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31 Jan 00:08

10 Myths About the Rule of Thirds

by Tavis Leaf Glover
Andreas Aronsson

I stopped caring about the rule of thirds when I picked up fisheye photography, it just didn't fit when I tried to keep a level horizon, it did leave me stumped for what to do when I swapped back to my other lenses though. I skimmed this article, but it seems really interesting, rule of thirds is not it for sure :P Will read in detail tomorrow.

10myths

My name is Tavis Leaf Glover, and I’m an artist just like you, trying to create art that I can be proud of and share with the world. Though, something really hindered me in the beginning… the Rule of Thirds.

I want to shed some light on the Rule of Thirds Myths we’ve all been forcefully spoon fed during our creative infancy, which continues to linger as our compositions mature.

Perhaps we can change the future of art together if we help other artists abandon the rule of thirds and introduce them to the invaluable design techniques demonstrated throughout this article. I need your help because I can’t do it alone!

Like many other artists, I was brainwashed into thinking that the rule of thirds is an acceptable method of composing an image. I guess that depends on the standard of art you’d like to produce. Art at the Master Level, like Da Vinci, Bouguereau, Degas, Rubens, or art like a Sunday painter whose goal is to hang their painting in the local antique store… not the prestigious gallery or museum.

Paintings by Da Vinci, Bouguereau, Degas, Rubens

Paintings by Da Vinci, Bouguereau, Degas, Rubens

Without composition, art cannot flourish. And when using the rule of thirds to guide your composition, you’ll end up in a dark alley waiting to be maliciously fondled by mediocre art. This might sound harsh, but… well, it kinda is.

It’s my experience that people don’t like rules, and they certainly don’t like to follow them. They are always saying the same cliché phrase “well, rule’s were meant to be broken” or “I think it’s good to learn the rules, but then know when to break them.”

The word “rule” has a meaning that can be looked upon as negative. What I’m striving to demonstrate isn’t a rule that needs to be broken. It’s a canon of knowledge that you can choose to incorporate into your art if you wish. Your choice, simple as that.

MYTH #1: “It makes it visually pleasing”

To debunk this, we have to know what makes an image visually pleasing, and I assure you, it’s not plotting your subject on a rule of thirds crosshair. To be visually pleasing is to apply your composition techniques in a way which is clearly read by the viewer… without getting caught up on distracting elements or creating confusion by lack of hierarchy. How do we do that?

Well, we need to understand how the mind perceives visual stimuli. For this we use Gestalt psychology techniques like Figure-Ground Relationship (FGR) to clearly separate the subject from the background.

Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson showing excellent FGR.

Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson showing excellent FGR.

Or we can use the Law of Continuity, which will allow us to create a sweeping arabesque by using multiple objects.

Painting by Edgar Degas showing an Arabesque.

Painting by Edgar Degas showing an Arabesque.

We can even use the Greatest Area of Contrast to help direct our viewer’s eyes towards the main subject.

Photograph by David Bellemere.

Photograph by David Bellemere.

MYTH #2: “Pros use it”

The next myth we have is “pros use it.” Annie Leibovitz is definitely a pro, and one of the most inspirational photographers of today. So let’s grab one of her photos and simply line it up to the rule of thirds grid, then we’ll see if she used it or not.

Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.

Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.

Showing the Rule of Thirds Grid lines up to the Mantel.

Showing the Rule of Thirds Grid lines up to the Mantel.

We can see how the mantel lines up perfectly to the rule of thirds grid. Hmmm, I guess she did use it… but wait, how did she pose the models? How did she create such a great composition when there are only horizontals and verticals to guide us? What do I do next? I have some of the models on the rule of thirds, but where do I go now? How do I position their arms, legs, dress, and gaze? This is where we introduce dynamic symmetry.

This is a Root 4 Rectangle with its Basic Armature (two diagonals, four reciprocals, horizontals and verticals).

This is a Root 4 Rectangle with its Basic Armature (two diagonals, four reciprocals, horizontals and verticals).

A Root 4 rectangle can be divided into four smaller Root 4 rectangles.

A Root 4 rectangle can be divided into four smaller Root 4 rectangles.

In order for Annie to properly pose the models, she uses dynamic symmetry. That’s basically a fancy term for grid system.

This is a 1.5 rectangle with it’s Basic Armature (same size as many camera sensors) and 3 can fit inside a Root 4 rectangle.

This is a 1.5 rectangle with it’s Basic Armature (same size as many camera sensors) and 3 can fit inside a Root 4 rectangle.

This is the complete grid system.

This is the complete grid system.

To put it simply, a grid system is something we can use in our photography to help us organize our composition. We can use the diagonals, verticals, and horizontals to help us create rhythm and unity throughout the image… whether it’s a painting, photo, or sculpture… dynamic symmetry can be used for all of them.

“Laocoon & His Sons” is a Greek sculpture that was constructed by using Dynamic Symmetry.

“Laocoon & His Sons” is a Greek sculpture that was constructed by using Dynamic Symmetry.

We could get really involved into explaining this system more, but let’s not lose focus of the main purpose, which is to expose the rule of thirds for what it is… a watered down rule that has brain washed us all into thinking it’s worth sharing with the world.

MYTH #3: “It moves the eye around the image.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Plotting your subject on a point without consideration for the whole will not help create movement within your composition.

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover

When we learn of another Gestalt psychology technique called the Law of Continuity, we’ll discover several tools we can use to create movement and unity, which will move the eye around the image. The most visually pleasing one is an Arabesque.

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover

This is a curvilinear element you can incorporate into your art to create a beautiful sweeping movement throughout the image. Master painters used these extensively throughout their work.

Painting by Vincent van Gogh showing an Arabesque.

Painting by Vincent van Gogh showing an Arabesque.

