Wednesday, January 18, 2012


There are several meanings to the word “vignette”. One sense is a decorative design. In optics, vignetting means incomplete coverage of an image and the subsequent darkening of edges.

Many photo editing applications provide a collection of effects that can be applied. “Vignette” is one of those effects. Picasa includes this effect.

Having spent a good share of my working career in the photography industry, I have great resistance to applying this effect to a photo. I have admired the lengths optical designers have gone to to reduce or eliminate vignetting and been astonished at the optical tricks – pardon the expression – that have been employed. It seems heretical to undo their hard work intentionally.

Yet, some photos lend themselves to manipulation to bring out the feeling of the image that the straight photo cannot relate as well. I applied other effects to reduce the detail and bring out just form and color to the images here. Primarily these were “painting” effects. Turns out that the additional use of vignettes to darken the edges seemed rather pleasing. The blending into darkness of the edges seems to bring out the light and make the images more luminous and more inviting than the straight photos.

The images are more impressive when displayed large. Click on the images to see them in a post on Silver Canvas.


My Way




Fallen Leaves


Fall Bossoms


Time of Plenty



© 2011 Ludwig Keck

Monday, January 9, 2012

SkyDrive Slide Shows once more

SkyDrive continues to get improved, sometimes large steps with fanfare, at other times small incremental upgrades. Self-running slide shows are once again available.
Last July I lamented the loss of self-running slide shows in SkyDrive (Slideshows and the new SkyDrive). The upgrade in November 2011 restored that feature. It is now not quite as nice. The old Silverlight version provided pleasant surround shades and could be launched from the link. The current version is plainer looking and requires the viewer to click on a “Play slide show” link.
Here, to test the present implementation, is a photo collage that links to an album with these photos. Be sure to click the “Play slide show” link in the upper right area to start the show. This post, coming just after the holidays in early January 2011, uses food photos – what else? They have been accumulated over the past months for another project, but seemed just yummy for this post illustrating the SkyDrive slide show feature.
Note: Some of the photos load faster than others – there is a mix of resolutions for testing quality and speed.
By the way, the little bug demonstrated in my video in that July post has also been corrected. Thank you Microsoft!
For other recent improvement to SkyDrive, please see SkyDrive improves file and folder management (over at This ‘n That).


© 2011 Ludwig Keck