Photos: Delete some, take some

Due to growing space constraints, I’ve purged some albums from our online photo galleries. Probably most folks won’t notice that they’re gone, but in case you do, I do have them backed up off-line. I may put them back online when I’ve done some work with shrinking them down.

Any photos that I’ve taken in the last month or two have gone through the pPhoto import process – a Perl script I designed that does the work of downloading, archiving, resizing, and uploading photos to our gallery. This process has produced much more storage-space-efficient photos, as well as saved a lot of time and enabled me to get photos online much more quickly.

I’ve also noticed that on the new camera, although it does not have an orientation sensor *per se*, there is an ability to rotate the photos while viewing them on the camera. I did some testing, and found that this does not actually rotate the photos, but rather marks them with an EXIF orientation header as though they had been taken on a camera with orientation sensing. I should be able to use this in my script in order to automatically rotate the photos before archiving and uploading them, saving me even more time.

Another thing that has amazed me is the A70’s battery life, at least when powered by AA NiMH 2000 mAh batteries. On Thanksgiving, when Becky and I were walking around Boston, and then in South Boston at the dinner, I had the same set of batteries in the camera the entire time, and at the end of the day, I still had plenty of juice left!

The A70 continues to amaze me. I’m having a blast getting to know its more advanced features. A couple changes that I’ve started making in my technique are to disable the AiAF, and to pay careful attention to the white balance settings before taking lots of photographs.

AiAF is a feature on the A70 that can evaluate up to five distinct points in the photograph and choose which one would be best to focus on. Sometimes the A70 can make an intelligent decision, but other times, it makes an awful decision, causing your photo to be out of focus. In ‘Auto’ mode, the A70 is hardwired to use AiAF, while in all other modes, AiAF can be turned off. My solution is to use, at a minimum, the “P” mode, and to turn off AiAF. This leaves me with the center-aimed AF box, which is fine – just aim at what you want to focus on, lock in the focus by pressing the shutter button down halfway, and then recompose your shot as desired.

As for white balance settings… the A70 has an automatic white balance setting that in many cases produces correctly colored photographs. However, there are many scenarios where it does not produce the desired results. For example, if you look at the ***Thanksgiving|*** photo gallery, you’ll notice that many of the photos have a yellowish cast. Then you’ll notice that towards the end, they started to look a bit better. While the Lowe’s apartment *does* have some yellow walls, that should not have caused the photos to look the way they did. Towards the end, I changed the white balance setting to Incandescent/Tungsten, which properly adjusts for the type of lights they had inside. In the future, I will need to be sure that each time I change to a different lighting scenario, I adjust the white balance to the proper setting. Even better would be to calibrate it manually using a grey card… which I don’t have, but would like. *hint hint* 🙂

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