Friday, August 29, 2008

more synth-ony

This is my "over the top", attempt at a "full immersion" photosynth, which has not worked out quiet as I expected. A lot of the obvious connections between the panorama sets haven't connected and there are some large jumps in the flow. I took 16 separate multi-image panorama (see below, click on them to see more detail), while walking through this picnic pavilion and along the edge of the lake. Still it is huge, 171 images in all, and gives me encouragement that a "deep" experience may be possible. I'll just have to research more how to handle seeing around corners!pano (1)

pano (2)  pano (3)

pano (4)

pano (5)

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pano (7)   pano (8)

pano (9)

pano (10)  pano (11)

pano (13)pano (12)  pano (16)

pano (17)  pano (18)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Demarcation Dispute

This feisty little eurasian coot (Fulica atra, or more commonly water fowl) was giving it to the larger pair of mallard ducks to get out of his/her territory.

Taken during the photographing of several overlapping panoramas for my next photosynth project, if you look carefully you can see the battle progress in the synth.
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Friday, August 22, 2008


Microsoft's Live Labs have released a new free photo service called photosynth. It is a photo splicing service with a difference, its uses lots of images with lots of overlap to create a convincing 3D view that you can zoom in and out "smoothly" around pan around the scene. Such facilities are not new to the web many real estate site now use walkthroughs, but this is pretty impressive and you can create your own, without much effort. there are two technologies involved the first is the ability to reconstruct the scene or object from a bunch of flat photographs, and the second independent technology, called seadragon, that allows seamless scrolling through 100 of MB over the Internet.

upload to synth There are two parts to creating your own synths. You must first register at the service, (for which you need a windows live ID) then download a small uploaded application, that not only help you prepare the images and upload them but monitors the splicing process.


There are a few crucial limitations. All syths become public (ie can be viewed by anyone via the internet) but you do have the option of setting the licensing (full copyright or a creative commons) during the upload process. Results can only be viewed on PCs running XP or Vista, which must run the direct-X photosynth add-in for Internet explorer. The 20GB of space seems generous, but you will use this up fast.

upload to synth 2

One downside is the bandwidth required, I have downloaded it, set it up and uploaded my first project using free wifi at an airline lounge that dropped out a few times so I had to be very very patient!

Low bandwidth travel

IMGP5917 Whilst more and more of the world is getting wired to the broadest-band width, the places I often find myself seem to be less connected at slower rates. So here a few more tips and revisions about trying to travel and upload photos & blog.

1) Turn off automatic updates (found under control panel). This avoids a really long delay before you can even get connected.

2) Resize your photos, for blogs and to emails others, your photos only need a lower resolution and considerably smaller file size (eg 600 by 800 pixels is generally plenty) see earlier resizing post

3) Use the no frills methods, the normal flickr web portal for your web browsers is a bandwidth nightmare (I just had a week of hell trying to use flickr in indonesia, usually  waiting 10 minutes plus just to load the log in page! Other times I get a flickr is taking to long to respond message or it crashing out my net connection. You can also access flickr via the mobile portal ( from any computer and this is a very stripped down version. The biggest trouble for me is this portal does not have access into flickr groups. I also find that the standalone flickr uploader doesn't work on low bandwidth or from internet cafes. If it does work it takes for ever, so I end up using the old fashion web page uploader, and patiently waiting.

4) Use offline set up and editing, there are many tools that let you set up blog posts using an off-line editor. I am using Windows Live Writer now to edit this post. Picasa lets you set up local albums of photos n your notebook and then upload them to you web album when you get a good net connection

5) Use email to upload photos. Most services. like Flickr, Photobucket and Blogger all offer email upload facilities. Some do take a while (several hours) before the updates are posted.

Finally another warning about mobile phones and global roaming. Whilst global roaming is handy for phone calls and you can get yahoo mail, gmail and even flickr tools on your mobile phone and these will be able to roam with you but check the cost before you start using them overseas (data roaming charges are normally just straight up daylight robbery).

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Jakarata Dawn

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Reflecting Progress

Construction reflected in new building, Sudirman Central Jakrata

Friday, August 15, 2008

Autofocus Problems

An attempt with autofocus

These beautifully camouflaged crabs where all over the beach this morning, and I though they would be easy to photograph with my telephoto lens (with macro feature). Well not exactly easy, because the translucent crab on sand gives little contrast for the autofocus to fix on and the camera was whirring away shifting the lens back and forth aimlessly. It was not until the crab crossed into my footprint that the camera had enough shadow contrast to focus properly.

better focus on footprint

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

welcome to the heat, humidity and smog

This balinesse inspired "gateway" is on the main toll road into Jakarta from the airport. Photographing from a moving car is always a challenge, and I have missed this gate before so I had my camera set on burst (multishoot) mode and managed to get a few reasonable shots but I really wanted things to be a bit sunnier, so maybe another day!
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Up close

The orchid garden inside the changai airport terminal singapore

Still in transit at changai, and still on the nature trail, this time at the orchid garden. Most of these are available light, but there is just enough of it (providing I breath out as I press the shutter and have anti-shake turned on). Now it is time to get up close and personal (and switch to macro mode)

available light available light

available light  Had to use the flash for this one

Monday, August 11, 2008

from above

There are several interesting nature walks in changai airport. This is a multi-image autostitched panorama of the fern forest from above (and just using available light and no tripod, so some bits are inevitably blurred!) The most interesting part really is the free wifi everywhere here, but you need a mobile phone to get the password to get started, still it works wonderfully
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extra wide

This wide, (not so brown) land. A 180 degree panorama created with autostitch, & wonderful natural lighting.
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Giving a rainbow the google street view treatment

If you haven't tried it out yet check out google streets within google maps. Unfortunately only a few countries are covered at the moment but (for a change) australia is one with great coverage. But how is it done, whell its a whole lot of photos, several at each location taken simultaneously from a special camera mounted on the roof of a car, which also includes a gps unit to loate the photos. if you look into the link that you can obtain when inside street view you will see the keyword geocode followed by the latitude and longitude, in decimal format and to 6 decimal places.

I'm not sure just how many photos where required for the 360 degree panorama. I have just used a few taken with my mobile phone and stitched them together with autotstitch. I wonder if google streets has captured a rainbow yet?
Of course the challenge is now on to find the "noteworthy" (aka most notorious) street view images, well there vis a good start of things to look for in the google street view gallery.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sitemeter problem

This blog suddeny started crashing today, co-incidentally, by the way, just after I sent details of my blog's copy & paste plagiarist as a DCMA notice. However many other bloggers also struck the same problem and it turns out the problem is related to using the free sitemeter counter. On my site I got the error message above followed by a the bare blue on white "Internet Explorer cannot display webpage" error message, but I gather some others have experienced their browser crashing. I have temporarily removed the offending sitemeter code and set up the simpler easy counter version, just to keep tabs (until the site meter issue is fixed). Bizarely I figured out this problem after I recieved my weekly notice from sitemeter summarizing traffic and tried their site and recievd tha same error. So they may be sending out reports unaware of the havoc going on in the blogsphere.

Sorry to any regular readers that may have been distressed by their browser crashing.

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