Monthly Archives: August 2007

Photography: Moments in time

Like tears in the rain:

  • Ah, if only this were a Photoshop job… The Online Photographer features an image of a boat plunging to its destruction.  Note the unlucky dude in the upper-right corner of the photo (back of the boat).  Mad Mariner has the backstory.
  • Novak’s Blog has an interesting collection of moments frozen in time. [Via Bob Regan, who muttered “It’s a little ‘Hang In There‘…”  Touché.]
  • Slate’s Magnum series features images in motion .  I really dig the fourth one, taken in Osaka.  And #7 reminds me of time spent in Death Valley… (no further comment).
  • "Oh, the Beemanity!!"  Speaking of dudes being… dudes, remember this formula: Flying insects + flying gasoline + an SLR: great photographic storytelling.  (Note: The copywriting is a carnival of profanity, but pretty damn funny.  Just thought you should be forewarned.) [Via Tom Moran]

RawShooter Migration Tool now available

In the year since Adobe acquired Pixmantec, makers of the RawShooter image review & processing tools, RawShooters have been asking for a way to migrate their image settings to be compatible with Adobe Lightroom & Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw.  The solution has arrived in the form of the Pixmantec RawShooter Migration Tool, now available on Adobe Labs.  According to the Labs site:

The Pixmantec RawShooter Migration Tool is designed to provide a way to migrate the settings made in Pixmantec RawShooter Premium or Pixmantec RawShooter Essentials to visually similar settings in Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom™ or Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw. Given that the controls in each application are not identical, the results of these conversions will not provide visually identical images.

New Wi-Fi camera coolness

It’s been a great week to be a photographer, with Canon and Nikon upping the ante across their ranges of products.  Apart from the big sensors, “live view” enhancements, and other good stuff in the 1Ds Mk III, D3, and other new cameras, my eye gravitated to some wireless network-oriented features Nikon has announced. From DP Review:

Now, with the new Nikon Wireless Transmitter WT-43, the era of the multi camera network has arrived. Not only can one transmit (‘push’) images to servers and remotely control the camera from afar, the WT-4 also enables remote browsing of the camera’s image thumbnails as well.

In a wireless environment, networks of up to 5 D3 and D300 cameras can be established. At a sports event, for example, photo editors could browse all thumbnails on each camera simultaneously, selecting (‘pulling’) the images they need, while the photographers continue shooting.

Hmm–that sounds pretty darn cool.  Does this spell an end to young guys sprinting down sidelines with sacks of CF cards, delivering them to some dude shielding his laptop in a sleeping bag?  Time will tell.  As with so much technology, of course, I’m sure it’ll keep compressing our perception of “fast enough.” [Update: Rob Galbraith has more details and a photo of the transmitter.]

Gigapixel Adobe HQ now in Google Earth

Few people push Photoshop harder than the crew at the Gigapxl Project, creators of ultra-high resolution digital images and prints.  Now their work, including a shot of the Adobe HQ in San Jose, appears inside Google Earth.  You can zoom in from space onto individual images, then zoom way into each one.  Here’s a screenshot.

To check it out, download the latest version of the software.  Under "Layers" on left side, open the "featured content" folder, check the box for "Gigapxl Photos," and then look for the icons of a picture with a camera.  More details are in the Google Earth documentation.

Flash video goes high-def

Great news from the Flash team: the latest version of the Flash Player (available now in beta form) will support the H.264 video codec, paving the way for hardware-accelerated, full-screen high-definition movies on the Web.  Adobe platform evangelist Ryan Stewart hits the highlights:

Does the addition of H.264 mean Flash Player will support HD?
Yes, Flash Player supports 480p, 720p and 1080p content encoded with either On2 or H.264. Performance will vary depending on the capabilities and configuration of your machine. In general a 2.0 GHz Mac or a 3GHz PC, with one or more processors, will deliver an optimum experience.

Will Flash Player 9 Update 3 support non-FLV files?
Yes, with this update, Flash Player will also support MPEG-4 standard container files […]

So basically you can play full, hardware-accelerated 1080p Quicktime videos inside of the updated Flash Player. Welcome to the next generation of web video.

Indeed.  I knew these changes were in the works, but I really didn’t expect them to arrive so quickly. Flash Player engineer Tinic Uro has the details, while Aral Balkan has a full FAQ. All in all, this is a great step forward for Flash developers, Flash video-creating apps (including Photoshop Extended), and Flash video watchers (y’know–just about everyone ever ;-)).

Killer Veggies From Outer Space, + more 3D

Photographic pondering

"Holy crap"-worthy imaging technology

Wow–now this I haven’t seen before: Israeli brainiacs Shai Avidan and Ariel Shamir have created a pretty darn interesting video that demonstrates their technique of "Seam Carving for Content-Aware Image Resizing."  When scaling an image horizontally or vertically (e.g. making a panorama narrower), the technology looks for paths of pixels that can be removed while causing the least visual disruption.  Just as interesting, if not more so, I think, is the way the technology can add pixels when increasing image dimensions.  Seriously, just check out the video; I think you’ll be blown away.  (More info is in a 20MB PDF, in which they cite work by Adobe’s Aseem Agarwala–the creator of Photoshop CS3’s Auto-Blend Layer code.) [Via Geoff Stearns]

I hope to share more good stuff from SIGGRAPH soon.  While I was being stuffed with ham sandwiches by kindly Irish folks, a number of Adobe engineers were speaking at & exploring the show.  Todor Georgiev, one of the key minds behind the Healing Brush, has been busily gluing together his own cutting edge optical systems.  More on that soon.

New Web gallery goodness

Fresh new Web gallery technology:

PS–Due to a power system shutdown this weekend, I won’t be able to post new entries or approve comments until at least Sunday night.  My God, I might actually have to go outside; wish me luck…