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By Raffy Paredes

New Google research shows that a lot of watermarks, including those used by major stock websites, can be easily removed automatically by computers. But there’s a way to prevent it. Using clever AI algorithms, it’s possible for a computer to zero in on the exact watermark and remove it from a photo as if it was rubbing away a smudge. The removals work by identifying repeating patterns (such as watermarks) in a large collection of photos with the exact same watermark—you may have the same thing on your photos if you use an action to apply your watermark. The computer can then establish a rough estimate of the watermark and what exactly it looks like by viewing the image as noise, and the watermark as the target. The solution is relatively simple, though. The problem lies in the fact that there is “consistency in watermarks across image collections.” So, to counteract the ease of removal, photographers need to somehow introduce inconsistencies for their watermarks. Even a subtle warp of your watermark in each photo is enough (PetaPixel).

  • Untitled (Ryan Oliver Co)

  • Untitled (Marlon Santos Aradanas)

  • Keep That Smile (Robert Bryan De La Rosa)

  • Me, Alone (Banjo Paderna)

  • 1st (Steven Villanueva)

  • Genuine Happiness (Eric Von Perez

  • Gulugod (Vicky Mongcal

  • Pares, Pares, Pares (Jimuel Alvarez)

  • The Carriage (Japol Oroña)

  • Tres Marias (Jason Pintang)

    I was looking at NASA’s gallery of photos of the recent solar eclipse when I stumbled on a link to NASA’s climate change images with past and present photos of selected areas in the globe. One of the areas with satellite photos of 1989 compared with 2012 is Metro Manila. It is interesting but sad to see how greenery in and beyond the metropolis has vanished.  Another area is Mt. Pinatubo where plants and trees have again flourished since the great eruption of 1991 (https://climate.nasa.gov/images-of-change).

    Conservationists, birders, and artists may be interested in seeing high resolution images from John James Audubon’s “Birds of America.” At http://www.audubon.org/birds-of-america, viewers can zoom into the drawings for a closer look and download for free a high resolution file of the image  (Hyperallergic).

    And now to our featured readers.

    New contributor Banjo Paderna, a hobbyist photographer who occasionally covers events sent in the photo titled “Me, Alone” taken at the baywalk of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental near the pantalan. Banjo shares that he loves street photography, landscape, and portraiture.

    Also contributing a photo for the first time is civil engineer Marlon Aradanas with an untitled night photo taken by the bay. He shares how he got into photography: “I started to be interested in photography (mobile photography to be exact, wala pa po kasi DSLR) during my review days last year. September 2016 ako nagsimulang mahilig sa photography gawa ng sobrang paulit-ulit yung daily routine ko during my review days. Kain-review-tulog. Nawawalan na po akong time para mag-enjoy, so I started reading about the basics of photography then I started going out every Wednesday and Sunday to practice, take photos ng kung anu-ano.” Marlon took his night photo with a smartphone.

    Other photos on today’s page come from previously featured readers.

    “Genuine Happiness,” a photo of a mother taking a picture of her smiling daughter in a restaurant comes from Eric Von Perez.

    From Japol Oroña is “The Carriage” taken at the Wildwood Stables in Acadia National Park in the State of Maine, U.S.A.

    Jason Pintang shares “Tres Marias.” He writes: “Despite their young age, they have learned how to earn money for their studies and to help their parents.They go to school on weekdays and at the end of the week, they trade the goods carried on their heads.Regardless of the heat of the sun, they walk the length of the shore and offer to tourists the work of their parents.”

    Jimuel Alvarez explains the title of his photo, “Pares, Pares, Pares.” “I took it when I was eating my lunch. I caught these two girls having their meryenda. Tapos noong na-capture ko na, doon ko lang na-realize na sa loob pala ng picture, may tatlong pares: babae, tarpaulin, at tricycle. Totoo nga na ‘no man is an island.’ Kahit sa simpleng mga bagay kelangan natin ng kasama, sa pagta-travel man, sa pagkain at sa tagumpay.”

    Robert Bryan De La Rosa submitted the photo titled “Keep That Smile.” “The photo was taken during the celebration of Coco Festival in San Pablo City, Laguna,” writes Robert. “Wearing her contagious, genuine smile while dancing, we can see how happy San Pableños are.”

    Ryan Oliver Co sent in an untitled night photo of the Jones Bridge in Manila taken with a smartphone.

    From Vicky Mongcal is a photo from her first night hike at Mt.Gulugod Baboy in Mabini, Batangas titled “Gulugod.”

    And from Wilfred Perez is a photo by student Steven Villanueva of Balsik National High School. As part of the Nutrition Month celebration, a photo contest was held. Wilfred, an alumnus of the school was the resource speaker on photography. Today, he shares one of the winning photos. a street dancer titled “Smile in Colors.”

    Readers may now view issues of Picture Perfect including this column at www.mb.com.ph. For comments, suggestions or just to share an image or idea, email throughalensclearly@yahoo.com or rfyparedes@yahoo.com.

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