Sebastien Ogier 41m record jump stabilized
Others', Pictures, Tech

Stabilized World Record 41m Rally Jump

This kind of thing pushes almost all of my buttons. Image processing, photography, snow, cars and novelty. Reddit user The_Egg_came_first created this… let’s call it a panoramic gif. The steps are outlined here. The gist of the process involves extracting frames from video and then aligning them to stabilize the ground. Since the video footage panned to follow the car, the result is basically a fast moving panorama.

A similar technique was used to stabilize this ski jump. Many other examples can be found in the /ImageStabilization subreddit.

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Others'

5 Photos I Like IV: Seattle Public Library

The Seattle Public Library is probably my favorite building in Seattle.  The designers went all out on the inside and the outside.  If you are ever in Seattle, I highly recommend a visit (best of all, it’s free!).  The library is a sort-of tourist attraction, so you won’t look too out of place if you whip out your camera.  For today’s edition of “5 Photos I Like”, I’m only including photos of the Seattle Public Library.

Before beginning, I’m curious what you think about the following comment which was posted under one of these photos:

IT SEEMS AS THOUGH MANY OF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THIS BUILDING. THE COMPOSITIONS AND COLORS YOU ALL ARE THRILLED ABOUT ARE NOT DONE BY SOME FRUITLESS FILTER IN PHOTOSHOP. THESE ARE ALL CREATED, INTENTIONALLY BY THE ARCHITECT. THERE ARE NO LIGHTING TRICKS, AND THE SKY ON THAT DAY DIDNT HAPPEN TO BE GREEN, BLUE OR RED.
IN FACT ANYONE WITH TWO SENSE ABOUT PHOTOGRAOPHY CAN TAKE THESE PHOTOS, GIVEN THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT. LET US GIVE CREDIT TO THE ARCHITECT WHO HAS BESTOWED UPON US SUCH GREAT ARCHITECTURE AND YOU WITH SPECTACULAR IMAGERY. I IMPLORE YOU TO VISIT THE WEBSITE AND ENLIGHTEN YOURSELVES.
AND YES I AM AN ARCHITECT. – London Brigs (Flickr Name)

Ignoring the all-caps typing and the ignorance of photography, what do you think about his argument?  Architectural photography is a thing and I hope my previous post gave some examples of the many ways a single scene can be interpreted by just one photographer.  I’ve also written about photographing art, but I think photographing architecture is a long way from even being a gray area in terms of ethics.  I hope the photos I’m sharing here will convince people that not just anyone with “two sense about photograophy” can take great photos, even in a location as interesting as the Seattle Public Library.  Of course the architect deserves credit for designing a beautiful building that we photographers can enjoy as our playground.  Credit goes to the photographer, however, for producing a worthwhile image.

The Mixing Chamber

The Mixing Chamber, by Victor Szalvay

This is the shot that inspired me to make this post.  Victor took this photo in a library, but it wouldn’t look out of place in a science fiction film.  The architect did a good job of exposing for the highlights and boosting the contrast so that the people’s faces would be lost in shadow.  Oops, maybe the photographer had something to do with that.

Seattle Public Library

Seattle Public Library, by Jeff Maurone

There are a few shots on Flickr taken from this vantage point, but I thought this one was particularly well-executed.  The little girl playing on the reading-bench-thing is a fantastic detail.

ventilated geometry

Ventilated Geometry, by Victor Szalvay

Here’s another shot from Victor, who likes the blues.  The directions of the ventilation vents make them look like creatures who are curious about the strange blue world they’ve found themselves in.

IMG_3432a

IMG_3432a, by Cassidy Curtis

This portion of the library is eerie to walk around in.  I think this shot captures that feeling pretty well, and the exit sign is a nice touch, too.  Cassidy nailed the exposure here as well.

And Dream Up Some Dreams

And Dream Up Some Dreams, by Thomas Hawk

The first four pictures I chose use color as a significant part of the composition.  However, the bright colors of the library can be distracting for certain photos, so Thomas chose to go with black and white.  A potentially cluttered image like this benefits from the focal point of the walking man and the strong geometrical order.

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Others'

5 Photos I Like III

It’s time for another installment of “5 Photos I Like”.  Let’s get started.

Bivouac à Saint-Auban - color version

Bivouac à Saint-Auban - color version, by Remy SAGLIER

Everyone has their own idea of where the line should be drawn in terms of post-processing, but it generally comes down to the final result (except in the field of photojournalism, but that’s a whole different story).  All of the components of this photo come together nicely for me.  I love the contrast of the well-lit storm cloud and the almost silhouette of the foreground tree.  The gradient filter applied to darken the top of the photo goes a little far in my opinion, but it helps balance out the darkness at the bottom of the shot and adds drama to the storm.

X

X, by Daniel Kulinski

I have a soft spot for car photos, but having been to several car shows I know how hard it can be to take good photos while being surrounded by so much sexy sheet-metal.  Photography is often about what we leave out and this shot of a Mustang is a perfect example of this.  The Mustang is an icon, so a full-body shot of it wouldn’t be that interesting.  Instead, this photo shows a few interesting details and just enough background to figure out the rest of the story.

