Archive for the ‘Eskilstuna’ Category

Thursday, October 8th 2009

Swedish Colours

Working 6 am – 2 pm is great. Loads of time in the afternoon for random stuff. Decided to check out BBC’s Spooks.

25303 - 2009-10-08 kl 15.16

Friday, October 2nd 2009

Rowan Berries

Got a photo itch this morning so I headed outside with my camera + 50 mm lens. For some of these shots I also used my 500D screw-on close-up lens.

I decided to try and overcome my obsession with sharpness and shoot wide open at f/1.4. So some of these are pretty mushy. 🙂

25215 - 2009-10-02 kl 12.02

25223 - 2009-10-02 kl 12.05

25231 - 2009-10-02 kl 12.11

25224 - 2009-10-02 kl 12.06

25234 - 2009-10-02 kl 12.13

25239 - 2009-10-02 kl 12.16

25242 - 2009-10-02 kl 12.17

Wednesday, June 10th 2009

Cats

This first shot is only 99% sharp for some reason.

23512 - 2009-06-07 kl 17.31

Brorsan (below) has had a hard day, as usual.

23486 - 2009-05-31 kl 17.59

Saturday, May 30th 2009

Kronskogen, Eskilstuna

Felt a sudden creative urge yesterday and headed out to Kronskogen. Nice light and some nice dandelions.

23396-23398 - HDR

And a slug.

23442-23444 - HDR

23427-23429 - HDR

And some Lilacs in the garden.

23360 - 2009-05-29 kl 19.59

Friday, May 15th 2009

Eskilstuna shots

Some more shots from my last photo hunt.

Nybyggda hus på Hamngatan i Eskilstuna

Fairly new buildings on Hamngatan.

Tulpaner i Fors kyrkopark, HDR

Pretty Tulips in Fors kyrkopark.

Eskilstunaån, HDR

Eskilstunaån, or Eskilstuna river if you wish, with the local heat plant in the background.

The first shot was made from three bracketed exposures using my Gorillapod. The last two were done the same way but hand-held. Slight movements between the three shots don’t matter because Photomatix can align the features of the photos when making the HDR image.

Thursday, May 14th 2009

The Need for Speed

At the end of March, we launched a new version of our website at Eskilstuna-Kuriren, ekuriren.se. We replaced our ancient content manger with a new, modern, flexible system known as Polopoly. Polopoly is developed in Sweden and used by many of the large Swedish news sites.

The launch went smoothly, but soon we started getting e-mail upon e-mail from users about speed problems. After a while it turned out that many Internet Explorer users were having huge problems both loading the page and scrolling the page.

Apparently, when loading the website in Internet Explorer it can sometimes make the whole computer slow down to a halt, forcing a hard reboot. If you manage to load the page, it can scroll painfully slowly.

Obviously, this mainly shows that the site hasn’t been properly tested. A huge majority of our visitors use Internet Explorer. Or at least they used to. Perhaps the percentage has gone down now, from people simply giving up on us. It truly amazes me how the developers still haven’t properly managed to sort out the performance issues. They have supposedly been working on this from day one, which is almost two months back now.

While I still haven’t actually heard a precise technical explanation of what the problem is, this experience shows in a very tangible way how big a difference there is between Internet Explorer and the more modern browsers when it comes to speed. Whether it is the scripting engine or the rendering engine or something else that is causing the problems for Internet Explorer users I don’t know.

What I do know is that we simply haven’t had a single complaint about performance from Firefox or Safari users.

Here’s to hoping that the site admins get the issues sorted as soon as possible and that all browsers will be able to display our news site without the user suffering serious illnesses from frustration.

Thursday, May 14th 2009

Stunt kids by the library

Had a good photo hunt yesterday. I was mainly looking for some nice old ruin of some kind, but didn’t really find what I wanted. Still I ended up having some fun with some acrobatic kids outside the library.

