PhotoSlate Manual

PhotoSlate-Callout

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Callouts

Color Swatches

These are key colors used for reference, they are as follows:

  • #0000fb Blue
  • #00f300 Green
  • #36edec Cyan
  • #370000 Red
  • #e43be5 Vivid Magenta
  • #eb80ed light Vivid Magenta
  • #f8f800 Yellow

Current Date / Time / Time Zone

This is the current date / time / and time-zone that your device is currently reporting, if you set your device to automatically adjust time for the time-zone then this should be the current local time. If you forgot to adjust your camera for the local time, you can calculate the offset by comparing the  time displayed in PhotoSlate with the EXIF capture time. For example if your camera was set for the EDT, then you would know that all your images are off by 2 hours for (MDT).

Gray Swatches

8 shades of Gray from Black to White for reference.

GPS Accuracy

This is the accuracy reported by the device’s GPS.

GPS (Latitude & Longitude)

Latitude and longitude at the your current location. In settings, you can change the display to one of three settings:

  • DD.dddddd[N/S], DD.dddddd[E/W] (degree, decimal degrees) Default
  • DD° MM.mm'[N/S], DD° MM.mm'[E/W] (degree, minutes, decimal minutes)
  • DD° MM’ SS”[N/S], DD° MM’ SS”[E/W] (degrees, minutes, seconds)

For most image cataloging, it is easier to enter GPS coordinates as degree and decimal degrees (the first option) check with your specific software to validate which is easiest for you.

GPS On / Off Status

GPS on is indicated by a green globe. A red dot indicated the GPS is off. To manually turn the GPS on or Off use the Menu (bottom right button) and then select the GPS (top button).

In order to save batteries, the GPS will turn off after 2 minutes of continuous use. The GPS is also turned off if PhotoSlate is not in the foreground.

Heading

Heading is the compass heading as determined by the internal compass in your device.

Magnetic / True Indicator

Indicator of whether Magnetic or True heading is displayed. You can select either Magnetic or True heading using in Menu (bottom right button) and then (settings 4th button from top).

The default is True heading, as programs like The Photographer’s Ephemeris use True heading.

Location Address

The is the address, as determined by reverse geocoding. You can override the address by simply tapping on either of the lines, and manually editing. By doing this the Location name and address are locked, the text turns blue, and a pencil symbol is displayed indicating that reverse geocoding has been disabled. You can reset by using the location reset button.

Location Name

This is the name of the location as determined by reverse geocoding, if a name is not found, then Address line one is used. You can change the name by taping on the label and manually editing. By doing this the Location name and address are locked, the text turns blue, and a pencil symbol is displayed indicating that reverse geocoding has been disabled. You can reset by using the location reset button.

Location Edit

When you tap on the LOC or ADDRESS boxes, then you can edit the location data which will be saved to your local reverse geocoding database. When you edit a location, the text will change to blue, and the pencil icon will appear indicating that PhotoSlate is using your local data as opposed to the data from the Internet’s reverse geocoding service.

If the GPS accuracy, expressed in meters is too high (higher values mean poorer GPS accuracy), then the icon turns to the universal no symbol (a circle with a  slant line through it). You will be unable to edit the location data until the accuracy improves. You can set the location accuracy tolerances on the settings page.

Note: Any local location data you enter spans about an acer; that is about the the size of a football field with you standing in the middle. So any time you use PhotoSlate while standing within this virtual football field PhotoSlate will return your local data as opposed calling the Internet’s geocoding service. In areas where there is no Internet service (wifi or cell) then PhotoSlate will be unable to call the internet’s geocoding service; however, you can still enter your own location information, which will be saved locally and recalled when ever you return to that location (within the virtual football field).

Location Reset

Used to force reverse geocoding, or to reset any editing you may have done. Once a reverse geocode had been found, then reverse geocoding is suspended until you move 8 feet, or you force the operation using the reset button. A reset does basically three things:

  1. Forces a reverse geocode request to be made, you may want to do this when you question a result and the GPS accuracy has improved.
  2. Any cached geocoded data at that specific location will be erased and a request will be made to the internet reverse geocoding service. Cached data is different from your local location data and is used for performance considerations.
  3. If you have overwritten location information with local data, then a warning will be presented asking if you want to delete your local data and use the data obtained from the Internet’s reverse geocoding service.

Photo Sequence / Frames in Sequence

This determines the type of photo sequence you are performing, and number of frames (1 to 9, or “…” for more than nine)

  • Normal – A single composed photograph taken with one exposure.
  • Bracketed – A single composed photographed bracketed by exposure or white balance.
  • Multiple – A series of exposures intended to be compiled as a single multi-exposure image.
  • HDR – A single composed photograph bracketed with the intent of extending the dynamic range of the camera.
  • Panorama – A single wide-angle composed photograph broken into sections, to extend the image angle of the lens used.
  • Focus Stack – A single composed photograph taken at different focal distances with the intent to extend the focus range of the camera.
  • General  – Intended to mark a general area; such as a park (no compass heading)

Note: General is intended to identify a large geographic area so the compass heading is not displayed. You should also use “General” if you are not planning to shoot a subject in a single direction. For example, when you first enter a park with multiple subjects, you can mark where you will be shooting for the day. In another example, you would find a subject—such as a car—and intend to take several pictures around the car, but don’t want to photograph PhotoSlate before each frame.

