the joys of creative commons licenses

i’m in the process of re-working both this blog and my photo site. for the photo site i’ve switched from zenphoto to jalbum — zenphoto didn’t really offer any decent support for displaying geo-tagged pictures, had at the point in time of switching too many security issues for my taste, and didn’t have such a slick looking theme as jalbum’s turtle skin.

for a couple of sub-albums i wanted to make use of the background music feature offered by the turtle skin. naturally, just shoving in one of the thousands of MP3 that we have on our music players wouldn’t do as the license for those tracks didn’t allow that. a couple of google searches for “free music” later, i ended up on the fantastic page which has an interesting range of music licensed under one or the other creative commons licenses.

browsing through their stuff, i quickly found two albums that i wanted to use: “the four seasons (vivaldi)” album by john harrison with the wichita state university chamber players and “the cup of tea” by sláinte. adding both to jalbum was easy — download and drag-and-drop to the folders —, adding the license information was a bit more involving. adding a caption to the MP3s caused the turtle skin music playback to ignore the MP3s. i ended up adding conditional footer code via turtle’s header and footer tab:

<ja:if exists=”musicLicense”>
<p>music © ${musicYear} <a href=”${musicArtistURL}”>${musicArtist}</a>,
album <a href=”${musicAlbumURL}”>${musicAlbum}</a> licensed under a
<a href=”${musicLicenseURL}”>${musicLicense}</a></p>

what this does is that if the user variable musicLicense is set, it then will include a music attribution in the footer of the sub-album page. you add user variable for a sub-album/folder in jalbum via the edit button for that and then selecting the user variable tab on the right hand side.

here are the variable that i’m using:

name of the music license; for example, CreativeCommons-ByAttribution-ShareAlike
URL for the license
name of the artist(s)
URL for the artist page
name of the album
URL for the album page
copyright year

the resulting footer then looks like this:

@jmdhh admiring the views…

at the beginning of june @jmdhh and i spent two fantastic weeks in the english lake district — one of our walks took us up on top of silver how. the photo below shows @jmdhh enjoying the wonderful landscape and views, all of them at once it seems.

[photonav height=400 animate=1 mode=drag url=’’]

panorama picture experiment

last saturday mrs d and i did a snow shoe hike from alpthal stei up to hochstuckli and then across to biberegg. the views were fantastic, the snow was good 🙂 prompted by mrs d, i tried my hand at taking a set of pictures to assemble as a panorama later.1 here’s the result (you can use the mouse to drag the picture around):

[photonav height=400 animate=1 mode=drag url=’’]

i stitched it together using hugin — i’m quite pleased with it 🙂 let’s see how it turns out as a 120cm wide print.

  1. luckily i had my D700 set to RAW+JPG — i had forgotten to set the correct white balance. using ufraw i could correct that at home, first time really that i made use of those RAW files… 

some more pseudo HDR experiments

during sunday’s #twallfahrt i managed to take a couple of 5-step bracketed pictures, two of which i think produced some interesting results. the first one is the view from etzel pass towards einsiedeln:

at first i thought that it looks a bit weird, then i realized (and on my way home looked at the clouds with “different eyes”) that it does look like that.

the second one is a classical, an in-door shot in the church of the monastery of einsiedeln1:

i kind of like both, but the second one is more the classical one and i like it best. what do you think?

  1. we did have special dispens from @abtmartin to take pictures, to film, and — gasp — to twitter inside the church from 14:40–15:00 :-) 

mucking around with pseudo HDRs

it’s taken a long time, but i finally managed to upload the pictures of our lake district vacation (back in may, yes…) to our photo website, the 50mm-traveller. for most of the pictures i used the exposure bracketing mode of my D700 (i.e., one picture taken at normal exposure, one a full stop below and the third a full stop above) together with the high-speed setting (5 pictures per second).

while sorting and enhancing the pictures in digikam i noticed that the latest version of digikam offered a blend bracketed images option and decided to give it a go. the experience was mixed: the plugin seems to be a bit on the unstable side of things, so saving to a PNG at the end of the process resulted in an ever increasing number of dialog box thrown at me, telling me that the work product could not be save because it already existed — it took a bit for me to realize that that was just a forcefully repeated lie: the picture had been saved, the plugin was just getting a bit confused, it seemed. otherwise the bracketed image blending tool worked rather well: it offered to align the photos i had taken, which was good, as i very very rarely carry a tripod with me and am just shooting from the hand. what was a bit of a “ok, now what” moment, was the final dialog: it offered a bunch of sliders and it’s not really obvious what each of them does. so i mucked around a bit, trying this and that.

here are two images that i quite like:




this next one looks nice in low resolution, but if you go to the full size version, you’ll notice that the alignment process didn’t really work out — and no surprise there: i was shooting that from a boat on the river thames in london, so quite a bit of movement there:


all in all, not too bad i think. stuff i want to try out: use the 5 bracket stop setting to get a wider range (-2 .. +2), perhaps invest in a power grip to boost the speed to 8 pics/sec.