RIP Microsoft Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery is no longer available

Last month saw the end of the support and availability of Microsoft Photo Gallery. This was one of Microsoft’s fines products. It provided photo enthusiasts an easy to use, yet most versatile, tool for importing, managing, enhancing, editing, transforming, their pictures, and much more.

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Orphaned five years ago, this image manager-editor remained a state-of-the-art tool. Only professional grade editors can do more to this day. The ease of use is unsurpassed.

Until last month Microsoft allowed Photo Gallery to be downloaded from their site. This has now been discontinued.

One of the nice features in Photo Gallery was the ease of selecting photos to be processed by other tools and launching those tools from right inside Photo Gallery. One of those tools is the outstanding Image Composite Editor by Microsoft Research. This panorama stitching editor is still available.

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If you still have Photo Gallery installed – it works beautifully in Windows 10 and prior versions – you can continue to use it. I will. Treasure it – it is still tops.

.:.

© 2017 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Digital Photos, Image Composite Editor, Photo Editing, Photo Gallery, Photography, Photos | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Thistle Seed

My avocation is photography and art. Happiness for me is when I can combine the two. A favorite tool of mine is FotoSketcher, it allows me to transform photographs into images that express my feelings my emotions and share them with the viewer.

When just recently a new version was announced I had to see how it can aid my efforts to communicate in photo-transformations. I reached for some photos in my archives. Photos that were quite nice on their own, but didn’t quite express the joy of the occasion.

This photograph of a thistle seed head, spreading the delicate, light, fragile seeds into the world, allowed me to create an image by replacing the real setting with a universe of forms, barely noticeable, but subliminally powerful. Robust and confident the plant sends its delicate seeds into the uncertain future. Let us take cheer.

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Source: Thistle Seed

.:.

© 2017 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

OneDrive Foibles

OneDrive Foibles

It started innocently enough, Facebook showed me one of those frequent reminders of posts from prior years. Blog-161030-02This one was for a post from four years ago that linked to my Gallery Ludwig post “Goodbye HMS Bounty”. This gorgeous “tall ship” had succumbed to hurricane Sandy in the Atlantic just a couple days prior on October 28, 2012.

So I shared that sad memory. I wanted to take a look at the post and it came right up.

Back in those days my blog posts sourced images from my OneDrive, called SkyDrive back then.  Microsoft has made many changes but has been good about keeping the old links active. I used to also make the image a link to the same photo in SkyDrive. I clicked and it came up as expected.

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Then I made a stupid decision. I clicked Download. I say stupid decision because my day would have been uneventful had I not clicked the Download link in OneDrive. I got a “no joy”: “This item might not exist or is no longer available”. Really? I was just looking at it! Not only that, I was logged in to my SkyDrive.

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Wondering what Microsoft has wrought this time, I went to the blog link in other browsers, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, and behold, none of then showed the photo of the Bounty, not even Internet Explorer, there were no problems when viewed in Edge.

Horrible revelation:

Old blog posts with images sourced from OneDrive show fine in Edge but not in other browsers!

My post that followed this photo of Bounty was a small collection of some of my pictures of the Bounty and its interior. Those were not sourced from OneDrive but used the WordPress Media file. No problems with those. One of the images is a panorama of the interior, stitched together from several shots. The pano links to Zoom.it, another Microsoft neat idea that they gave up on, but the pano still works, or I should say works again. Take a look at Remembering the HMS Bounty.

Fortunately WordPress allows editing of old posts. I added the photo from the WordPress library with a current link back to OneDrive. In Edge I now see the photo duplicated. See what you get: Goodbye HMS Bounty.

.:.

© 2016 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Blogging, OneDrive, WordPress | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Six Years ago: Goodbye Spaces!

Six Years on WordPress

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Amazing how time flies. It was just six years ago that Microsoft helped bloggers on its Spaces site to move to WordPress. The Microsoft “Clubhouse” was still the place for geeks to gather. Spaces evolved with fits and starts into OneDrive. I suspect there is nobody left at Microsoft who even remembers “Spaces” or the “Clubhouse”.

