was overexposed in all of the photos that were recorded. The Interval was set for five (5) seconds and set the Shutter Speed was set for Auto. Those settings might work for Mr. X but they didn’t work for me!

The GoPro HERO4 Black records JPG photos with a 4:3 aspect ratio (4,000 x 3,000 pixels). Each photo file is approximately 2.2 MB in size.

The GoPro HERO4 Black features a fixed lens with an aperture of f/2.8.

The 35mm equivalent focal length of the lens is 15mm. That’s a fairly wide angle lens, so it’s no wonder the preceding photos show some “fish eye” distortion.

Notice the Shutter Speed was 1/120 second. Although 1/120 s is a relatively slow shutter speed, it’s fast enough that it might not explain why my photos are overexposed.

The scene I recorded was relatively high contrast — it was dark in the parking garage and the white clouds in the sky were bright. It’s possible the “Center Weighted Average” Metering Mode was unable to expose the entire image properly.

I didn’t know that Photo Mode / Night Photo submode and Multi-Shot Mode / Night Lapse Photo submode are virtually identical. Next time I experiment with “Night Lapse Photo” I will shoot some test shots using “Night Photo” to be sure the exposure is set correctly before starting “Night Lapse Photo.”

That being said, I think my next experiment will test “Time Lapse” submode.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

More resources for editing GoPro video

April 19, 2022

Sometimes I’m a content creator; sometimes I share content created by others, especially when the content is better than I could create myself.

Apple iMovie: Magic Movie

The latest version of iMovie includes a new feature called “Magic Movie.” Although I’ve never used “Quik,” the GoPro pay-to-play app that makes it easier for beginner videographers to create movies, I think “Magic Movie” targets the same demographic and does essentially the same thing as “Quik.” Both “Quik” and “Magic Movie” enable the user to quickly combine photos, video clips, and music into a punchy little movies.

How to make a Magic Movie video in iMovie 3, by Roman Loyola, Senior Editor, Macworld explains how to use Magic Movie on iOS devices including iPad and iPhone. The article features detailed, step-by-step directions that are richly illustrated with an embedded video and lots of screenshots.

Apple QuickTime

Don’t sleep on “QuickTime,” a versatile free utility from Apple, that’s capable of doing some of the same things that were covered in my last two blog posts.

Grab a Single Frame from a Video in QuickTime X, by Jeff Geerling explains how to use QuickTime to do a frame grab from video, including video shot using a GoPro action camera.

QuickTime can be used to do simple video editing, as demonstrated in the following excellent video by Michael Kinney.

Copyright © 2022 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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