Heads Up…

I have finally gotten around to making some new headers for you all to enjoy. These are very “springy” due to the rainy day that inspired me to try some new stuff. “Summery” ones will follow soon.

Here you go…

I thought the flower cluster poking out between the pillars of the railing was perfect. This one also qualifies for the Weekly Photo Challenge! How cool is that? I wasn’t even trying, lol.

This is the bridge where the flower lives, which was also a great fit for the blog.

This is a shot of my rear-view mirror, with the view out the windshield blurred out… You know what they say; “Hindsight is 20/20.” I think this illustrates that concept rather well.

Just a nice photo of a nearby street, while it was empty of course.

Hope you enjoy them, and feedback is welcome as usual. I would like to remind everyone that I reserve all rights associated with any of my own works of photography and graphic design displayed on this blog. I apologize to my regular readers for the legal spot, but I have to put that there because I have already had one item show up elsewhere; thanks for understanding.

New Pictures!

I took my camera out this weekend, and got some awesome shots…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The one with the quarters has already been set as a new header image, and the Foosball table may end up as one as well, if you want it. The third image was taken while I was just playing around, and I thought it turned out pretty awesome, so I decided to share it.

Some Monday fun to break up the beginning of the week.

Photo-Future?

I ran across this blog post discussing a new kind of camera technology that will prove interesting, if not a bit gimmicky… Light-field cameras, or “Plenoptic” Cameras. Lytro makes a consumer targeted product, while Raytrix produces a professional-minded product.

Lytro Camera

Lytro Camera (Photo credit: bovinity)

I have some reservations about all of this, because some people will be expecting things to remain, largely, like they already are. They will expect to be able to print, share, edit, and save these images in much the same way we do any digital photo. None of this is true. Sure, if your only focus is to post all your worldly photos on Facebook, it will work wonderfully. Who really wants to do that with everything they shoot? Exactly. Nobody but teenagers who have yet to learn that some things don’t need to be shared.

The Raytrix cameras boast the ability to make 3D images without multiple lenses (like the recent 3D cell-phone cameras) and no need to refocus during shooting video. This is true, but what use is a 3D video if it will be at such a low resolution that any modern 3D-TV will make it look downright laughable. For $3,500, I had better be able to at least get full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) and a proper aspect ratio. You can get the resolution with their more expensive models, but even they are limited to 7.25 megapixels.

As near as I can tell (these companies seem to be purposely avoiding the discussion of image size, and the post-shot process) you will not really be able to do much in the way of advanced editing. The advantages are big though, they are the first true point and shoot cameras; with no worry about shutter speeds, focusing, or other time-consuming tasks.

So, in short, it is a technology that needs to be watched. It will eventually evolve into something that can give us what we expect out of all cameras today, with the advantage of not having to worry about the focusing issues.  Until that happens, it’s just not practical for anyone who is more serious about their photography/video projects.

English: Pleiades Star Cluster

One side-effect of this technology is that exposure time (shutter speed) becomes less of an issue as well, with so much light being gathered. This is reflected in the design of the Lytro device with the lack of advanced options for shooting. You cannot choose to keep the sensor active longer (for gathering the light required to take astrology photos for instance, or night-time photos.) I am afraid that may eventually lead to exposure timing becoming an option in only the most premium (expensive) models.

The view from below…

This is what I was treated to last night…

The bright spot on the left is Jupiter, and the one on the right is Venus. Pretty cool, and I thought I would share with everyone. I had to use a longer exposure to get them, and you can actually see more than I could with my eyes. I am sorry for the stuff in the lower left, but it was the only stable position I could put my camera in, and the moving clouds prevented a truly amazing shot.

I promise, I am going to get back to this. Life is like space; you can see everything from millions of years ago clear as day, but the stuff happening right now escapes you. I always expect it to get predictable, but it never does.

Triumphant Return…

Or not.

I may have bitten off more than I can chew recently…

The problem I am having is the complete lack of experience when it comes to Adobe anything, other than Photoshop and Illustrator. I opened After Effects to check it out, and discovered what was obviously a video editing powerhouse; a powerhouse that I had absolutely no clue how to use.

I know that I could search for some tutorials for the After Effects basics, but I find those annoying. It’s always some James May type, blithering on about some mundane little thing like I am an idiot. I don’t need someone to guide me through as if I am a child who’s never seen a mouse. This means I will need to do this the same way I have done everything else in the computer graphics world… Trial and error. If you were to see this program you would understand how someone could feel a bit overwhelmed when first looking at it.

I wouldn’t even bother except that once I have it figured out, I can generate some pretty spectacular graphical effects and import them for use in Photoshop projects. It will also be handy for making future videos to go with this blog. This is one of the distractions things that caused me to not make a proper blog entry in a while.

Simple vs Complex.

One thing you learn from Photoshop is that sometimes the “simple” ideas are the ones that take forever, while very complex things can be accomplished with a few clicks of the mouse. Mind you, I’m a bit of a perfectionist so what I consider simple, may not be. The Modern Warfare 3 logo is simple. Yet, accomplishing a similar effect in a way that looks polished, with different letters, is a painstaking process involving two programs (Photoshop and Illustrator) and lots of caffeine.

Official MW3 logo:

“My” version: 

Mine looks more subdued than theirs, but mine was designed almost entirely from scratch, and theirs’ appears to be a screenshot of a sequence out of a game trailer. I’m still not quite happy with mine, but it looks pretty cool. Using After Effects, I will be able to create that audio-wave effect in the background in a matter of minutes.

And with that I have an announcement to make!

I have been in contact with someone from this KickStarter campaign. I have been invited to go take a look, and I will be taking pictures and asking a lot of questions. It will be my first “reporting” style entry. I feel it’s a very interesting project… Do you have any questions you would like me to ask?

Photos 4-7

I have missed a few days worth of pictures, but that doesn’t mean I have forgotten…

Just a fun panorama of a local snow-sculpting event for the Humane Society. The Wolf was done by my Brother and Step-Father, so I am being biased when I say it was one of my favorites.

They took first place.

My favorite one, even though they didn’t get to coloring it before time ran out.