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Picture of the week - HDR pictures with gimp

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I don't actually like the look of HDR pictures, especially of landscapes. I always find they look fake. But for learning purposes I decided to create an HDR picture with gimp. I took three pictures of Kirkjufell in Grundarfjörður, with normal exposure, -2 and +2 exposure. I did some basic white balance correction and normalizing for each image.



Then I opened the pictures as layers in gimp (File → Open as Layers). with the normally exposed as the base image on on bottom and the overexposed image on top. I opened the layer dialogue (Windows → Dockable Dialogs → Layers) and chose "Add Layer Mask" for the underexposed picture by right clicking on it in the layer dialogue. I chose a Grayscale copy of layer as maks.
I then did the same for the over exposed image, but inverted the grayscale layer mask (Colors → Invert).
Layer masks determine which part of the layer is transparent and which opaque, with black being full transparency and white full opacity. Thus the lighter parts of the underexposed and the darker parts of the overexposed image are layered over the base image. I then played around with the layer modes using screen (other possibility = addition or normal) mode for the underexposed and burn (other possibility = multiply or normal) for the overexposed. See here for an explanation for layer modes in gimp. I played around with transparency of the two layers until the result was less fake looking. The I merged the three layers together and corrected the colour balance again. Here is the result:




Skepticism

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Do I think @sjalfstaedisfl and @framsokn will keep it's promise of an autumn election? No, no I don't.



Writing a book part two - I was so wrong about it being as simple as combining all my blog posts

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I thought I would just take my old blog posts and clean them up a little, add some stuff and voila - a book.

Then I noticed:
  • My entries are sometimes in past tense, sometimes in present tense, depending how long after the experience I had written the post.

  • Sometimes the post was in first-person voice, sometimes third. Sometimes I was addressing the readers, other times not.

  • A lot of posts had pictures in between "Look how pretty:(picture)".

  • There were no transitions between posts, they just jumped from place A to B to the next.


In the end I had to completely rewrite almost every post and add a lot of descriptions and transitions. Hence the book it not being done yet.


Writing a book part one - Why?

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The last two years I have been working on a book about my travels along the Panamerican Highway.

Here is why:


  1. I really wasn't impressed with the book I read before travelling. It wasn't more informative or adventurous than any Lonely Planet guide. So I thought: "Hey, if that is the level, I can do that!" Mediocrity as motivation.

  2. Travelling as a single female traveller is not a big deal. This needs to be pointed out more. The Lonely Planet (I love bitching about it) for example sees female travellers as a subspecies of the "default" traveller and poses their advice in a special section and not under "dangers and annoyances".

  3. I was already writing a blog about my travels, combining all the posts into a book should be easy, I thought. I was wrong, I will explain how in part two.



To all my English friends

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