Did you know that your morning cup of coffee can help you predict rain? It’s a trick used by backpackers that can come in handy you’re shooting outdoors without Internet: pour a cup of coffee and carefully watch the bubbles. Backpacker Magazine writes,
If the bubbles amass in the center, you’re in a high-pressure system, which is making the coffee’s surface convex (higher in the middle). Since bubbles are mostly air, they migrate to the highest point. It’s going to be a beautiful day. If the bubbles form a ring around the sides of the mug, you’re in a low-pressure system, making the surface concave. Rain is likely. Note: It has to be strong, brewed coffee to have enough oil to work, and the mug must have straight sides.
To make new bubbles, simply give your coffee a good stir.
Here’s a great diagram by Mobot that shows how the 41-megapixel sensor inside Nokia’s new 808 PureView phone stacks up against other popular sensor sizes. It’s pretty clear that they didn’t just milk a small sensor for more megapixels as a simply marketing ploy, but instead came up with a sensor that’s significantly larger than those found in other smartphones. Engadget also has a photo showing a comparison of sensor sizes, while Digital Trends has published an article on five reasons why the 41-megapixels isn’t a gimmick.
Curious about where people like to take pictures in your part of the world? Sightsmap is a simple Google Map app that takes geo data from the photos uploaded to Panoramio (now a Google service) and uses it to generate a heatmap.
Tired of packing a huge mess of cables every time you go on a trip? The Magic Cable Trio is a 3-in-1 cable designed to cut down on your clutter. It lets you power and sync a wide range of devices ranging from phones, iOS systems (e.g. the iPad), music players, and compact cameras. Just make sure your device uses miniUSB, microUSB, or an iPhone dock connector. The three connections are daisy-chained, making it uber-compact and easy to manage. They cost $20 over at Innergie.
Knowing how long to develop film for is easy if you use popular films and developers, but what if you want to use some obscure combination that isn’t well documented? If that’s you, check out the Photocritic Film Development Database. It’s a simple service that outputs development times for 1440 different film/developer combinations. For combinations that aren’t officially published, creator Haje Jan Kamps has come with a formula that estimates the time — a formula that he says is surprisingly accurate.
Knobroom is a free add-on for Lightroom that lets you use the knobs and sliders on a MIDI Controller to edit photos in Lightroom. Unlike PADDY, which we featured last year, Knobroom is also available to Mac users. The brief demo above shows Lightroom being controlled with a Behringer BCF2000. Freelance photographer Max Edin has written up an informative review on setting up and using the add-on.
Having trouble framing shots when “shooting from the hip” and not looking through (or at) your camera? Lifehacker suggests pointing with your left hand index finger to improve your accuracy. Simply press the finger against your lens, parallel to your camera’s line of sight. The idea is that while we point at things all the time, aiming a camera isn’t quite as intuitive (though it comes with practice). By making the camera an “extension of your body”, you might be able to aim it more naturally!
We’ve featured special gloves and mittens designed for photographers before, but what if your camera uses a touchscreen instead of physical controls? Here’s a video by Make’s Becky Stern showing how you can sew some conductive thread into your glove to make it compatible with capacitive touchscreens. Video after the jump
Src Img is an uber-simple bookmarklet created by Jarred Bishop and Hayden Hunter that lets you quickly do a Google Image search for any online photograph with just two clicks. It’s a simple link (i.e. bookmarklet) that you drag into the bookmarks bar of your browser. Whenever you want to search Google Images for a particular photograph, simply click the bookmarklet. It’ll overlay all the photos on the page with a “?¿” square. Click this to search for that photo. Voila!