Another bank holiday, another excuse to break out the geeky camera equipment. This time it's the panoramic tripod head and the new IR filter.
Navigate the three panoramic images above using the highlighted hotspots. There is a faux colour IR shot of the garden, a night edit version of the same photo and a faux HDR (single raw image) of a kitchen.
Find the actual photos over at Flickr, here.
I recently bought an IR filter in order to experiment with IR photography. The Green.L 760nm IR filter from amazon marketplace. Today with the sun out, I decided to give it a go.
What makes IR photography different?
By blocking visible light with the lens filter, you allow the camera to pick up normally invisible Infra-red light. This 'new' light makes grass and leaves show up bright white explaining the snowy appearance of the photos. As a result of blocking all the blue, green and almost all of the red light, the photos are technically monochromatic (one hue). The images appear red and white directly from the camera.
With channel mixing you can swap the red and blue making the images look a little more natural. Alternatively you can go down the faux colour route, making up your own colours for everything!
I created some Adobe Lightroom presets for the two faux colour shots, Lightroom IR Presets.
Gallery also viewable on Flickr.
This Easter weekend I've been playing a lot of PC games. I finished off Mass Effect 3, played even more Battlefield 3 and played Crysis 2 from start to finish . I've had a lot of time this weekend to think about the most impressive graphics I've seen and so have listed some of my thoughts below.
Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect has very polished graphics, nothing particularly fancy but very well done. They leave the environments feeling a little clean. That said, many of the environments are on board spacecraft so that's excusable. There hasn't been a huge change since the graphics of ME2.
I've commented in the past about BF3's stunning graphics (here). The real impact from the graphics in BF3 is the scale of the environments. The Back to Karkand expansion has highlighted the cleanliness of the original maps. The new additions feel much more detailed (which they are) while also benefiting from an improved ability to destroy everything!
Skyrim has been a huge game recently, again the most impressive aspect of the graphics is the shear size of the environment! It makes BF3 feel tiny! [Playing with the high res texture pack] The environment is filled with detail both indoors and outside.
It's been an interesting month! I have finally received a payment from Google's Adsense! It has been set up for about 3 years and last week I finally reached the minimum requirement for payment. I'd almost forgotten that the account even existed. If only Quidco woke up and worked for me now!
CM9 for the LG Optimus 2X has also been released in a 'very beta' form thanks to Arcee. You can download it from rootzwiki and get Google apps from goo-inside. (Using the SK3 build) It seems pretty good at this stage, I found the menus very fast and smooth. There are several known problems particularly with the video camera,
I couldn't personally get mobile data to work consistently but others have had it going after flashing the 20L baseband (coming from 20A) my data problem was fixed. The menus remained stutter fee even after installing all my apps! One annoyance is the lack of USB mass storage, I can only choose to connect as a camera or a media thingy, neither of which work as quickly or have the controls (from windows end) of regular mass storage. I have since gone back to CM7 because I can rely on it for work etc but I am very excited for future developments.
I spent several hours messing about on Thursday night /Friday morning trying to get Windows 8 installed, I was going to try to 'upgrade' from 7 but that failed twice, eventually on Friday morning I dug out an old HD, plugged it in and installed a fresh copy on there! Anyway, when I got home from work and finally had a play with it... well... I had no idea how to do anything! I felt I was missing buttons for back, menu, home and search! It was as if someone had hooked up a smartphone to my computer monitor and forgotten to give me the phone to control it with.
I'll talk you through a few initial thoughts and problems I had...
I clicked my first tile, the app store, it opened and I had a MASSIVE white screen with some pictures in the middle. It felt similar to other market apps on my phone. My initial impression was that the app wasn't really making use of my large screen. I normally have many windows open at once, none of which maximised allowing me to rapidly switch between tasks and have multiple windows side by side. It looked clean though, my first problem as such was that I had no idea how to leave this program! There was no cross, no back button, the edges didn't seem to do anything! I was stuck in a crazy sized app store! Turns out when I eventually put my mouse in the few pixels at the extreme bottom left of my screen a little box popped up that resembled the start screen, finally a way out!
The feeling of wasted space wasn't just with the app store, with a full-screen toolbar-less browser ie the default Internet Explorer tile, many websites are 50% background with a relatively narrow page in a column down the centre of the screen.
After a bit more fiddling I found that many of the menus are activated by first moving your mouse to the very corners of the screen or right clicking within the screen. This allowed access to additional options and features.
Some time later...
I have now had much more time using the new OS. I feel I am now starting to understand how the guys at Microsoft wanted me to use the tiles. I think the benefit (run with me) will be seen when many more apps utilise this new metro interface and when they integrate more strongly. I clicked on someone's address within the People app and it opened Bing maps in the IE tile, that's fine but wouldn't it have been better to open in the maps tile? Subtle but that is the difference that will make it feel as integrated as an iOS or Android operating system.
As an added extra, I installed the latest NVIDIA drivers and copied Skyrim over from my regular HD and it worked perfectly set at ultra (so at least as well as Windows 7). I don't think anyone doubted Windows 8's performance but figured I'd test it for good measure!
To summarise the metro experience, it is like the world's most powerful phone ever with a 24" non-touch screen and no working app store... yet. Lots of potential. I'm going to continue using Windows 8 on and off and will probably update again at some point in the future.