Online Meetings

In light of the current COVID-19 situation and subsequent halt to all face-to-face DPS meetings (until end of April), we have set up an online meeting alternative using Zoom.

Please bookmark this page (not the Zoom link) so that if we make any changes, you will have access to the latest links.

The link to connect to the meeting is at the bottom of this post.

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a free video conferencing tool that allows you to connect with others from the comfort of your home. It is similar to other apps that you may have heard of like Skype or Facetime.

It is free to use and you do not have to sign up to be able to use Zoom and participate in our meetings.

You can connect from a computer or mobile phone, and you do not need to have a camera or microphone at this point – you can participate by simply listening to the meeting.

This short video will give you an idea of how Zoom works, and also serves as a test to check that your speakers on your computer, or the sound on your cellphone is working. – you should be able to hear the lady speaking on the video. Link: https://youtu.be/-s76QHshQnY

What will the online meeting be like?

The meeting will follow a similar format to our normal face-to-face meetings, with results of the Projected Image of the Month (enter here: https://dps.org.nz/piotm), speaker, images from the Z-A challenge (participate here: https://dps.org.nz/z-a-photo-challenge/) and sharing of any other slideshows and information.

We will aim to get started at 7.30pm like we normally do, so please ensure you have tested your setup and checked you can access the TEST MEETING prior to Monday’s meeing.

What if I miss the meeting or can’t connect?

The meeting will also be recorded and a link to the video will be shared after the meeting has ended.

I need help getting set up or connected

If you need help with getting yourself set up, please email David treasurer.dpsnz@gmail.com as soon as possible.

It is a good idea to have a go connecting to the test meeting before the actual meeting on Monday. Link to access the test meeting are below.

During the meeting, if you are having trouble you can email David.

How do I join the meeting?

To connect to the meeting on Monday 23rd, click the link below and follow the onscreen prompts.

You will need a PIN which is a 6 digit code – this will be emailed to you by Gary.

Link to join TEST MEETING: https://zoom.us/j/577919819

Link to MONDAY MEETING: https://zoom.us/j/673661631

Holiday Photo Planning

Holidays bring new photo opportunities, but finding those opportunities isn’t always easy.

A bit of research can be a good idea to start you off, before trying to find that unique take on a beauty spot.

Click here for a tool that combines the Google maps interface with various photo sharing sites to give you a start on planning your next trip.

Be aware that the accuracy of the tool relies on the GPS data that comes from the image and may not always be spot on.

Tool

Post Instagram from your computer

Regardless of whether you are new to Instagram or an old hand, you probably wish it was possible to upload images directly from your computer. Well, it is now. Here’s how:

  1. Open Google Chrome (install if needed)
  2. Use the following shortcut; either Ctrl+Shift+i (Windows), or Command+Shift+(Mac) . This opens the developer window that can be resized so it doesn’t dominate your screen.
  3. Use the following shortcut; either Ctrl+Shift+m (Windows) or Command+Shift+m (Mac)  You are now in Mobile simulation mode.
  4. Login to your Instagram account, hopefully things will appear the same as viewing Instagram on a mobile device.

Note: Instagram appears to be ignoring #hashtags when posting them with the image itself. However, posting #hashtags in a separate comment will work correctly.

Insta2

 

Editing Photos with Snapseed

More and more cameras have built-in WiFi, and there are a number of manufacturers producing SD cards that are WiFi enabled. For $30/40 most digital cameras can be WiFi enabled.

When matching this functionality with smart phones, it becomes easy to edit and share images without the need for a computer. This comes into it’s own when away for the weekend or longer and you wish to travel light.

There are many image editing applications, some of them free. One such free application is Google’s Snapseed.  A new version of Snapseed was released late last year and as well as a revamp to the appearance, two important tools have been included; an adjustment brush and a spot healing tool.

Other apps have spot healing built in, but they lack the usability or effectiveness of Snapseed, you end up having to use two applications to edit a single photo. Now it is possible to remove unwanted specs of dust, lens flare, or even the odd person within Snapseed.

An adjustment brush gives flexibility to selectively adjust areas of an image for exposure, dodge/burn, and white balance.

The image below was taken on a recent impromptu DPS visit to Lawrence.

Screenshot_2016-02-28-14-37-15
Note the presence of a histogram

 

The 7 stages of the edit using the various features of Snapseed:

Details: added some contrast, lowered the highlights, and raised the shadows a small amount.

Tune Image: added structure and sharpened a small amount.

Brush: reduced the exposure on the clouds by a 0.3 of a stop, using my finger to paint.

Healing: removed a bottle halfway down the bridge.

Screenshot_2016-02-28-14-38-36
The healing tool uses a content aware approach

Vignette: added a darkening vignette. Unlike Lightroom, you can easily position the center of the vignette where you want  to be.

Brush: burned the outside planks, dodged the middle plank ,painting with my finger.

Tune Image: added more contrast.

You can view all the stages of editing that you performed (as shown below), and you can also delete stages. It is also possible to go back and fine tune the edits.

Screenshot_2016-02-28-14-40-26
The 7 edits are listed in chronological order

 

The saved image after the edits.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Note the presence of a histogram

There are also a range of filters and effects that can be applied in various degrees of intensity depending on your taste.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
After the edits plus a grunge filter.

Snapseed does claim RAW editing functionality with DNG compatibility. I was unable to use this functionality as my phone is limited in power. This function will no doubt become a significant factor that will make editing on a mobile device more than just an on-the-go option, and could replace PC based editing altogether.

Snapseed is available for Android and iOS and can be downloaded from their respective app stores.

A host of tutorials on using Snapseed are available here.