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21 August 2017

We spent a few hours today (or was it a few days for an hour, as Dick Gregory used to say about being in Texas) catching up on some event photography we'd promised to post as Google Photos albums.

Married Couple. Apparently a takeoff on the hands ceremony.

One was a set of 90-year-old-Mom with her (only slightly) younger brother and his daughter. Cousin Barb had escorted her father to visit housebound Mom. She had to drive a few hundred miles to do it and the thought of it exhausted us.

The other was a family reunion of several branches (some from Texas in fact) occasioned by the visit of the 91-year-old matriarch. We shared the camera with her youngest son, which made it an illuminating experience for us. One we ruminated on for a while, in fact, before doing anything.


Google Photos behaved for the most part, but not entirely. We were able to upload 11 images from the first set with no problem but we only got through 23 of the second set of 34 images before it stalled.

The solution was to quit the browser (we tried both Safari and Firefox) and try again. Eventually, everything got uploaded.

That's the trouble with free full-resolution storage solutions like Google Photos. It's impolite to complain. (And yet.)


Before we did any sharing, though, we had to distinguish the images James took from the images we took by putting his copyright notice on those images. We used Copyrighter Pro for that.

Say what you will about watermarks, we've always detested them.

The best way to mark your images is with the three copyright tags in the Exif header. And it's easy enough to do.


James was pretty disappointed in a few of the images he took as he evaluated them on the camera's LCD. The bright light from outdoors backlit his subjects, turning them into silhouettes.

We told him not to worry about it, we'd fix it later.

Incredibly, he believed us. But we happened to know the camera was set to capture Raw files not JPEGs. And we knew we'd have some latitude there.

And we were right. We not only recovered faces from the deep shadows but we brought the bright sunlight into the visible spectrum again, too.

We had to clean up a little noise but you couldn't tell, scanning the album, that they were any different palette-wise from the rest of the shots.

And we were finally able to see what James saw when he snapped the shutter.


There was a deeper lesson there, too (which involved more ruminating than we usually have time for).

It was the same camera but we got quite different results. You could tell which images James took and which ones we took.

In our shots, hardly anybody was looking at us. They were photojournalistic, let's say, rather than portraits (although we did arrange a pose and suggest a smile on a few couples).

But James got everybody to look at him. And smile. It was quite a difference.

Same camera, different photgraphers, different results.


We knew editing those two shoots was going to be rewarding. We just needed a total eclipse of the sun to get around to it. And as soon as we posted the private albums and shared them, we heard how happy they made everyone.

Moral: You should never wait for a total eclipse of the sun to make people happy. Unless a little ruminating might make them even happier.

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