Marc Levoy, the Stanford professor behind the “Frankencamera” project, teaches a course on digital photography called CS 178. The class website is a treasure trove for anyone looking for some great free education in photography:
An introduction to the scientific, artistic, and computing aspects of digital photography – how digital cameras work, how to take good pictures using them, and how to manipulate these pictures afterwards. Topics include lenses and optics, light and sensors, optical effects in nature, perspective and depth of field, sampling and noise, the camera as a computing platform, image processing and editing, history of photography, and computational photography. We’ll also survey the history of photography and look at the work of famous photographers.
Think you know all there is to know about digital photography? Try answering these 10 final exam review questions (answers can be found here). Leave a comment telling us how many you got right!
#phonar, short for “Photography and Narrative”, is a free and open undergraduate photography course run by Jonathan Worth at Coventry University in the UK. Worth spent nearly 15 years as a successful commercial portrait photographer in New York before taking this part-time teaching position, and invites some pretty prominent photographers to guest lecture in the class. Participants have access to recorded lectures, assignments, and special discussions.
You can check out the material from last year’s class on the course website, or participate in this year’s class starting in October by signing up here. There’s also a second course in the Winter called #picbod. Yay for free online education!
What if every photograph included a short video showing the few seconds that led up to the shutter being pressed? That’s the idea behind a new free iPhone app called GLMPS (pronounced “glimpse”). It’s a camera app that stores a few seconds of video with each shot, letting users share the background behind each picture (try clicking the photo above). Unlike normal iPhone photos, displaying a GLMPS photo/video requires a special embed code, make it somewhat inconvenient to share. Wouldn’t it be interesting if short videos could be stored in the metadata of photographs taken by all digital cameras? Seems kinda farfetched, but it might be possible as technology progresses.
Free stuff is always nice, and free photo stuff is even nicer. Canon and Ilford have teamed up for a new promotion called Try My Photo through which anyone can upload a photograph and have an 8×10 print made and sent to their residence free of charge. The promo will last until the end of August 2011.
Update: This is only available to US residents, sorry.
Deal alert! Mixbook is offering a free 20-page 11×8.5″ hardcover photo book with free shipping today only (June 30th, 2011). The book ordinarily costs $30 and shipping is $7, so you’re getting a $37 value. All you have to do is use the code FREEBK [Update: See below] during checkout. The website’s servers are getting hammered due to the deal being so popular, but if you can manage to get the site working it’s definitely a sweet offer. To get started, go to Photo Books, then click 11×8.5″ Classic Landscape.
Update: Apparently the coupon code has expired. There was a 1,500 use limit that wasn’t reported anywhere. Hmmm…
Update: You might still be able to get your free book if you started the book before the promotion maxxed out. Here’s what they wrote:
If you started a book before the deal maxed out on Slickdeals.com, we will honor our promotion and give you an extended coupon code. Please contact [email protected] with the URL of your book to receive it.
Reflector mounts (the things that attach a reflector to your bike) are so cheap that bike shops often give them away for free. Add a standard tripod screw, some washers, and some wing nuts, and you’ll have a super cheap camera mount that you can attach to a bicycle (it’s also a way to attach a camera to some random pole if you need to). You can also find a text version of this tutorial over on Instructables.
Microsoft’s jaw-dropping Photosynth technology has arrived on the iPhone as an app that allows you to easily create immersive 360-degree panoramas. All you need to do is load up the app and sweep your camera around in every direction, and the app automatically snaps photographs filling in the panoramic image (you can also tap it if it gets sluggish with its snapping). Read more…
Artist Billy Brown took 100 different pieces of photography gear and turned them into pixel art. What’s neat is that he’s making them available for any kind of use as long as you credit him. There’s everything from old film and Polaroid cameras to memory cards and the latest telephoto lenses.
AmoK Exif Sorter is a program written for photographers obsessed with organization, allowing a collection of photographs to be renamed and organized based on the EXIF data embedded in each photo. In addition to the obvious choices for details to include in the file name (e.g. time and date), you can also use any other piece of EXIF info you wish, including things like camera model, aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. For organization, the program allows you to copy or move files into whatever folder structure you’d like (i.e. /year/month/day/image.jpg). The program is free, Java-based, and can be downloaded here.
In addition to slowly replacing the need for compact cameras, the cameras found on mobile phones will also have a huge impact on how we live our lives in the area of augmented reality. Word Lens is a crazy new free app for the iPhone that translates between Spanish and English in real-time in the video feed, allowing you to read the world in your language through your cell phone. As this technology becomes available for more and more languages, it will change the way people survive in foreign countries.