Buttons

PhotoSlate-Buttons

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GPS On / Off Switch

Turns the GPS On or Off. In order to save batteries, the GPS will turn off after 2 minutes of continuous use. The GPS is also turned off if PhotoSlate is not in the foreground.

DONE Slate

Displays the DONE slate for you to photograph; marking the end of a photo-sequences with more then 9 images, or continuous repeat of the same sequence. For example, if you were taking a 3-shot bracket of photos as the sun set and shooting the brackets at 15 minute intervals, you could mark the start of your shoot and then photograph the “DONE” slate at the end. You then know that everything in between should be grouped into threes.

Information

Display information about PhotoSlate (e.g. copyright and version)

Settings

Access to settings for:

  • GPS format: DD.dddddd, DD° MM.mm’, or DD° MM’ SS”
  • Sampling: Continuous or Most Accurate
  • Compass: Magnetic or True heading

The easiest way to enter a GPS coordinate into the most popular photographic library cataloging system, is in degrees and decimal degrees; this is the default setting for PhotoSlate.  You should enter the coordinates exactly as displayed including the alpha-numeric designations and the comma: 37.269445N, 112.948225W (you should not include the heading information ” : 090″).

Sampling is how the LAT / LONG values are displayed. Since GPS performance varies based on weather conditions, satellite orbits, and electrical activity (radio, electrical cables, etc.), the accuracy may very. With “Continuous” sampling, the current GPS position is displayed with no regard to its accuracy. With “Most Accurate”  only the best accuracy value is displayed, and will only change when a better accuracy reading is determined. PhotoSlate default setting is “Continuous”.

The Compass can display heading information based on Magnetic North or True North. Magnetic North is where a magnetic compass would point (which is near the geographic north pole but not exactly). The true north pole is the point that the earth turns on, and is what the reference used by most (if not all) maps. Since most photographic planning tools use true north, this is the default setting for PhotoSlate.

Menu

Display or hides the menu buttons.

 

Using PhotoSlate

 

General Location Identification

When GEO tagging / Identifying a general shooting location, such as a park, use this procedure. This procedure can also be used to identify a subject that you plan to shoot from multiple directions. You may want to establish “General” information even though you intend to use PhotoSlate to provide information about specific shots.

  1. Upon entering the park start PhotoSlate
  2. Wait for GPS / Reverse Geocoding
  3. Edit Location Name & Address as needed (tap on LOC or ADDRESS box)
  4. Select “General” for photo sequence (taping on SHOT box)
  5. Select “…” for Frames (taping on FRMS box)
  6. Hold PhotoSlate in front of camera and take a photo.

Specific Photographic Sequence

When GEO Tagging / Identifying a specific shooting location and camera heading, use this procedure.

  1. Upon choosing a shooting location
  2. Mount camera on tripod (if using) and compose the photo (pointing the camera toward the subject to capture the correct heading)
  3. Start PhotoSlate
  4. Wait for GPS / Reverse Geocoding
  5. Edit Location Name & Address as needed (tap on LOC or ADDRESS box)
  6. Select shooting sequence Normal, Multiple, HDR, Panorama, or Focus Stack. (by tapping on SHOT box)
  7. Select number of frames or “…” if more then 10 (tapping on FRMS box)
  8. Hold PhotoSlate in front of camera and take a photo.
  9. Ensure you re-focus the camera for the subject
  10. Set Camera settings as needed (bracketing, …)
  11. Photograph subject

Series of Specific Photographic Sequences

  1. Upon choosing a shooting location
  2. Mount camera on tripod (if using) and compose photo (pointing the camera toward the subject to capture the correct heading)
  3. Start PhotoSlate
  4. Wait for GPS / Reverse Geocoding
  5. Edit Location Name & Address as needed (tap on LOC or ADDRESS box)
  6. Select shooting sequence Normal, Bracketed, Multiple, HDR, Panorama, or Focus Stack. (by tapping on SHOT box)
  7. Select number of frames (taping on FRMS box)
  8. Hold PhotoSlate in front of camera and take a photo.
  9. Ensure you re-focus the camera for the subject
  10. Set Camera settings as needed (bracketing, …)
  11. Photograph subject / Series of Shots
  12. Photograph PhotoSlate “DONE” page

For example, if you intend to bracket three exposures of a subject while the sun is setting. You have your camera all set up, and take your first series, then you wait a while and repeat the bracket exposures, wait some more and repeat. Before packing up, photograph the DONE page.

Lets say you repeated the same sequence 8 times, that would make 24 exposures of your subject at different times. Back in your image management program you will see your initial PhotoSlate indicating Bracketed/3. Now all you have to do is group your photos together in sets of three until you reach the “DONE” image.