Monday, 31 March 2014

Eureka Dune - Earth Science Picture of the Day

Delighted to say that NASA's Earth Sciences Division have just posted a photograph I took in October 2012 of Eureka Dune in Death Valley, California, as Picture of the Day (EPOD - @EarthPic) for 31st March 2014. It's here permanently, and here, just for today. And, it's the topmost photograph here in my blog entry on 19th January.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Three images from Cumbria - and a pair of clouds

These three images were taken in the last week or so during a few days in Cumbria. After working on the colour originals I concluded I preferred then in monochrome. They are the three images that I discovered Blogger was "auto enhancing" for me. These are rendered they way I want them.

Woodland Path above Rydal Water
Sour Milk Gill
Path from Blea Tarn

And two clouds taken yesterday from my garden.

The Odd Couple

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Be wary of unintended blog settings

In my previous post I reported my discovery of Google's "Auto Enhance" feature for images uploaded to Blogger and more generally to Google's Picasa. My response to finding out about this has been to explore alternative blogging platforms, Wordpress being the obvious first port of call. As a trial I exported my blog from here in Blogger - easy to do - and after setting up an account with Wordpress at and selecting a free template I imported my blog to Wordpress - also easy to do. And it seems to be a success with all entries and photographs 'faithfully' displayed.

Today I accessed my Twitter account (@virtuallygrey) only to find 48 new tweets from me, one for each of my blog entries. It seems Wordpress has tweeted every one of my entries. My fault for not realising what happens when in Wordpress you link to Twitter. It's ok for each new post to be tweeted, in fact that's exactly what I want, but I failed to understand that every post in my imported blog would also be tweeted. Live and learn. I've now deleted all 48 tweets.

I'm still deliberating whether to migrate my blog permanently to Wordpress. If I do I will make a final post here in Blogger with a link - but also keep this blog open for some while with no further updates.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Images now being "Auto Enhanced" by Google

I've just added three b&w images to a draft blog post here only to find that they are being "lightened" in the upload process. They were lightened to the extent that I won't now post them until I've tracked down the problem - except the one below which illustrates the lightness. My intent is a darker image. I've changed nothing in my processes and settings, all my previous b&w image posts have uploaded without any adjustment. It seems that Google / Blogger are now adjusting my b&w images during the upload process!!!


1 hour later ... now solved - see below the two images ...

Path from Blea Tarn - AS GOOGLE "AUTO ENHANCED" IT
Path from Blea Tarn - AS I WANT IT - "UNENHANCED"
A search through the Google Forums found the answer. Google now 'auto enhance' images when they're uploaded. This seems to be a new 'innovation', brought in since I last uploaded images in recent post. Maybe it suits some - but not me. My wife called it "auto bland". There is a way around it ... BUT, you have to be signed up for Google+ to be able to access the settings where you can turn off the auto enhance. I've so far avoided joining G+ but in order to keep this blog going I've had to sign up for it in order to turn off the setting. G+ is not something I want (it will lie dormant) - I resent having to signup for G+ in order to fix something that, as far as I'm concerned, wasn't broken. Google's auto enhance should be a selectable option within Blogger.