Another technique used to create movement is called a Coincidence. This is defined as edge-to-edge relationships, which unify multiple elements and can create movement side to side and up and down.

It’s not a solid line as you might think when you hear the term “leading lines.” It’s broken, hidden, and a magic trick which we can use to allow the mind to easily close the gaps.

Painting by Caravaggio shows how he hides his lines by understanding the Law of Continuity.

Painting by Caravaggio shows how he hides his lines by understanding the Law of Continuity.

In this photo we can see the edge-to-edge relationships Annie Leibovitz creates by using the limbs of the models.

Photograph by Annie Leibovitz showing Coincidences.

Photograph by Annie Leibovitz showing Coincidences.

We can also see it in this painting of the Mona Lisa by Da Vinci, and in this complex composition by Bouguereau.

Paintings by Da Vinci and Bouguereau showing Coincidences.

Paintings by Da Vinci and Bouguereau showing Coincidences.

MYTH #4: “It gets the subject out of the center.”

First off, who decreed that the center of a frame is so bad? Why are we lead to believe this?

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover

There’s a Gestalt psychology technique called the Law of Symmetry, which basically means the human mind is always trying to find balance in visual stimuli. So if we use the rule of thirds and place the subject off center, then we will need a counterpart to help us balance the image. If there’s no counterpart, then we’ve just created horrible balance within our composition.

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover

There is vertical balance (which I call breathing room), and there is horizontal balance (which I call gazing direction), and we must understand how to control each of these in order to create a properly balanced composition.

Painting by Bouguereau showing proper balance from top to bottom.

Painting by Bouguereau showing proper balance from top to bottom.

Painting by Degas showing proper balance from left to right.

Painting by Degas showing proper balance from left to right.

Here’s a photo I created which has the main subject centered, but is properly balanced because vertical and horizontal balance was considered.

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover showing how Balance can be properly achieved from top to bottom and left to right.

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover showing how Balance can be properly achieved from top to bottom and left to right.

It took me years to erase the damage the rule of thirds caused on my compositions. I was always placing the subject on one side or the other without consideration for the image as a whole.

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover before learning design and Gestalt psychology techniques.

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover before learning design and Gestalt psychology techniques.

MYTH #5: “Basis for a well balanced and interesting shot”

We already covered the Law of Symmetry, which covers the proper balance of an image, but what we didn’t mention how the rule of thirds gives birth to unwanted negative space. If we are generically placing our subject into one of the crosshairs without consideration of the whole, then we won’t have a counterpart on the other side of the composition and we’ll have negative space that takes attention away from our subject.

Photograph showing how the rule of thirds creates unwanted negative space.

Photograph showing how the rule of thirds creates unwanted negative space.

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Negative space can be properly used to create a feeling of isolation or loneliness, but to use it without sophistication is a rookie move.

Photograph by Gregory Crewdson using Negative Space to enhance his story.

Photograph by Gregory Crewdson using Negative Space to enhance his story.

MYTH #6: “It’s a great starting point for beginners”

In my own experience, the rule of thirds only lead me down a dead end road. I thought of it as revolutionary at first and I was boasting its powers to photographers who were just starting out.

image34

Later I found myself at a plateau and not able to understand how to properly compose an image because the rule of thirds was guiding me.

image35

Dynamic Symmetry Grids are just as easy to use as R.O.T.

Dynamic Symmetry Grids are just as easy to use as R.O.T.

If new artists start with the grid of dynamic symmetry instead of the rule of thirds, they’ll be able to later take advantage of the diagonals, which they can create rhythm with… by posing the model, or applying paint strokes. The available diagonals within the rectangle will limit the number of directions you use, called a gamut, which will create a more powerful composition…rather than the spokes of a bicycle tire.

Painting by Bouguereau showing how he creates rhythm in the model’s pose based off of his grid system.

Painting by Bouguereau showing how he creates rhythm in the model’s pose based off of his grid system.

MYTH #7: “Artists from the Renaissance, or Greek artists, created the rule of thirds”

The rule of thirds was first documented in a book by Smith (around 1797), and if you take a look at his painting, you’ll see that he wasn’t a master at all.

image38

Da Vinci would be rolling in his grave if he heard anyone say he was using the this. The amount of schooling, studying, and practice he put into his compositions, and someone is going to water it down to something as simple as the rule of thirds? No way!

Da Vinci, along with other master artists, Greek included, used dynamic symmetry, the golden section, and other design techniques like arabesques, gamut, coincidences, radiating lines, figure-ground relationship, ellipses and enclosures.

Painting by Bouguereau showing different design techniques.

Painting by Bouguereau showing different design techniques.

MYTH #8: “The human eye naturally gravitates to the intersection points”

Photograph of a generically placed tree and horizon line.

Photograph of a generically placed tree and horizon line.

I truly wish composition were this easy. Place your subject in a crosshair, and BAM, you’re automatically controlling the viewer’s eyes. Not so fast! What about the fact that we are drawn to areas of high contrast?

When we make our subject the Greatest Area of Contrast (GAC), won’t we look there first…no matter what position they are in?

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover showing the Greatest Area of Contrast and a Counterpart.

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover showing the Greatest Area of Contrast and a Counterpart.

Another thing that pulls our eyes is something I call Edge Flicker. It refers to high contrasting elements near the edge, which greatly distract the viewer from your subject.

Creating a hierarchy of contrast and keeping the edges free of distractions will help you control the way your viewer’s eyes move around the composition.

Painting by Whistler showing no Edge Flicker when Adjusted.

Painting by Whistler showing no Edge Flicker when Adjusted.

MYTH #9: “Cropping to the rule of thirds after shooting a photo is a great way to save an image”

Cropping a poorly composed, badly lit image will not save anything. That’s starting at the end and working backwards.

