Bulkr – Access and Backup your Flickr Photos (Mac, Windows & Linux)

Veronica Belmont, at Tekzilla, on the features and awesomeness of Bulkr.

Bulkr is a no-frill, easy to use backup solution for your Flickr Photos. Flickr, an awesome Photo service from Yahoo!, lacks data liberation — you cannot download your Photos once uploaded. Of course, you can go to each photo to download them but that isn’t the right way to do!

Bulkr PRO (which sells for $40) is available for just 50% on Brajeshwar.com at just $19.99. Buy Bulkr PRO by clicking the Bulkr Banner (look at the top right corner). Valid from Sep 1-15, 2011.

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PicLens

PicLens is a free download that transforms your browser into a full-screen 3D experience for online images and videos. With their recent update, they’ve included metadata such as image title labels of Flickr photo captions, while you surf through the images.

They’ve also integrated a new UI, which further streamlines navigation with a more obvious Jump to Page button and an improved full-screen mode. You can get a true full-screen zoom for both images and video (YouTube) alike.

PicLens is available for Firefox 2.0 and above, Internet Explorer on Windows Vista, XP, and Mac OSX. Download your free copy of PicLens.

How to track your Flickr Photos Statistics

Brajeshwar's PhotosOf late, my Flickr Photos are getting quite a bit of attention, more specifically with the inclusion of the Windows Vista Wallpaper collection. The Photos stream has garnered almost half a million views ever since I shifted my photos to Flickr from my hosted Gallery in March, 2006. At this rate, it will easily cross half a million views per year (by March 2007).

There is no way to see your Flickr Photo usage statistics. Someone may be blogging your photos, praising your photos and linking back to your Flickstream. The best way so far is to track through Technorati. To know where your Flickr photos are being linked, blogged or mentioned elsewhere, setup a Technorati Search Feed for your Flickstream.

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Microsoft Windows Vista Wallpapers

Microsoft started work on their plans for Windows Vista (“Longhorn”) in 2001, prior to the release of Windows XP. It was originally expected to ship sometime late in 2003 as a minor step between Windows XP (codenamed “Whistler”) and “Blackcomb” (now known as Windows “Vienna”). Gradually, “Longhorn” assimilated many of the important new features and technologies slated for “Blackcomb”, resulting in the release date being pushed back several times. Many of Microsoft’s developers were also re-tasked with improving the security of Windows XP.

Microsoft has announced that Windows Vista will be broadly available as a stand-alone product or pre-installed on new PCs on January 30, 2007. Windows Vista will be made available to Volume License customers later in the month of November 2006.

After “Longhorn” was named Windows Vista, an unprecedented beta-test program was started, involving hundreds of thousands of volunteers and companies. In September 2005, Microsoft started releasing regular Community Technology Previews (CTP) to beta testers. The first of these was distributed among 2005 Microsoft Professional Developers Conference attendees, and was subsequently released to Microsoft Beta testers and Microsoft Developer Network subscribers. The builds that followed incorporated most of the planned features for the final product, as well as a number of changes to the user interface, based largely on feedback from beta testers.

Windows Vista was deemed feature-complete with the release of the “February CTP“, released on February 22, 2006, and much of the remainder of work between that build and the final release of the product focused on stability, performance, application and driver compatibility, and documentation. Beta 2, released in late May, was the first build to be made available to the general public through Microsoft’s Customer Preview Program. It was downloaded by over five million people. Two release candidates followed in September and October, both of which were made available to a large number of users.

Download Microsoft Windows Vista Wallpapers (ZIP)

Nishita – another Free Photo Blog WordPress Theme

I have a bunch of Photos on Flickr. Even though I was beta testing Flickr ever since it came up and had a pro account gifted by them, I really never used it for my photos. I moved to Flickr from my own Gallery hosted Photo Section (I lost all the photo comments eventually), somewhere late February 2006. Since then online Photo Management and storage have become a pleasant experience for me. A couple of days back, my photo collection hit 50,000 views (as seen on my Flickr Page).

