Lorenz Cuno Klopfenstein

Posts tagged "Pictures"

A couple of days ago I came back home from my trip to Turkey (and to the Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany): the journey was fun and we went through a lot of astonishingly beautiful places! I literally shot a ton of pictures, the best of which were uploaded on the site.

I strongly suggest you consider Turkey for your next vacation: absolutely gorgeous!  :D

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Posted on Saturday, August 30, 2008
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My roommate Denis and I went skiing in San Martino di Castrozza last week. Here are a couple of pictures of our stay at the wonderful Hotel Orsingher and the splendid slopes in Tognola. (more...)

Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008
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Holland flag

I'm back from my short trip to Holland. We left Roma Ciampino on the 25th, toured some of the major central cities of the Netherlands and flew back from Eindhoven on March 5th.

We had fun and visited a lot of very nice cities: from the incredibly modern Rotterdam, to the smaller towns and finally the bustling Amsterdam. A summary of the tour and some photos follow...  :)

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Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009
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As you might have noticed from the pictures I have been posting, I'm getting increasingly fond of creating panorama pictures: this is done by stitching together multiple overlapping shots from a regular camera, in order to recreate the feel of a large scene that cannot be fully captured without special (and very expensive) objectives.

Microsoft Live Photo Gallery logo For every panorama picture you see on this website, until today, I have been using Microsoft's Live Photo Gallery. The program is an evolution of the photo gallery app integrated in Windows Vista. It manages a database of pictures, much like Windows Media Player keeps a library of your music and relative metadata. Additionally, Photo Gallery also allows you to tag pictures, edit their metadata and alter them in some simplified way (like adjusting the brightness or so - don't expect photoshop-like features though).

Live Photo Gallery also includes a simple "Create panoramic photo..." option that lets you choose the pictures to stitch together and then automagically figures out all the rest.

Microsoft Live Photo Gallery panorama photo interface.

The results are surprisingly good in most cases, even if there's absolutely no customization of the parameters used to generate your panorama image. So, everything was fine until this morning I discovered...

Microsoft ICE

ICE, which stands for Image Composite Editor, is a full fledged panoramic image stitcher that can be freely downloaded from its website at Microsoft Research. It is a separate application, but I suppose that the Live Photo Gallery technology is largely based on a simplified version of ICE.

Anyway, using the composite editor, you'll be able to load a bunch of photos via drag 'n drop and the application will automatically try to figure out the relative alignment and the optimal parameters to create a nice panorama for you (exactly like in Photo Gallery).

Microsoft Image Composite Editor interface.

Apart from zooming in and out on the panorama preview, you can then customize a nice set of properties, like the camera motion used when shooting the source pictures, the projection parameters and the focal point of your final picture. You can also auto-crop the panorama picture to quickly get rid of the black borders around the picture, which you have to remove manually in Photo Gallery. By the way, the ability to choose the correct projection for the picture can be very effective in reducing the final distortion: try switching from a cylindrical projection to a perspective one (or viceversa).

After twiddling with the many parameters and finding the perfect composition, ICE offers many different export options. The most common ones are simple flat image formats, like JPEG, PNG or bitmap. The image below is the panorama stitch of the photos I shot of the Danube, from the fortress of Belgrade:

The Danube from the fortress of Belgrade.

The photo is composited correctly by ICE and the color is blended much better than in the same picture processed by Photo Gallery. However, the awesomeness of ICE doesn't end here: the application can also export tiled picture data that can then be used either by Silverlight DeepZoom applications or by the special HD View picture viewer.

Pictures in HD View format can be embedded in a webpage either using a special plug-in (which is available in all major browser, except Opera unfortunately) or using the HD View Silverlight viewer. The Silverlight version is slightly less powerful than the plug-in, but runs on every browser and every platform supporting Silverlight 2.0.

EDIT: please note, in order to make the exported tiles work with HDViewSL, you'll have to select the "Deep Zoom Tileset" export mode in ICE.

Here's the same picture of the Danube in HD View:

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Quite impressive, don't you think?  :)
The only downside is that I'll have to throw away all the panorama pictures I made till today and export them again using HD View...

Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009
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Abbazia di San Galvano sign

Today a couple of friends and I went to San Galgano near Siena, a wonderful medieval abbey with a nice hermitage/church on the top of a nearby hill. The weather was nice, if a bit chilly, and the place was awesome. We shot a ton of pictures and I spent some time stitching them together as panorama pictures.

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Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009
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Looking for the hidden alchemical path.
Looking for the hidden alchemical path.

Yesterday I went visiting the "Park of the Monsters" in Bomarzo, near Viterbo. The park was built in the 16th century by architect Pirro Ligorio, on commission by the lord of Bomarzo, Vicino Orsini. It is one of the first parks of its kind and has inspired many later monumental gardens, like the "Giardino dei Tarocchi" by Niki de Saint Phalle.

The park is said to be a mockery of classical, symmetrical gardens of the time. It is located at the bottom of the valley near Bomarzo, overseen by the town and the estate of the former noble house. A dense wood takes up most part of the garden, intertwined with monumental sculptures and buildings, each one of them with mysterious inscriptions and symbolical meanings.

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Posted on Monday, November 02, 2009
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Yesterday I went to the Porcupine Tree concert at the Atlantico in Rome, with Federico and Alessandro.

Atlantico in Rome
The venue: Atlantico in Rome.

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Posted on Friday, November 06, 2009
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