Wallpapers

I feel a bit tired today, so instead of a new photo or article, how about even more new wallpapers. And since the super ultra-wide category has only few to choose from, here are few new ones.

Don’t forget to check out other available wallpapers:

More super ultra-wide wallpapers

As before, these are all at 5120×1440 pixels, made specificaly for those huge 32:9 screens. But they will also work fine on 21:9 screens (with the sides cut off a bit) and on dual monitor setups with 2 times 2560×1440 resolutions.

Super ultra-wide wallpapers
Super ultra-wide wallpapers
Super ultra-wide wallpapers
Super ultra-wide wallpapers

Sharing photos

I, as many of you, share photos online. But can you protect your photo from being downloaded once it has been shared online? The short answer is no. The long answer needs a bit more explaining, so today I will look at how photos are protected online, and why it’s pointless.

Can you protect your photos online?

  • Block right click – Most portfolio websites offer this option. You can disable the right-click option in the browser while viewing the page. Does this work? No. Is it annoying? Yes. A moderately advanced user can open up the page source and get the file anyway. The only thing one accomplishes by using this is annoying the visitors, as a right click is used for many other things than just saving an image.
  • Watermarks – Small watermarks can be removed easily, big ones with a bit of work. Again, a bit of knowledge of Photoshop and you can get rid of watermarks very quickly. One would have to use a very intrusive watermark to be able to completely prevent this. You can see those when browsing stock photography sites, but if someone really wanted to get rid of it, one could.
  • Embed into Flash – No longer so popular, but some sites used to show images embedded in flash animations. Like that, you prevent being able to save the image and there is no access to the source. But this does not help against taking a simple screenshot. And all your work was for nothing.
Can you protect your photos online?
  • Share only in apps – On mobiles, some apps can prevent you from taking a screenshot, and they don’t offer any way of saving an image. So you would think, share there, and nobody can save it. But that’s not true. There are programs where you can run apps on a PC and once it’s there, screenshot works without issues.
  • Share small resolution – Another popular method is just sharing a small resolution image. While this can be saved, it can’t be used for much. This used to work fairly well, but not anymore. With the rise of AI resizers, you can resize a photo 4x, 6x and even more times, while still having a reasonable quality result.
  • Share a small, very low-quality photo – Ok, this one still works. If you share a small photo, saved at a very low quality, I don’t think anyone will want to download it. But it also defeats the reason of sharing photos in the first place. It will not represent your work at all.
Can you protect your photos online?

The point I want to tell here is that if somebody wants to download your photo, once you share it, there is nothing you can do. Even if you created the perfect protection, they still can just take a photo of your photo on the screen, and your effort is gone.

I stopped worrying about it a while ago. Now I share bigger photos (some even in 4K) and the watermark in the corner is there as branding not as protection. I think most of you could remove it in seconds. It’s the same as with any other content protection out there. If somebody really wants to remove it, they will.

Laowa 12mm lens

It has been over a year now since I got the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D lens. In that time I had the opportunity to try it out a lot of times, so today I will share with you my thought on it, and if I’m happy with the purchase.

Taking photos at 12mm

There are not many lenses where you can go that wide. This is great, but also makes this a very specific use lens. One can only use it when something is really close, or very big. In all other situations, all will look very small, or you get too much of empty space. Also, pointing the lens up or down results in a huge amount of perspective distortion, so it’s best used when perfectly leveled.

One year with the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D lens

Still, the moment you are in a situation that fits this lens, it’s great. The distortion is minimal, the sharpness is great. Also having the F2.8 aperture is perfect if you want to do star photos or auroras (have not tried this personally, but have a friend who uses it all the time). It’s also great when you want to do a panorama, but are not able to do multiple photos. As it’s so wide, you can just take a photo and crop it later into a panoramic aspect ratio.

One year with the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D lens

The ability to use a circular polarizer and 10cm square filters make it very practical. Now I can use the same filters on my lenses and don’t have to get the big 15cm ones. This makes it much cheaper and much harder to damage the filters. You still get strong vignetting, but that’s a small tradeoff for how easy is to use them. I wrote more about this here.

