Outlook Annoyance

Amusing Annoyance in Outlook Desktop App

For some reason the Microsoft Outlook client shows embedded images at their full size rather than scaling them to fit. In my current series of “My Street Photography” posts at Ludwig.Gallery subscribers receive an email when a new post is published. These emails look very much like the actual post on the website, except in Outlook on a desktop. Let me illustrate:

The online Outlook app is shown on the left in the above image. The way the desktop Outlook client shows is is shown on the right. Of course, on a normal monitor not all of the email will be viewable, and scrolling is needed to see it all. What that means is that it provides just a small segment of the leftmost part of the image. It is often interesting and amusing to inspect the posted image and see detail like this below, rather than the whole picture.

Other email clients don’t do this. In fact, neither does the Microsoft Outlook app on an iPhone. It shows the whole picture just like you would expect.

This is not a serious problem. Clicking the post title in the email opens the actual online post in the browser.

The desktop Outlook client does this by default for all emails, of course. Any embedded image is shown at the full size so only part of it will be displayed if it is larger than the area that fits in the viewing pane. It is necessary to scroll around to see other parts of a picture. Amusing, yes, but also likely rather annoying.

If there is an option for changing the Outlook behavior with embedded images, I have not come across it. A tip of the hat and warm online embrace to you if you can enlighten me on adjusting Outlook to show emails the way it does on a smart phone or in a browser.



.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Microsoft Office, Photos, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Upscaling

Upscaling Photos

Every so often an image comes up that needs to be enlarged. Recently I came across a small JPG format photo of my parents on their wedding day. It was just 800 pixels high and 524 pixels wide. Not very big in today’s world of high resolution monitors and phones.

I made a small crop, 200 x 150 pixels, of just their faces. This is what I had:

Of course, the resolution is poor and there are some JPG artifacts that distract.

Resizing to a higher pixel count in normal photo editors – if they allow the operation at all – does nothing for the image. a blurry small image just becomes a blurry large image.

But technology has changed. There are a number of smart tools that use AI, artificial intelligence, to analyze an image and add “appropriate” detail in the enlargement. I have used Topaz Labs Gigapixel AI for some time. Just recently (May 2022) ON1 released their upscaling utility ON1 Resize AI. It is now incorporated into ON1 Photo RAW 2022.5 which I used for the demo here.

Sadly, using the default settings, my result was not very impressive. Here it is:

There was detail added, look at the eyes, but it did not get rid of the JPG artifacts, and it introduced new ones. No doubt it works better for less demanding and difficult images. Sorry ON1, no attaboy today.

The Topaz Labs tool goes overboard with added “appropriate” detail. Take a look:

Here is how it looked in the app:

Not only did Gigapixel AI add fresh, new eyes, it did so in color. The noisy artifacts are gone. The veil and tiara look real.

Clearly not an authentic rendition, but certainly a pleasing memento of parents who have left this world a long time ago.

.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck

Posted in image editor, Photo Editing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Helping Newbies

Congratulations!

This is the time of year when students everywhere receive awards and applause for accomplishments big and small. Such support builds self-esteem and provides the basis for self-confidence and self-respect. Qualities that help assure future success.

Those thoughts came to me when I saw this in my WordPress Reader notifications:

It said “Congratulations! Your site, Keck Family, passed 500 all-time views.”

Long before I ever got acquainted with WordPress, I had built a number of websites, including a couple for my family history and such. In those days I used Microsoft Expression Web for building and maintaining sites. That app was discontinued nearly a decade ago. The sites just languished ever since, and I decided it was time to renew them. I started a new site using WordPress in the expectation that this tool would last a little longer. I copied over some of the material and published the site so other family members could inspect it and help shape it up.

But before I even invited anyone to see the new site the above congratulatory message came up. I was surprised as you might expect. So, I clicked “Take a deep dive” to see where all by instant fame had come from.

Alas, it showed just one view. Not five hundred, just one! Just one follower and that was me.

Obviously, the WordPress algorithm is “overly generous”. Doling out praise that is not deserved does nothing for self-esteem of users, especially new ones. Quite the contrary, it destroys trust.

Was this a case of misguided goodwill, sheer incompetence, or sleezy marketing? Yes, there are plenty of over-hyped and over-promising website builders these days. Joining their tactics does little for the reputation of WordPress.

Well, I had my say. Anybody from WordPress want to comment?

.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Blogging, WordPress | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

RAW file contents

What’s inside a RAW file?

What you see may not be what you got!

Here are histograms displayed by five different photo editing applications – all of the same RAW file.

Take a look:

The tools were set to their default settings. The same RAW file was loaded into each. No adjustments were made. Yet the displayed histograms are rather different. You can see that especially in the red channel. In three of the editors it seems that the reds are seriously overexposed. The data rises on the right side and there is a tall spike at full scale.

The last two are actually from one app and a sub-tool inside. Here the input file seems to be adequately well exposed with no, or very little, data lost to overexposure.

How can that be? Let’s look at a couple of JPG image files from two of these tools.

Again, no adjustments were made, and the images merely saved as JPG files.

You can see that the first one has very little detail in the bright red areas of the blossom. It looks “pasty”. The second image, although darker, seems to have good color detail in all areas.

The histogram displayed by the camera also showed that the photo was overexposed.

So the question is, was this image overexposed and irretrievably lost detail in the red-most areas? Or was there indeed red color detail there that the last tool successfully used in making the JPG image?

I will not identify the tools used for these illustrations, lest I have made some mistake that paints some of the tools in a “bad color”. Although you can easily get that information from what is shown here (just click on an image).

Your thoughts and comments are invited.

.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Digital Photos, Photo Editing | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Color or No-Color?

Often there is no doubt in my mind that a photo should be in black-and-white, or that color is essential. Sometimes I am not so sure.

When I photographed the “last sunset of winter”, I really wanted to to bring out “winter”. Black-and-white puts the emphasis on the stark, bare branches, and says “winter” so much more. At least in my opinion. Here you may take a look and form your own view.

For street photography many prefer black-and-white over color. Here are two versions of “Saturday Afternoon in Town”. You are most welcome to let me know your thoughts.

.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Photo Editing, Photography | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments