Archives for November 2012

The Camera Versus the Human Eye


It’s the kind of article that makes me more aware of how little I know — and the comparison of lenses and the human eye is a reminder that my human eyes will likely soon need added lenses themselves… glasses, that is — but LensRentals founder Roger Cicala writes a fascinating discourse on optics.

Posted at enthusiast site PetaPixel, the article “followed an online discussion about whether a 35mm or a 50mm lens on a full frame camera gives the equivalent field of view to normal human vision,” Cicala writes. “This particular discussion immediately delved into the optical physics of the eye as a camera and lens — an understandable comparison since the eye consists of a front element (the cornea), an aperture ring (the iris and pupil), a lens, and a sensor (the retina).”

The full article is here.


Altering images in ancient ages


“Man Juggling His Own Head,” ca. 1880.

Last night I watched an episode of the BBC’s 1980’s Sherlock Holmes series in which an 1880’s European king’s reign was threatened by one incriminating photographic print.

“I guess a picture was evidence enough, before Photoshop,” my girlfriend said. “Actually, forged photos came soon after truthful ones,” I replied (although perhaps not quite that eloquently)… And the very next morning, I see  PBS proving the point, with an article on an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York showing how photographers “regularly employed techniques of manipulation in their work…long before the digital era.”

Today, the article notes, “just about every photograph we encounter, whether it’s on a computer screen or in a magazine or on a billboard, has been retouched or manipulated digitally in some way….Photoshop has dramatically changed the way we use the medium of photography. Or has it?”

Read the full article to learn more, and see collection of altered images through the ages.



“Man Juggling His Own Head,” ca. 1880.


Animoto animates annual ending


Want to see all your online photos from the last year instantly added to an animated video? Assuming your shots are on Facebook, you’re in luck: just click here.

“The end of the year is nearing and we here at Animoto believe there is nothing quite like an awesome video to recap your awesome year, “the imaging service says, “so, we have made it dead-simple to create one.”

All you have to do is choose music and a theme. It’s a clever way to entice you to try out the service, which goes beyond slideshows with its movie-like use of photos.

The added bonus of tying into Facebook: the resulting video will have not only the shots you’ve uploaded yourself, but also the ones in which your friends and family tagged you. (Don’t worry, you can excise unwanted images.) Unlike Facebook’s own video feature, Animoto uses already-added captions as well.


AmEx shares business achievement secrets


All I get from American Express is a large monthly bill… But the financial services company also provides advice, and tips for successful small businesses.

AmEx’ Small Business Monitor talked with “high achieving” business owners to find some key behavior.

Some of the tactics include asking for feedback from customers; taking more risks; planning for growth; and capital investments.

More information is here.




Swann takes its camera Outback

As I actually live in some remote mountains myself, this might be the surveillance camera for me: The OutbackCam from Swann is billed as a heavy duty security camera that’s suitable for use outdoors, built to withstand the harshest weather conditions, and “a camera that’s tougher than the Australian outback!”

The $150 video device is battery powered, and so “perfect for remote areas.” It automatically switches on when motion is detected, to prevent “useless empty footage.”

The 5-megapixel camera is housed in an anti-corrosive, lockable shell. Video footage and still photos are stored on SD cards, with time and date stamps (as well as, for some reason, the phase of the moon!). The units night vision is good up to 32 feet, and with 15 infrared LEDs, it works in 0 lux illumination.

Swann was founded in 1988 in Melbourne, Australia.