Saturday, August 20, 2016

Iceland 2016: Trip Index Page

This is the trip index page for our trip in Iceland in 2016. We drove around the island on the ring road, and visited various sights.

In the past, I used Picasa Web Albums to host and serve photos. Google has retired that in favor of Google Photos. While Google Photos provides unlimited storage (in compressed JPG format), it eliminated many of the great features that made Picasa Web Albums such a joy to use. For instance, you can no longer enable slide shows or embed albums into a blog. Photo embedding is also awkward and funky. Worse, Google seems to have defocused on the user relevant part of the app (such as sharing, embedding, slide shows) in favor of the machine-learning part of the app such as Photo Assistant. Photo Assistant, in particular, seems geared entirely towards people who have crappy cameras (such as those found on any smartphone). Those cameras have low resolution, lousy dynamic range, poor sharpness, and you need to introduce "filters" such as sepia toning, blur-addition (yes, Google photo assistant thinks it's improving your photos by making them blurry!), and other wacky monkeying with the images in order to make them viewable even on small screens like the iPhone's 4.7" display.

By contrast, I shoot on "large" sensor cameras (such as the Sony RX100, EOS M3, Canon 5DM2), take pains to aim for as sharp a picture as I can get. Note that the Canon 5DM2 is now 7 years old but yes, will still beat the top of the line smartphone cameras without breaking a sweat. I also know when to turn on fill-flash, use an ND grad filter (post-processed or not), polarizer, and frequently can even switch lenses for appropriate use. I never post any photos without processing them on Lightroom or Photo Mate R3 first. As a result, I want to show my photos in their full glory without any "value-add" by Photo Assistant but have no way to do so thanks to Google's new philosophy. I can't even embed a cover image on this blog!

I apologize for this rant. Thinking about how badly Google has screwed up on photo presentation will do that to me. Here's the photo link for my trip pictures.

Trip Report:

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