Rembrandt – Night Watch

Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” – In the News

A giant new scan of Rembrandt’s famous painting is making the rounds in the art news world. It is generally accompanied with an illustration like this:

Kinda dark and dingy if you ask me. What good is fabulous resolution if you can’t really see it well?

The story in PopPhoto – shows a photo of the scan in progress:

Notice how much brighter the painting looks in this photo.

So which is it? Is the painting bright and spectacular or dark and dingy as in the provided images?

Might it really look closer to this:

So many photos on the web seem to suffer from the dark and dingy look. Why? Can somebody explain to me what is going on?

.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Internet | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Midnight on New Year’s Eve

Yes, at midnight on New Year’s Eve really, really avid photo enthusiasts set their cameras to show the new year, 2022, in their EXIF data.

That means setting the copyright text and, if you are using the comment text, correcting that for the new year.

For the rest of use, we make the setting early in the year before taking any photos.

There is more, of course. Be sure to update your signature image and don’t forget the boilerplate at the bottom of your blog posts. (This is posted still in 2021, but with luck I won’t forget that detail.)

All the best!

.:. © 2021 Ludwig Keck

Posted in camera, Photography | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Eleven Years

A decade and a year on WordPress

It doesn’t seem that long, but WordPress reminded me today that I have been blogging here for eleven years.

As I had just been posting about a resident web-spinner it seems appropriate to post a photo of her here.

There is more to this web-spinning analogy. After moving my blog here I was teaching other elders how to get good use out of their computers and cameras. The byline of this blog tells about that. It hasn’t changed in all those years. Well, you can’t just tell how to set up a blog, you gotta show it. And just about each time I did show how to start a blog site, I got another one out of it.

So here are two links to other posts on my other blogs about the Joro spider.

Over on Cafe Ludwig: Joro Spider. And on Gallery Ludwig: Joro Spider.

See both posts. They are not the same.

.:. © 2021 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Blogging, Photography, Photos | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Metadata Malaise

We all chuckle at the way stories change along the way in the rumor mill. We also sigh at the free-wheeling way that photo-editing apps play with metadata.

What surprised me, however, was seeing some text that I didn’t recognize in my Facebook post of a new café-art piece.

I like to “photoodle” and play with photos taking them through several tools to come up with “café art”. The text “CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using I…” was strange and I wondered where it had come from.

As I still had my intermediary image files I took a quick look at them in File Explorer, on the Details tab. Nothing there at all.

So on to an explore digging in the metadata

The image I started with was from a photo I had taken with my iPhone. There was no such text in the metadata. My first processing was using ON1 Photo RAW. That did not introduce anything suspicious.

Then I did a manipulation in Deep Dream Generator, you can see the image there. As I like to make more changes I downloaded the image. Sure enough, there in the metadata is this:

Comment : CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 90.

Deep Dream downloads are modest in size, just 893 by 671 pixels. To make it easy to manipulate I like to up-size the image. For that I use Topaz Gigapixel AI which inserts fictitious, but appropriate, pixels to make the result smooth. The result had this in the metadata along with a lot of other stuff:

Comment : CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 90.
Caption-Abstract : CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 90.

As you can see, Gigapixel added “Caption-Abstract” with the same information.

Next I loaded the image into PaintShop Pro along with the original photo in another layer and made changes there. Then, combining my creations into my final “café art:, I downloaded the new image. PaintShop Pro writes a ton of stuff into the metadata. It included these lines:

Caption-Abstract : CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 90.
Description : CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 90.

Notice that it had dropped the original “Comment” but retained the “Caption-Abstract” that Gigapixel had added, and added a “Description” line.

My next changes were made in Paint. That app made a cute. minor change to the lines of interest:

Caption-Abstract : CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 90.
Description : CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 90..

Paint added a period to the “Description” line, but retained the other line as it was.

