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Saturday, 24 October 2020 Dereel Images for 24 October 2020
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New DxO PhotoLab
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

DxO have released a new version of PhotoLab, version 4. As a long-standing customer and user of PhotoLab, I found out, of course—from DPReview. As I've seen before, it seems that DxO didn't see any reason to inform its customers.

OK, find the thing, not made easier by their web site breakage. Finally downloaded and installed it, which involved restarting my Microsoft box, distress. And how about that, it looks pretty much like the old one. No obvious bugs fixed: navigating the preview strip still is touch-and-go (it worked in previous releases), and the cursor breakage I have seen is still there. But they have changed the side bars with the tools. Now you can (apparently) only see some tools at any one time, presumably an inappropriate attempt to make up for the size of the tools.

And most important of all, highlighting overexposed and underexposed areas is now turned on by default. And I can't turn the bloody thing off! Off to look for the manual. I've been there before, so went looking for it in the links I save at the time. But that's nearly 4 years ago! In the meantime they had discarded the links and even one of the hosts.

More searching the site. How about using their search function to look for "photolab manual". 13 hits, only one including the word photolab, and that was not relevant.

OK, ask Google. Aaah! It's not called a manual, fool, it's a “user guide”, and it's here in PDF form, as you'd expect, at least until they find time to move it elsewhere.

On the positive side, its 232 pages long and apparently quite detailed. OK, search for “highlight”. One hit:

DxO PhotoLab subtly and automatically retains highlights in RAW images while preventing them from being clipped, and even recovers certain details in areas that are already clipped. (We advise you to work in RAW whenever possible to take advantage of the greater latitude in processing and correcting your images.)

I suppose it's typical that they shout, and the functionality looks useful, but how do I turn this bloody highlighting off? Simple: stop the program and return to PhotoLab 3. They haven't got off to a good start.


More riding arena measurements
Topic: Stones Road house, general Link here

Call from David Rowe this afternoon, wanting to come around “in about 2 minutes” to do some more measurements on the site of the shed to cover the riding arena. He did that, but I'm left wondering why this is all so complicated.


Ossobuco revisited
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Ossobuco for dinner tonight. Time to take some photos of the process:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Ossobuco-1.jpeg
Image title: Ossobuco 1          Dimensions:          5286 x 3888, 4163 kB
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Ossobuco-2.jpeg
Image title: Ossobuco 2          Dimensions:          5321 x 3888, 3817 kB
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Ossobuco-6.jpeg
Image title: Ossobuco 6          Dimensions:          5287 x 3888, 3247 kB
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Ossobuco-10.jpeg
Image title: Ossobuco 10          Dimensions:          5342 x 3888, 2718 kB
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Ossobuco-14.jpeg
Image title: Ossobuco 14          Dimensions:          5396 x 3888, 3758 kB
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Ossobuco-15.jpeg
Image title: Ossobuco 15          Dimensions:          5378 x 3888, 4053 kB
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Mandolins: useful?
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

A big part of making ossobuco is the battuto for the soffrito. Finely chop onions, carrots and celery:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Ossobuco-9.jpeg
Image title: Ossobuco 9          Dimensions:          5286 x 3888, 4058 kB
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What better to do that than with a mandolin (which for some reason is frequently spelt “mandoline”, apparently without change in pronunciation)?

Well, it's not that simple. Getting the onion right was difficult. The first attempt looked like this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Mandolin-2.jpeg
Image title: Mandolin 2          Dimensions:          5286 x 3888, 3079 kB
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Mandolin-3.jpeg
Image title: Mandolin 3          Dimensions:          5284 x 3888, 4004 kB
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It requires just the right amount of pressure to get things cut properly, and even then the end of the onion gets left over and has to be done by hand:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Mandolin-4.jpeg
Image title: Mandolin 4          Dimensions:          5284 x 3888, 3843 kB
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Mandolin-5.jpeg
Image title: Mandolin 5          Dimensions:          5217 x 3888, 1587 kB
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The carrots were more problems. Firstly, how do you slide them at the beginning? They just turn. And when I finally got them started (leaving a flat surface to stop them turning) I couldn't get them done all the way. This stupid mandolin pressure pad doesn't go below the line of the edges of the device, so it can't engage on this carrot:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Mandolin-7.jpeg
Image title: Mandolin 7          Dimensions:          5186 x 3888, 1518 kB
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So at the end I had a lot left over:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Mandolin-9.jpeg
Image title: Mandolin 9          Dimensions:          5339 x 3888, 4074 kB
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Unexpectedly, the celery went through with almost no problems:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20201024/big/Mandolin-10.jpeg
Image title: Mandolin 10          Dimensions:          5339 x 3888, 4203 kB
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The only problem there was that the pressure pad doesn't work on them, so I could only slice them as far as I could hold them with my fingers.

