This is a gravestone in the graveyard of St. James’s Church in Durrus, Sheep’s Head as pictured in 2014. Ted died well before his time at a young age and I have no idea who he was but to judge by his final message he must have been an interesting character.
More than 800 people marched through Cork on Saturday to protest the CervicalCheck scandal where 209 smear tests were misread and 18 women have died already.
Terminally ill Emma Mhic Mhathúna appeared at a protest today in Kerry.
In a poignant protest in Tralee town centre on Monday evening, the very day that she was told that her cancer has spread even further to her vertebra, Emma, in a moving and emotional speech, said that she would continue to fight for reform of the health service. “I am sick of being treated like nothing. Our health is the last thing that these people care about. The Dáil needs to realise that if they are going to take responsibility for our lives they better do it well or they need to be fired,” she told the crowd. “I promise my death won’t go unnoticed. I will make sure that they pay for what they have done to every single family in Ireland, whether you are on a waiting list too long or whether you are not being treated fair. Tell them you’re my friend and I’ll come and sort them out.” “I can’t save my life but at least I can save yours and your children’s lives.”
I’m a huge fan of Google Photos. It’s an amazing service that lets me quickly share photos with particular people, creates interesting images from my photos and it’s a convenient way to bring my photo archive with me on my phone.
However, the new “Backup & Sync” app from Google that replaced the old uploader is problematic.
As well as uploading my photos to Google Photos it would backup to Google Drive. I don’t care about this feature because I use Backblaze for backups. I didn’t really realise what this meant when I first installed the app.
I told it to sync my “2018” folder and it dutifully started backing up to Google Photos but I soon noticed that the storage used in my Google account was decreasing. Eventually I found the computers section of Google Drive. All my files were backed up there.
It appears that “Don’t sync to this computer” doesn’t mean “don’t sync this computer to Google Drive”. However it does mean that any files deleted in the synced “Computers” section of Google Drive will be deleted locally. I found this out when I tried to save some storage space by deleting files off Google Drive. Later that day I fired up Lightroom and it reported that a large number of files were unavailable. I opened the folder in Finder only to see the images magically disappear before my eyes.
It was “Backup & Sync” deleting my local files. It was syncing deletes “to this computer”. Thankfully the files were still in the Trash so I could restore them quickly.
So, instead of wasting my storage I need to upload things manually. I see two options:
Drag and drop files on to a Google Photos browser window.
Sync one temporary folder where I copy duplicates of my photos. I need to periodically delete those files off Google Drive which won’t matter locally because they’ll be duplicates that are deleted immediately after upload.
It’s disappointing that Google merged the backup and sync functionality. Google Photos is not a backup service unless you pay for storage and upload full size images. For that reason I can see why they did it.
Lightroom Classic CC supports a wide range of lenses but if you're not shooting in RAW you'll probably be out of luck if you want to apply a lens profile. All the built-in lens profiles were made with RAW files in mind. If you're shooting Jpeg then you're out of luck.
I usually shoot RAW but a few weeks ago I used Jpeg to do some street photography. All was well until I tried to correct the lens distortion. Lightroom couldn't find any lens profile! I thought my Lightroom install had been corrupted somehow. The list of lenses only included one Tamron lens, and not the right one.
After much searching and testing I figured out what to do. Paths are for a Mac. You'll find Mac and Windows paths in this blog post by the Lightroom Queen but the ideas are the same. Copy file, rename, edit, restart Lightroom.
Custom lens profiles go in the directory ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/LensProfiles/1.0/
The built in lens profiles are packaged with Lightroom, so find Lightroom in Applications, right click on it and then "Show Package Contents" to browse into it. You'll find the lens profiles in Contents/Resources/LensProfiles/1.0/
Look for the profile for your lens and copy it into the same camera/lens/ directory structure in the ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/LensProfiles/1.0/ directory.
Rename the new lens profile file, removing the " – RAW" string from the end of the filename.
Edit that file in a text editor and change every instance of stCamera:CameraRawProfile="True" to stCamera:CameraRawProfile="False". There will be quite a few of them for a zoom lens.
Restart Lightroom, apply lens profile to your Jpeg file.
More fun in the snow today of course. Storm Emma wasn't quite as strong as we were all led to believe (voluntary curfew from 4pm yesterday to noon today for example), but it still dumped more snow on us that I've ever seen in Ireland.
All that snow made it easy to build another snowman or two, and provided plenty of ammo for a snowball fight later in the day. Snowballs to the side of the head can hurt …
One of our cats, Hoppy, disappeared for several hours today making us very worried because of the cold temperatures and drifting snow. We went out searching for her several times, talked to neighbours and called for her throughout the day. She suddenly reappeared tonight looking for petting and attention and purring loudly. Her coat was barely wet and wasn't cold so she had found somewhere warm and dry to hide away in. Should have known she'd land on her feet!
Looks like rain tomorrow. The two snowmen in the back garden won't like that!
Last September almost 600 employees of Automattic travelled to Whistler in Canada for our annual Grand Meetup. As is now a company tradition a photograph was taken of everyone who attended. It’s a challenge taking a photograph of that many people. Remember how hard it was taking that family photo? The difficulty of getting everyone to look at the camera at the moment the shutter closed, or even just getting everyone in one place is multiplied when you have this number of people.
The last company photo was also taken in Whistler and we took a photo in the that same location again but it wasn’t good enough. The camera wasn’t up high enough, so people in the back were all but invisible in the photo. This photo was taken around the corner, where the photo was taken from a first floor balcony. Plenty of height and a perfect vantage point.
Taking the photo was one challenge, but then came development of the image. The camera had to be handheld because of the location on the balcony but the photographer took plenty of shots so I had a lot of material to work with.
The first issue was lining up the photos and I tried using Affinity Photo. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite up to the job (at least with the knowledge I have, it’s an excellent tool otherwise) but I learned a lot about working with layers and layer masks as I swapped parts of different images around.
Eventually I used Photoshop, loaded 3 photos in a stack and the auto align did a great job of correcting for changes in each photo.
What turned out to be the biggest pain point in developing a photo like this was removing people from the background. Here’s a few of them:
I’m already planning for next year. We’ll get some shots of the background to make it easier to to clone bystanders out, and have more volunteers to help organise the shoot so we make best use of the available space.
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