The Latest on HDR Photography Software, Robocall Relief, Slydial and Slybroadcast

John Vrooman | September 2016

John Vrooman
John Vrooman

High Dynamic Range Photography

High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is the “trick” that many real estate photographers use to obtain great looking photos for their listings. Basically, HDR photography involves merging under, over and normally exposed photos into a single picture. For Realtors, the typical goal of using HDR photography is to help bring out details in both darker and brighter areas of a photo that a single, normally exposed, photograph is not able to effectively capture. Today, many Smartphones and Smartphone “apps” include HDR features/capabilities. In some cases, the results that are achieved by using Smartphones and Smartphone apps may prove to be good enough for your needs. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you want to work on your photos on a larger screen and want or need more control over the HDR photo processing process, you’re probably going to be better off if you turn to a computer software application that specializes in HDR photo processing.

I recently researched some currently available HDR software options. “EasyHDR” and “Photomatix Essentials RE” are two products that I feel are worth mentioning and recommending. Both products appear to be reasonably easy to use and both can be used by Windows and Mac users.

If you do your own listing photography, please take some time out to become familiar with HDR photography (if you’re not familiar with it already). You’ll be glad you did!

To learn more about the “EasyHDR” and “Photomatix Essentials RE software applications, here are the links to these products home pages…

easyHDR

Photomatix Essentials RE

Some helpful Photomatix and HDR Photography tutorials and resources are available here…

https://www.hdrsoft.com/resources

 

Robocall Relief

I think it’s safe for me to assume that just about everyone receives robocalls. (Robocalls being phone calls from autodialers that typically deliver pre-recorded messages.) I think it’s also safe to assume that most robocalls that most people receive are unwanted. If you would be interested in apps that can help reduce the number of robocalls that you receive, please visit the following webpage that I discovered at The Wireless Association’s website. (There are quite a few solutions for you to consider and explore!)

www.ctia.org/your-wireless-life/consumer-tips/blocking-robocalls

If you would like to block robocalls on your home phone via a plug-in hardware device, the following devices will likely interest you: Tel-Sentry Inc.’s “Sentry 1” and “Sentry 2” devices; nVideon’s “Tel-Lynx Guardian”; and Digitone’s “Digitone Call Blocker Plus”.

By utilizing the information above, relief from robocalls should now be at hand. Good luck, and I hope the solution you choose works out well for you!

 

Leaving a Voice Message Directly Into Mobile Phone’s Voicemail?

For a variety of reasons, you may periodically find yourself in a situation where it would be handy if you could leave a voicemail message for someone (or a group of people) directly into their voicemail (e.g. the called person(s) phone doesn’t ring. You just leave a message!). The Slydial and Slybroadcast services allow you to accomplish this goal, provided that the number you call is the recipient’s mobile phone number (and that the mobile phone number and service that they have is a typical/traditional one and not something like a Google Voice number, or a pre-paid phone service plan). With a bit of creative thought, I’m sure that you can come up with a number of scenarios where having the ability to quickly leave a voicemail message for a person or group of people could prove to be quite helpful/useful. If this capability sounds interesting to you, just visit the following two courtesy links to learn more…  Slydial and Slybroadcast.

Tip: If you have a phone number for someone, but aren’t sure if the number is a mobile or landline phone number you can likely look up the answer to the question at the free “freecarrierlookup.com” website/service. Simply visit the website, enter and submit the phone number that you want to look up, and the service should report back whether the number is a wireless number or a land line number. To give the service a test, please visit www.freecarrierlookup.com

 

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Webcam Fix

After installing Microsoft’s Windows 10 Anniversary Update many (apparently millions) of users discovered/learned that the update resulted in not being able to use their webcam either at all or under certain circumstances. If you are an affected user, you should know that Microsoft is working on a fix and hopes to have it ready and released sometime this month (September). In the meantime, if you’re affected by the problem and don’t want to wait for the official Microsoft solution, a workaround fix has been making its way around the Internet and is apparently working for many users. The following links lead you to information and a video about the workaround fix.

http://www.windowscentral.com/how-fix-webcam-freezing-issue-windows-10-anniversary-update

https://youtu.be/hfQDY8vyLuQ

If you have comments, suggestions, tips, questions or just want to say “Hi”, you are invited to contact me at john@johnvrooman.com. I always enjoy hearing from you!

 

John Vrooman
John Vrooman is an experienced Realtor who enjoys staying on top of real estate, technology, gadgets, marketing, new media, and small business trends/developments. He gathers information from a diverse range of resources and enjoys sharing tips, thoughts, and discoveries with others – using a “something for everyone” approach. John has been authoring this column since August 2000 and enjoys receiving comments and suggestions from his readers.