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Technology is the term we use for things that don't quite work yet.

Category: 'Photograpy'

2014 I haven’t posted in almost 2 years! Yikes, damn day jobs… Recently the door knob in the office building has had a thing against me. So, I took a picture. I was hoping for a little more definition, but I’m going to have to do some experimenting to figure out how to get the best shot. For now, this didn’t come out too bad. I tried various exposures but generally between 1/4 to 1.3 seconds at ISO 1600-3200 and F2.8-F8. I did find someone else who did the same thing, over the course of 3 days he refined his technique and used pyro to enhance the effect. I’d like to stick to purely electricity. He was doing longer exposures. But, i’m not sure that’s the effect I want. I think I’d like even shorter exposures, but without a continuous source of sparks, the timing would be difficult. I more secure rig might help as well, but i’m not sure.


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TinEye

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Tineye.com

Tineye.com

I almost didn’t want to share this site with others because it’s so great! I’ve been using it since the early beta and it went public sometime earlier this year. Tineye is a ‘reverse’ image search. So you feed it an image and then it finds that image on other sites. But, its even better, it will still work if the image is cropped, sized etc… I’ll let them describe it…

TinEye is a reverse image search engine. You can submit an image to TinEye to find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or to find higher resolution versions. TinEye is the first image search engine on the web to use image identification technology rather than keywords, metadata or watermarks.

They have indexed over 1billion images and I’m sure that number is going to grow rapidly.

Example: Here is an image of britney and all the other possible sources.

Uses:

Identification: Can’t figure out who someone is? Often with a few links to other areas, their name will be mentioned, or in the file name, or in the other images.
Validation: Is someone seem too good to be true on that dating site? Suspec that myspace profile is fake?
Copyright: Is someone using your image?
Quality: Need a larger source image for your wallpaper, print project, or artwork? Maybe you just want to see a larger/cleaner image from some blog post that has been reblogged so many times all you can see is the thumbnail.

Go check it out, it’s one of my favorite new sites of 2009.


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MP3 Player? With hacked macro lens.

MP3 Player? With hacked macro lens.

Over the years I’ve considered developing quite a few fun and interesting cell phone applications. Unfortunately, after developing some software to test and trying a dozen different cell phones some inherent physical limitations proved too large to overcome.

Most cell phones while having adequate resolution, are fixed focus lenses that can only focus about 2 feet away and farther. Much closer than that and the images become a fuzzy mess!

This totally destroys any hopes of some of the cool applications that can be made by barcode scanning products (e.g. price checks, order online) and scanning text (e.g business cards, subscription cards).

Imagine you walk in to a store in the mall and see something you like, but you’re not sure about the price. You scan it, and you phone opens google maps with all the nearby locations that have that product and the prices they charge. Things like this would be possible with the addition of a tiny bit of extra optical help…

Someday…


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Somewhere inbetween… The Moon

Monday, March 26th, 2007
The Moon (warning its a biggie)
The Moon (warning its a biggie)

So back in November I did this set of photos of the moon. Recently I borrowed this 8″ Celestron telescope and got a shot of Saturn. I was both impressed (that you could see it at all) and mildly disappointed I couldn’t capture what you could see with the human eye. Hence I aimed my scope at something a little closer to see if I could improve on my past attempts without a real long lens. The results are not too shabby.

So until next time I can think of something else to take a picture of…signing off…

Update: Ok, so I managed to find some mostly free image stacking software, did a quick 10 stack and substantially improved the resolution, enough so that I’m willing to show the 100% version. Warning this is 3872×2592 but its quite impressive what you can do to remove the atmospheric distortion with multiple photos.


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Snakes on a pole…

Monday, July 3rd, 2006
Snake on a pole
Snake on a pole

Wow an update, crazy…been distracted with other things in my life, like
Turbo and other stuff. But I took some good pictures recently and thought I would share…

Snake

How the snake got there…

Back off buddy, my snake!


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The Moon

Thursday, November 24th, 2005
Click the moon
Click the moon

Not much to say. I took some shots of the moon and the sky and I liked the results. Click the link, 4 shots and then it loops.

I recommend at least 1280×1024 to view them. I also have an identical but larger set for those of you at 1600×1200.

The first moon shot is done with a cheap 80-320 zoom (at 320mm x1.5 FOV crop 480mm 35mm equivalent), it came out fairly good for the lens I used. The others were taken with the kit lens 18-55mm (F5, 13 second exposure ISO400) that came with my *ist DS. For the fairly standard fare quality of the lenses I was happy with the results. I really need to try and get a hold of my dad’s 10″ mirror telescope, thats an equivalent 2000mm roughly at 35mm and 3000mm with my *ist DS.

So full screen your browsers and check them out. 1280 versions and 1600 versions.