One year with the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D lens

There are actually only two things I don’t like about this lens. First is, the aperture ring is very easy to randomly rotate. When I get back to the lens, it never is at the same aperture I left it at. Usually, just by touching the sides of my camera bag, it moves to F22.

One year with the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D lens

The second thing, it’s a bit harder to focus for me. I always manually focus, so being a manual focus lens is not a problem. The issue is the aperture. Normally, when you focus on a camera, the lens first opens to it’s biggest aperture, to let in the biggest amount of light it can. There is a button on the side of the most camera, that when pressed, steps the lens to the aperture you selected.

One year with the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D lens

On this lens, you have to change the aperture manually, so it’s always set to the one you have chosen. Like this, you see the resulting focus right away. But since the DOF is usually very high, you don’t really know where you are focused at all and have to check multiple areas of the photo. This is not really a problem of the lens, more of my workflow when taking photos. It’s just different from my other lenses, that I forget about it, and then end up with out of focus photos.

One year with the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D lens

In the end, the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D is a great lens, and I’m happy I got it last year. And of course, all photos in this post are taken with it. You can also see my favorite composition with it. I like to have a path, railing or something similar on one side, pulling your eyes into the photo.

More wallpapers

Acording to the blog statistics, a lot of you seem to like the wallpapers I share. There are few that get downloaded much more than others, but all of them get viewed a lot. So let’s add few more today.

I also just noticed, that there were no links to the super wide wallpapers on the blog. There was none in the menu and on other wallpaper pages. That is fixed now, and you should be able to find them easily now.

All available wallpapers:

Paris 4K wallpapers

Today, I’m adding again 4 new wallpapers to the 4K section. And as the post name suggest, these are all from Paris.

Paris 4K wallpapers
Paris 4K wallpapers
Paris 4K wallpapers
Paris 4K wallpapers

Innorel

At the end of February, I wrote about getting the Innorel RT85C tripod and the U44 ball head. At that time I mentioned that I will write a followup on how the tripod worked out and how it was to use it. And today is the day for this update.

Innorel RT85C tripod

I have very little to complain about the tripod. It’s stable and tall. The legs were a bit stiff to open in the beginning, but now I don’t notice that anymore. The rotating locks to extend the legs work with ease and are sturdy once locked. The leg locks are a bit harder to operate but still manageable.

Innorel RT85C and U44 after three months
Innorel RT85C and U44 after three months

The only issue I had, is when I try to go very low. While you can remove the middle column, I don’t like how it’s done. Firstly, you need tools to do so, as you will need to remove the ball head completely. You will not do this in the field.

Innorel RT85C and U44 after three months
Innorel RT85C and U44 after three months

Secondly, the way you attach the head back to the tripod is by using the two ends of the middle column, removing them from it and attaching them back to the tripod (better seen on the images above). This would work fine, but it does not. The bottom part nicely slits into the tripod and locks in place. The top part once screwed onto the bottom part is locked in place by the rotating lock that used to hold the middle column. So the only thing that holds it in place is friction. I don’t think this is a good solution, and I did not use it at all. I put it like this maybe twice, and the lock is already scratched on the top.

But as I mentioned, as long as I used the middle column, there were no issues with this tripod.

Innorel U44 ball head

I had similar experiences with the ball head. Overall it’s quite good. Stable, easy to use, like most other ball heads. I did run into one design issue though and one thing no longer works as it should. So what they were?

The design problem is the friction knob. This should be used to change the friction of the ball head, but it’s so easy to rotate, that you will move it accidentally all the time. And when that happens, you will lock your ball and be surprised why you can’t move it anymore. Though, once you know about it, it’s just one rotation of a knob to fix it.

Innorel RT85C and U44 after three months
Innorel RT85C and U44 after three months

The other problem happened to me with the lock mechanism on the top. There is a spring that opens the lock once you start loosening it. That spring no longer works properly on mine and will not open the lock sporadically. In those cases, I have to push on one side of it, and it will spring out. Not sure if the spring broke, or some dirt got inside, but either way it annoying.

Overall I’m mostly happy with this tripod. It works, it was cheap, it’s sturdy, it’s fine. The small issues are annoying but not a dealbreaker. Still, it’s a great value for the price.

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