Days of Miracles & Wonder, Volume God-Knows-What-By-Now: These Researchers Have Created a Tiny Camera Backpack for Beetles. The device apparently takes cues from nature’s energy-efficient designs, turning the body instead of having a wide field of view. It can even even shoot sweeping panos:
I’m wildly impressed & inspired by what a single (albeit highly dedicated) person and his flying camera can do. PetaPixel writes,
Reuben Pillay is a drone enthusiast living on Mauritius, the island nation 1,200 miles southeast off the African continent. He has spent over a year and a half working single-handedly on a project called ReubsVision — it’s essentially like an aerial Google Street View of the island’s entire coastline (and more).
So, Pillay spent 18 months traveling all over the 790-square-mile island with his DJI Phantom 4 Pro camera drone… Pillay has since created over 220 ultra-high-resolution 360° photos that cover the entire Mauritius coastline.
- From the Big Picture:
- The NYT features a nice interactive panorama from yesterday’s final game at Yankee Stadium.
- [Emit low whistle] Boy, cameras are good these days. The Online Photographer makes that point in a really concise way.
- "Strobist Jet Pack" or "Dignity-B-Gone" machine? You decide.
- A group in Israel is teaching photography to the blind. [Via Adam Pratt]
- In "The Process-Enacted Mutoscope," 987 Polaroids make up a (short) original film.
- Blowed-up pretty: Beautiful toner explosion. [Via]
The NY Times has been making more use of interactive panoramas these days, offering a new take on storytelling & dropping the viewer into context in a way that’s hard to match with still images alone:
- Gabriel Dance and Raymond McCrea Jones captured the electrified atmosphere preceding Barack Obama’s speech last night in Denver.
- A pano taken from the 10-meter platform in Beijing’s Water Cube features narration from American diver Thomas Finchum. (Now you know: the Cube is, technically speaking, "ginormous.") Photo credits go to Bedel Saget, Mike Schmidt, and Gabriel Dance.
- Is Full-Frame the Coming Thing, or is it just a way for uninformed gearheads to show off? Longtime photography observer Mike Johnston posts some interesting thoughts on the subject.
- High dynamic range:
- Our friend Ben Willmore has been traveling the country in his bus, and he’s collected the best of his work at The Best of Ben.
- Reaktor 1 is a cool, interactive, HDR panorama from Jann Lipka.
- Norwegian photog Klaus Nordby captured a beautiful fjord sunrise, then posted the high-res image via Photoshop CS3’s Zoomify export feature.
- On June 8, 1968, Look photographer Paul Fusco rode inside the funeral train that carried Robert Kennedy’s body from New York to Washington to be buried beside his brother at Arlington. On the NY Times site he narrates a slideshow of the work, capturing the Americans who lined the route. The NYT carries remembrances from that time, and more shots (albeit smaller) are here. [Via]
- The Commons, Flickr’s project to host public-domain images, is getting beefed up with the help of The Smithsonian. The institution added 800 photographs from its collection of 13 million images, and 1,200 more will be added in coming months, according to CNET. Images shared on the Commons can be tagged by anyone.
- The Smithsonian posts a small set of turn-of-the-20th-century color autochromes. Kottke has more info & links to more early color photography.
- Moving in Stereo:
- Grab these downloadable PDF plans to create a stylish paper pinhole camera.
- MAKE shows how to turn a video camera into a lensless microscope. [Via]
- Build your own LEGO color scanner. [Via Trevor Morris] This seems far more benign than LEGO fruit snacks. ("I would love to know what sick bastard at Kellogg’s came up with this genius idea…" [Via]
New fatherhood -> sleep deprivation (yeah, still) -> abandoning any pretense of categorization. That said, here are a few interesting bits I’ve seen lately:
- The New Yorker reports on the world of high-end retouching in "Pixel Perfect — Pascal Dangin’s virtual reality." (Hey, someone uses the Smudge tool!) [Via Ivan Cavero Belaunde, Clare McLean, Gary Cosimini, Claiborne Brown, and seemingly everyone else I know ;-)]
- The Times Online features "Billion-pixel panoramas — from your own camera" [Via Jeffrey Warnock]
- As I’ve said before, Logo design = Bullet magnetism. Now "OGC unveils new logo to red faces," says the Telegraph. Er, um, yes. (But hey, it’s no worse than the "Lisa Simpson" London Olympics logo.) [Via Lori Grunin]
- "Oh man… two words: Photoshop Filter," says Adobe’s Chris Arkenberg. Behold Man Babies.
Photographer Peter Krogh (author of the excellent The DAM Book, the Rapid Fixer extension for Bridge, and more) recently completed an ambitious & enormous digital imaging project: photographing all 58,256 names listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, enabling the creation of an interactive online version of the wall. By stitching together some 1,494 digital images into a 400,000 pixel by 12,500 pixel monster, Peter & colleague Darren Higgins were able to help create a Flash-based presentation that enables you to search for names, read servicemen’s details, and add notes and photos to the wall.
The presentation site features some behind-the-scenes production info, but figuring there was more to the story, I asked Peter for details. He kindly provided them in this article’s extended entry. Read on for more.
- "How to Enter The Ghetto Matrix": Graffiti Research Labs built their own bullet-time camera rig, then used it to make a music video. [Via]
- Flash-based panoramas:
- The NYT features a pair of interactive panoramas shot at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. The audio helps add to the sense of being there, though I’d recommend skipping the built-in animation & instead clicking and dragging to navigate for yourself.
- Rob Corell passed along these 360° video panoramas, created with the help of Papervision 3D. Go Irish.
- More high dynamic range action:
- HDR Japan is chock full of, well, Japanese HDR.
- Masato Ohta has posted a great machinery shot. [Via]
- Macworld reports on Hydra, an inexpensive new application for merging exposures to create HDR data.
The Photoshop team could use your guidance in setting priorities around our panorama-creation tools.
The automatic alignment & blending features introduced in CS3 have been really well received by photographers creating panoramas. Panorama creation in CS2 and earlier relied on use of an interactive dialog (screenshot) that enabled the user to adjust the position and rotation of images before blending them together. The improved algorithms in CS3, however, can usually produce good results without any user interaction, which is why Photomerge now defaults to “Auto” (screenshot) and bypasses the interactive dialog unless you request it.
So, here’s the question: Do we even need the interactive dialog anymore? It’s built on an aging framework, so keeping it around would require some investment. If you create panoramas using Photoshop CS3 and rely on the dialog, please let us know the details (via the comments) of how & why.
PS–General feedback on panorama creation in Photoshop is always welcome, too, though the fate of the dialog is the most urgent issue.
[Update: As of CS4 the plug-in is no longer installed by default, but you can still download and use it if you’d like. –J.]