Posts Published in November 2011
Here’s a quick tip for if you ever have a hard time removing a lens filter from a lens (e.g. when it’s damaged): use a shoe. Simply take any shoe with a grippy flat bottom, press it firmly against the filter, and then turn it. It’s a super simple technique that should work every time unless the threads on the lens itself are badly damaged.
Thanks for the tip, Luke!
Picture Post is an interesting (and NASA-funded) citizen science project that turns photographers into citizen scientists, crowdsourcing the task of environmental monitoring. Anyone around the world can install a Picture Post:
A Picture Post is a 4”x4” post made of wood or recycled plastic with enough of the post buried in the ground so it extends below the frost line and stays secure throughout the year. Atop the post is a small octagonal-shaped platform or cap on which you can rest your camera to take a series of nine photographs.
People who walk by can then use the guide on the post to capture 9 photos in all directions, and upload them to the Picture Post website. The resulting panoramas can then be browsed by date, giving a cool look at how a particular location changes over time.
In the past week, two different lens dial camera cases have been announced for iPhoneographers: a Holga toy camera case and a more serious lens dial case. If you don’t want to shell out cash to add a lens dial to your phone (and don’t mind it looking ridiculous), you can make a do-it-yourself lens dial using a jar lid and random lenses scavenged from various devices. The dial is attached to the back of your phone using a suction cup, and can give you magnification on-the-go.
Last week we reported that starting with Adobe CS6, only people who own the previous major release of the software (i.e. CS5 and above) will be eligible for upgrade pricing. Needless to say, Photoshop users are’t too happy about the changes, and now National Association of Photoshop Professionals president Scott Kelby is weighing in. In an open letter to Adobe, he writes,
While I understand that Adobe needs to make business decisions based on how it sees market conditions, I feel the timing of this new pricing structure is patently unfair to your customers (and our members). Here’s why: You didn’t tell us up front. You didn’t tell us until nearly the end of the product’s life cycle, and now you’re making us buy CS5.5 for just a few months on the chance that we might want to buy CS6 at a discount when it’s released. Otherwise, we have to pay the full price as if we were never Adobe customers at all.
Kelby also makes a plea for Adobe to either start the new policy with CS7 or to offer a tiered upgrade structure in which upgrade price is based on how recent your version is. That definitely makes more sense than having CS4 users pay full price to upgrade to CS6.
An Open Letter To Adobe Systems [Scott Kelby]
Photographer Radu Dumitrescu was shooting in an abandoned house in Bucharest, Romania when a couple teens noticed the flashes going off and decided to investigate. When Radu noticed them pulling out their cell phones to document the “paranormal activity”, he decided to give them a scare by pretending to be a ghost.
Update: This giveaway is now over. The winner was randomly selected and announced below.
We have a fun giveaway for y’all this week: three lucky winners will each receive 15 sheets StickyGram magnets made from Instagram photos. Each sheet contains 9 magnets and costs $15, so you’ll be receiving 135 magnets worth $225!
Xerox is showing off a new tool called Aesthetic Image Search over on Open Xerox (the Xerox equivalent of Google Labs). It’s an algorithm being developed at one of the company’s labs that aims to make judging a photograph’s aesthetics something a computer can do.
Many methods for image classification are based on recognition of parts — if you find some wheels and a road, then the picture is more likely to contain a car than a giraffe. But what about quality? What is it about a picture of a building or a flower or a person that makes the image stand out from the hundreds which are taken with a digital camera every day? Here we tackle the difficult task of trying to learn automatically what makes an image special, and makes photo enthusiasts mark it as high quality.
Fine art photographer Mitch Dobrowner wanted to photograph storm systems, so he partnered up with Roger Hill — regarded as one of the top storm-chasers in the world — and was introduced to Tornado Alley. Dobrowner writes,
Words are inadequate to describe the experience of photographing this immense power and beauty. And the most exciting part is with each trip I really don’t know what to expect. But now I see these storms as living, breathing things. They are born when the conditions are right, they gain strength as they grow, they fight against their environment to stay alive, they change form as they age… and eventually they die. They take on so many different aspects, personalities and faces; I’m in awe watching them. These storms are amazing sights to witness…. and I’m just happy to be there—shot or no shot; it’s watching Mother Nature at her finest. My only hope my images can do justice to these amazing phenomenona of nature.
His images certainly do them justice — the stormy landscape photographs Dobrowner has made through these trips are jaw-dropping.