Try not to crop. Get it right in-camera to save precious pixels.

Try not to crop. Get it right in-camera to save precious pixels.

Learn composition and Gestalt psychology techniques so you know what to look for, how to solve visual problems, and get it right in camera. Don’t sacrifice precious pixels for the rule of thirds. Your creativity deserves better.

MYTH #10: “The power points, or golden points, create tension”

Placing your subject on a third is not going to create tension as we’ve learned so far.

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover showing how cropping doesn’t create tension.

Photograph by Tavis Leaf Glover showing how cropping doesn’t create tension.

If we take a look at a Gestalt psychology technique called the Law of Proximity, we’ll see how visual tension can be created. Like this painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel…they are clearly unified by their proximity, but another thing to notice as we view this is visual tension created by the fact that they are almost touching, but not quite. It’s the moment before impact.

Painting by Michelangelo

Painting by Michelangelo

Or this photo where the man is almost within reach of his dying wife. It’s that close proximity that creates the tension.

Photography by Tavis Leaf Glover

Photography by Tavis Leaf Glover

When considering the Law of Proximity, distance can create negative space, which in this photo creates a tension in the room.

Photograph by Gregory Crewdson using negative space to create tension.

Photograph by Gregory Crewdson using negative space to create tension.

Conclusion

So many tricks and techniques can be applied to create a remarkable composition, which communicates clearly to your viewer. Abandon the rule of thirds. Leave it behind and adopt the dynamic symmetry grid which is just as simple to use, but can leave many more options open for you as your art progresses.

Painting by Toulouse Lautrec.

Painting by Toulouse Lautrec.

If you found this information useful, please share it with your friends. Help me tackle this rule of thirds beast, kill it, and introduce better techniques to others who are in need of powerful composition. Learning powerful composition is the only path to becoming a master of your craft.


About the author: Tavis Leaf Glover is a fine art photographer and author based in Honolulu, Hawaii. You can find more of his work on his website and on Flickr. Glover is also an educator about applying Gestalt psychology principles to photography and art.

28 Jan 00:09

These Photos Got a Photographer Banned from North Korea

by Michael Zhang

army

Photographer Éric Lafforgue has spent years traveling the world to shoot documentary photos for well-known publications. He was even given rare access to North Korea, where he shot thousands of photos showing citizens and government officials going about their daily lives.

After his 6th trip to the country in September 2012, however, Lafforgue was banned by the government for the photos he was sharing online.

Lafforgue wanted to show the reality of life in North Korea, so he smuggled unapproved photos out of the communist country on hidden memory cards. An example would be the photo above, which is illegal because North Korea doesn’t allow outsiders to photograph its army.

After the government discovered the photos online, officials confronted Lafforgue and demanded that he delete the images. The photographer refused, and the government responded by banning him from their country.

“Life is brutal in many places of North Korea, far from the Western standard,” Lafforgue told Australia’s News.com.au back in 2014. “Even with their hard life, they told me, with tears in their eyes, they venerate the dear leaders … even if sometimes they do not have a lot to eat.”

Here’s a look at the photos that were deemed too “offensive” by Pyongyang:

You're not supposed to photograph the army -- and especially not soldiers taking a break.

You’re not supposed to photograph the army — and especially not soldiers taking a break.

People pushing a broken down bus -- not a nice photo for a government intend on preserving a pristine image.

People pushing a broken down bus — not a nice photo for a government intend on preserving a pristine image.

The North Korean government doesn't want public photos showing poverty.

The North Korean government doesn’t want public photos showing poverty.

The subway system in Pyongyang is deep underground and doubles as a bomb shelter. Lafforgue was asked to delete this photo because it contains the tunnel.

The subway system in Pyongyang is deep underground and doubles as a bomb shelter. Lafforgue was asked to delete this photo because it contains the tunnel.

Statues of North Korean leaders are treated with respect, as they were considered to be gods, so photos taken from the back are absolutely forbidden.

Statues of North Korean leaders are treated with respect, as they were considered to be gods, so photos taken from the back are absolutely forbidden.

An unflattering photo of a North Korean soldier doing "menial tasks."

An unflattering photo of a North Korean soldier doing “menial tasks.”

Lafforgue was asked to delete this photo because the government was worried he would label the citizens as homeless.

Lafforgue was asked to delete this photo because the government was worried he would label the citizens as homeless.

A power outage at an art space in Pyongyang. Outages happen often, but the government doesn't want that fact publicized.

A power outage at an art space in Pyongyang. Outages happen often, but the government doesn’t want that fact publicized.

A photo of a rural house, where the bathroom was being used as a cistern.

A photo of a rural house, where the bathroom was being used as a cistern.

North Korea doesn't like photos that appear to show its people malnourished.

North Korea doesn’t like photos that appear to show its people malnourished.

Pyongyang is supposed to look grand and modern in photos, so photographing run-down buildings is a big no-no.

Pyongyang is supposed to look grand and modern in photos, so photographing run-down buildings is a big no-no.

A family selling cigarettes and candy on the side of the road.

A family selling cigarettes and candy on the side of the road.

A man in a shallow river.

A man in a shallow river.

Safety standards for workers are minimal.

Safety standards for workers are minimal.

Children in a household posing in front of their computers... while there is no power.

Children in a household posing in front of their computers… while there is no power.

Long lines are found throughout the country.

Long lines are found throughout the country.

When visiting attractions, you can photograph the show, but you're not supposed to photograph the fact that the crowd is 99% soldiers.

When visiting attractions, you can photograph the show, but you’re not supposed to photograph the fact that the crowd is 99% soldiers.

North Korean elite shopping in the two supermarkets in Pyongyang.

North Korean elite shopping in the two supermarkets in Pyongyang.

