I’ve started a special-purpose Tumblr blog dedicated to an old newspaper I found being used as packing material at an estate sale. It’s called Seattle—July 20, 1971 (or “Let’s Read the Newspaper!”) and it’s photos of pages, ads, ephemera, and mostly-local-news articles from salvageable pages of that newspaper.
No deep meaning; just ephemera.
I won’t be crossposting that here, so if you want to follow it, go follow it separately, either on Tumblr or via its own RSS feed.
I played more with the panorama function on iOS 7 last night. It appeared to assume that you’d stand in place and turn, which is how most people do it, but I wanted to see how it would work if you didn’t do that, but instead scooched along in a straight line, to the side.
It really doesn’t expect you to be doing that. Check these out and click for larger:
Turning in place
The above looks pretty much right. I’m not practiced with it and the light could’ve been brighter, but you get the idea. Items look the correct size and shape, really, and the seaming is handled very well.
Now check it when you don’t do what they expect and slide from left to right:
Scooching left to right
Look how wibbly and bent things get! Particularly the compost bin – that’s the silver cylinder on the countertop. Is that cool or what? I suspect there’s some insight into their algorithmic assumptions here.
So, yeah. Not built for this purpose.
Oh, the stand-in-place version is cropped, because it came out to a higher total vertical resolution for some reason – 2468 pixels high. The slide version used I think the whole width, or close to it, and came out to 8627 horizontal. That’s a pretty high resolution pan. It is kind of noisy, tho’; I’d like to see how it does in good light. I suspect it’s optimised for outdoors.
The new iOS 7 panorama UI is perhaps the best I’ve ever seen, and it works great. You start, you pan slowly right, you tell it when you’re done, and there’s a UI to show you if you’re moving up and down or if you’re going too fast.
But since it works by knitting together new slices of images as you turn/move, you can screw with it by walking around. :D
iCubism: Musician Traversing a Couch
iDada: iPunch The Cat
Those were taken with Paul’s iPhone 4. My iPad Mini doesn’t support this feature. I may need a new phone now. Goddammit.
For some reason, I feel like talking about photography.
Here’s a shot I took from Butchart Gardens, outside Victoria, weekend before last:
I was going for that kind of 40s or 50s-holiday feel, an older boat, a dock that’s actually pretty new but looks older because of the sepiatone, and all that. I’m pretty happy with it. It has a 1930s feeling that I get from looking at land photos from the era.
But all of that was post-photo, because this was originally a shot with different intent – an intent that didn’t work. At all. Here’s the original:
(Technically speaking, that’s the next shot, but it’s pretty much identical.) I was trying a couple of experiments that failed in the same way, but I didn’t delete the shots from my camera, and ended up with the sepia faux historical.
In terms of mechanics, getting to the above from the below was all in iPhoto, but it works the same in Photoshop. iPhoto has a lovely biased centre-of-brightness tool they call “Shadows,” and another one biased differently called “Highlights.” The first makes shadows brighter, the second brings down highlights, and in both cases, they’ll reveal lots of lost detail if you crank them way the hell up.
The problem with this approach is that no matter what, you’re missing a lot of colour data. You just don’t have it – at least, not in usable resolution. The resulting images often look washed out and/or really grainy. This original, treated thusly, looks really washed out:
“Shadows” and “Highlights” cranked way the hell up
…which is where monochrome comes in. I went with sepia/amber here to invoke a mood, but standard black-and-white would’ve worked about as well. If you merge the colour data to a monochrome palette, you get back to a similar amount of intensity data as you’d've had if you’d shot the image in black-and-white to start. It looks natural, within the artifice of photography.
I’ve pulled out a fair number of concert shots this way, and night crowd shots. You get this old-school newspaper/disco kind of look. I’ll even turn up the graininess on purpose, to drive that home. And with that, a shot that looked lost can be made vibrant and interesting again.
C.f. this crowd shot, at Strowler Nights, a few years ago:
That was basically a black rectangle with highlights, on my camera. But play with the levels, edit out a stray arm in the lower left, take out the colour, and: result!
If I’d left it in colour, it would’ve been – at best – a washed-out mess with hints of colour. But taken to monochrome, and kicking up the grain so it looks intentional, and you end up with a textured crowd portrait.
Which I guess really means I didn’t want to talk about photography, I wanted to talk about art, and intent. To wit: a lot of things you think of as flaws or problems can become assets, if you just turn them up to the point where they look intentional, then fine-tune them a bit. Not everything, gods know. But a surprising number.
If you’ve done something like this, post links or descriptions, eh? Share your mistakes-turned-successes. It might be fun. ^_^
Happy New Year!
In addition to being a binary day (11/1/1) if you do day-month-year it's 1/1/23 in the Heisei era, which makes today Fibonacci Day! It's also Year of the Hare, so clearly this is a year to be dominated by math rabbits, who, as we all know, can out do anyone at multiplying, ar ar ar ar ar ar ar XD
But to my surprise, Snowpocalypse actually boosted our attendance quite a bit, as people had to bail on other plans thanks to travel plans being disrupted. We ended up with 16 people, counting ourselves, and we have far fewer leftovers than usual. (I figured out something with my stuffing - now that I'm using a lot more dried fruit I can cut back down on the spices, and I tried that this year, and it worked really well.) But I'll still have my Turkey Tacos. ^_^
A lot less Rock Band was played than usual, but we did squeeze in some traditional Jenga. Mostly, it was large enough that we had three or four conversational groups going at once, which I like to see, since it usually means everybody's having a good time. For the first time in I don't know how long, the music circle actually happened - we had a decently large circle going for a while, made up mostly of various members of jamming groups mostly associated with Anna. I think the lineup was me, cflute, mamishka, Anna, and
Then yesterday flashfire and spazzkat and annathepiper and I went to see the Battlestar Galactica exhibit at the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum and the Harry Potter exhibit at the Pacific Science Centre. (I'm not quite sure how that presentation space works out, but let's leave that aside for now.) Anyway, the BSG exhibit is smallish but there are a few nice models and the full-scale vipers and raider are excellent. The Potter exhibit, particularly early on, triggered lots of nostalgia for prep school dorm life. Particularly the notice board in the Gryffindor common room, and having a common room called a common room, and all that. XD But if you have any interest in this series at all, go. It's huge, and stuffed full of set pieces, furniture, props, costumes, books, and really - it's just great. (And if you're doing both, do the BSG exhibit first, or you'll be disappointed just because it's so much smaller.)
I have a lot of good photos from the BSG exhibit - my quarter-second-to-full-second-handheld photo ability came in handy again - but my Flickr account is full, so NO PHOTOSTREAM FOR ME. Maybe I should pony up for the "pro" level, but I'm so not a pro photographer. XD
I also bought a used labelmaker (another $1 special), which makes me happy, because I love these stupid things:
I don't really have anything to label right now because I want to get some of the plastic labelling tape instead of the plain white paper it came with, so I labelled my cat.