Some website updates

First off, there's a new sIBL-of-the-month. (That's a good page to bookmark. I release a new free HDR pano every month. Haven't missed a single month since July 2007)

How I found the grandfather tree

Barbados is a sweet tropical island. I was there for a plate shoot for a TV show - a very welcome assignment I must admit. Tiny 5-man unit, zig-zagging around the island, capturing beaches and tropical background plates.

There is only a tiny patch of rain forest left on Barbados, but thankfully we had a local guide. I was scouting the location by riding on the back of the jeep, standing up and holding on to the roof rails, Indy-style. Just to enjoy the surround-view. And when I spotted this giant grandfather tree, I knew I had to take a panorama from up high. The real challenge was to stand very still to keep the jeep from wobbling…

New HDR Software page with Popular Vote

I have also updated the grand list of all HDR programs, which is another very popular corner here on HDRLabs. For the longest time it featured a 5-star user rating, which was actually a free web service glued in via scripts (for curious minds, it was called JS-Kit). Well, that web service recently shut down and so I had to come up with something new.

See, over time most of the ratings settled on 4 stars. That's when the actual stars became meaningless. It was much more interesting to see how many people actually care to vote for a particular program, so the vote count became the more significant number. This phenomenon is well described in this post on Petapixel: Why Five Star Ratings Aren't Very Helpful…

That's why I proudly introduce my very own, animated, entirely self-hosted "Vote Flipper" widget. Everybody gets one vote per day, so the higher the number the more people care about it. Go ahead, give it a try yourself on the HDR Software page (always accessible with the Tools link on the top of this page).
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