Friday, February 03, 2006

Where Was I?

Home again. Yay!

The Egypt trip was really fantastic. I met some really great people took a ton of pictures (over 2700 raw files in case you're keeping score but only about 10% have been processed so far) and saw some absolutely amazing sights.

One of the big surprises was how interested everyone was in the technical sessions that Josh, David and I did. It really drove home that digital photography is not just about framing great shots or just knowing how to manipulate them in Photoshop (or Digital Image Suite ;) ) but to be really successful as a digital photographer you need to have a broad knowledge of both the technical and artistic aspects and the three of us provided insight in ways that really complemented the professional mentors on the tour. We had a couple of sessions covering things like workflow, organization, backup and color management and as much as possible we covered both Windows and Mac solutions. The feedback was really positive so we will definitely be looking into doing this again in the future, particularly for some of the shorter domestic workshops with the Mentor Series.

When we were out shooting, Josh had a GPS unit hooked up to his Nikon D2X that would embed the GPS information into each photo so that we could later go back and map these photos to where we were when we took them. Canon does not yet have this functionality (though I hope they do soon) so David and I were out of luck -- until I fired up Visual Studio and wrote a cool little app that will pull the GPS info out of Josh's files and map them onto my files based on the date taken properties in both files. Since we were all reasonably close to each other while we were out shooting the locations will be close enough as long as the date taken properties are within a few minutes (30 at the moment) of each other.

The application is working now and it covers most of my pictures. It also allows Josh to fill in holes in his coverage where he couldn't get enough satellite coverage like when he was indoors or in some of the temples with lots of obstructed views of the sky. It does point out some interesting problems though. First, even though we tried to sync our clocks on our cameras when we got there, Josh's pictures are all offset by 2 hours - possibly because the date time was set to the GPS time which was GMT. Second, I borrowed Adam's 5D for a few shots with my memory card and his clock was off by 5 hours in the opposite direction so I need to correct each of those before I can get good GPS values. The good news is that once we have good GPS capabilities in cameras, it should be easy to start to get cameras to automatically set their own clock since the GPS satellites broadcast this information. We'll just need to make sure the time zone is correct and that can be determined by the location info.

So now I can really tell where I was when I was taking the pictures even though I didn't have a GPS unit strapped to my camera and the accuracy is certainly good enough to be able to tell if a picture was taken at Edfu or Kom-Ombo or Karnak. This is a good thing because after a while, the hieroglyphics start to all look the same to me.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Sounds like an amazing trip!

Anonymous said...

Help - my GPS data is being sucked out!