Soldiers are often seen hitchhiking on the freeways, as there is no public transportation between towns.

Soldiers are often seen hitchhiking on the freeways, as there is no public transportation between towns.

During major festivals, thousands of citizens are required to line up to visit significant monuments.

During major festivals, thousands of citizens are required to line up to visit significant monuments.

Children seen farming in the fields.

Children seen farming in the fields.

An offensive photo of a broom leaning against the statue of Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang.

An offensive photo of a broom leaning against the statue of Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang.

A North Korean man harvesting grass from a park -- presumably for food.

A North Korean man harvesting grass from a park — presumably for food.

A North Korean soldier sleeping in a field.

A North Korean soldier sleeping in a field.

Guides ask photographers not to use flash photography in order to avoid scaring people.

Guides ask photographers not to use flash photography in order to avoid scaring people.

Children playing in the middle of a major road.

Children playing in the middle of a major road.

In addition to the photos that got him banned, Lafforgue has captured and published thousands of government-approved photos of North Korea as well. You can find a treasure trove of both types of photos on his website and in this Flickr set, which currently contains over 2,700 photos and 49 videos. They’re some of the most unfiltered images you’ll find online of the reclusive “hermit kingdom.”


Image credits: Photographs by Éric Lafforgue and used with permission

26 Jan 12:59

This Short Film is a Fairy Tale About a Boy Born with a Camera for a Head

by Michael Zhang

“The Boy with a Camera for a Face” is an award-winning 14-minute short film about a boy who was born for a camera in place of a human head. Every moment in the boy’s life is saved for the future, leaving to a unforeseen benefits and challenges in life.

Director and writer Spencer Brown says that the film is a “satirical fairy tale” that “tells an epic story… about the way we live today.” The story is told as a rhyme narrated by Steven Berkoff.

All kinds of issues involving cameras and media are explored, from our incessant documenting of our lives to the violation of privacy with cameras to the fact that we often live vicariously through the recorded lives of others.

Screenshot (432)

Screenshot (435)

Screenshot (436)

Screenshot (437)

Screenshot (439)

The film has already won a number of awards from film festivals around the world. You can find out more about it on Facebook and more of Brown’s work on his website.

(via Spencer Brown via Laughing Squid)


Image credits: Video and still frames by Spencer Brown

15 Jan 16:53

GoPro Slashes 7% of Its Workforce After Huge Drop in Action Camera Sales

by Michael Zhang
Andreas Aronsson

Blah. Their cameras are fairly expensive, I get a system camera for less if it's a year old. That's how the market looks like. Compacts are even cheaper. I guess this is why GoPro has built so many different budget alternatives lately, but there's a dilemma. GoPro is known for their image quality, but to keep that up the cameras have gotten more expensive, but that should fit professionals (GoPro!) but then they lack features that are useful for pros. They have a very mixed feeling about their product line for sure, to me it almost feels like a GoPro now is made ForPros and not for me. I dunno. Session is nice I guess, but I chew through batteries so that won't work with only an integrated one.

goprodeclinehead

GoPro has seen better days. The company just announced that it will be cutting its workforce by 7%, roughly 100 people, after seeing big declines in sales of its action camera.

Although annual revenue has grown 16% to $1.6 billion in 2015, the company saw a big drop in revenue in the 4th quarter. The company is expecting revenue of about $435 for the quarter, far less than what analysts were expecting, and about 30% less than the ~$634 million it hauled in in the 4th quarter of 2014.

GoPro is warning investors, saying that there were “lower than anticipated sales of its capture devices due to slower than expected sell through at retailers.” The company’s stock has responded by plummeting ~18% to under $12 per share — the stock peaked at over $86 per share back in October 2014 before beginning to trend downward.

If there’s any silver lining, it’s the fact that GoPro is planning to launch its first camera drone later in 2016. However, with the Chinese-company DJI as the clear market leader and plenty of competition in the space already, it appears that GoPro is facing a major uphill battle in getting investors excited again.

(via GoPro via The Verge)

12 Jan 11:05

Cam

by Steve Napierski
Andreas Aronsson

Yep, when I've done my VR tests I've shuffed everything loose to the edges of the room so the camera can't see all the randomness. So yeah, I found this funny... some people just don't care though.

Cam What you see is what you get or as the techies say: WYSIWYG. I'm still surprised when I use the acronym WYSIWYG and people have no idea what I am talking about. I thought that term would have been a lot more common than it actually is.

source: Minimumble


See more: Cam
10 Jan 23:59

Just Skipping From Using One Set of Diapers To Another

23 Dec 18:42

UGEARS: Elaborate Self-Propelled DIY Mechanical Models

by Christopher Jobson

ugears-1

UGEARS are a series of 11 new mechnical models built from wooden pieces that spring to life with the help of rubber band engines, cranks, or with the assistance of gravity. Similar to balsa wood insects, the laser-cut pieces assemble like a puzzle without need for glue or adhesives. The most impressive design is an elaborate 480-piece steam locomotive that’s 12″ long and propels itself up and down a provided track with an internal engine.

UGEARS was designed by Kiev-based Ukrainian Gears and all of the models seen here are currently funding on Kickstarter for another 6 days.

ugears-1

ugears-2

ugears-3

ugears-4

ugears-5

ugears-6

ugears-2

ugears-7

17 Nov 09:11

Someone Photoshopped this Sikh Guy, and Now the World Thinks He’s a Paris Terrorist

by Michael Zhang

misidentifiedterrorist

Yikes. Someone Photoshopped a selfie by a Sikh man to look like a terrorist from the Paris attacks, the fake photo went viral, and news organizations around the world have used it to misidentify the man as one of the suspected terrorists.