23046 - 2009-05-13 kl 20.03

I never asked what the guy on the bike was called, but the other two are Cristian Bati and Philip Nordström. They call themselves Ultimate Upgrade and have a few videos on Youtube where they do this kind of stuff too.

23070 - 2009-05-13 kl 20.08

23081 - 2009-05-13 kl 20.11

23088 - 2009-05-13 kl 20.13

23109 - 2009-05-13 kl 20.21

23119 - 2009-05-13 kl 20.22

23140 - 2009-05-13 kl 20.28

23147 - 2009-05-13 kl 20.31

Wednesday, May 6th 2009

Some recent shots

Edit: Republished this one too with larger photos.

22809 - 2009-04-28 kl 20.39

Skjulsta, Eskilstuna.

22785 - 2009-04-28 kl 20.03

22815 - 2009-04-30 kl 18.53

22844-22846 - HDR

22851 - 2009-05-04 kl 20.15

22896 - 2009-05-06 kl 14.12

22899 - 2009-05-06 kl 14.15

22905 - 2009-05-06 kl 14.23

22913-22915 - HDR

Triple-exposure HDR with my Sigma 17-70mm, f/8 @ 17mm.

Wednesday, December 17th 2008

Shopping in a hurry

Shopping @ Coop

Did some shopping at Coop. Brought my Gorillapod and my camera. 🙂

A guy asked me, as I was fastening the Gorillapod to the shopping trolley: Are you allowed to take pictures in the shop? You’d better ask before you do anything.

I’d better not, I thought to myself.

You never know these days, someone would probably think I was up to no good.

Tuesday, November 18th 2008

Playing with Photomatix

Klosters kyrka i HDR

During the weekend I got my hands on Photomatix and have started experimenting with it.

For those who didn’t know, Photomatix is software for combining over- and underexposed shots into artistic-looking HDR images.

In the Flickr community, there seem to be basically two camps. Those who love Photomatix and those who hate it. I’ve always been somewhere in between.

The program allows you to create really eye-catching images, but they will look nothing like real life. If you just accept this fact and see these overcooked HDR images as an artform slightly beyond photography, then you can have loads of fun making them, as I’ve now discovered.

Also in defense of Photomatix (not that it needs it) is the fact that far from all photos treated in Photoshop look real either.

Bostadshus i solnedgången i Eskilstuna i HDR

Yesterday I went into town just before sundown with my tripod to see if there was anything worth pointing the camera at. The photos above and below are a couple I came away with.

I’m slowly beginning to learn what all the sliders in Photomatix do. There are a few more than I had reckoned and they don’t all do what you expect them to. The key ones seem to be strength (obviously), luminosity and light smoothing as well as the tone settings (gamma, white point and black point).

Eskilstunaån och Fors kyrka i solnedgången, HDR

Seeing how much fun it is to make these images, you’ll no doubt see more here in the future…

Thursday, November 13th 2008

Largest & Smallest

It’s kind of interesting (to a nerd) to check which of your photos are largest and smallest, with regards to file size.

Looking at my raw image files, here are my two largest photos:

Graffiti on an old train wagon. 12,733 kB.

Overexposed shot used for this HDR. 12,411 kB.

And the two smallest:

the moon

The Moon. 6,542 kB.

A failed firework shot. 6,546 kB.

The largest files are the most detailed. No surprise there. But they also seem to be generally bright, which I can’t really explain.

Wednesday, November 5th 2008

Waiting for a train

Light art, ljusspår

Wednesday, November 5th 2008

By the river

Norr i Eskilstuna

Wednesday, November 5th 2008

Gloomy

Fors kyrka i dimma

Tuesday, October 21st 2008

Awful weather = awful photos?

Well, obviously, no. Or I wouldn’t be writing this. I got thinking about the relationship between weather and photographic quality and arrived at this theory:

A graph showing the relationship between weather and photo quality.

The weather today was, without a doubt, awful. So with an umbrella in one hand and my camera in the other I set out in an attempt to catch the mood on CMOS.

