Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Kelvingrove – the wide view

I’ve been meaning to get this shot together for ages, but just never found the time.

It’s not that it could take a lot of time to create, but more that I hadn’t tried one as big or wide as this before, as it was intended to capture almost 180° horizontally and vertically. While it would have been nice to also have a flattened view, I can only afford free software, so can only combine pics taken from a point. I did try to trick the software once, by taking flat shots across a subject, but it just laughed at me, and could not work out how to find and match the edges of the images to be stitched together.

This eventually came out reasonably well, being a combination of almost 50 images, each being more than 10 MB.

I’m not sure how the top came to be so far off centre – I thought I was standing on the centreline (guess not).

There’s ghosting of people since the place was busy, and although this reduced size version of the full stitch doesn’t show it, I really had too much overlap between each image. With fewer images, I usually can’t see the join or any overlap effects. With lots of overlap, the software probably can’t combine the areas without leaving at least some evidence.

It’s funny, as I’ve done the same with views of the Winter Gardens at the People’s Palace, where a fairly ordinary wide-angle lens can catch enough of the view from the balcony to make the effort of stitching multiple images more or less pointless.

But pointing the same lens at this view inside Kelvingrove?

Almost not worth the effort… unless you stand back and frame the view through pillars. But then you’re not going to get the full side-to-side and floor to ceiling view, like this:

Kelvingrove Pano Stitch

Kelvingrove Pano Stitch

Looking at this final effort, I noticed that it demonstrates one of the seldom mentioned advantages of digital over film.

This image shows an exposure range I (as a poor amateur) would never have been able to capture or show using film, as it shows detail in the shadowy dark end of the view, where the organ can be seen, while still showing bright detail in the illuminated lights, and the individual glazing frames within the upper windows, which had the bright sky behind.

And this is without any deliberate post-processing to enhance selected detail.

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September 1, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | 4 Comments

Site news August 2017

Big S blog

Oops… About halfway through August, and hopelessly diverted.

Firefox users will know that November will see a horrendous amount of major changes arrive with Fx57, while Fx55 and Fx56 have been telegraphing warning for any disbelievers, although I had been sticking with Fx54 as it was stable.

However, I did start the month by wandering into Fx57 Nightly, to see what was coming (as I have come to rely on so many items that will cease to function/exist come November). This started OK as stuff I expected to expire did, but then a new Nightly version REALLY killed everything as it eliminated ALL legacy option, and I almost gave up.

I also found I had to stop using both Fx54 AND Fx55 as their configurations no longer seems to be compatible with Fx56 Beta or Developer Editions, and they will inevitably be superseded so persevering is pointless. However, having stuck with the Beta and Developer versions of 56 both seem to have stabilised. 57 Nightly has stabilised to – but is still a painful reminder that four addons I have come to rely on are dead, and just have to lie down. November will arrive all too soon. There are no equivalents for them, and the developers of three have stated they will not rework with WE (web extensions) to work with 57. The fourth was abandoned years ago, so no chance of update, and again no alternative.

It’s not all bad news.

Although Chrome developers have poured scorn on the architecture of 57 and dismissed its speed claims, as someone who has far too many tabs open (and commits other speed-sapping sins) I for one can dispel these as pure ‘sour grapes’. The speed of 57 is almost enough to make me move to the Nightly now, rather than wait for November – but I still have to find a way to live without tab groups and some other tab handling gems that are, so far, not available in 57. Other methods are available, but they just don’t flow as smoothly (for me) as the oldies but goodies.

Wiki and Photobucket treachery

I should ‘get over’ Photobucket’s dirty tricks, but I still like calling them out, so the name-calling will continue.

I did get around to formatting the new pic links needed to restore the images to our Wiki pages, but while this is fairly simple and quick, the real problem is that internally, the pics have to be uploaded to specific directories to match the existing structure, and that a manual process with each upload being individual – and therefore slow as there’s no pattern or rule that means it can be automated.

Not helped by a seeming bonus from conventional media sites that have found a number of gems that belong there too – I’ve bookmarked around 50 so far, yet have no time to write 50 pages!

At least the rats have given up ‘Alerting’ me that I have lost some options – and finally closed the empty accounts – so I am no longer getting emails from them asking for about $40  a month or $400 a year for the formerly free hosting service.

Forum etc

Having been diverted by Firefox, and some other issues, I haven’t been able to spend much time playing with anything else.

I had yet another issue with an odd web hosting failure, this time down to some obscure comparability setting in PHP as some code was rewritten for the Wiki system. Although I wasted time trying to find it, it was resolved almost as mysteriously as it appeared, and things started working normally. I hate ‘Backwards Compatibility’ (but it is also a near essential).

The main priority now is to actually manage a year of Post-a-Day in the Blog, which still seems possible.

There’s material for the Wiki, but time to shove it in and accompany with proper writing seems to be missing, but a few new pages are trickling in, and some existing pages are even getting updated with new info.

I still think those that take the time to share goodies in Flickr are worthy of a monthly ‘Thank You’, and have been a little pained recently, having had to delete images posted of places abroad, but they’re not Scotland, sorry. That said, I have allowed ONE exception, and there are a few rather nice images of dereliction (in France I think) which I’m leaving for purposes of comparison.

Forum? Well, something has to fall off the list when you’re short of time, so I’ll leave you guess what it is.

Odd observation confirmed

I don’t generally bother to look at the site’s stats, but do get a one page summary every month, which is kind of amusing to look at – the top ten pages visited are almost always the same (seriously folks, what’s so enthralling about Barry Buddon?), and the normal visitor number is about 2,000 per day.

But,

Overnight, as of the start of June, this dropped instantly to around 450 (this is from my hosting report, not a free counter, but it happens to agree).

That’s quite a drop.

I don’t recall changing anything (significant), but this new ‘norm’ has now been reported for two months.

We did have some outages due to some PHP code revision, but that was a month later, so can’t be related.

Guess I have some more head-scratching (and skelf-avoidance) upcoming, to find out why, or what I’ve done or broke, unless somebody I’ve upset has done something to target me with some sort of denial attack.

September 1, 2017 Posted by | Site News | , , , | 2 Comments

   

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