Posts tagged with 'photography'


Median stack mode: getting rid of people

Before we went away last week to Belgium, I was reading about a technique for removing people from your photos using Photoshop . I think I’d heard or read about it before way back when but had never really investigated the technique properly. This time though, I delved in deeper to see if I could do it myself. I suppose it was prompted by this short video that takes the technique to an extreme (notice how the shots with just the protagonist and no crowds are stationary/static so the technique can...

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Restoring old negatives: the bad and the not quite so bad.

As hinted a couple of blog posts ago ( From ‘57 to 57 ), I’ve been resurrecting a stash of old film negatives from those halcyon days when I first started learning about photography after I’d bought an SLR. And by “resurrecting” I mean separating them from the stuck-together block some of them had become. A couple of people have asked me what I did, so a quick post is in order. In essence, the film processing service I used back in the day (30-35 years ago, note) put...

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Amsterdam canal houses

Back in April this year, we went and stayed in Amsterdam for a few days. We were at the Hotel Pulitzer on Prinsengracht – although our room overlooked Keizersgracht at the rear of the hotel – and one of our pastimes was to look at the canal houses, which ones we liked, which ones not so much. On the last day we were there, I suddenly decided that I should photograph a whole bunch of them as we walked around, and create a collage of the best houses. Of course, it was that day it decided...

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From ’57 to 57

A couple of months ago I celebrated my birthday; it happens every year. This is not about that event particularly, but more about changes over time and how I’ve almost become inured to the wonder embodied in those changes. To take a quick example: I was born in the same year that the Space Age started. In October of that year, the Russians launched Sputnik 1 (Спу́тник-1). These days, although truth be told I hardly think about it, I use several effects of that momentous launch daily. No, I’m...

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Creating a calendar

My wife (who is a Senior Deputy District Attorney) is preparing for a major homicide trial at the moment – it starts on Monday, January 6, for an estimated 8 weeks – and so spent New Year’s Day at work. I was left at home and, after having tidied up, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do. Yes, I could write some code, but I was in more of an artsy fartsy mood. Ideal thought: since it was the first day of the year, design and make a calendar. OK, so there was a bit more to it...

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Making a photo collage in Adobe Photoshop

This one’s for me for next year (or whenever I need to do this again), or for people like me who find themselves in the same predicament. It also gives a couple of hints to try and get the best effect. This year, like the past couple of years, we decided to create a collage for a New Year’s card that we send out to friends and family. Yep, we’re just that disorganized about Christmas cards, plus this year Donna was in trial until mid-last week. The previous couple of years we used the Walgreens photo...

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PCPlus 307: Spotting faked photos

At the time I wrote this article, there had been a couple of online articles about faked (or Photoshopped) photographs, especially ones used by reputable news organizations. I decided to take a look and do some research about how it was possible to detect faked photographs, especially those that are not really obviously done. The obvious fakes are, well, obvious, and funny, to boot . Pretty quickly I was led to the research of Professor Hany Farid , who seems to be the expert on image forensics....

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Photographing art behind glass

A couple of weekends ago, prompted by the Waldo Canyon fire, we catalogued and photographed all the maps, art, and photographs we have hanging on our walls. Just in case there’s another disaster when, somehow, we’re not quite as lucky as we were with the fire, and have to claim for them all from the insurance. Problem is, if you photograph something that’s behind glass straight on, you get a reflection of you, the photographer, in the picture. There are various techniques you can...

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Pikes Peak and the Supermoon

I was getting coffee from Starbucks this morning when I looked at Pikes Peak in the early morning sunlight. There was the waning moon setting over the snow-clad mountain. (Yesterday was a day of drizzle and damp; obviously this settled as snow at higher elevations.) I laid down some rubber to return home and get the camera to take a shot. As you can see I just made it back in time… By the way, if you want to see what Pikes Peak looked like on Saturday, here’s a shot I took then: Yep, there was quite...

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Garden of the Gods and my Volvo 1800S

Poor old 64SAINT was looking a little moth-bombed this morning, so I took it out to wash it. Since it was a bloody glorious day – dare I say it, heavenly – I drove it to Garden of the Gods Park to photograph it. It was also a great opportunity to play around with my new Canon 60D as well. I had on the EF-S 18-55mm lens, so there’s lots of wide-angle shots. Without further ado, here’s a brief selection of photos. You can see the full set on my Flickr page . Or as a slideshow . This one was taken in...

