Categories
Photography

The old Nik Collection is still free

After the sunset, edited in Silver Efex Pro 2

Nik Collection 4.0 was announced recently but comments here say that if you have a previous version it always shows an update warning that can’t be turned off.

Within a couple weeks of usage, I received the on-screen notification when launching the software below telling me to update. However, clicking on that “Install Now” button neither downloads nor installs a software update but instead, takes me back to the DxO website and prompts me to purchase brand new software.

If you’re curious, the original Nik Collection that was made free by Google in 2016 still works. You can grab it on Mac and Windows from this page at archive.org.

Categories
Tech

Google Photos ends free storage tomorrow

That photo taken today is a helicopter rotor

Google Photos will start counting your uploads against a storage limit from tomorrow. Make sure you upload anything you’ve been meaning to upload in the next few hours!

Also go into your shared albums and click the “Save photos” button if you want “local” copies of any photos shared with you.

I’m sticking with Google Photos. The ease of sharing photos and AI search make it worth while, but I will be disabling automatic upload off my phone. I take too many snapshots that I don’t care enough about to pay for them.

Categories
blogging General

Google remembers they own Feedburner

Google sent out an email today to Feedburner users with the ominous subject, “Upcoming changes to Feedburner”.

It’s Google so my first thought was that they were about to shut it down. No, it’s not quite that bad, but they are shutting down parts of the service.

Starting in July, we are transitioning FeedBurner onto a more stable, modern infrastructure. This will keep the product up and running for all users, but it also means that we will be turning down most non-core feed management features, including email subscriptions, at that time.

This blog and my photoblog each have email subscribers through Feedburner. If you are reading this through one of those emails come visit the site and scroll to the end of the page. There’s a “Subscribe via Email” form you can use to join the 9,145 others who read whatever it is I post here. (How is that number so large? Is that accurate? Reply here please if you are one of them. It’s WordPress stuff you’re looking for isn’t it? Sorry, I haven’t been posting much about that in a long time!)

If you’re reading this through a Feedburner URL and I know there are a few of you out there it might be safer to use https://odd.blog/feed/ instead. You know, just in case Google kills it off. I know it’s unlike them to do that but you never know.

Google Takeout doesn’t include a “Feedburner” directory either. I must export the Feedburner stats and take a look at them. Here’s the tiny graph they show you. Look at that in 2010. Whoah! It’s all been downhill since then. If you’re still reading this blog since then, thank you. I really appreciate your attention since you now have Twitter and Facebook to distract you.

Categories
Photos

Scan Photos with your Phone

Google’s new PhotoScan app (it’s on iOS too) is pretty good. Here’s a photo of the Marina in Cork my Dad took sometime in the nineties, probably. I’ll spare you the family photos! 🙂

Marina

There’s a lengthy Reddit thread on it too.

Categories
Android

When is Android Pay coming to Ireland?

I’ll admit I haven’t been too excited about the whole “paying for things with my phone” hype. I think I may have used a contactless terminal in Mc Donalds once. But there was a system update for my Galaxy S7 Edge yesterday and early this morning I noticed a new application, Android Pay. Despite the early hour I quickly went through the setup process but adding the credit card from my Google account brought me to this screen:

Android Pay

Various searches on Google haven’t thrown up anything useful or hopeful. It’s anyone’s guess when Android Pay will go live here. Anyone know?

Categories
Android

The Google Now mini games are fun

Next time you launch Google Now tap on the Google Doodle and you’ll see the screen above. 

They’re fun games you can play on your phone, all with a sporting, Olympic theme with cute fruity graphics!

Categories
Android

Searching for Animals

searching for animals

The stand alone Google Photos app went live last night and I’m playing with it this morning. I love that I can search my photos for animals, family or San Francisco and it will return meaningful results.

The app is really nice to use now, I love the new month view for quickly moving back through the years. I only wish Google Backup would work on all DNG files. Despite what their documentation says those files aren’t getting backed up. 🙁

I’m not so fond of the limited editing features. Many of my older photos need to be rotated because they were shot in Jpeg and some app I used long ago changed the rotation bit in the files. To rotate I have to select an image, click the pencil to edit, click the crop tool, click rotate 3 times, save, X. Then move on to another. Hopefully they’ll allow batch editing of photos in the future.

Categories
Android

Find My Phone

find-my-phone

Neat, search for find my phone using Google and it will tell you where your Android phone is! More here.

Categories
Android Photography Photos

Raw DNG Samples from the Nexus 5

Android L, the next major release of Android will allow apps to get raw data from the camera. This lets photographers extract more information and develop photos a lot more than they could with simple Jpeg files. They’ll be able to “push” the image further to recover blown out highlights and recover detail from shadows.

At least that’s the theory. You’re still working with the relatively small lenses and sensors in camera phones so they’re not going to compare to a DSLR or dedicated camera but images will get closer in quality.

This thread on r/Android has some samples of DNG files you can work on in Lightroom or whatever your RAW processor of choice is. The photos were taken with lcamera as the official Google camera app only records to Jpeg images. I took a stab at the “auto exposure” image here and came up with this:

2014-10-19-182340-gp

That’s pretty good for a photo taken by a Nexus 5 at ISO 1635. Lightroom settings were as follows:

Settings:

  • Temp: -1.65
  • Tint: +59
  • Exposure: -1.65
  • Highlights: -100
  • Shadows: 100
  • Whites: +2
  • Blacks: -29
  • Clarity: +22

Detail

  • Sharpening
    • Amount: 67
    • Radius: 1.0
    • Detail: 10
    • Masking: 70
  • Noise Reduction
    • Luminance: 20
    • Detail: 50
    • Contrast: 0

I’m really excited to see what Android L will bring to camera apps once it’s officially out in the wild and more phones have it installed!

Categories
Android

Google Cardboard

If you’ve been hankering after an Oculus Rift then Google Cardboard might be something you can use to whet your appetite for virtual reality. It’s basically a cardboard enclosure for your Android phone with two lenses, a magnet and NFC tag. Once assembled you launch the Cardboard app on your phone, put it in the enclosure and use the magnet at the side as a trigger button. Warning, there’s some NSFW language in the video below.

The Tested guys have a blog post with a few more insights and thoughts about Cardboard.

If anything, Google Cardboard brings more credibility to the rumor that Oculus is working with Samsung to create virtual reality goggle frames that can use Samsung Galaxy smartphones as the display. Cardboard’s cheap construction belies its effectiveness–the secret sauce here is in the 40mm lenses and the brilliant magnet-based trigger button.

I’d love to try one out. I wonder if I can get those lenses anywhere nearby?