Posts Published in May 2010

Vicon Revue Brings the Harry Potter Pensieve to Our World

In the Harry Potter series, a Pensieve is a magical stone that allows people to store and replay memories. While photography helps us store moments, there’s obviously quite a bit of life that slips through the cracks. The Revue by Vicon is a wearable camera that passively takes photographs through the day to document your life.

Based on Microsoft’s SenseCam project, the device snaps photos based on either an internal sensor or using a 30-second interval. While it’s currently a research tool to help people who suffer from memory impairment, if the device were made unobtrusive enough, it may become popular with people who’d like to keep a photo log of their day to day life.

Here’s an example of a day captured using the Revue:

As disk storage becomes cheaper and cheaper, future versions of this kind of device might record HD video and sound. A neat project might be to create a photoblog and publish a 24-hour timelapse every day of the year.

The Revue is available for purchase, but its current price of £500 (~$700) will surely deter most potential buyers.

3D Portraits with Two Nikon D90 DSLRs

Stereo Portrait Project, by Alex Fry and Jamie Nimmo, is a 3D photography exhibition documenting Australian creatives. Their version 1.0 rig used two Nikon D90 DSLR cameras attached to a custom camera rig, separated by a distance that is intended to emulate human eyes.

They tell Nikon Rumors,

To synchronize the cameras we used an RF trigger split out to two preload shutter release cables. We tested how fast we could sync both shutters together with the flashes, and got reliable sync up to 1/160 speed. Giving us the ability to have people move around, talk to us and not inhibit their performance. This was very important since hands in front of the body look fantastic in 3d.

The photographs were sorted in Aperture, exported to Nuke (compositing software) and tweaked, and finally combined into 3D photos. Here’s an example:

Sadly, you’ll need 3D glasses to appreciate these photographs. I just ordered a pair for about $1.50 on eBay, since it’ll probably be useful to have a pair lying around as 3D continues to explode.

The show is running at the Oh Really Gallery in Sydney, Australia from May 27 to June 10, 2010.

Stereo Portrait Project (via Nikon Rumors)

DSLR Kit for a Three Month Project Around the World

Gail Mooney and her daughter Erin Kelly are about to embark on a three month documentary project around the world using Canon DSLRs, and the above photograph shows the kit they’re bringing along. Check out this blog post to see everything they’re bringing. What’s amazing is that everything here fits inside two backpacks. Whoa.

The resulting film will be titled, “Opening Our Eyes”, and you can follow along on this blog.

(via cinema5D)

Museum of London Releases Augmented Reality App for Historical Photos

Streetmuseum is a new (and free) augmented reality iPhone app created by the Museum of London that allows you to browse historical photographs in various parts of the city.

The app leads you to various locations around London using either the map or GPS. Once you’re there, click the “3D View” button, and the app will recognize the location and overlay the historical photograph over the live video feed of the real world, giving you a brief glimpse into how the past looked.

We’ve seen projects that overlaid historical photos over modern ones, but this is the first time we’ve seen an augmented reality app do it for you in real time. Here are a few more examples:

If only this were available in every big city around the world.

Museum of London – Street Museum (via Creative Review)

Two Tools for Exploring Nikon Lenses

Nikon has a couple neat interactive tools that make it easy to explore and compare lenses. Their lens simulator lets you see what resulting photographs might look like with any lens and camera combination, while their new lens positioning map displays the NIKKOR lineup on a grid with aperture and focal length as the two axes.

Once you’ve found lenses or combinations you like, you can save them for future reference.

(via Digital Journal of Photography)

Imagelogr Causes Uproar Over Photo Indexing Practices, Goes Offline

It looks like Imagelogr, a new search engine for images, has gotten off on the wrong foot. Only weeks old, the service has sparked quite a response from photographers after it became clear that the service was offering copyrighted photographs for download without any links or attribution.

Their “about us” section states, is an image & picture search engine. We try to index pretty much every picture & image currently available on the free internet. With our powerful search engine finding these images should be fairly easy.

The problem was, photographs that weren’t “free” were being indexed as well, including Flickr images marked “All Rights Reserved.”

After learning of the service, notable Flickr photog Thomas Hawk wrote a post on his blog today titled, “Is Trying to Be the Largest Copyright Infringer of All Time?“:

Imagelogr claims to be scraping the entire “free web” and seems to have hit Flickr especially hard, copying full-sized images of yours and mine to their own servers where they are hosting them without any attribution or links back to the original image in violation of all available licenses on Flickr. If people on Imagelogr want to they can manipulate your images, rotate them, see them at different sizes up to 300% and even download the images with a download button directly from the site. […] The site currently boasts to be tracking over 24 *billion* (yes, billion with a B) images. If their numbers are true, this may in fact be the largest image grab in the history of Flickr.

A thread about the service was also created in the Flickr forums, but was quickly closed by the Flickr staff, since they felt that the thread was going down “Lynch Mob Road”.

Hours later, the service was taken offline, and was replaced with a simple message stating, is currently offline as we are improving the website. Due to copyright issues we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy. Please check back soon.

We don’t know much about this service, and hadn’t heard of it prior to today’s events. Their domain name was registered last month, and details are so non-existant that it feels almost like a class project. However, the fact that they’ve indexed 24 billion photos seems to argue against that possibility.

When they come back online, you might want to type in your Flickr username to see if your photographs show up.

Image credit: Screenshot by Thomas Hawk

101 Photoshop Tips in 5 Crazy Minutes

Here’s an oldie but goodie that I’m guessing many of you haven’t seen before. It’s an episode from Deke McClelland’s video podcast dekepod in which McClelland shares 101 simple Photoshop tips at a blazing fast pace. What’s interesting is that it’s probably not as difficult to follow along as you might think, even though it averages to a tip every three seconds. This might be one of the closest things to learning like Neo does in the Matrix.

(via Photojojo)

Concept Sony Alpha DSLR Offers a Slanted LCD and Futuristic Design

Here’s a new Sony Alpha concept DSLR camera that features a slanted LCD to keep your face away from the screen, similar to the Sony a352 concept camera that we featured last month. Unlike that one, which had a solar and rounded design, this one has a lot of edges and sharp angles, like what you might see in futuristic concept cars.

There’s also a concept flash unit that uses metal arms to make the flash extendable, allowing you to not only adjust direction but height as well.

What do you think of this design? Should camera makers design cameras to keep it away from the face, or do eyecup extenders suffice?

Prototipo reflex con nueva ergonomía (via Gizmodo)

Mugtug Darkroom is a Browser-Based Photo Editor Powered Entirely by HTML5

Mugtug Darkroom is a new browser-based photo editor that uses HTML5 rather than Flash. It was presented at the Google I/O web developer conference yesterday to show off what’s possible with HTML5, the proposed next version of HTML that’s gaining steam.

Web apps taking advantage of HTML can take advantage of new scripting APIs that allow such things as offline data storage and drag and drop functionality.

The app is indeed impressive, but only worked in Firefox 3.6 for us. It might or might not work for you depending on what browser you’re using.

After loading up an image via upload, URL, Flickr, or Picasa, you can do many of the basic edits you might do on a photo in more advanced programs like Photoshop.

Looks like there’s big improvements coming to our internet experience in the very near future.

14 Powerful TED Talks by Photographers

TED has some of the most interesting talks you’ll find on the web, with topics ranging from how diet can prevent cancer to demonstrations of amazing new photo technology. They also have a great collection of talks by photographers, and we’ve compiled a list of 14 of them here. These short talks are eye-opening, jaw-dropping, and often quite moving.
Read more…