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LCD Blown up Round #2

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005
2x2 section of white pixels
2×2 section of white pixels

So I wasn’t totally satisfied with the magnification I got on my last round of LCD vs. RGB pics. This time instead of using a straight 100MM Macro lens, I used a 35mm normal lens attached to a bellows. Last time I got around 14x magnification, this time its more like 168x =)


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Canon Pixma IP8500 and the Epson R800
Canon Pixma IP8500 and the Epson R800

This article is a tad old, but its still very relevant. I recently decided that my cheap ass Canon S520 (paid $50 refurb at Frys) is lacking compared to modern printers. I also recently started doing more photography and decided it might be nice to have a nice printer. Tom’s Hardware did a nice review of the 3 current $300-400 range printers from Canon, Epson and HP. Anyway, so sum up…

The Canon and the Epson were very close and better overall than the HP. The Canon IP8500 had the edge in Speed. The Epson R800 has its edge in better Quality and print Longevity (uses pigment based inks instead of dye based). The Epson also had a couple little features I think might be nice the canon doesn’t, roll paper, firewire, and better fine art paper selection. The Canon on the other hand has pictbridge (lets you print from memory cards), duplex printing (double sided) and a user replaceable printhead. The Epson print head is not user replaceable, so if its damaged or clogged and can’t be cleared using self-cleaning it needs to be sent in for repair. Although, I hear in the latest models this is less of a concern, I would use your printer occasionally to keep the heads clean and follow the directions when replacing ink. I’ve also heard one of the caveats of any of Epsons printers is that if you switch print qualities they tend to go crazy about head cleaning and in general they tend to be fussy if you don’t use them often.

I hear the Canon prints can have some color variation compared to the Epson’s when viewed in different lighting conditions, as well as they tend to be a bit exaggerated which can make printing portraits (which have subtle skin tones) a little challenging. On the other hand your average pictures will look brighter and more vibriant.

From pcworld’s review, they both seem to have almost identical photo print costs.

A. So if you need the extra speed and want to sacrifice a very small touch of quality for a nice boost in speed, the Canon is your man.

B. If you demand the highest quality and want fade free water resistant archival quality prints on a variety of papers and follow the directions to keep your heads unclogged the Epson is a winner.

After taking a look at some print samples from both printers, its very very close. I would need to have identical prints to really tell you which one is better, but it does look like the Epson has the edge. Its detail from its 1.5picoliter drop size just seems to edge out the 2picoliter drops on the Canon.

I think for most users the feature list will be the deciding factor since they are so close to each other in quality.

P.S. Ok, I take it back, after reading tons of additional reviews I think the less hassle of the Canon is winning over the archival inks of the Epson. They simply clog too often from user reports than I think is worth it to me. I don’t print every day and I don’t want to waste $10 in ink warming my printer up every couple of weeks.


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So, I was thinking today and it occurred to me that digital photography has changed things a bit. In the past if you took pictures of things that the powers that be didn’t like, they would likely take your camera and smash it and pull out the film and possibly search you for more film and destroy that too.

Well, digital memory can be small, really small! Its also really tough, surviving drops, water, plane crashes, and lots more. So the weird gal that I am I think, hey why not swallow it? My normal SD cards are easily small enough to be swallowed, and MiniSD is even smaller and can be adapted to SD. So you could keep a spare SD card, when they go to take your stuff swap out the card and swallow the important one. Its definitely small enough to pass through, but no guarantees =)

P.S. The image is 90DPI which should be close to real sized on many monitors. 72-100dpi is fairly typical these days. My Dell 20″ is spot on 100DPI.


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G-tech Pro Road Race

Monday, March 14th, 2005
G-Tech Pro Competition Road Race Screen
G-Tech Pro Competition Road Race Screen

I love cars, computers, and photography. So anytime I can mix all 3, its a good excuse for a post. Although this news is easily 6 months old, (its practically sacrilegious to post something this old on the net) I only look for this sort of firmware upgrade anually. So it would seem that Tesla Electronics has finally has posted their long promised road-race upgrade to the popular G-Tech Pro Competition performance meter. I haven’t had a chance to review it in action, but the feature list seems decent. It boasts 90mins of data logging at 20 samples/sec and 180mins at 10/sec. This is in contrast to the much higher resolution drag mode where it only stores 300 seconds of runs. Since you can always upload the data later to your PC, this is plenty of storage. They also added other misc. features such as the ability to store setups for up to 4 vehicles and improved documentation.

I love mine, my only major complaint is the display is totally un-viewable at night. The backlight was never very good to begin with and has deteriorated to absolute crap over the years. Mine is an older ‘blue’ backlit model, maybe the newer ‘orange’ models are better.

Anyway, it was another good excuse to take a shot with my macro lens.

[WARNING REALLY BIG IMAGE]


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