Lastly I made some adjustments in Photo Gallery and downsized the image for online use. This app made major changes to the metadata, and the following lines were included:

Image Description : CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 90
Caption-Abstract : CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 90.
XP Title : CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 90
Title : CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 90
Description : CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v80), quality = 90

The “Caption-Abstract” line was not changed. The “Description” line had the period at the end dropped. Three new lines were added, “Image Description”, XP Title”, and “Title”. These lines did not have the periods.

So now we had come full circle. what was a “Comment” in the Deep Dream file had become a “Description” and finally a “Title” line. Just like the rumor mill!

When uploaded to WordPress the information appeared as a caption line. That finally was picked up by Facebook in the post.

Here is how it looks in my Silver Gallery site:


The metadata in image files is a playground where all participants, that is photo-edit apps, think they can do whatever they like – and they do. There are no standards, no respect, no courtesies. Just garbage.

.:. © 2021 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Digital Photos, image editor, Photo Editing, WordPress | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Digging in the Dark

Another mistake in setting camera exposure

There I was taking pictures of the sunset. It was not that gorgeous a view, but I didn’t want to miss it as I had been there on our iconic town bridge.

My camera was operating in P-mode. The exposures were fine for the barely clouded sky. So I wanted to boost the exposure to get a bit more detail in the buildings and landscape.

I pressed the exposure compensation button and spun the wheel. Of course in the wrong direction.

I pressed the shutter anyway then over-corrected in the other direction. Here are the thumbnails.

Yes, that frame looks pretty black. Here is what the EXIF data said (in part).

Exposure Compensation: -11/3. Minus eleven thirds; that’s just a click less than four stops underexposure. Even the sky is black.

Never shy about experimenting, I decided to see what I could dig out of that image. I applied correction to the whole frame – mostly because I could not see the horizon for applying a mask. I boosted the overall exposure – the brightness slider in my photo editor. Then most of my efforts were in boosting the dark tones and the mid tones.

Even at ISO 100 I expected a lot of noise there when amplified up to the higher brightness so you could see detail. And indeed there was. I used Topaz DeNoise AI to subdue that unwanted pointillism effect. It does a fine job. In fact it does an outstanding job!

You can see in the illustration here that I used the “Low Light” setting. I accepted the defaults.

The results were surprisingly good. For an image that was dug out of total darkness, this is rather acceptable, don’t you think?

Sunset in Peachtree Corners, GA

So the moral to this story is this: Don’t throw away badly underexposed photos. There is a good chance that a useful image can be extracted.

.:. © 2021 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Digital Photos, Photo Editing, Photography, Topaz DeNoise | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Kudos to WordPress Reader

… and a tip o’ the hat to its developers

Rarely do I click on the listing of my own post in WordPress Reader. That doesn’t make me unique, I’m sure. But I did today. And there was a very pleasant surprise there.

Allow me to back up just a little to fill in the story. I had some surprise visitors at our house – vultures. Not the first time. We consider them almost regular friends. They check up on us periodically. But this time they got into the house, the attic to be more specific.

I took some photos, and, of course, shared with my blogging friends.

When I clicked on the listing that showed up in the WordPress Reader it expanded and showed the post. I do this all the time to see the stories my blogging friends share. But what I never payed much attention to was the “MORE …” items below the post. I have used those links on others’ post many times, but never realized that WordPress makes those links to be “on topic”.

In the case of my post the first MORE link was to a nine-year old post that was also about vultures visiting us. You can see how it showed up in the screen-capture here.

That old post is still there and most of its links still work.

So WordPress looks through the tags to find related material – very nice! And it goes on to show similarly tagged posts from other bloggers – very nice, indeed!

Just in case you’d like to see my posts here are “illustrated links” for you:

And just for good measure here is a link to an old post at that other blogging site from nine years ago. The links there no longer work:

The Weekly Photo (Week 23) – Vultures

.:. © 2021 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Blogging, WordPress | Tagged , , | 2 Comments