We’re now one step closer to being able to take photographs with our minds. Scientists at UC Berkeley have come up with a way to reconstruct what the human brain sees:
[Subjects] watched two separate sets of Hollywood movie trailers
[...] brain activity recorded while subjects viewed the first set of clips was fed into a computer program that learned, second by second, to associate visual patterns in the movie with the corresponding brain activity.
Brain activity evoked by the second set of clips was used to test the movie reconstruction algorithm. This was done by feeding 18 million seconds of random YouTube videos into the computer program so that it could predict the brain activity that each film clip would most likely evoke in each subject.
Finally, the 100 clips that the computer program decided were most similar to the clip that the subject had probably seen were merged to produce a blurry yet continuous reconstruction of the original movie. [#]
Unlike the cat brain research video we shared a while back, the resulting imagery in this project isn’t directly generated from brain signals but is instead reconstructed from YouTube clips similar to what the person is thinking. They’re still calling it a “major leap toward reconstructing internal imagery” though. In the future this technology might be used to record not just our visual memories, but even our dreams!
We’ve shared a couple stories in the past month on how human eyes are very subjective and horrible as light meters, and here’s yet another mind-boggling example of how easily our eyes can be fooled by context. In the image above, the “blue” and the “green” stripes are exactly the same color.
Eran Amir created this “stop-motion within a stop-motion” using 1,500 separate photographs and 500 volunteers. The massive amounts of work, creativity, and planning that this project must have required is mind-boggling.
What does it look like when every inch of a room’s walls and ceiling are covered with photographs? German art students Joern Roeder and Jonathan Pirnay decided to find out through their project titled “fbFaces”. Using a crawler that traverses the Facebook social graph, they harvested 100,000 profile pictures and used them to print out an intense wallpaper for the entire room. Read more…
Here’s yet another example of the crazy visual effects found on today’s TV shows — this time it’s from HBO’s series “Game of Thrones“. Just making composites this realistic using still images would be difficult enough, but for video? Wow.
Having a camera that shoots 5000 frames per second is enough to capture slow motion footage of a bullet flying through the air, but scientists at the Science and Technology Facilities Council have now announced a camera that shoots a staggering 4.5 million frames per second. Rather than bullets, the camera is designed to capture 3D images of individual molecules using powerful x-ray flashes that last one hundred million billionth of a second. The £3 million camera will land in scientists hands in 2015.
For their music video for the song “Bright Siren“, Japanese band androp created a mind-blowing giant display using Canon 60D DSLRs and strobes as the individual pixels. They used 250 separate cameras and flash units, and controlled each one individually using a computer program. Every single light used was real, and no computer-generated trickery was used. You can also check out the behind-the-scenes video they made.
Thrill-seeking photographer Tom Ryaboi is one of the pioneers of “rooftopping”, the practice of climbing to the tops of skyscrapers and shooting pictures off the edge. Photographers who participate in this new craze aim to visit the tops of every tall building in their city, capturing the incredible — and adrenaline-pumping — views that they afford. Read more…
The New York Times has a powerful piece about photographer Giles Duley. Duley was covering a patrol in Afghanistan back in February when he stepped on a bomb and lost an arm and both legs:
“I remember looking up and seeing bits of me and my clothes in the tree, which I knew wasn’t a good sign,” he said. “I saw my left arm. It was just obviously shredded to pieces, and smoldering. I couldn’t feel my legs, so straightaway and from what I could see in the tree, I figured they were gone.”
[...] Rather than tally what was missing, Mr. Duley counted what remained.
“I thought, ‘Right hand? Eyes?’ ” — he realized that all of these were intact — “and I thought, ‘I can work.’ ”
And work is what he plans to continue doing. Duley expects to be self-dependent within the year and to continue working as a photographer — perhaps even in Afghanistan. You can help finance Duley’s recovery and return to photography through this website.
Apparently some people are becoming so rich through China’s economic boom that they’re using Canon 5D Mark IIs as ashtrays now. These are probably the same people that might use this Canon coffee table.
If you order a 5D Mark II off eBay from a seller in China in the near future and find that it smells strongly of smoke, this might be why…