Tag photography

Panoramas are the next level in photographic representation

I can't believe I'd never seen this before. My housemate Alok showed this to me yesterday. Panoramas.dk is probably one of the world's foremost websites for super high quality panorama photos. 

For instance, the only high quality known panorama of what it's like at the Summit of Mount Everest:

Definitely click through to see the full panorama, it is breathtaking. Apparently this was taken with 3 exposures stitched together. Over a hundred people have died trying to climb this mountain just to see this sight.  


A few other amazing ones -- ever seen a sunrise on a snowy beach in Denmark? This one is especially remarkable because you can't observe the observer. 

Or how about a panorama of what Neil Armstrong saw on the surface of the moon? Along with nice audio of exactly what went over the radios during that famed Apollo 11 flight.

Whether it is the zen nature of an observerless observer or the sheer visual splendor of places you may never go... I for one am a fan of panoramas. If deepening our appreciation for life and art can be brought by a dedication to truer representations of experience, then panoramas are just one of many artistic mediums to achieve that. 

Nocturne by Vincent Laforet

I *loved* the visual style of this short film made by acclaimed filmmaker / photographer Vincent Laforet. It was shot with the brand new Canon 1D Mark 4 at 1080p and ISO6400. Brilliant work.

It also highlights what utterly amazing work you can do these days with < $10,000 in digital camera equipment and Macs running Final Cut Pro. You still need the talent, you just don't need the bankroll.

Technology frees the artist to create, ever more unencumbered. That's real empowerment.

EDIT: As of this afternoon, Canon asked Laforet to take down the video. Wow, right as it was going viral? Someone doesn't understand social media.

Canon unveils new Powershot G11 and S90: Want, want, want.

I want this camera. Just unveiled today for $500. Been a big Canon fan for a long time, but always wanted something smaller that I could take with me, but not give up quality. This is it. Optical image stabilization, more dynamic range, anti-noise, can save RAW format, can be used with a flash gun... I want it.

Interesting exercise in miminalism: Canon actually reduced megapixels! From 14.7 for the Powershot G10 to just 10 for the Powershot G11. But they've optimized for the right thing: low light capability. Who needs 14.7 megapixels when 10 is more than you could ever possibly want? But if I can take photos in darker places than ever, that's awesome.

They also released the Powershot S90 too --

Looks same without the hot shoe, and slimmer, and $100 less, and f/2.0 at 28mm. Full manual, RAW, and larger aperture? Might be even better.

I used to be willing to carry around an SLR at all times, but moving to San Francisco has really put a damper on that. Just can't lug a camera around everywhere while biking/riding the bus, etc. And as always, the best camera in the world is the one you have on you.

Kodak Gallery breaks the cardinal UGC rule: Let users own their stuff

I recently had a problem with Kodak Gallery. I made the mistake of using them for some photos about six or seven years ago, when I didn't know any better. Someone at Kodak has decided to make a buck off of this mistake, and the mistake of hundreds of thousands of other poor souls who also became Kodak Gallery users. They said they would delete our photos if we didn't buy a bunch of stuff.

I spent a couple hours writing a simple ruby script that let people download their full Kodak galleries without resorting to paying exorbitant fees to get an Archive CD. Or in the case of one user, NINETY archive CD's.

Here's the comment I received earlier from a Kodak Gallery user named Deepak Jain this evening that blew me away:
I've been using Kodakgallery since 2003 (when there weren't many options and I figured Kodak was a good enough name to stay around). I didn't even mind buying stuff form them until photographs became passe.

I even tried to buy their Archive CD except their system can't process > 40,000 images via Archive CD.

They keep canceling my order without comment. [ed: emphasis mine]

(Current photo storage: 62.532 GB Used,
219 galleries,
Your Archive CD Pricing:
Number of Photos: 42666
Cost of your CD: $667.85 FYI).

Works like a champ. Send me an address and I'll send you some beer or money or something.

It's one thing to charge, and it's another thing to charge a user $700. But to not even be able to process that order is incompetent and absurd. To be honest, I made the same mistake. I thought Kodak was a good enough brand. Evidently good enough to eat 70 gigabytes of cherished photos and require an open source ruby script to extricate it.

Deepak, I'm glad the script ended up being useful for you. User generated content sites of any kind should heed this rule: Let users download their data. Making a buck is fine, and in fact necessary. But when you're dealing with people's memories, do not hold them hostage.