Archive for Irfanview

The WebP Image Format

Posted in Editorial with tags , , , , , , , on April 25, 2013 by Art of Photography

Did you know there is a new image format in the digital world? Google released *.webp in November of last year as a way to store images in a smaller file size. While the format is more efficient than JPEG (25% to 34% smaller), it has the same abilities as PNG and GIF (Lossless & lossy compression, alpha channels, and animation support). So far this new format is only intended for the web. It is supported (meaning you can see pictures formatted this way) in Chrome and Opera. Facebook recently switched to this format which caused some users concern for images that suddenly didn’t render (looks like they have switched back).

Can you see this (a webP formatted image)?

Google provides a plug in for Internet Explorer, and Android (Ice Cream Sandwich) via their Frame plug-in. They also offer a WebP converter (free download) for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Other software that can convert these files includes Picasa, Pixelmator, ImageMagick, Konvertor, ReaConverter, XnView, and of course my favorite, IrfanView! There are also free plug-ins for Photoshop and GIMP too (if history is any example, expect Photoshop to soon have a Camera Raw update for this).

It will take time but I think this format is going to catch on. Google does not restrict its use and it will make web pages load much faster (think phones). In the example above (that you may or may not see) the original jpg version was 443 KB jpg while the webp version in the link is only 213 KB.

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Instagram in Irfanview

Posted in Image Post, Photoshop Tutorial, Tip or Trick Post with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2012 by Art of Photography

I have blogged before about a great free program for image processing with the unusual name of Irfanview. This is, in my opinion, the best image manipulation program you can use until you step up to Photoshop (or possibly GIMP). Today’s blog is about using Irfanview to re-create some classic film and dark-room trick photo effects.
These settings can only be used in Irfanview (http://cnet.co/wrue83) but do not require the extra plug-ins package.
Ready to go!?!
With an image loaded into Irfanview, type a capital G (shift + G) or go to Image >> color corrections … in the menu options. This opens up a dialog with a before and after of your current image. On the left side you will find controls for Brightness and Color balance (Red/Green/Blue). The right side has controls for Contrast, Gamma, and Saturation. We will modify six (6) of these controls (I never touch Brightness, Gamma is way much better).
Note that these settings are not absolutes and you can always tweak them depending on the picture they are being applied to. They are a starting point however I recommend you do apply all the settings for the effect before you start tweaking.
The format for the filter instructions is ; Red, Green, Blue, Contrast, Gamma, Saturation.

Original Image

70’s; -5, 5, -50, 10, 1.1, 50

Chrome; -5, -20, 0, 75, 1.1, -25

Polaroid; 25, 30, 5, 0, 1.1, 0

C-41; 15, 30, 80, 0, .8, 25

CrossProcess; 35, 35, -50, 40, .8, -75

RedScale; 65, 30, -50, -10, .8, -50

Lomish; 35, 10, -60, 75, .75, -100

SkipBleach; 70, 60, 115, 10, .45, -125

Brownie; 30, 5, 100, 0, .9, 35

Notes:
Chrome is meant to emulate KodaChrome color reversal film
C-41 relates to ‘normal’ color film processing (the main Kodak chemical is named C-41)
Cross Process, Red Scale and Skip Bleach are based on deliberate chemical misapplication techniques.
Brownie is based on 126 films.
70’s is based on time eroded prints.
Polaroid is emulating Polaroid’s emulsion.
Lomish incorporates some of the elements found in the output of the cheap Russian Lomo cameras.

Hope you find these useful and that you have a good time playing with them. Let me know if you run into problems or don’t understand something I wrote.

Quick Picture Treatment

Posted in Image Post, Photoshop Tutorial with tags , , , , , , on February 19, 2012 by Art of Photography

As some of you know, I advocate the use of Irfanview (free image manipulation program). I use it for quick jobs, visual navigation, preview, and batch conversions. It is quicker and easier to use than Lightroom (my opinion), very stable, and easy to learn. I also recommend it when a photographer is first starting with image processing programs.

One of the most common uses of photo processing software is modifying an image to bring forth a feeling or mood. This is the basis of the wildly popular Instagram. Instagram has taken the world by storm because of how easy it is in only a few clicks, to emotionally modify an otherwise well color-balanced picture. However, quick fixes are always limited and Photoshop professional can create much more ‘tuned’ modification that better suit the subject of the composition.

My favorite ‘instant’ modification is something that can be done very easily in Irfanview. If you are just starting out, this will also be a great little introduction to what this amazing program can do.

Assuming you have Irfanview already downloaded and installed on your computer, open an image, any image, in the program

Now shift + G to bring up the color correction dialog box (or in the menu; Image >> Color Corrections)

BEFORE

See the section for Color Balance in the lower left part of the interface? Enter these settings:
For R (Red); 20
For G (Green); -6
For B (Blue); -40

AFTER

These setting work great. You could call them golden but they work differently for different images.

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

A quick Google search will bring you to a site that downloads Irfanview. My favorite is Download.com (CNet): Irfanview from Download.com

You can use the settings ‘as is’ but I am guessing that now you know how they work, you will try many (many) variations. Get the hang of tools on the right hand side and your pictures will start to really sing. BTW – these color settings applied to a B&W picture will create a Sepia tone!

Have FUN
(Note: I don’t make nothing from nothing on this program or website. There is no affiliation, its just stuff I use).

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