Camera metadata (Exif) is available for about 90% of the images in my posts, as well as for the larger images that one can access by “clicking through” an image in a post. Panorama shots, which represent about 10% of the images on this photoblog, do not presently have metadata. Also missing metadata (obviously) are scans from film negatives and slides.

I used a Canon A1 for film photography, and I have been digitizing negatives and slides using an Epson Perfection V550 scanner. From August 2009 through June 2010, I used a compact Panasonic DMC-FX35 camera. In June 2010, I bought a Panasonic GF1, though a few times when traveling light or when there was water hazard involved, I used the FX-35.

For two years, I used the GF1 with an Olympus 14-42mm lens, appreciating the clever collapsible design. However, in July 2012 I replaced it with a Panasonic 14-45mm lens, believing the image quality might be better. Also, in June 2012 I added a Panasonic 45-200mm lens.

I retain the original camera JPG files offline, as well as the RAW files from the GF1.

I use Google’s Picasa 3 to prepare reduced-size images, and in many cases I have used Google’s Picasa for cropping, or for adjusting contrast, color, and/or fill light. For images that need more advanced functions, I use Corel PaintShop Pro X4.

I prepare panoramas using Microsoft ICE, a free program which has a very fast algorithm for preparing panoramas. One flaw is that it strips off Exif data. Microsoft updated ICE in 2015, but they still do not retain Exif data. (In addition to appearing in my posts, a number of my panoramas appear randomly in the header.)

I tried several freeware programs for stitching a number of shots taken with exposure bracketing into a single High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo, but wasn’t satisfied with the results. Therefore, in May 2012 I purchased a copy of Photomatrix Essentials 3.1.1, and I am presently using that for my HDR efforts. I probably will not make many HDR photos, as the increased dynamic range looks “unnatural” to many people who are accustomed to non-HDR photos. In addition, my camera is not really designed for HDR, as its exposure bracketing function starts with a normal shot, and then a barely underexposed and overexposed shot, before progressing to more overexposed and underexposed shots. Thus, it is a nuisance to have to take a seven-shot bracket just to obtain two photographs for HDR compositing. (I wish that Panasonic would offer a patch to change the order of exposure bracketing, or that someone would hack the software to fix it, but that has not happened.)

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