Tag Archives: software

My name is Andy and I am addicted

Tonight was supposed to be a no computer, no photos, no staying up late event with a movie.

What transpired has revealed that I have an addiction.

It was 30 minutes into the movie and I just had to have a small peep at my Canon 550D’s firmware.

According to Wikipedia:

In electronic systems and computing, firmware is the combination of persistent memory and program code and data stored in it“.

OMG! I only had version 1.0.6 when 1.09 was available right here.

So Andy did a quick download and then install using the Canon EOS software.

But hold on! He was still missing out.

I picked up some browsing snippets about extra firmware called ML – Magic Lantern, which added many features to the Canon.

My interest lay in one feature and one feature alone:

Are you a HDR enthusiast? 

Bracketing up to 9 frames with spacing from 0.5 to 5 EV should handle even the most difficult contre-jours“.

Yippee!! 9 frames when I was presently limited to 3 at a time.

I did another quick download and then install using my camera’s memory card in an external reader (copy all downloaded files onto the card – not in any folder on the card). This discovery was the make or break for me as the user manual was somewhat vague or I got confused.

The card was then returned to the camera on “P” or “M” setting I seem to recall (follow all the other manual instructions and READ THE WARNING about ML).

I may have used the EOS software again but did have to go to MENU & FIRMWARE VERSION to click on what was now there to activate. There were also “battery removals”.

Play around; you will get it right (with some computer and camera savvy) – at your own risk! (the Canon might stop working).

Of course I had to take any set of photos of anything to ensure that my “new” toy was working.

The settings were not important other than to see if I could choose 3, 6 or 9 bracketed photos – I went for 6 inside my lounge at night.

Success! Not the photo below, but “sure as water is wet” ML pumped out 6 photos at 1.5 spacing, which I chose.

Have fun if you don’t have ML and are going to try it (if you are a pro video or photo person you should have a look).

I am no pro but want my toy to pump out more than 3 bracketed photos, which it now does thanks to ML.

Now I can go and use this new feature on some better subjects

20130123_1st ML photos (1) (Large)


HDR (High dynamic range imaging)

OK so it’s taken me 4 hours to discover that HDR is not as simple as throwing a few photos into a software app, pressing a “one-stop process” button and out comes this amazing photo.

I failed dismally at both attempts but did learn a few things along the way

  1. I actually have a software app that can help with this sort of thing
  2. I need to read a few manuals and talk to some knowledgeable photographers
  3. This HDR stuff is really going to keep me amused for a long time
  4. I will try again and again and again and…
  5. The view over Durban: Berea and the harbour towards the Bluff is beautiful and serene

The thought of “hiding” these two photos did cross my mind, but why waste all those hours of effort.

One day I will look at my first two “HDR” photos and have a good chuckle!

The next attempt produced a slightly different result


I am not going to give up on HDR and here are 22 reasons why not – click here

Have a lovely week at work and if the going gets a little tough remember: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow” ~ Mary Anne Radmacher