Operating the camera and holding the umbrella at the same time turned out to be tricky. Also, it was difficult to keep the camera still enough to avoid shaky pics in the dull light. I dialled down the exposure a few notches to keep the dark feeling.

Anyway, here are a few of the shots:

19193 - 2008-10-21 kl 09.44

19219 - 2008-10-21 kl 09.53

19220 - 2008-10-21 kl 09.54

The rest are here.

Monday, October 6th 2008

Some more HDR

Just playing around really, hardly very interesting shots. But this is definitely a good use for HDR, shooting out through windows.

19124-19126 - HDR

And the regular exposure:

19125 - 2008-10-04 kl 15.37

19115-19117 - HDR

And again, the medium exposure original:

19116 - 2008-10-04 kl 15.33

I did these the cheating way with only three exposures, -2, 0 and +2. By using the camera in high speed drive this is quite good for when you don’t have a tripod around. You still need something to hold your camera against though.

Thursday, October 2nd 2008

HDR – Getting it Right

Today I sat down and went about creating HDR images out of the multiple exposures I took on my last photo excursion. It was pretty tricky getting the settings right in Photoshop and it took a couple of hours of experimenting before I felt the output was what I wanted.

(If you just want the photos, scroll down.)

The main problem seems to be that when you press a large tonal range into 8 (24) bits of colour you easily end up with a very dull looking photo.

The fix for this dullness is using curves and local adaptation when converting from 32-bit to 8-bit. But, with endless possible combinations of settings it takes a while to find something that looks good and realistic.

I finally ended up with these settings:

  • Radius: 120 px
  • Treshold: 1.0

I also adjust the curve to only just clip the information in the 32-bit image:

Screenshot of the 16-bit conversion dialog in Photoshop with my favourite settings, radius 120 px and treshold 1.0

Those settings give me this:

A19070 - HDR

And for comparison, the original (metered exposure):

19070 - 2008-09-29 kl 17.46

I have put the best shots in a Flickr set.

Getting the shots right

While making the HDR images I realized that I didn’t take dark enough exposures to retain all the detail in the brightest highlights. I used the cameras auto-bracketing feature and did -2, 0 and +2 exposures, except for the last shot I took where I manually did -4 EV to +3 EV at 1 step intervals.

And it is only in that last shot that I can get all the detail around the sun.

So if you’re including the sun or a bright sky, you should probably go at least four stops below the metered exposure, and four above. If you follow Denny Tangs advice here that means that a series of -4, -2, 0, +2 and +4 should do the trick if you’re using an SLR.

If you use Photoshop for merging into HDR I’d love to hear what settings you tend to use.

Edit: Since posting I have decided to also add a very slight S-curve for slightly more contrast. The photos on Flickr have been updated.

Monday, September 29th 2008

An Oak

18981 - 2008-09-28 kl 17.27

19006 - 2008-09-28 kl 17.40

19016 - 2008-09-28 kl 17.51

19018 - 2008-09-28 kl 17.53

Friday, September 19th 2008

Kissen

På allmän (Hannas) begäran, I give you: Wilma!

18843 - 2008-09-19 kl 15.41

En massa fler bilder finns här.

Tuesday, September 16th 2008

Mer svamp

I dag tog jag en ny sväng ut i Kronskogen och hittade några fler svampar. Denna gång utrustad med en plastpåse för att kunna gå ner på knä i mossan utan att bli blöt. (Alternativt för att slippa gå ner i 80-procentig split över kameran på ministativet för att kika in i sökaren uppifrån och upp-och-ner.)

18831 - Old look

Har skapat ett recept i Lightroom för detta lite ålderdomliga utseende. Gillar det skarpt, även om jag säger det själv.

18841 - Old look

Alla svampbilder finns i en samling på mitt Flickr-konto.

Edit: Här är en till bild som jag gillade från expeditionen:

18822 - 2008-09-15 kl 12.26

Min klasskompis från Sundsvall Emma har på nolltid utvecklats till en grym fotograf. (Kanske har hon alltid varit det?) Dagens favoriter var dessa två tre.