brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell


Another image from my foamcore 4×5 camera

Another picture from my foamcore 4x5 camera. Roughly 150mm landscape lens, f/24, 3:50 second exposure onto Ilford Multigrade RC paper, could have probably developed a bit longer, but not bad. Inverted the print in GIMP, but no other tonal adjustment.


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Two more pictures from my foamcore 4×5 camera…

Here are two more photos I took at last night's camera workshop. I wanted to take something slightly more beautiful than a selfie, so I chose the Luxo statue outside the Steve Jobs building at Pixar, and some white flowers from the garden. Both were taken rather late in the day, under partly cloudy skies using a 4 second exposure on some paper with an ASA value of around 4, and a 4 second exposure (timed by my accurately counting "Mississippis"). Both were shot at f/24. I scanned them using our copy machine at 600dpi, and then inverted them in gimp. I didn't do any further processing on the Luxo. With the flowers, I adjusted the curve slightly to bring out some details in the darks between the flowers. I saved these versions as JPEGs, click on them to see them full resolution.



If you look to the upper right of the Luxo, you can see that there are some significant off-axis aberrations, as is also apparent in the background of the flowers. But the center of the field is remarkably sharp, considering. I'm rather pleased.


My son at the drive through…

I don't think he was at the local Sonic drive-through window.

Okay, this doesn't have much to do with my normal blog topics: it's just a picture of my son working his day job. Your country thanks you for your service, and your mom and I are very proud of you. And the glasses are very stylish.

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Word Foto

Courtesy of a new $1.99 app called Word Foto, I give you:

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A Stereo Picture

Here's the gang I work with at Pixar Animation. This was taken with the incredibly low budget technique of snapping a picture, moving the camera, and snapping another one. Of course, a couple of us moved in the interim, but thanks to the judicious work of Reid, who carefully stitched and offset various bits, it works remarkably well.



Steamboat Ed’s Shop in high resolution…

Gigapan is a website which displays super high resolution panoramic images, acquired by a special panoramic camera rig. Today, I got a note from Ed Haas, mechanical tinkerer extraordinaire, that his workshop had been imaged. Check out the 1.7 gigapixel image (be sure to pan in and read some of the labels on things on the shelf. Very cool.

gigapan: Steamboat Ed's Shop - Detail of Lathe (steamboat_ed_07)

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Paris By Night

Stumbleupon sent me to this incredible nighttime panorama of Paris taken somewhere near Notre Dame (you can see the big rosette window in one part), but includes views of the Seine, the Eiffel Tower, St. Eustace, St. Michelle, Sacre Couer in the distance, and the Louvre. Very nice. If you click here, you can see a slightly lower res version of the same panorama in a viewer that will allow you to scroll left and right.

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What this geek did in Paris…

Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble is apparently over in Paris, and decided to blog about the stuff he did in Paris, of which he only thought the Musee D'Orsay sufficiently interesting to mention, probably because their IT system apparently runs Windows XP.

Get some soul, man.

When Carmen and I went there for our anniversary back in 2003, we spent the entire day in the Musee D'Orsay, and at no time did we even think to ask what operating system their IT system runs. It just never came up.

Here is a by-no-means-comprehensive list of some of the things that this geek did while in Paris:

  1. Day one: Got in fairly late, but decided to go out for a midnight supper. Did a big circle from our hotel near the Place de la Concorde, all the way down to the Louvre and back. Caught some nice views of the Eiffel Tower lit up. Back to bed.
  2. Day two: Cafe au lait and pain au chocolat (forgive my spelling, it's been a while since I took French, and my ability to type accents in HTML is minimal) for breakfast, er, petit dejuener. Some churches, the double decker buses, visited the Musee de la Marine, and then strolled to the Eiffel Tower via the Champs des Mars. Didn't bother going up, but had a hot dog at the park underneath. Visited Napoleon's tomb, and Les Invalides. Then, back to the hotel, where we thought we'd catch a quick nap before going out for dinner. We woke up around 10:00pm. Found out that the restaurant Au Pied de Cochon was still open, so took the Metro down to the station near Ste. Eustace, before wandering over to munch on a dinner of pigs feet (which seemed appropriate, given the restaurant), some real french onion soup, what was probably a laughable wine selection, and a terrific desert. When we got out, it was too late for the Metro, so we walked back to the Place de Concorde.

That was the first day and a half. We were there for a week. We saw the Louvre, including an exhibit on Michaelangelo and Da Vinci. We killed a day at the Musee D'Orsay, skipping their IT department, but did stop to have lunch in their "cafeteria". We had dinner at Gourmard, the second most expensive restaurant I've ever been to, and worth every penny. We took an early morning train to Versaille, where we snapped some fun pics of us in the Hall of Mirrors. We fed birds that flocked to our table in Montmartre as we ate escargot, just because hell, we were in Paris. We went to the Paris airshow, walked around the Fete de la Musique, scaled the Eiffel Tower at sunset, took boatrides on the Seine, took pictures of Notre Dame, Sacre Couer, and other lesser known places. We visited Les Jardins de Luxembourg, and just basked in the late sun. We mastered the Paris Metro, and just all in all had a blast.

Didn't really think much about blogging.

Sometimes, you just have to unplug, at least, until you get back and post all the pictures to make other people jealous.

That's what this geek did in Paris. I'd love to go back.

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Depth of field using 35mm lenses

This is kind of a crazy Rube Goldberg project for budding videographers: a scheme for creating depth of field using 35mm lenses. Most digital video cameras have very limited depth of field because of their relatively small optics and imagers. So what's a person to do? Well, basically create a telecine like setup that uses a conventional 35mm lens which casts an image onto a ground glass screen, and then use the DV cam to video that directly with a macro lens. The ground glass in this setup is actually implemented using one of those plastic spacer cds and an old CD player (the moving screen hides scratches and blems in the "ground glass"). Kind of a neat project.

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Canons are great!

Pixarian and Pentax camera user Juan Buhler sent out an email proclaiming that "Canons are great" linked to this rather expensive coffee table. Heh.

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Strangely named products…

Aural Exciter with Optical Big Bottom

Josh over at was off at the Portable Media Expo, and posted his photos on Flickr. Does anyone else's mind go straight to the gutter in reading about this device?

If not, try saying it aloud in your company lunchroom.


Digital Black and White

In an earlier post, I pointed at fellow Pixarian Juan Buhler's awesome photography blog. Unfortunately, I missed our photoclub meeting, but he sent out mail indicating that he uses some of the techniques listed in Digital Black and White to get his spectactular street photos. I've actually seen this page before, (thought I might have even blogged it), but haven't worked on creating the appropriate workflow for Gimp (I'm too cheap to buy Photoshop, and just honest enough not to pirate it :-).

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Water Molotov – A Street Photography Blog

Juan Buhler has just joined the staff here at Pixar, and is one of those insanely talented photographer types who has a much cooler blog than me. Damn them all to hell! 🙂

He also knows a thing or two about computer graphics, and was the Sketches Jury chairman for SIGGRAPH last year. Welcome aboard, Juan.

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Cameraphone Picture Gallery


Why do all my pictures look like bad security cam footage?

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Katrina Damage

My brother-in-law is in Alabama helping out kidney dialysis patients. He sent my sister this photo, which she notes:

This was taken in alabama, Dave said that the concrete that is buckled was by the force of the water.

- kris


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