BuzzFeed reports that this past weekend, GamerGate critic Veerender Jubbal found one of his self portraits manipulated to show a suicide bomb on his chest and a Quoran in his hands. In reality, he wasn’t wearing anything over his shirt, and the thing in his hands was an iPad that was used to shoot the picture.

photoshopped

Jubbal soon Tweeted his original bathroom selfie as proof of his innocence:

Ready: pic.twitter.com/ae9xEej4gS

— Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal) August 4, 2015

A closer look at the photo reveals a number of glaring clues that the viral photo isn’t what it appears to be. Jubbal is a Canadian citizen who’s Sikh, not Muslim. The turban on his head is a Sikh turban, and the power outlets in the photo are North American outlets.

You can all check the last retweets. Let us start with basics. Never been to Paris. Am a Sikh dude with a turban. Lives in Canada.

— Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal) November 14, 2015

Unfortunately, as the photo went viral online, media outlets around the world went ahead and published Jubbal’s face and photo on their newspapers and websites, identifying him as one of the alleged terrorists.

La Razón, the sixth-largest daily newspaper in Spain, slapped Jubbal’s face onto its front page:

newspaper

TG24, an Italian TV channel, shared the Photoshopped photo with its 1.98 million followers on Twitter:

shoppedtweet

Jubbal watched in despair as the photo spread across the globe:

People are editing, and photoshopping my selfies as if I am one of the people causing the issues/problems in Paris.

— Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal) November 14, 2015

So, like, it spread.

— Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal) November 14, 2015

Has spread to the point, where many people have had to tweet about the photos being photoshopped.. Any support/nice messages are welcome.

— Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal) November 14, 2015

I hope everyone has caught up with what is going on with me. I went viral due to a photoshopped image claiming I am a terrorist.

— Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal) November 15, 2015

Well, just got a phone call from a cousin in India, and they know about it; and saw the whole thing in India Times. We might sue, I guess.

— Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal) November 15, 2015

In gauging this entire incident–millions upon millions of people have seen the photoshopped images, and have placed me as a terrorist.

— Veerender Jubbal (@Veeren_Jubbal) November 15, 2015

And that’s what can happen when a maliciously Photoshopped image goes viral and reporters decide not to fact check it.

11 Nov 08:08

Coder epitaphs

by CommitStrip

05 Nov 14:26

6 Photographers Asked to Shoot Portraits of 1 Man… With a Twist

by Michael Zhang

Canon recently conducted an interesting experiment on the power of perspective in portrait photography. They enlisted the help of 6 photographers and asked them each to independently shoot portraits of a man named Michael. But there was a twist: each photographer was told a different thing about Michael’s background.

The photographers were told that Michael was: a self-made millionaire, someone who has saved a life, an ex-inmate, a commercial fisherman, a self-proclaimed psychic, and a recovering alcoholic. Michael, an actor, did his best to take on the personality of each character.

Here’s a taste of what the 6 resulting portraits looked like through 6 different perspectives of who Michael is:

Fisherman

fisherman

Alcoholic

alcoholic

Millionaire

millionaire

Convict

convict

Life Saver

lifesaver

Psychic

psychic

“A photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera than by what’s in front of it,” Canon says. This experiment, titled “Decoy,” was intended to prove that point and “shift creative thinking behind the lens.”

02 Nov 14:04

Salvage

Andreas Aronsson

He says rice myth, meaning it doesn't work? I guess I was fooled after hearing about it on the radio, radio never lies!

My hobby: Taking advantage of the rice myth by posting articles on "how to save your wet phone" which are actually just elaborate recipes for rice pilaf.
28 Oct 10:40

This is a 3D-Printed Pistol Grip for the Olympus Air

by Michael Zhang
Andreas Aronsson

I... what. In how many countries would this work walking around with and pointing with before you would be surrounded by police? I do wonder.

olympuspistol

The Olympus Air camera is the commercial version of the Olympus Open Platform Camera (OPC), which people are making all kinds of hardware and software projects for.

A strange new one is the Open Platform Grip, a 3D printed gun-style grip that lets you point and shoot a “camera pistol” to take pictures.

olymjpuspistol2

The creators say that the design is perfect for the viewfinder-less Olympus Air, allowing photographers to aim and frame shots without having to look at any display.

printed

You can even add a tactical sight to the top as a composition aid:

tactical

Here are some sample photos captured with the camera and grip:

sample

The grip also allows you to carry your camera around on a gun holster-style attachment on a belt.

holster

This grip was given a special jury award at the OPC Hack & Make Awards 2015. If you own an Olympus Air and would like to print a grip for yourself, you can buy the files over at DMM.make.

(via DMM.make via Photo Rumors)

26 Oct 22:15

‘Prix’ is the First Short Film That Shows the Power of a QuantumFilm Sensor

by Michael Zhang

Back in 2010, we reported that a California-based startup called InVisage was working on a new image sensor technology called QuantumFilm, which uses “quantum dots” to make sensors that are several times more sensitive to light than traditional sensors.

Now, 5 years later, the first short film shot with the technology has been released. You can see what the sensor can do in the 7.5-minute short above, titled “Prix.”

The film was shot entirely with the QuantumFilm smartphone camera sensor,” InVisage says. “The film captures a stunning level of detail despite dynamic lighting environments and shooting fast-moving subjects outdoors.”

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QuantumFilm aims to one day allow smartphone cameras to capture a much wider dynamic range that has traditionally only been found in high-end pro-grade cameras. The technology is similar to photochemical film in that the sensor has a non-linear response to light, allowing it to capture details in areas that traditional CMOS sensors would get blown out in.

“This response, combined with higher photosensitivity and electron storage per pixel, enables QuantumFilm to show greater dynamic range in QuantumCinema mode,” says InVisage.

