Picasa 3.9 is slow…

Picasa latest update to 3.9 is slow like a snail with whatever integration there is for Google+. It starts up slow, it seems like it wants to hang on you after starting up. Totally waste of time.

Get the old version 3.8 if you have regretted like we have at http://goo.gl/G1CTI

Simply install that in the same directory that you have install Picasa. Your settings will remain intact. Remember to disable updating after downgrading to the FASTer version of 3.8

Why Hands?

So why hands?

When we export after a day of shooting panoramas, this is typically how it looks like:

Why do you see hands? We’ve been ask many times even during shooting, after shooting, during exporting of the images, when stitching… Photographers around us do notice the extra few shutter clicks after what seemed like, we have finish the shots with hands covering the lens.

Simple solution to a complex problem? Not really. It simply tells us later than that is the start and end of 1 Panoramas. It saves a lot of time sorting out the images later and it can drive any panographer crazy trying to match this his shots together.

Some panographers shoots their watch, images are time stamped already aren’t they? But the reasons are the same.

So there it is and now you know.

An Exciting Day

The 5DMK3 or III.

The launch was very much watched. Crashed Canon Rumors and a certain live streaming site that was linked from CR. We won’t be posting the specs. It can be Google-ed easily. Twitter was flooded at 300+ post every 5 minutes since 12pm Singapore Time.

The rumors, the anticipation then the photos, the actual launch and announcements and finally, a much needed Preview Article at DPReview was exhilarating! Finally, the side-by-side for a quick overview. Enjoy!

Now, for it to reach our shores…

Thoughts of a <_> photographer


We so often go to sites, looking at pictures. That’s like one of the favorite past times of any photographer, hobbyists, leisure shooters and even the professionals. I love it when people reflect after a while and this is one of the most meaningful one I’ve come across.

Mindy shares her experience at weddings, I especially like the part where she described a Singapore father-son relationship, it is true among many sons and fathers – http://mindytan.com/blog/2010/12/thoughts-of-a-wedding-photographer/

David “Strobist” Hobby – On his leaving the Baltimore Sun and running Strobist fulltime. http://strobist.blogspot.com/2008/08/will-shoot-for-food.html

Site Maintenance

Maintenance on 12 Feb 2012 12.01am to 3am (SGT) Check http://www.facebook.com/panoasia in the meantime. 🙂

Calling Panographers in NYC

Please go call up B&H and show them what a real panorama looks like please. We’ve always been critical about Google’s quality…more of the lack of it. Google recently visited B&H under the business programme that Google has and created this. Do a few free ones for B&H please. I’ll be glad to do it, when I do visit New York whenever that is…

So if you’re a panographer, I know there’s a few based in NYC. Call them up, create something without those parallex errors and a proper nadir for god’s sake. Then upsell with other paying ones inside the store. I think they’ll be happier and not look like some criminal or porn stars with mosiac-ed face on Google Streetview.

The requirement based on what is created are faily simple. Take the whole store. HDR was used although poorly in Google’s version. it may not be a bad thing. Now they know what is possible, it’s time you show up and do it better. Do cover the 2nd floor. Seems not covered when i am viewing till the stairs leading to “Photography” (just after studio lightings). It’s afterall, B&H! Not showing photography equipment in their panos should be made illegal. lol.

– via Wired

Outdated Pano Sites 2012

High turnover… Visit at your own risks.

Autodesk Stitcher moved, alive and kicking! – http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?id=11390049&siteID=123112

AutoPano – Was autopano.net, is now http://www.kolor.com/

Easypano – Bite the dust? Unrealible host? www.easypano.com

EggSolution – Redirects to some CGI, seems macious. http://www.eggsolution.com

Flashpanos and Pano Salado – Domain on auction at 7kUSD at last check with the evil Godaddy – http://flashpanos.com/, panosalado.com

iSeephotoVista – FAKE Site that looks like Youtube. http://www.iseephotovista.com

Flash360 – Dead. www.flash360.net

VRStation – Active or NOT. http://www.vrstation.net/

Weifeng Group – Dead. http://www.mamut.net/flashandmore/subdet274.htm

360 Precision took their own sweet time (too)

Samyang first now, 360 Precision. Do check and check if you are ordering. They tend to delete your post on Facebook too. If you don’t have the stock, say so! Don’t tell post in your store saying you have then when I order, you start machining it! You can build the world’s best ticketing system but if there’s no response, what for?!

3 Nov 2011 – Place order

13 Nov 2011 – Left Google Checkout negative comment.

19 Nov 2011 – Tried asking on their ticketing system

26 Nov 2011 – Openly posted on their Facebook page hoping for a response.

30 Nov 2011 – Check Facebook post (above image), post was deleted. Went back to ticketing system hoping, praying for a response. Google Checkout/ Google Wallet still shows NO SHIPPED! WTF?! Sent an email to support@360prec.zendesk.com, praying again…FML, price dropped of the Atome. Paid 225 Pounds, is now $174 pounds. And I still not not have it in my hands.