Autumn Spectrum 10/10/10

Autumn Spectrum 10/10/10, by Mr. Dale

My photography tends more towards candid and found shots, but I can appreciate constructions such as this one.  It’s a very clever use of collected maple leaves and it demonstrates what we photographers love so much about the fall.  This isn’t a criticism of the photo, but it feels like the arrow should be pointing to the right.  I’m certain that the arrow is pointing that way for a reason, and any thoughts about it are welcome.

A Solitary Path

A Solitary Path, by Andrew Ferguson

Another Canadian photo, strange…  It looks like some post-processing was done to reduce the saturation, but either way the limited color pallet of the photo is gorgeous.  I also like the receding streetlamps and the unusual perspective.

Impending Doom (Explored)

Impending Doom, pasukaru76

Not only do I have a soft spot for cars, I also have a soft spot for Star Wars and Legos.  Nice positioning of the Lego men here, since they have pretty limited movement.

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Others'

5 Photos I Like II: Walls

It’s time for the second installment of “5 Photos I Like.”  The first one is here.  The theme for today is “walls.”

lines

Lines, by Daniel*1977

I like this photo because it creates structure out of a dizzying amount of lines and angles.  The contrasts in tonality supply a structure on the large scale, but as you look closer at the details the photo almost acts like a fractal.  The lines and angles that make up the larger structure of the image are repeated in each smaller portion of the image.  A challenging photo to pull off well.

homeland security

Homeland Security, by bhikku

Security cameras are everywhere these days and innocent people are getting fed up with being watched constantly.  This is an excellent piece of satire.  It kind of reminds me of something you might see in the game Half-Life 2.  The fact that the camera is pointed straight at a blank wall makes me laugh too.  Perhaps it was tampered with…

Tome Reader

Tome Reader, by Ozyman

What’s not to like about this picture?  It’s perfectly composed and it has a cute kid reading a book.  On a ladder.  Well done, Ozyman.

Colored wall

Colored wall, by Babacam

This photo shows what can be accomplished by paying attention to light, color, and composition.  A seemingly simple scene becomes a compelling photograph if you know where (and when) to look.

king of the subway

King of the Subway, by Grant MacDonald

As I’m sure you can tell, I love humor in photographs.  This shot was a fantastic find and the more you think about it, the more amusing it becomes.  This is exactly the kind of thing I love about photography.  It teaches you to see in a different way and to notice things that others may not.

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Others'

5 Photos I Like

Here’s a selection of 5 photos on Flickr that tickled my fancy in one way or another.

Barrack discoteque II.

Barrack discoteque II., by *BZd*

The above photo was taken in Hungary at an abandoned military barrack used by the invading Soviet army.  It was made by combining multiple exposures using flashes and colored gels to illuminate the inside while the outside was illuminated by the moon.  The technical execution of this photo was very clever, but I think it stands on it’s own too.  The thumbnail size picture makes it look like a Christmas scene, but after embiggening it and reading the description you see that it’s anything but a cheery holiday snap.  I love the eerie, surreal feeling that the photo gives off in it’s full-size form.

Hola!

Hola! by c.l.i.c.k.r

This is a great high-key portrait of everybody’s best friend: the jumping spider.  Everything about this photo draws the viewer right into the spidey’s eyeballs: the gradient from top right to lower left, the limited color palette, the bright background with dark subject, and the placement of the eyes right at a rule-of-thirds point.  This photo is a good example of knowing the rules well enough to know when to break them.  The rule of thirds is followed literally, but the exposure allows the background to be completely blown out.  That blown out background probably gives HDR fans more nightmares than the spider does…

Giant Tetris blocks fall from the sky!

Giant Tetris blocks fall from the sky! by abrinsky

What a great example of trying different angles to capture a subject.  The Cube building that this photo depicts is incredibly cool, but photos of the entire building don’t necessarily have the same impact as this small detail does.

Boiler

Boiler, by Zero1o1

I love this photo and not just because it conjures up memories of this famous photo.  “Boiler” works on it’s own, but viewers who have seen Lewis Hine’s historic photo will appreciate it even more.  This modern color photo contains a collection of many different textures and shapes for our eyes to feast on.  Mmmmm, rust.

Epidemia de Pánico / Panic Epidemy

Epidemia de Pánico / Panic Epidemy, by Eneas

I enjoy photos that depict our world as the strange and surreal place that it often is.  In a case of truth is stranger than fiction, this photo captures an image during the height of the H1N1 or “swine flu” epidemic.  The photo works both as journalism and art.  Another photo with a limited color palette, I like how the only color you notice other than brownish-gray is blue.  I also like that the subject is paying no attention to the photographer, but the three men standing in the background are looking right at the camera.  Nice and unsettling.  I think it should have been made clear to the public that “epidemic” refers to how fast the virus spreads rather than the severity of the virus.  Those in charge of spreading information don’t seem to think the public is capable of taking anything seriously unless they cause a panic.

Well, there you go, 5 pictures to remind you that we live in a strange, complex, little world.  Be sure to check out the full-size versions at the photographers’ Flickr pages.

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