Tag Archives: photography

My HDR Pics

I’ve been researching and experimenting with various ways of taking high dynamic range images, this the result of my research so far. Also serves as an opportunity to test the gallery functionality in this version of WordPress!

There are plenty of glitches still in the pictures, but I’m making some progress.

HDR Photography

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It is a set of techniques for allowing a higher range of values between the lightest and darkest areas of a digital image. The results can be truly breathtaking, here are some examples from Wikipedia.

The practical details involved with achieving these effects I’m not sure of yet, I literally just stumbled over the technique, but I’m going to do some research into it.

GPS Success

I’ve purchased a bluetooth GPS device for my mobile phone. The purpose, to geo-tag my digital photographs, so that all of them can appear on any compatible mapping software. This applies to Google Earth (and maps), Flickr.com and other sites like smugsmug.com.

I already have a page for my photobombing project to include geo-tagged photographs – using the website loc.alize.us.

Anyway, I’ve had some success, its taken a few days but I’ve finally managed to create a Google Earth file containing correctly geo-tagged photographs from a trip I took yesterday. Fantastic! See here…..

GPS with Photos

If you’re interested in doing this yourself, I suggest reading this page; http://hikesandbikes.blogspot.com/2006/10/life-of-geolocated-blog-post.html – its a very thorough walk through of how to set all this up.

Also, many thanks to Ed, of blogEd.co.uk and Tommi Laukkanen. Ed wrote a blog entry about Carling beer taps, which I landed on very randomly. Then I read his article about GPS tagging photos, using a Java enabled phone and Tommi Laukkanen’s “Trail Explorer” application – a very useful program that logs your geo location as you go and exports to a .GPX file.

Also this is fun opportunity to send another trackback :o)

How time comes together

I like the concept of time, and every piece of work I do has lots of dependency on time. Music and photography in particular. I also like its fluid-ness, and the immense value of looking back at things with retrospect. I suppose that’s why I decided to try and do a project based on it.

So far, at least, my time exploits haven’t come to anything tangible. I tried to suggest that some of the images I presented at my half year review had their artistic basis in representing a moment of time, but its more true that that was retrospective thinking after each image had been captured. As an aside, I really like thinking of taking photographs as, in a literal sense, actually capturing the beams of light that are creating whatever it is I’m photographing. Maybe its the hunter gatherer in me coming out.

I do however, have several on-going pieces of work that are spawned directly from my time project. Its ironic that they’re taking me more time to complete as I initially guessed they would or maybe I am simply still suffering from procrastination-fever.

Fresh Air. I think this moth had just emerged from a cacoon.

Showing Off

Despite having the first obstacle of handing in my journal in a few days, my head is filled with ideas and mulling over exactly what I’m going to do for my end of year show. I’ve definitely put my eggs in the Max/Msp audio installation basket, but I really want to represent my other activities from throughout the year.

Autotalk installation, Max/MSP program so far.

Ideally I would like a whole room to myself, with large speakers strategically positioned for my audio installation. Then I would pepper the walls and any other surfaces with printed photographs taken throughout the year but with gaps in the photos to project video work in. Over and above that I do have some interactive audio and video things that I’d love to make publicly accessible.

Having accepted that I don’t have the time, space or funds to do that I’ve decided to explore the possibility of making a photograph trail from the foyer of my University building up to the studio and exhibition area. Arranged in chronological order it would very simply recount the last year of my life through all (that’s several thousand) the photos I’ve taken. It would link really nicely with my Time video piece, which uses all the photos taken from when I started University to the Winter.

Need to check out how they could be attached to the building, if I would be allowed, how much all the prints would cost. Et cetera.

Things since the end of 2006. Self-described.

The End is Nigh

It feels to me as if something is coming close to an end. I can’t quite figure out what it is, is it the impending hand-in date for this journal? Or is it the now ever-constant coverage of global warming that’s getting me down? Or could it be the ever-dwindling student loan in my bank account combined with a scarily low number of days before the end of my University year. It all seems to have just sneaked into my consciousness without much prior warning.

Ending. Owned by my friend Fred it is memories of this guitar that are my first memories of any guitar. It seems to have been around for ever and I’m sure has inspired many; well at least me and Fred. This is a ritual burning of it, after it was rendered useless by a short drunken Scottish man.

I’m currently on a skiing trip in Vallandry, a small alpine village near Albertville in southern France. I’ve been here a few times before, but not for 3 or 4 years. Nothing has changed though, except here there is, too, a new-found awareness of global warming issues. The risk of the skiing trade disappearing has just jumped from nothing, to everything (in the property investors minds, anyway).

Climate change is a serious issue, but as it is patently clear; we’ve created a big problem. We now have to tackle the problem with gusto – I can’t think how better to put it! Believe it or not, when I phoned up my school friend Lindsay when I was 13, really distressed about the fact the world was “going to fuck up” imminently, I reflected (at the time) that I was overreacting. I guess I wasn’t really.
Unforgiving Mountain.