30 Nov 2011 – Agreed to refund the difference for all items not shipped

19 Dec 2011 – Received a note that tracking is available. Items seemed shipped till I check it 2 hours later. Item is in Singapore. Was actually shipped 16 Dec. Not suprise ANY updates is slow anyway. Just glad it’s in Singapore and I hope in my hands soon, Merry Christmas to me please?

23 Dec 2011 – Got the Atome in my hands! Merry Christmas to us!

IE Falling…

Stats are important and we generally have one post a year on this. Firefox continue to dominate the stats for visitors coming to our sites and who are also running Windows. Not suprise and we continue to develope and output panoramas based on those trends allowing more people to view the panoramas without having to install extra plugins.

There’s a slight uptrend for Safari on iPhone viewers but continue developing and ensuring Firefox and Chrome and IE works covers more than 75% of visitors.

Related 1, 2.

Backblaze 2.0

Our favorite backup-to-the-cloud software has been given an update.

More info here but here’s what’s “important”.

Unlimited File Size – while most of you have been able to backup all of your files with the previous 9 GB maximum, now there will never be a file too big to backup.

Unlimited File Types – now you can backup VMware, Parallels, and other virtual machines; as well as ISOs and every single other file type.

Maximum Performance – we have added an Automatic Throttle to most efficiently use your Internet connection, added file batching to speed small file transfer, added hardware acceleration, reduced RAM user further, and much more.

Why it’s our favorite here.

Do you need that fast CF/SD Card?

You bought your first DSLR, congrats then the accessories buying spree comes on. It’s common for all of us.Bags to go along, straps and so on. Then the decision to buy more cards for your camera. It can be confusing and well, some just go for the cheapest, some go for the fastest but do you need it?

SD Cards are defined by the SD Association as 8 megabits per second (MBit/ sec) which equals 1MB per second (MB/sec). A Class2 is rated at 16MBit/sec or 2MB/sec. Class4 are “up to” 4MB/sec, Class 6 is up to 6MB/sec and class 10 are 10MB/sec. Recently announced UHS Speed Class 1 (UHS for Ultra High Speed)  has speeds up to 312MB/sec with SDHC and SDXC cards.

So what about CF cards? CFs care commonly branded as 1x which is 1.2Mbit/sec which equals 155kilobits per second (Kb/sec). So a 100x CF card has up to 15MB/sec and 133x will be 20MB/sec. There are the Extreme Pro CF Cards now that has speeds up to 100MB/sec.

Sandisk are straight forward now with their new branding and better customer information with their clearly labelled speeds on the cards itself.

Depending on your needs, we take almost exclusively panoramas thus do not really have to own really speedy cards for for the matter, speedy cameras. SD cards prices have plummeted quite a bit and we’ve switch some cards to SD cards with CF Cards adaptors seeing also that most DSLR seems to be making the switch to SDs.

So, see your camera specs and since you are starting out, we assume you are taking jpg and not RAW. Based on your burst rate, size of your camera sensors. You can easily calculate how much data are being written to your camera per second.

On our primary camera, the Canon 5D MKII, we’ve never need more but it sure can do more than 500 – 800 jpg images with a single burst on a Sandisk Ultra 16Gb with 30MB/s printed on the CF Card at the rated 3.9fps before the battery runs out.

So most times, you do not need that super fast, super expensive, super high capacity SD or CF card for your SGD$1000 camera. Just get something affordable like Sandisk Ultra series. It might also be wise to get 2 pieces of 16Gb if you can or 2 x 8Gb. Loosing one on a trip means you don’t loose all your photos. Of course, remember to backup often.

Alteration from a panographer

Image- Los Angeles Times, March 31, 2003

At times, I do alter certain scenes, colors, nadir that ever so often requires work and at times, masking out people who were actually in the photos before the stitch but not there after the final stitch of the panorama but they ALWAYS do not change the context of the image nor the feel that I wish to bring to the panorama. With the availability of digital cameras, computers and software, shooting panoramas and doing virtual tour is very much the outcome of A Digital Photographer, not an analogue one. Not many years ago, doing a flash or HTML5 panoramas that you can view on a PC or your phone is unheard of.

From <A photo teacher>(link below), we ponders:

What will be the photographer’s relationship to their subject matter?

What responsibilities does the photographer have to their subject matter?

How does the photographer reconcile their intentions and practice with regards to their subject matter, particularly in the context of photographing “the Other”?

After the photographs are made, what becomes of them and of the subjects in the photographs? For whom do the photographs benefit?

What ethical and/or moral guidelines will the photographer set for themselves and their working practice?

Image at start of article, it is altered from 2 images. The photographer was dismissed by the LA Times. It does make for a stronger images that “said” more.