Colourising old photos

I’ve been playing around with colourising old black and white photographs using Photoshop. The technique is quite simple – if a little time consuming – and makes use of various blend modes to overlay colour on black and white while retaining the detail of the photograph.

Rather than trying to mimic a colour photo, the technique replicates the days when colour photos were simply black and white prints that had been hand coloured. Part of the fun is selecting the colours for clothes, backgrounds and the like. There is no reference colours so it’s all up to the imagination.

Below are a few examples of what can be done – using shots of various members of the family – well mainly me from many years ago.

 

Puppy memories

Two weeks ago my iMac’s hard drive “spat the dummy” and required replacing. Apple were fantastic and covered the cost of the replacement drive and I was left to restore my files from backup.

Yes, as I’ve said before – always back stuff up because every hard drive will fail at some point and it would be tragic to lose photos and movies and all the other stuff that we accumulate on computers these days.

As I was looking through my restored movie files I came across one of Bella as a very young puppy making her first journey down the stairs at home – just to get to Poppie and jump all over her.

I’ve posted this movie before but I think it deserves another airing.

 

I’ve always wanted a Leica camera

LeicaI’ve been an SLR camera guy for as long as I can remember. Ever since I bought my first camera back and lens – a Ricoh KR10 with a 50mm lense – I’ve relied on the control and quality a good SLR provides. The downside of an SLR is the bulk of the camera and various lenses – my current camera bag weighs around 6kgs. There is nothing subtle about taking the camera out for the evening and nothing subtle about using it.

I’ve always wanted a compact camera that could go anywhere, which still took great pictures, and which gave me the ability to control things like depth of field and shutter speed.

I’ve also always wanted a Leica camera but have always been put off by the prices – particularly in New Zealand.

The opportunity to get both came my way when we stopped to browse at the Leica shop at Hong Kong airport. Leica’s range of compact cameras have always got good reviews and their latest mid range compact – the D-Lux 6 – has been no exception. And there sitting in the display cabinet was one calling my name.

Now the geeks among my readers will know that the D-Lux 6 is essentially the same camera as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7. There are some minor cosmetic changes – like the addition of the round red Leica logo – but the cameras are one in the same. Leica have been working with Panasonic for years, using Panasonic’s hardware but then writing their own software to control image capture and processing.

This is where the two camera’s differ and the results are impressive. In fact it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between a shot taken on the Leica and a shot taken on my Nikon DSLR.

The Leica version of this camera carries a price premium but it seems worth it – for the added image quality as well as that small red circle on the front.

The Sicilean All Black supporters kit

AB KitToday the All Blacks played the Wallabies in the second Bledisloe Cup test. Despite a TV with over 500 channels these Sicilean AB supporters could find no TV coverage of the game.

Compounding this, the villa internet connection is the narrowest broadband connection in the world and so video was all buffering and no streaming.

But the saviour turned out to be the Radio NZ iPhone app which streamed the radio commentary of the game perfectly. And when broadcast through our portable JBL bluetooth speaker it gave us stadium quality sound.

And what an All Black victory – 51 points to 20 – tutto bene.

It’s been almost a month

Painting MessAfter promising at the start of the year to keep a steady stream of posts flowing, I have been remiss. It has been a month since my last post.

Please forgive me. The hustle and bustle of daily life has left little time for the the ramblings that make up this blog.

And it’s not because of a lack of material.

There’s always something happening at our place. Currently the exterior of Casa Kainui being repainted by a team of eager and hard working painters. They arrived 2 weeks ago and immediately surrounded the house in scaffolding, ladders and other painterly things.

I learnt early on that any semblance of privacy rapidly disappeared and no room was a safe haven – even two stories up in the bathroom a little head would pop around the open window and wish you a cheery good morning – always at the most inappropriate moment.

Their work has been cut short by a solid week of rain that is still continuing and which means the house is split between two colour schemes and is surrounded by ladders, pots of paint and scaffolding. With the forecast being for another week of rain this chaos might be around for a while yet.

 

 

 

Cute animal videos

If you think this blog is the place to come for cute videos of animals – you’re right.

In the past it’s been videos of our girls doing what Bichon Frise do best, but this time it’s a video, not of our family, but of other animals.

The lovely Jilly D posted this on Facebook and I couldn’t resist passing it on. It’s called “If animals ate fast food.”

It was produced as a trailer for FMX 2013, a conference on animation, effects, games and transmedia being held from April 23 to April 26 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Their site in http://www.fmx.de