Photo of Mustard Flowers From My New DJI Mavic Pro Drone

I just upgraded from my DJI Phantom 2 V+ drone to a DJI Mavic Pro. The P2V+ served me well for the last 2-1/2 years. However, its embedded technology and software was outdated. The clincher was that its Wi-Fi transmitter module went bad. This is a common problem on the P2V+. It was going to cost over $300 to buy/install a new one.

After some research, I decided on the DJI Mavic Pro. It folds up quite nicely and can be carried in a modest camera bag, rather than a suite case.

Below is a photo from my second flight today. It is amazing what some rain will do. The SE side of Palos Verdes is covered with new mustard flowers as shown here. Since it is my second drone, I am pretty comfortable with it already. However, with the new technology, remote controller, and software, I have a lot to learn. I will be posting more photos and articles sharing my experiences in future posts.

Coming soon is my next Photoshop Elements 15 tutorial. So, until next time….


A 3D Panorama Starting with a Video

In my last post, I outlined the steps to make a 3D panorama starting with a series of overlapping single image files. As pointed out in that post, it requires several steps after you have captured the images.

In this post, I link to a 3D panorama that started as a video that I shot while simply rotating my DJI Phantom through 360-degrees.

Shooting the video is much easier, because I do not have to worry about properly overlapping the images to be stitched. ICE handles that for me.

Of course the tradeoff is the quality or how closely you can zoom in when viewing the panorama is not as good as when the panorama is based on still images. That is because video files, even 4K videos, are no match for the still images produced by digital cameras, or even many smartphones.

Here is the link to the panorama.


It is not nearly as sharp and clear as those produced from still images. My Phantom 2 only shots HD video. New models shoot full 4K video which would significantly improve the results.

Syncing Photoshop Elements Photos with Your iPad

I learned something new the other day. You can sync Photoshop Elements Albums to your iPad. Actually, you can sync all of your Albums to your iPad if you like. And by the way, this is not something new. Photoshop Elements has been able to do this for several versions now. I was just slow to learn about it.

Generally speaking, I am not interested in seeing my entire photo collection (nearing 40K now) on my iPad or iPhone. However, I would like to have a few current pictures of my family on them to show friends at times. In other words they would play a similar role the wrinkled photos in my wallet.

Here is how I did it.

  1. Make an Album in Photoshop Elements.
  2. Connect your iPad to your computer via its cable.
  3. Start iTunes on your computer.
  4. Once your iPad is recognized by iTunes, click on it as shown in the figure below.

iPad Connected iTunes

5. In iTunes, click on Photos as shown in the figure below, then…

  • Select Photoshop Elements from the drop down list.
  • Click to select Selected Albums.
  • Click on the Photoshop Elements Album made in Step 1.

6. Click on Apply. See the figure below

iTunes PSE  Photo Sync

To view the photos in the sync’d Elements Album, use the Photos App on your tripod to view the Album. This is illustrated in the figure below.

iPad Fam Photo Album

Now whenever I want to update the album on my iPad, I simply modify the applicable Photoshop elements 11 album, and sync my iPad through iTunes.

Paige Sliding Animation

This is a three image GIF animation of Paige sliding into third base during last weekend’s All Star Tournament in Irvine. Click on the photo to animate it.



Paige’s team took second place in the tournment after playing six games over the weekend, four of them on Sunday!

Examples of HDR Photos

The other night in my Photoshop Elements 11 Photo Editing class, we went through a technique to simulate an HDR (high dynamic range) image from a single image. Since some of the students were not that familiar with HDR, I put together a quick presentation of examples I had available.

Some of the photos here were from the typical sequence of three images used to produce an HDR photo, while others  were made from a single image. Some still retain their photographic look while others have been significantly manipulated.



I’ve Taken 10,000 Pictures With My Canon 7D

It seems like I just got my Canon 7D. I am still uncomfortable using many of its features. I bought the camera two years and it’s just about to record its 10,00th image. The internal counter will turn over and the begin numbering at one very shortly.

This would most likely not cause any problems, because any duplicate filenames would be in separate folders and shot on different dates. And besides, this is my second Canon DSLR, and there are already duplicate numbers somewhere in my computer already. But just the same, I decided to change the filename of the images as I upload them into the Organizer. As they are copied to the computer, PSE will change the filename to the shot date plus a sequential number. For example, the tenth picture I would take today would be renamed to “May 13 2012_010.CR2” as I upload it using the PSE’s Organizer, assuming I am shooting RAW images.

I changed the associated preference in the Organizer to rename the files automatically by clicking on Edit > Preferences > Camera and Card Reader. Below shows the dialog box I now see  while uploading images from my camera.

Changing Camera Upload Number System

Notice in the figure, I have left the “Preserve Camera Filename in XMP” is left unchecked. I may change this later. I am not exactly sure what would happen when I upload  JPEG images or video clips, if I were to check this box. I did not want to have an extra (though very small) XMP file created just to hold the camera-assigned filename. RAW files already are generated when RAW files are uploaded.

From Snapshot to Art (?) via Faux HDR

Earlier this week, the South Bay Camera Club held a slide show evaluation as part of its regular meeting. Since I have been a member, this was the first evaluation of this type. Generally they are for prints or single digital images. The rules were simple, the slide show had to be three minutes or less, and it had to have a theme. A travel log was not considered a theme.

I wanted to participate, because generally I do not. I decided on this post’s title as my theme, mostly because I could not think of anything else. My basic idea was to morph the regular image into the simulated HDR as the image was being shown. The images I chose were processed either in PSE 10 or CS5. and the HDR result was always from a single image. Frankly I was nervous about displaying my work. the club members are serious photographers. A professor from El Camino College was going to be the evaluator. I put the slide show together using the Slide Show Editor built into PSE 10. The title slide was made with Windows 7 DVD Maker.

I copied the slide show to a CD and set it aside to take to the meeting later. But unfortunately the time to leave for the meeting came and went. I got wrapped up in something and totally forgot about it. I suspect it was some type of Freudian slip. I decided I ought to do something with it, so I posted it on YouTube. At least I do not have to listen to the critique of its viewers. But I more than welcome any comments or ratings you may care to leave. I’m a big boy; I can take it. Besides, I can delete the comment if I don’t like it. Just kidding. Smile