I just read in a newspaper that British Airways looses 23 bags out of each 1000 they load on to a plane – the worst in Europe.

Compliance. After jumping through hoops, doing obstacle courses, burning enough fuel to power the city for a day and a financial outlay equal to a small country’s national debt; I finally received my valid UK passport. It was ordained with this insightful label.

I’m on holiday with my immediate family – a Christmas present to to us all from my Dad – and also with my auntie, uncle and two of their friends. Its quite a giggle and definitely a stark contrast to my cleshay-ridden and wholly student-like existence. Without going into too much detail describing my friends and family’s background; being on holiday with such a concentration of knowledge and intellect, that is rooted in such different methods and concepts to that of my peer group, is very uplifting. Inspirational in a way.

Last night a conversation arose about sudoku, it turns out my auntie is an avid player, while my uncle doesn’t really play at all. I’m quite a fan of sudoku, despite the huge amount of time it takes me to complete even an easy grid. Its a real art form. Apparently, this is the number of combinations you could have for a 9*9 sudoku grid.

Six sextillion, six hundred and seventy quintillion,
nine hundred and three quadrillion,
seven hundred and fifty two trillion,
twenty one billion, seventy two million,
nine hundred and thirty six thousand,
nine hundred and sixty.

Its definitely one of those things where the actual number doesn’t matter. You just know; its a lot.

I also read an amazing article in the New Scientist last night (New Scientist makes excellent holiday reading, although I forgot this week and had to borrow my brother’s copy!) that talked about number patterns just like sudoku. Mathematicians in the Europe only discovered these magic ways of arranging number in the last few hundred years, even though the Chinese have been aware of them for over 4000 years. Fancy that. It turns out that these magic squares, which are the same as sudoku squares, are actually invaluable tools for writing computer error-checking codes. By utilising these squares, a computer or electronic circuit, can transmit a message over an extremely “noisy” wire and actually decode it at the other end. By using the square, a computer can convert an extremely poorly transmitted message with missing or incorrect characters in, such as; ” e i br n rox he zlay uog” into the correct message “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”.

The same kind of techniques are used already for the Internet, digital TV and CD/DVD drives, but by utilising the sudoku squares scientists can transmit high-bandwidth digital signals over electric power lines – the hardest thing to send a message through because of the extreme high voltage and crudeness of the lines. Its quite an odd thing to write about in the context of art, but for one it gave me that warm feeling I get when I see a movie that I really love, or an inspirational piece of art work, or listen to an amazing piece of music. But secondly, the point that really grabbed me was that mathematicians discovered these number patterns some time ago, but never really understood them and just thought of them as a game. Now they’re being used at the cutting edge of technology to do something truly influential. The article included the sentence “maths can, once again, be seen as an art form.” I think that’s kinda cool.

Origami by Joe Gilardi. This is a dollar bill, creased, folder, cut up and put together again in this form. Another musing I arrived at whilst reading the New Scientist was the crossovers that exist between high-level mathematics, magical illusions and art; they’re rife. I doubt I could be a magician, but it’d be cool to explore any artistic magical possibilities that arise.

During our conversation about Sudoku, however, my uncle (a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and author) raised a question of what it is to guess? Also how to distinguish between this and an estimate. I wish my alcohol-impaired brain could remember the exact context of the question; it was to do with the human way (as opposed to a computer) of completing a sudoku grid- almost everyone makes assumptions that they’re not sure of in order to see if they’re correct. Just like guessing a word in a crossword; you may be wrong but even if it is it may well lead to some other correct answers. I thought it’d be cool to do some work reflecting on humans ability to guess and estimate. I’m sure that most guesses are actually more informed than the “guessee” thinks at the time.

Irrelevant Pomp. I created a WikiPedia page for my Dad… it says it “Lacks Relevance”. In fitting with that sentiment, here is a photo that lacks relevance, but one that I think captures the spirit of an instant in London.

Lemurs & Genius

I’ve written about the Jazz mutant Lemur a couple of times in previous posts, its an interactive control system for computers. Discussing it on a chairlift in France with my brother, he said he’d email me a link to a control system he’d seen. Similar to a sequence in the film “Minority Report” with Tom Cruise.

Its a system where you fully interact with a screen, using gestures (even body movements) to control a computer that then shows the result on the screen. It really can’t be described properly, but I suggest you take a look at the video which is online here; http://multi-touchscreen.com/perceptive-pixel-jeff-han.html

The best thing about it is that the whole system was put together by a boffin and “about a ton” of hardware in his bedroom. Anything is possible!

Space Invasion. I found this rather unique key in my old house. I’ve always wondered if it was brought to earth by an alien race invading our planet. Maybe…..