St Erth Gardens, Blackwood, Victoria – August 2012

Whilst out and about in the Blackwood area we came across the St Erth Gardens, one of the ‘Diggers Club’ gardens for those who enjoy all things green! My wife has been a member of the Diggers Club for a few years, but never been to the gardens so what better time to have a look around 🙂

This photo is the main lawn leading up from the residence (shop area), to the rest of the gardens towards the rear of the property.

St Erth Gardens – Blackwood
Taken with Samsung Galaxy S3 – Panorama mode

I decided to have a bit of fun with this shot, my little helper was more than willing to assist me in buzzing around the garden whilst I moved the phone to each location to take the photo. The Galaxy S3’s Panorama mode is good for this type of photo effect as it displays a blue frame around the area where the next photo in the series is to be taken. As long as you don’t move it to the blue frame area you have time to direct a person/props/etc to a location within the next shot of the sequence.

Fairy at St Erth Gardens

St Erth Gardens Fairy – Blackwood
Taken with Samsung Galaxy S3 – Panorama mode

I have since had a brief play with an iPhone 5 and the panorama mode on the iPhone takes the photo more like an extended movie scene, the panorama just grows rather than taking individual photos and stitching after the fact like the S3. This makes it unsuitable for taking staged images like the one above, however this method may reduce some of the issues the Galaxy S3 suffers from such as seams and white balance/light issues in certain lighting conditions. I’ll spend some more time with the iPhone 5’s camera and try and do a side by side comparison of various scenes in the future.

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Lerderderg State Park, Victoria – August 2012

Been a bit slack in posting new content…… so here are some pics from August 🙂

Taking the new car for a bit of offroad driving through the Lerderderg State Park, just outside Melbourne provided some opportunities to take a few more shots using the Galaxy S3 🙂

The photo below is perhaps a little too busy for the phone to stitch well, or my hand isn’t steady enough!! Either way there are some noticeable seams, however I still like the overall effect of the image.

Huyndai Santa Fe Crossing Blackwood River

Blackwood River Crossing – Lerderderg State Park, Victoria
Taken with Samsung Galaxy S3 – Panorama mode

The next photo also has a few noticeable seams and is also affected by the varying light range across the frame of the final photo, causing the right hand edge to be significantly darker than the majority of the image. I still believe that this is due to the auto-white balance settings, however when the camera is placed into panorama mode the white balance settings are unable to be altered from ‘Auto’ 😦

Picnic Area - Obriens Crossing

OBriens Crossing, Picnic Area – Lerderderg State Park, Victoria
Taken with Samsung Galaxy S3 – Panorama mode

This last image in this set stitched much better than the previous two, however there were much more definitive lines and angles for the software to locate stitching points and improve the quality of the finished image.

Bridge over Obriens Crossing

OBriens Crossing – Lerderderg State Park, Victoria
Taken with Samsung Galaxy S3 – Panorama mode

All in all, was a fun day out, trying out the offroad capabilities of the new car 😉 and getting in some more testing with the Panorama mode of the phone.

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Mt Macedon, Victoria – July 2012

I took a trip up to the Mt Macedon Ranges, despite being a cold wintery Melbourne day, the sun was out and I thought there may be some good photo opportunities there…….As Murphy’s law would have it the sun had all but gone by the time we got there and rain & fog had set in!

In these less than ideal conditions I have found a few weaknesses with the Panorama Mode of the Galaxy S3. The camera does cope quite well in both poor light (with a steady hand 😉 ) and in well lit conditions. I found however that a mix of lighting conditions confuses the software to the point of being unable to stitch some Panorama scenes together.

The photo below of Major Mitchell Lookout did eventually work with the inbuilt Panorama mode of the S3, however a close look at it shows some differences of the light levels across the image. I suspect that this is mainly caused by changes to the White Balance caused by varying light levels within the scene. Given that setting a default or static white balance value is common practice when taking stitched Panoramic photos I would have hoped that the Samsung software also enabled this when Panorama Mode is selected, however it looks like each individual photo is being altered as it is being taken.

Mt Macedon Lookout

Major Thomas Mitchell Lookout – Mt Macedon, Victoria
Taken with Samsung Galaxy S3 – Panorama mode

This photo below, looking out from the Memorial Cross at Mt Macedon had much more even lighting across the scene, without so many overhead trees changing the lighting conditions the Panorama mode captured the scene much better, perhaps still a little dark or underexposed but evenly dark across the image.

Mt Macedon Looking Out

Looking Out from Memorial Cross – Mt Macedon, Victoria
Taken with Samsung Galaxy S3 – Panorama mode

This photo of the Memorial Cross itself simply would not be captured using the S3 camera in Panorama mode. I had to revert to taking the individual single shots and stitching them together using Hugin and some post processing in Photoshop to even the light levels across the scene, as the center was much lighter than the edges. I am happy with the final result, but took a bit more work 🙂 .

Mt Macedon Memorial Cross

Memorial Cross – Mt Macedon, Victoria
Taken with Samsung Galaxy S3
Stitched with Hugin

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Early Morning Fog over the Maribyrnong River – July 2012

A quick stop on the ride into work this morning. The fog had settled over the Maribyrnong River, next to the Riverside Golf Course, Ascot Vale. The photo is a little shaky in parts, however the apparent temperature was below zero and I was late for work so this was the best effort! 🙂

Mariburnong River, Early Morninig

Early morning fog looking over the Maribyrnong River.
Taken with Samsung Galaxy S3 – Panorama mode

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Winter Barbeque’s – July 2012

A rare sunny Melbourne winter weekend. Have to use this opportunity to fire up the barbeque, with a few wines & beers 🙂

Taken with Samsung Galaxy S3

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Rainbow over Ascot Vale – June 2012

Not a very wide panorama of a huge rainbow stretching over Melbourne on 29 June 2012. Taken from Ascot Vale looking East.

Rainbow over Ascot Vale

A very bright double rainbow shining over Ascot Vale on 29/06/2012
Taken with Nikon D60.
Stitched with Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE)

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Warrnambool harbour at sunset – June 2012

A picture of Warranambool Harbour Victoria, looking inside the seawall at sunset. Very impressed with the Samsung Gaalaxy S3’s ability to cope with low light and Panorama mode at the same time 🙂

Warranambool sunset

The view at sunset from the seawall looking into the harbour at Warrnambool, Victoria.
Taken with Samsung Galaxy S3 – Panorama mode

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