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The QuantumFilm sensor also has an electronic global shutter mode that does away with the rolling shutter effect that plagues today’s smartphones. Each scene in the film was also shot with a traditional sensor in order to show the difference between rolling and global shutters.

Here’s a 6-minute behind-the-scenes video showing how Prix was made and explaining how QuantumFilm works:

(via InVisage via Engadget)

13 Oct 08:57

That damned checkbox

by CommitStrip
Andreas Aronsson

Has happened to me once or twice. For some people I know, every single time.

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02 Oct 22:12

Every Moon Photo Shot by Apollo Astronauts is Now on Flickr

by Michael Zhang
Andreas Aronsson

I like the pictures with the earth in the background, just... how must it feel to travel so far away, with your only hope of return dependent on the wagon you came in. Quite insane really.

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Want to browse the entire collection of photos captured on the moon by Apollo astronauts with their chest-mounted Hasselblad cameras? You can now do so right on Flickr.

The Project Apollo Archive has uploaded over 8,400 high-resolution scans of photos shot by Apollo astronauts during trips to the moon.

The images are unprocessed versions of original NASA scans. It’s a huge treasure trove of photos that includes both iconic images and blurry outtakes, all grouped into the film magazines they were exposed in.

Archive founder Kipp Teague tells The Planetary Society that every single photo taken on the lunar surface is in the collection, as are numerous Hasselblad photos taken during the journeys there and back.

Scrolling through the photo stream feels like you’re flipping through someone’s entire set of vacation photos — except in this case, the trip was to the moon.

Here are some of the photos we came across while exploring the archive:

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You can check out the collection for yourself over on Flickr.


Image credits: Photographs by NASA/The Project Apollo Archive

02 Oct 19:03

VR Go

by cb
Andreas Aronsson

Diz 4 u mr WoBo!

I’ve been interested in the game of Go for some time. Even though I’m still a complete beginner, I find the game to be very subtle, and its depth is quite amazing.

As Wikipedia says:

photograph of Go equipment with game in progress

Go is played on a grid of black lines (usually 19×19). Game pieces, called stones, are played on the line intersections. (…) As of mid-2008, there were well over 40 million Go players worldwide, the overwhelming majority of them living in East Asia.
The basic rules are extremely simple, but the strategies are infinite. Also computers are not (yet) able to beat good players.
It is also very interesting to see how Go and Chess can be seen as analogies for the diplomacy of the Eastern and Western parts of the globe.

As a side project I wanted to try implementing the game in VR, mostly for the followig reasons:
- Have fun,
- Try to get better at Go,
- Test the upcoming multi-user feature of MiddleVR.

I am not getting better at Go but the project is coming along nicely!

Features:

- Play in VR with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, …
- Fully functional 19×19, 13×13 and 9×9 boards,
- Automatic score evaluation when the game is finished,
- Can’t play illegal moves,
- Correct positioning of Ko points,
- Mark last move,
- Play against another player with another VR system. You will see the opponent’s mask and hand move.
- Play against players on the PandaNet IGS server, which has clients for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android. Their TELNET protocol is easy to reverse engineer.
- Play against computer: to be restored and improved.
Todo:

- Manage time,
- Restore handicap settings,
- Undo,
- Improve menu,
- Fix computer play,
- Allow observers,
- Chat,
- Me get better at Go,
- Make it much more beautiful !

The app makes heavy use of MiddleVR’s GUI system via HTML5 for the menu. I had great fun using it!

You may also notice a keyboard (also done in HTML5) to type text in the menu, like login/password and challenger on IGS.
It’s not as efficient as a real keyboard but it’s much better than expected!

You may wonder about the precision with current controllers. I used a simple way to snap the cursor to intersections.

I was afraid people would misplace stones a lot but it seems pretty robust for now.

The game integrates Fuego as the Go engine to check legality of moves, keep track of captured stones, count score etc.

Let me know if you are interested in early alphas! My e-mail is at the top left of this webpage!
01 Oct 17:21

Baseball Announcers Roast Sorority Girls Over Selfies

by Michael Zhang

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During the MLB baseball game yesterday between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies, a cameraman spotted a group of sorority girls who were apparently more interested in snapping the perfect selfie than watching the game. The announcers for the TV broadcast took notice, and the whole thing turned into a strange case study of what Instagram has done to our culture.

Here’s the 2-minute clip of the announcers offering color commentary on selfies and technology:

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“Do you have to make faces when you take selfies?” asks one commentator.

“That’s the best one of the 300 pictures of myself today!” the other quips.

The Arizona Diamondbacks were so impressed with the selfie skills that were being displayed that the team got the girls to share a group selfie on the team Instagram account:

Yep, we got the experts themselves to take a #selfie on our @Snapchat! (Username: dbacks) pic.twitter.com/2jIS2uqYoC

— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) October 1, 2015

29 Sep 10:01

Should America be "more like Switzerland" ??

by Minnesotastan
Andreas Aronsson

Memes, ruinning the human intellect since... well I have absolutely no idea!

"Switzerland’s high rate of gun ownership is tied to the fact that it does not have a standing army so virtually every male citizen is conscripted into the militia where they receive comprehensive weapons training. Since they are a militia, they keep their government issued weapons (without ammunition) at home. Therefore, many of the guns in Swiss homes were issued to them by the government and most Swiss gun owners are highly trained in gun safety...

And with a law worthy of Orwell’s worst nightmare, every gun in Switzerland is registered by the
government...

Unless those two laughing women on the bicycles are transporting those weapons to a gun show or are members of the militia reporting for duty (in which cases the guns must not be loaded) or they are security personnel licensed to guard Roger Federer, they are probably breaking the law. “Open carry,” as we understand it in the United States, is only allowed in those very limited circumstances...