So: was it worth it? I still don't know. My guess is yes: it probably saved time, and potentially I can find ways to improve the proportion that I can cut with the mandolin.


Sunday, 25 October 2020 Dereel
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Scanning old photos, continued
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

It's been well over a week since I scanned in some photos I took 55 years ago. The real issue is to put them on a directory corresponding to the day on which they were taken, and fake Exif data for them.

That's not as difficult as it seems: I kept an exposure notebook at the time, and a couple of years later I transcribed it to an A5 ring notebook:

And I already have a PHP script to add the Exif data. How hard can it be?

Bearable, I suppose. But there were a number of surprises:

  1. I marked this particular film as Ilford HP4, but in fact it was Ilford Mark V, ciné film similar to HP4. We bought a number of offcuts from film producers; on one occasion we got one that had been used for an episode of The Avengers. It could even have been this film. I didn't note it when we got it, but I recall that it was Mark V.
  2. I had to update my script, of course, at least for various equipment that I encountered for the first time with this film.
  3. I didn't write the date of each image, just the start and end dates for the entire film. I had to cross-check with my diary to see what I did when.
  4. Some of the images were pretty terrible. When does historical interest outweigh terrible image quality?
  5. It seems that I got some details wrong, probably when transcribing the notes in 1967: image descriptions didn't match what was on the negatives.
  6. Motion picture film doesn't have frame numbers in the margins, only length indications (at the time in feet, I think). That doesn't make it easier to identify the negatives.

I had to enter the exposure details, of course. For that I use an extension of the Makejpeg format that I started decades ago. Here the first two entries:

I309_DxO Gaston-1 d c 1 l 9 F 11 f 4.8 s 250 i 500 a Paul_Hallett
I310_DxO Gaston-2 a Paul_Hallett

Those are the first two entries on the handwritten sheet above. They give the file name, the name for the photo, and Exif information: d specifies “use directory date”, c 1 is camera 1 (Pentax SV), l 9 is the lens (55 mm f/1.8 Super Takumar), F 11 is film 11 (Mark V), f 4.8 is the aperture (f/4.8), s 250 is the shutter speed (1/250 s), i 500 is the linear ISO speed (500) and a Paul_Hallett is the author.

Most of this information gets carried over from one image to the next, just not the author information. Since both images were exposed the same, that's all that needed to be carried over.

And here are the corresponding photos. Run the cursor over an image to see the Exif data:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/19651010/big/Gaston-1.jpeg
Image title: Gaston 1          Dimensions:          3303 x 1976, 2146 kB
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/19651010/big/Gaston-2.jpeg
Image title: Gaston 2          Dimensions:          3319 x 1976, 2255 kB
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That's done now. But it took a lot of work. Hopefully it will be easier from now on.


DxO PhotoLab surprise
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

Yesterday I grumbled that the new DxO PhotoLab 4 highlighted overexposed parts of images, and I couldn't turn it off. Now it doesn't highlight them, and I can't turn it on.

I really need to read that manual.


Statements returning to bite me
Topic: history, technology, opinion Link here

I'm not the only person looking back over the years. Peter Jeremy came up with this quote from IRC:

<PJ-}> 2010-10-25 19:35:20     <groggyhimself> What good is dump(8)?
<PJ-}> 2010-10-25 19:36:41     <groggyhimself> If I find a dump in 10 years' time, I can put it on the compost.
<PJ-}> 2010-10-25 19:36:47     <groggyhimself> tar will prevail.

And the funny thing is, 10 years later, I am still using dump(8). I wonder why. I think I was right 10 years ago.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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