2005-01-26: A picture dayOk - for reasons that don't matter here, the IT department at Kyocera had a meeting today. What was significantly cool, is that before the speech started, they used a slideshow of the pictures I'd taken at the 2004 IT holiday potluck as a screen saver. I felt quite honored. I also brought in my 'assault camera' to this meeting, and wound up taking a bunch of pictures as well. I didn't use the flash, because I wasn't sure if they wanted this event photographed or not - never had heard back one way or the other on my inquiry.
And now, for the reason I'm writing this: due to the lack of flash, I've learned to use Gimp's 'levels' tool, which is useful and nifty. The auto-level seems to auto-correct for white balance pretty well, but what's incredibly useful is being able to adjust the bias of light vs dark in pictures, with gamma correction as well. Then being able to adjust the output level afterwards... well, it corrects the one thing I've found difficult with my 828, which is that it seemed harder to tell the camera "Look, I don't care if the picture is grainy, just lighten it up already!" Since I can do it in Gimp after the fact, and the end results are actually not bad, I'm quite happy.
Using my newfound image processing knowledge, I shot a nice profile pic for my friend Craig's new Hotornot.com account. I applied a gaussian blur to smooth out the grainy spots, then used levels to lighten it up a bit. Tonight, I'll upload the original off of my laptop for a side by side comparison. But in the meantime, you can see the end results.