Permlink Replies: 9 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: 13-Aug-2017 15:07 Last Post By: jGromit Threads: [ Previous | Next ]
jGromit

Posts: 33,170
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Engadine Valley
Posted: 11-Aug-2017 05:03
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Back from another three weeks of shameless self-indulgence. After all, who is more deserving than me? Over half the time at a high-end hotel with fine dining every night, a pool, sauna, two steam rooms, a whirlpool, and a string trio performing in the lounge. And all of this, with great hikes right out the door or a short bus ride away.

The Engadine and neighboring Val Bregaglia are familiar territory to me, so I can do most of my wandering without maps or timetables.

The first thumbnail: https://jefftucker.org/

The picture I missed, however, was at dinner one night at the Hotel Waldhaus. I looked up from my plate, and two tables away from me was Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, better known as Sir Patrick Stewart. They were using the hotel to film some scenes for an upcoming movie, The Gift. I resisted the urge to dash to my room, grab my phone, interrupt the poor man's dinner, and demand a selfie.

P.S. No smartphones or iPad Minis. This is large monitor material, damn it!
MarkusD

Posts: 493
Registered: 13-Apr-2006
Re: Engadine Valley
Posted: 11-Aug-2017 19:58   in response to: jGromit in response to: jGromit
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jGromit wrote:
P.S. No smartphones or iPad Minis. This is large monitor material, damn it!
Thumbs up!

What I also really like is that you have comments explaining what visitors are actually seeing.

You did have great weather conditions, lucky you.
jGromit

Posts: 33,170
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: Engadine Valley
Posted: 11-Aug-2017 21:40   in response to: MarkusD in response to: MarkusD
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MarkusD wrote:
What I also really like is that you have comments explaining what visitors are actually seeing.

I usually try to provide at least some context.

You did have great weather conditions, lucky you.

Well, on the rainy days, or the days with nothing but flat, gray light, the camera never comes out of the pack. And of course since I'm on my own, I can change plans on a dime. Sunny afternoon in the forecast? Time to go high!

I do tend to have good luck with travel weather, however. Only one utterly foul day on this trip - other than that, the occasional brief shower. But on other trips, I have been known to hike in sleet.
mrag

Posts: 3,632
Registered: 26-Jul-2003
Re: Engadine Valley
Posted: 12-Aug-2017 19:57   in response to: jGromit in response to: jGromit
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Really quite enjoyable. That, by the way, is a major compliment as in my previous life, the only benefit I ever saw to walking anywhere was chasing a white ball down a manicured fairway (which I usually only saw from the side). You may have missed a real career opportunity in doing postcard photography.

I was about to complain about the lack of panoramas and suddenly there were a couple of videos and of reasonable length. They fit in well I thought. I liked the single menu shot, would have liked more and maybe a better photo or two of hotels and accommodations (I say that knowing you're not doing a travel blog for the masses).

I also spent some time afterwards on Google maps as my geography brain cells have long since atrophied just to get a feel for where you were.

Bottom line, great photos, thanks for sharing.
jGromit

Posts: 33,170
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: Engadine Valley
Posted: 12-Aug-2017 20:10   in response to: mrag in response to: mrag
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I've thought about going back and geotagging some of the images, since I can pinpoint where I was on a map pretty quickly. Not all of them, but at least some of the high points. Maybe the next rainy day....

Wandering around a hotel like the Waldhaus and shooting photos instantly labels you as a weenie. And pulling out a camera in the dining room would be considered very strange behavior, indeed. Explore: https://waldhaus-sils.ch/

But want menus? I missed only one of them during my ten days there. You'll have to do some rotating in your PDF reader, alas: https://jgromit.jalbum.net/WaldhausMenus2017.pdf
mrag

Posts: 3,632
Registered: 26-Jul-2003
Re: Engadine Valley
Posted: 12-Aug-2017 23:07   in response to: jGromit in response to: jGromit
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Attachment jg-swiss.jpg (118,5 KB)
I'm guessing in the not too distant future (if there is one), most cameras will all just automatically have geo tagging. My thought was zeroing simply in on Switzerland in general, your idea is an improvement. Anything closer a bonus.

I agree that walking through the nicer hotels with only a camera and not a separate light and a camera person can leave you open to some criticism. Had I been thinking, I would have suggested simply including hotel links within your comments for menus, reservations, etc. Same result.

The trick is every 5 people that view will have 7 different ideas on what they want to see and what they expect.

A very minor note, in FFx the video clips required I go to full screen (F11) to appreciate the full image. "Via ferrata?" Looks like an extremely advanced form of David's "zip lining."

jGromit

Posts: 33,170
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: Engadine Valley
Posted: 13-Aug-2017 03:43   in response to: mrag in response to: mrag
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mrag wrote:
A very minor note, in FFx the video clips required I go to full screen (F11) to appreciate the full image.

In Matrix, the videos are shown full size. They're not responsive. If you go full screen, you're just getting "blurry."
MarkusD

Posts: 493
Registered: 13-Apr-2006
Re: Engadine Valley
Posted: 13-Aug-2017 14:20   in response to: jGromit in response to: jGromit
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jGromit wrote:
mrag wrote:
A very minor note, in FFx the video clips required I go to full screen (F11) to appreciate the full image.

In Matrix, the videos are shown full size. They're not responsive. If you go full screen, you're just getting "blurry."

If I would have to vote to look at pictures/videos at the original size or at full screen, I would go for the full screen, OK, assumed that the size of raw material is good enough.

Your pictures and videos are more than good enough to go full screen. Sure it gets a little blurry, but hey, your videos, full screen, on a 40" screen, what a difference to the original size. And I found no way to also see the pictures at full screen. Just look at the attached screen shot how tiny the original picture look at 40" screen. Yes, from a professional point of view scaling a picture up makes it blurry, but if you stand back maybe half a meter from your screen, full screen is breathtaking, compared to the original size.

It's not to proselytize you to present your pictures in a different way, just to say, that one can have a different opinion.
jGromit

Posts: 33,170
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: Engadine Valley
Posted: 13-Aug-2017 14:31   in response to: MarkusD in response to: MarkusD
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I could certainly make the image bounds larger, but the tradeoff, of course, is that the slide image files start to get huge. Not everyone has the bandwidth to handle that.

There is no fullscreen option in the Highslide JS script that underlies Matrix - nothing I can do about that (it's abandonware). Nor can the script handle the so-called HiDPI images that jAlbum will produce. For these reasons, and others, this skin is nearing the end of its life, alas.
jGromit

Posts: 33,170
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: Engadine Valley
Posted: 13-Aug-2017 15:07   in response to: jGromit in response to: jGromit
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BTW, the videos are a real challenge. Take that 2-minute "Klettersteig" video, for example. The original, straight out of the camera, is an MOV file that's roughly 320MB. That's "M," as in "mega!" It's 1920x1080px, 59fps, bitrate about 22mbps.

If left in its original resolution, and using jAlbum's default quality setting, it yields a 66MB MP4. I've gone to 720p in this album, which takes it down to a mere 51MB, 1280x720px, still 59fps, with the bitrate down to about 3.5mbps.

But since videos are not responsive in Matrix (and can't be made so), going big presents a problem. How large a frame should the album use for the video? Remember, it won't adjust to the viewport size!
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