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Macro extension tubes

On a whim at the end of last week I bought a set of Vivitar macro extension tubes for my Canon XTi. These are pretty neat: they pass through the auto-focus and auto-exposure signals from the camera to the lens, making them easier to use. There are three in the set: a 13mm, 21mm, and 31mm tube. If my mathematics is correct, this makes seven possible tube lengths since you can combine them in any order (call them A, B, and C, then the possible combinations are A, B, C, AB, AC, BC, and ABC). Essentially...

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Tilt-shift on the cheap

You’ve probably seen those photos which look as if they are images of miniature landscapes. In general, they’re taken with special (hence, expensive) tilt-shift lenses. Normally when you take a photo, the plane of the lens is parallel to the plane of the CCD sensor in the camera (or film, if you’re that old). This means that the focused object (which we also assume to be in a plane parallel to the other two planes) is in focus across the whole sensor. The portions of the field of view that are closer...

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Cheapo timer for Canon Rebel XTi – an animation experiment

A week or so ago, I bought a cheapo remote electronic timer for my Canon Rebel XTi from eBay as a device to play around with creating animations. It was about $15, shipping included, so if it didn’t work or failed miserably, it wasn’t much of a loss. It is, essentially, a knock-off of Canon’s Timer Remote Controller TC-80N3 which, even at B&H , is $136, about ten times more. (Love you and your gear, Canon, but come on .) The no-name (literally) timer has two modes, in essence...

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A Richmond walk

Last September, we stayed in Richmond, North Yorkshire, for a few days in order to go visit the graves of my parents – it had been the first opportunity for us to see the gravestones and to pay our respects. As is normal the day we arrive in England, Donna was really tired (it’s an effect of the travel medication she takes), and so I left her napping and went on a little walk around Richmond, a town that, although I knew superficially around the market place and the Castle, was not one I’d explored...

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POPA and Glif: photography accessories for the iPhone 4/4S

I’ve been playing around a bit with Kickstarter recently. One of the projects I offered to fund was originally called Red Pop, a gizmo that attached to your iPhone to (a) give it a better grip like a normal camera, and (b) have a nice physical button on top to take photos. They reached their funding, got asked by Red to rename it to avoid any confusion (which they did, to POPA ), and then eventually released it. (The following photo is courtesy Beep Industries.) I finally got mine a couple of weeks...

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360 degree panoramas with the iPhone

About a month ago (I was at the DevLink conference), I heard about an iPhone app called 360 Panorama that takes panoramic pictures. The way it does it is quite intuitive once you realize that it takes a series of pictures and then stitches them together in software to produce a single JPG. In essence, to use it you get a grid-like field of view that you fill with photos. In good light, you can let the program do its thing as you slowly sweep your field of view, holding the phone upright; there’s...

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Wylio: Inserting photos into blog posts, simply

photo © 2007 Beverly | more info (via: Wylio ) UPDATE (6-Feb-2017) Wylio still exists, but is now a paid subscription, plus in making it so they broke all their previous photo URLs. Having just spent a couple of hours redoing the markup for all the photos I've used, I do not recommend it at all any more. Wylio is this great little online tool for inserting photos into your blog posts. In essence, it allows you to search for photos published on Flickr under the Creative Commons license (“you are free...

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My Volvo 1800S

I’ve been a bit remiss in posting these photos, but a friend reminded me yesterday that I’d promised to show off my “new” car. Way back when I lived in England I owned a red 1969 Volvo 1800S, a rare B20B version (that is, a 2000cc, non-fuel-injected engine). Only 1693 were ever produced since Volvo brought out the 1800E pretty quickly with a fuel injection system added (E stands for einspritzung , the German for fuel injection, since the system used in the Volvos was produced by Bosch). That car...

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Down From Kisdon Hill

In September this year, we went, as is usual, to England to see my parents and have a holiday. Well, the weather this trip was pretty bad, rain, rain, and flooding, but on one day it was brilliant sunshine and so we walked up Kisdon Hill behind my parents' house. On the way down, I tried out a little experiment in animation. I took a photograph every 3 paces as we came down. It made the downhill walk take much longer than the uphill walk, but, as I say, it was a day full of sunshine and it was good...

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