You can see that the Swiss militia inculcates the idea of gun ownership as a responsibility to protect the nation while to the American gun proliferation advocates, the reason for the 2nd Amendment is to protect the citizens from the government."
Addendum:
A tip of the blogging hat to reader Dominique, who forwarded me an article reporting that Switzerland has the highest rate of gun-related suicide in Europe:
“In Switzerland, firearms are like pesticides in developing countries. They are accessible,” Ajdacic-Gross explained. “Many suicides are impulsive. In other words, the decision is taken very quickly.”

At such moments, availability – or a lack of it – is crucial. “If somebody has to make a lot of effort to find something that will kill them, that’s a strong preventative factor.” 

22 Sep 08:45

Musician Mike Love Samples Seemingly Random Syllables That Gradually Turn Into Lyrics

by Christopher Jobson
Andreas Aronsson

I like it when they... co-operate.

In this song by Hawaii-based reggae musician Mike Love, a seemingly random assortment of syllables slowly grows into a song over a period of three minutes. The song takes 12 loops to build before you can discern all of the lyrics plus layers of harmony, incredible considering a single mistake would essentially ruin the entire thing. It’s fun to listen all the way through first without any sort of reference, but if you’re interested, redditor Cybot made this handy chart to better visualize what Love is doing.

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21 Sep 20:01

Interesting Game

by Gregor
Andreas Aronsson

Way too often!

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Another bonus gamer comic this Monday! And again, I’ve chosen for this comic NOT to count towards Patreon! See you again on Thursday! OH and the keyboard controls no longer interfere with writing a comment! Hooray!

18 Sep 09:02

Starting With the Earth as a Marble, This Is the First Timelapse of the Solar System to Scale

by Christopher Jobson
Andreas Aronsson

Mhmm....

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When looking in a science textbook or a toy mobile of the solar system, it’s easy to depict the sun, planets and moon to scale in comparison to each other. What’s not so easy to visually comprehend the staggering distance that separates each planet on its individual orbit around the sun. Filmmakers Alex Gorosh and Wylie Overstreet challenged themselves to build such a model and the result is this fascinating short film To Scale.

Starting with the Earth as the size of a marble, it turns out you need an area about 7 miles (11.2km) to squeeze in the orbit of the outermost planet, Neptune. The team used glass spheres lit by LEDs and some GPS calculations to map out the solar system on the dry bed of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Once nighttime arrived they shot a timelapse from a nearby mountain that accurately reflects the distance of each orbital path at a scale of roughly 1:847,638,000. Amazing.

If you have more questions about how they did it, here’s a brief making of clip. (via Colossal Submissions)

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When standing next to the Earth in the scale model, the orb representing the sun appears exactly the same size as the actual sun.

18 Sep 08:22

This is How People Lie About Their Lives on Instagram

by Michael Zhang
Andreas Aronsson

People tell me I need to learn how to Instagram, because that's what people use to look at photos and it's NOT FACEBOOK! Apparently.

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Bangkok, Thailand-based photographer Chompoo Baritone recently created a clever series of images that pokes fun at how Instagram users often use carefully framed photos to make their lives seem more glamorous or exciting than they actually are.

Each of the photos in the series shows a picture-perfect Instagram snap, except we get to see the less-perfect world outside the little frame. The project is titled “#slowlife.”

#macbook #workspace #goodmorning #room #minimal

#macbook #workspace #goodmorning #room #minimal

#cactus #hipster #tree

#cactus #hipster #tree

#happy #sunday #sky #morning

#happy #sunday #sky #morning

#bike

#bike

#happy #sunday #funday #tennis

#happy #sunday #funday #tennis

#healthyfood #foodie #lifestyle #realfood

#healthyfood #foodie #lifestyle #realfood

#thailand #chillout #alone

#thailand #chillout #alone

You can find the #slowlife project over on Facebook in this album on Baritone’s page.

(via Chompoo Baritone via Photoblog.hk)

16 Sep 22:09

Iceland’s Epic Landscapes from a Drone’s-Eye View

by Michael Zhang
Andreas Aronsson

Friggin nuts landscape...

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Back in July, Polish landscape photographer Jakub Polomski spent two weeks traveling around Iceland and shooting aerial photographs with his DJI Phantom 3 Advanced camera drone. The resulting photographs are gorgeous.

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Polomski drove a total of 4000 kilometers (nearly 2,500 miles), both on the coastline and in the interior.

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“Iceland is unique land, says Polomski. “Some locations look really abstract in the bird’s eye view.”

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All the photographs you see in this post were captured by the Phantom’s 12-megapixel onboard camera.

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Back in 2012, we shared a series of photos by Polomski showing mountain climbers dwarfed by the Alps. You can find more of the photographer’s work on his website, including the rest of this Iceland series.


Image credits: Photographs by Jakub Polomski and used with permission

10 Sep 19:18

Wi-Fi Energy: Tesla’s Wireless Dream Now Powerful Reality

by admin
[ Filed under Science & in the Energy & Power category ]

wifi device wireless charging

Wireless charging has just made a huge new leap, thanks to researchers who have demonstrated that existing Wi-Fi infrastructure can be used to power devices remotely, including battery-free technology or rechargeable lithium-ion, coin-cell batteries, at a range of up 28 feet or more.

Shyam Gollakota worked with a group of University of Washington researchers on PoWiFi, their latest breakthrough demonstration using ambient backscatter radio signals to power devices. The trick to consistent energy: getting existing routers to send out RF signals that are then converted into DC power and voltage-adjusted for the use case.

wifi phone charger

Their paper on Powering the Next Billion Devices with Wi-Fi expands on the implications of their work and the near-future potential for global wireless power, the key being: usage of existing infrastructure to save time and costs.

