Friday, February 1, 2008

Yahoo! and OpenID

stripes and stones, originally uploaded by The Chromatic Orb
Canon EOS 350D + Canon EF 50mm f/1.8
Processed from RAW with Bibble Pro on OpenSUSE

Originaly posted this article to a discusson on the Utata group on Flickr.

OpenID is succeeding as an Open Standard for web authentication. The principle behind this is that you don't need to have username and password on hundreds of website, you jut neet to log on to one. This site will be your OpenID provider.

When you want to login to a site using OpenID, the site redirects you to your OpenID provider, where you authenticate, if you haven't so already. On successful login it replies to the original site that you are authenticated and you're allowed in.

This way you just need to maintain one set of username and password for multiple sites. There are many sites already supporting OpenID login and also many providers. As an example, you can use OpenID to authenticate comments on blogs even if you don't have an account.

Yahoo! becoming an OpenID provider means you can use your Flickr account URL ( as login to sites supporting OpenID. However you cannot (at least not now) use OpenID to login to Flickr or any other Yahoo! site. This is of course what we really need, not just another provider.

FYI, Google also announced that you can now use your Blogger URL as OpenID identity. You can also now use OpenID to authenticate comments there.

Even Microsoft will use OpenID with CardSpace.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Plastic fantastic

flying pottery, originally uploaded by ChromaticOrb
Canon EOS 350D + Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Processed from RAW with bibble pro on ubuntu linux

This one became one of my personal favorites. It was taken using the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 and really defines the lens' nickname of 'plastic fantastic'. For less than €100 the 50mm f/1.8 is a bargain and the image quality is amazing.

The lens body is all plastic, including the mount, which means you run the risk of it becoming loose after too many times changing lenses. But the glass quality really makes up for the body and allows for sharp and colorful pictures. With an aperture of f/1.8 you can shoot in low light situations or go for shallow depth of focus. Of course this is not a very fast or precise lens and focus can be quite difficult to reach, specially in crop frame cameras, like my EOS 350D.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

yellow line on blue wall

yellow line on blue wall, originally uploaded by ChromaticOrb.

Sometimes you look at a subject and you "feel" it's going to be a great picture. You take a couple of pictures, change angles, change lenses zoom in and out. But what you capture just doesn't match what you're seeing. Then you stop and think "what is it about this place that attracts my attention?". If you answer that, you got it.

This is a crop from one of several pictures I took at the Ikea store in Lisboa. I was in a bit of a hurry and had no time to wait for the right light (it was cloudy) so just took a few shots with the 18-55mm and 75-300mm. When I got home I wasn't pleased with any but just knew there had to be a good angle in there so I kept searching till I "found" this.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

José Franco's clay village

windmill, originally by ChromaticOrb.
Canon EOS 350D + EF-S 18-55mm f3.5-4.5 II @ 1/20 - f/22
Processed with Bibble Pro and GIMP on Linux

José Franco, an artisan working with clay for 70 years, spent much of his time creating a small size "typical" Portuguese village in his hometown of Sobreiro near Mafra, Portugal. This photo is from a fully functional windmill, built in a scale of about 1:2. It's a very interesting place that functions as a museum, doesn't charge for entrance and you can buy some beautiful pottery as souvenir. If you're visiting Lisbon and have a car, you can enjoy a wonderful day doing a tour by Mafra, Ericeira and Sintra. The village of Sobreiro is on the road from Mafra to Ericeira.

I didn't have a tripod nor some place to brace against, so it was hard to capture the movement. Also there was people passing by all the time. Being a scaled down model, I was standing about 5 meters from the windmill and couldn't get a wider view or would get people cars and fences in the frame. So I took four shots: 1/8 was too blurry, 1/60 and 1/250 stopped the motion too much so, 1/20 was the one that came out right.

There were some wires and a lamp post on the lower left corner and also part of a building could be seen to the right of the mill. So, I applied a small crop and cloned out what was left in order to keep the focus on the windmill. Then I removed some minor noise in the sky and adjusted the curves a bit for contrast.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Kite surfing in Carcavelos

kite surfing in a postcard, originally uploaded by ChromaticOrb.
Canon EOS 350D + Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6
Processed from RAW using bibble pro and edited with gimp on opensuse linux

Took a series of photos by the beach with my old EF 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 and there were this two guys trying to kitesurf on a very inconstant wind. I thought "hey! this will come out great", but the low definition and contrast said otherwise. Then I remembered a photo I had seen a while ago, and decided to try something similar.