Posts Published in October 2011

Beautiful Time-Lapse of Tokyo Set to the Blade Runner Soundtrack

Photographer Samuel Cockedey spent a year photographing the Shinjuku area of Tokyo, Japan using his Canon 5D Mark II, and then created a time-lapse video set to music from the sci-fi film Blade Runner. Titled “Android Dreams”, the time-lapse is both a fitting tribute to Blade Runner and a beautiful portrait of Tokyo at night.

(via Laughing Squid)

Sony’s Sensor Manufacturing Plant Hit Hard by Thailand Floods

Here’s a photograph by the The Bangkok Post showing Sony’s sensor manufacturing plant in Thailand submerged under flood waters roughly 3 meters (~10ft) high. The shutdown of the 502,000 square foot, 3,300 employee plant doesn’t just affect Sony, as other companies — including Nikon and Apple (in the iPhone 4S) — rely on Sony image sensors as well.

(via Bangkok Post via Nikon Rumors)


Image credit: Photograph by Pattarachai Preechapanich/The Bangkok Post

Go Motion: A Motion Blur Technique Invented for Star Wars’ AT-AT Walkers

Here’s an interesting factoid: to make the Star Wars scenes containing AT-AT walkers and tauntauns more realistic, a new stop motion technique called “go motion” was created:

Stop motion animation can create a disorienting, and distinctive, staccato effect, because the animated object is perfectly sharp in every frame, since each frame of the animation was actually shot when the object was perfectly still. Real moving objects in similar scenes of the same movie will have motion blur, because they moved while the shutter of the camera was open.

Go motion was designed to prevent this, by moving the animated model slightly during the exposure of each film frame, producing a realistic motion blur. The main difference is that while the frames in stop motion are made up by images of stills taken between the small movements of the object, the frames in go motion are images of the object taken while it is moving.

So how did they go about adding motion blur to still photographs of inanimate objects? Well, their methods included smearing vaseline on the camera lens and bumping the puppet or table while the exposure was being made.

The Pentax Q is Certainly Small, but “There’s No Magic At Play”

Engadget has published a lengthy review on the Pentax Q that confirms what many people have assumed since the camera was announced: that using a tiny sensor just to make an interchangeable camera system small isn’t a good idea:

Pentax really has managed to design the world’s smallest interchangeable lens camera — and yes, it does work. But there’s no magic at play here. The Q is small because all of its components were downsized — Pentax took everything from the lens to the image sensor to the mode dial and shutter release and gave them the shrink ray treatment. [...] The result is an attractive, pocketable ILC that doesn’t quite follow its powerful pedigree.

[...] If money is no object and you’re not keen on capturing incredible images and video footage, then perhaps you’ll still consider picking up a Q. As for the rest of us — we’re perfectly happy with our larger, much more capable ILCs, and wouldn’t dare consider making such a sacrifice just to carry a bit less weight on our shoulder.

There’s a ton of competition in the mirrorless camera market now, and one of the big selling points is having a DSLR-caliber sensor in a compact camera body. Lose the sensor quality, and there isn’t too much of an advantage over all the other options out there.

Pentax Q interchangeable lens camera review [Engadget]

Sweet Promo Video for the GoPro Hero2

One of the big things GoPro has going for it is viral marketing: people — including the world’s best daredevils — are constantly producing never-before-seen footage using the company’s tiny HD cameras, and it seems every week a new GoPro video goes viral on the web. The company isn’t bad at creating their own videos either — the above is an amazing promo video showing off the capabilities of the new Hero2 camera announced yesterday. 100% of the footage was captured using the camera, which can shoot 10mp stills at 11fps and 1080p video at 30fps.

(via Vincent Laforet)

Adobe Image Deblurring Done on Capa’s Famous D-Day Photo

Update: We’ve removed this image to avoid fringing on the copyright held by Magnum Photos. Click the image below to see the original side-by-side comparison.


removed

Still think Adobe’s Image Deblurring technology is fake? Check out this before-and-after comparison showing what the feature does to one of the most famous camera-shake photos in history: Robert Capa’s D-Day photograph of an American soldier landing on Omaha Beach.
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Fully Functional Nikon DSLR Costume

For Halloween this year, photographer Tyler Card decided to made a giant Nikon DSLR costume. Not just any DSLR costume, mind you, but a fully functional one. The camera actually takes pictures when the shutter release button is pressed, and the photograph is displayed on the giant LCD screen on the back. The built-in flash also works, and the camera is even capable of triggering Alienbees strobes.
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Turn Film Canisters Into Colored Glow Sticks for Light Painting

If you have some translucent film canisters lying around, you can turn them into DIY glow sticks for light painting photography. Fuse three of them together into one translucent tube, stick a small flashlight into it, wrap it with a colored translucent sheet, and voilà, you have yourself a cheap and simple glow stick. It’s a way to add some thickness to your light painting “brush”.

DIY Glow Sticks From Film Canisters [Lomography]

Computer Trained to Select the Best Candid Portrait Photos from Videos

Here’s the current state of imagery: still cameras can shoot HD video, video cameras can capture high quality stills, and data storage costs continue to fall. In the future, it might become commonplace for people to make photos by shooting uber-high quality video and then selecting the best still. However, as any photographer knows, selecting the best photograph from a series of photos captured in burst mode is already a challenge, so selecting a still from 30fps footage would be quite a daunting challenge.

To make the future easier for us humans, researchers at Adobe and the University of Washington are working on training computers to do the grunt work for us. One research project currently being done involves training a computer to automatically select candid portraits when given video of a person. The video above is a demo of the artificial intelligence in action.

Candid Portrait Selection From Video (via John Nack)

Retiree Raises Nearly $200,000 for Charity by Repairing Old Cameras

Photography enthusiast and retired physicist Milo Shott of Oxford, England has found a way use his love for cameras to raise boatloads of money for the poverty-fighting charity Oxfam: camera repair. 11 years ago, Shott noticed some workers at an Oxfam store throwing out an old piece of camera equipment. After saving it from the trash, he fixed it up and helped the store sell it for £270.

Since then, Shott has helped the charity repair old camera gear and sell it off at events held four times a year — events so popular that long lines form and ~$5,000 is raised in a week. In all, Shoot has helped the charity raise more than £120,000 (~$192,000) since he started.

(via BBC via PopPhoto)