From the team at the U of W: “More recently researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of powering sensors and devices in the far field using RF signals from TV [46, 36] and cellular [55, 44] base stations. This is exciting, because in addition to enabling power delivery at farther distances, RF signals can be used to simultaneously charge multiple devices due to their broadcast nature.”

wifi free radio energy

More on their work: “Ambient Backscatter transforms existing wireless signals into both a source of power and a communication medium. It enables two battery-free devices to communicate by backscattering existing wireless signals. Backscatter communication is orders of magnitude more power-efficient than traditional radio communication. Further, since it leverages the ambient RF signals that are already around us, it does not require a dedicated power infrastructure as in RFID.”


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03 Sep 13:06

xkcd Survey

Andreas Aronsson

Do eeeeet...

The xkcd Survey: Big Data for a Big Planet
27 Aug 22:14

ReelSteady Aims to Take Video Stabilization Software to the Next Level

by Michael Zhang
Andreas Aronsson

Crazy stuff, even if they say it's mostly for static scenes, they included a moving ocean with surfers on it, hmm?

For the past few years, video effects specialist Robert McIntosh and another buddy of his have been working on creating a better way for consumers to stabilize video footage. What they’ve developed is a proprietary video stabilization program called ReelSteady. The first consumer version of the software just launched today.

“A lot of people have been asking me how I get my videos to look the way they do,” McIntosh writes. “The answer is not heavy gimbals, or balancing props, or special PID settings. It’s this video stabilization software here. It really does work that good.”

The 2-minute video above is a look at the software’s ability to stabilize shaky and borderline unusable clips.

eelsteady

“One of major selling points is that you can finally stabilize GoPro footage the right way,” McIntosh tells PetaPixel. “We can’t wait to see what the world is going to do with this.”

Here’s a before-and-after comparison showing what ReelSteady was able to do with a drone shot of a surfer (you can find more examples in this gallery):

Here’s another comparison with drone footage from an amusement park:

According to the FAQ, ReelSteady works best when there aren’t many moving objects in the scene. “The camera can be moving all over the place, but you don’t want the things in your scene to be moving,” the company says. “If your shot contains little or none of these features ReelSteady may not produce favorable results.”

Features of the software include advanced rolling shutter removal, built-in lens distortion correction, adjustable smoothness value, your choice between static or dynamically animated cropped results, custom output resolution, re-stabilize duration tool for refining problem areas, masking tools for guiding stabilization, the saving and loading of presets, and default presets for GoPro footage.

ReelSteady can be preordered for $399 for After Effects. Placing the preorder automatically gives you free access to the current beta version of the software. There’s also a 30-day free trial that’s fully functional but carries a watermark.

27 Aug 19:06

This Guy Gives Zero F*cks When a Drone Spots Him Sunbathing on the Top of a Wind Turbine

Andreas Aronsson

I get friggin chills just seeing this, nerves of steel or madness incorporated.

Submitted by: (via News Time)

26 Aug 20:39

Edelkrone QuickReleaseONE Claims to be the World’s First Universal Quick Release

by Michael Archambault
Andreas Aronsson

This is genius, they're definitely cashing in on their idea :P A bit too pricey for what it is... but perhaps it has... quality.

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If you constantly move your camera from one device to another in the course of your work, you may have experienced the annoyance and inconvenience of different manufacturers offering different plate designs. What they generally have in common, however, is the same standard tripod screw. The folks at Edelkrone used this fact to create the QuickReleaseONE, which the company claims is the world’s first universal quick release for switching between plates.

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At the heart of most tripod plates sits the standard 1/4”-20 screw that connects to your camera. The QuickReleaseONE takes advantage of this commonality by designing a mechanism that can easy screw on and off theses mounting points. No longer will you have to worry about losing a tripod’s plate – just leave it attached. The QuickReleaseONE sits on your camera and does the work to get you attached to any tripod with a 1/4” screw mount.

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According to the folks at Edelkrone, the QuickReleaseONE can switch between devices in only three seconds — great for photographers in fields in which every fraction of a second counts. The mechanism is designed with durable materials and can be used with only one hand. You can even place the QuickReleaseONE’s lever in any position you desire, so there is no worry about trapping your battery or SD card within your camera.

Here’s a short video that introduces the QuickReleaseONE:

The QuickReleaseONE can currently be ordered from Edelkrone’s website for $139 and takes around two weeks to ship. Is the cost worth the convenience? We’ll let you decide.

(via Edelkrone via Cinema5D)

26 Aug 20:20

8 Comics Illustrating What Life is Like For Introverts

list,gifs,Awkward,Party,introverts


Being together with other introverts is hard, so sometimes it's best to just witness examples and experiences of the drive of introversion through the format of web comics. Bask in your cat cave, or blanket fortress at other's social aversions.

Submitted by:

Tagged: list , gifs , Awkward , Party , introverts
18 Aug 08:07

A Ziggurat of Mirrors by Shirin Abedinirad Connects the Sky and Ground in Sydney

by Christopher Jobson

mirror-pyramid-1

Artist Shirin Abedinirad (previously) just completed work on her latest sculpture, Mirrored Ziggurat, a pyramid of mirrors resting near a bay in Sydney, Australia as part of the Underbelly Arts Festival. Like her earlier mirror works, the Iranian artist is fascinated by stitching the sky to the ground (or vice versa, depending on your perspective) to create unusual optical illusions from almost every viewing angle. From her statement about the piece:

In this installation I have been inspired by the pyramidal structure of Ziggurat, a common form of temple in ancient Mesopotamia, attempting to connect earth and sky, so humans could be nearer to god. The Mirrored Ziggurat acts as a staircase, which seeks to connect nature with human beings and to create union of ancient history and today’s world. This installation offers a transformative view of the self.

You can see more views of the installation as well as a video on her website.

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