To commemorate the nice things happening around, I would like to contribute another small offering for the public to use. A simple, sleek and minimal (quick and simple install/setup) Photo Blog theme for WordPress – Nishita.

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What are HDR or High Dynamic Range Images?

Bannerghatta National Park (Bangalore)

Wikipedia defines High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI for short) as a set of techniques that allow a far greater dynamic range of exposures than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to the deepest shadows. This provides the opportunity to shoot a scene and have total control of the final imaging from the beginning to the end of the photography project.

What are HDR Images?

HDR or High Dynamic Images are one that can store pixel values that span the whole tonal range of the real-world which are quite high, in the range of 100,000:1. HDR Images are encoded in a format that allows the largest range of values like floating-point values stored with 32 bits per color channel. Another characteristics of an HDR image is that it stores linear values. This means that the value of a pixel from an HDR image is proportional to the amount of light measured by the camera. In this sense, HDR images are scene-referred, representing the original light values captured for the scene.

Whether an image may be considered High or Low Dynamic Range depends on several factors. Most often, the distinction is made depending on the number of bits per color channel that the digitized image can hold. However, the number of bits itself may be a misleading indication of the real dynamic range that the image reproduces – converting a Low Dynamic Range image to a higher bit depth, does not change its dynamic range of course.

  • 8-bit images (i.e. 24 bits per pixel for a color image) are considered Low Dynamic Range.
  • 16-bit images (i.e. 48 bits per pixel for a color image) resulting from RAW conversion are still considered Low Dynamic Range, even though their theoretical dynamic range is up to about 65,000:1. There are two reasons for this. First, the original RAW file has a dynamic range of roughly 1,000:1 only for most digital cameras. Second, the same type of tonal curve is used for converting RAW data to either 8- or 16-bit, which means the dynamic range reproduced does not increase with the bit-depth of the output format. By using 16 instead of 8 bits, you will gain precision but you will not gain dynamic range.
  • 32-bit images (i.e. 96 bits per pixel for a color image) are considered High Dynamic Range. Unlike 8- and 16-bit images which can take a finite number of values, 32-bit images are coded using floating point numbers, which means the values they can take is unlimited. It is important to note though that storing an image in a 32-bit HDR format is a necessary condition for an HDR image but not a sufficient one. If the original image has not captured all the scene’s dynamic range, it will remain a Low Dynamic Range image, regardless of the format used to store it.

Given that the human eye can accommodate a dynamic range of approximately 10,000:1 in a single view, High Dynamic Range images have a clear advantage over Low Dynamic Range images that can not encode more than 8-bit range of tonal information.

How do I shoot an HDR image?

Most digital cameras are only able to capture a limited dynamic range (the exposure setting determines which part of the total dynamic range will be captured). This is why HDR images are commonly created from photos of the same scene taken under different exposure levels.

Here some recommendations for taking the Low Dynamic Range input images for the HDRI:

  1. Mount your camera on a tripod.
  2. Set your camera in manual exposure mode. Select an appropriate aperture for your scene (e.g. f/8 or less if you need more depth of field) and the lowest ISO setting.
  3. Measure the light in the brightest part of your scene (spot metering or in Av mode to point only the highlights) and note the exposure time. Do the same for the darkest shadows of your scene.
  4. Determine the number and value of exposures necessary. For this, take as a basis the exposure time measured for the highlights. Multiply this number by 4 to find the next exposure with a stop spacing of 2 EV. Multiply by 4 successively for the next exposures till you pass the exposure measured for the shadows. (Note: For most scenes, 3-4 images should be sufficient to cover the dynamic range).
  5. You can make use of auto-exposure bracketing if your camera supports it and if it allows a stop spacing of 2. Otherwise, just vary the exposure times manually.
  6. Use a HDR Imaging capable software to produce your HDR Images

Softwares to do HDR Images

References

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2007 Mar 5 — HDR Tutorials Roundup