The move from one blogging service to another went amazingly smoothly. Old posts came over, the layout changed, but they are still readable. My Facebook and CafeLudwig links still take you there. The old tag links no longer work. Below is my first post made on the new, to me, blogging service, WordPress.

It took a few days after the account was set up to get the first post out. Here it is. Enjoy and celebrate with me my six years on WordPress.dots

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Welcome to This ‘n That at WordPress.com. It is a sad day as I have to say goodbye to Spaces, and yet a good day for a new start here. It was fun and rewarding building the blog, posting stories and how-to articles and finding a receptive audience. With the discontinuation of Spaces, this move to WordPress has been full of new challenges. It will take some time to sort out all the little  problems. I hope my readers will come and feel at home here. Not everything is quite functional, and a number of article ideas have been delayed because of the move. Please bear with me, exciting times are ahead.

Ludwig J.

Please also visit my blog on “things photographic”: Café Ludwig

Posted in Spaces | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Featured

Featured!

As I was planning a post for this blog – something I don’t do very often – the unexpected happened. A bit of fame interfered.

There are a bunch of blogs in my “personal cloud”, they are somewhat organized, although my readers might argue that. Sometimes a topic fits logically into more than one “corner” and there will be posts in several blogs. This happened recently with a photo walk in Midtown Atlanta and again now with posts about the Atlanta British Car Fayre 2016. For This ‘n That, here, I wanted to discuss how to pick a “Featured Image” to lure readers to look in.

Let’s take a look at some of my photos.

All nice photos, at least in my humble opinion. The “Mosaic Gallery” presents images nicely and in a neat compact form. You can click on any photo to take you to a slide show. But all this is already well into the post. Getting readers to come this far is the trick and to a large extend the job of the “Featured Image”. That is the photo that shows up in the WordPress Reader as well as any Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and other social media sites that are “fed” the post.

The “Featured Photo” must be captivating. It should also create a desire to see more of the story. Something should be happening in the photo that tells part of the story so readers will click to see the rest. For this post I selected the bagpipers marching between classic British cars. Hey, it got you here, didn’t it? Here it is again.

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There is another reason for selecting this picture. That is the aspect ratio. Each of the social media sites has its on quirky way of handling images. Invariably the image that is used will be cropped. Some crop them square, some wide. The photo should lend itself to be mangled in those various ways without suffering too badly. You don’t want peoples’ heads to be cut off. So pick carefully.

That’s my message. You are welcome to discuss it with me in the comments. Did you like the selfie I sneaked in?

Oh, about that bit of fame. It may well be that you came here via a link from Blogging Meetup. This blog came up in the Like, Follow, Share Challenge for the week of 9/12. Thank you Eric!

If you are not familiar with Blogging Meetup do investigate it. It is a wonderful place for meeting fellow bloggers and for getting inspiration.

As I said, my topics spread over several blogs. For more on the British Car Fayre see:

HeadlightGallery Ludwig

British WindowsTwo Cameras – Two Views – (more to come here)

[other posts not yet published]

.:.

© 2016 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Blogging, Photography, Photos, WordPress | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Patterns

Patterns and Textures of Atlanta

After post-processing a group of photos taken on a photo walk recently I was playing around with some of the images and the patterns and textures in some of them seemed rather intriguing. The photo walk was aiming at doors and windows around Midtown Atlanta ( Photo Walk ), so the interesting shapes and surfaces were rather coincidental and not the prime subjects.

Here are some of these reworked photographs. Take a good look.

What do you think of them? I don’t mean artistic value, but technical, image quality. Not bad, wouldn’t you say?

All of these images were zoomed in, “digital zoom”, in post-processing. These pictures are tight crops, around a sixteenth of the original area.

If you show your pictures online, then 1024 pixels wide, as these are, is quite adequate. So this is just a reminder that you have a 4x zoom available to you after you have taken the picture!

Take another look, I even added a bonus picture with a neat cast-iron fence.

You can see most of the photos these images were clopped from in one or more of these posts:

Photo WalkMonday Window – 32 “Midtown Atlanta

A Little Bit of Street PhotographyMidtown Atlanta Doors

.:.

© 2016 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments