Archive for category Photography & Images
We walked over the bridge in Wappingers Falls on our way to a play:
As always, we paused near the center to admire the view (clicky for more dots):
That’s from the PixelXL, braced on the bridge wall, facing downstream toward the Hudson River.
A dot-for-dot crop of the penstock, showing off the RGB LED garland:
Contrary to what you might think, the gorge underfoot appeared almost black to the eye, particularly against the glare from the floodlights, so the HDR works very well:
The JPG compression on those images doesn’t materially affect the results; the original image has most of the artifacts.
The EXIF information:
The “1/10 s shutter speed” probably has very little to do with any physical event. AFAICT, the Pixel camera records 30 images/s for the on-screen preview, then uses various images before-and-after the shutter click for motion compensation and HDR processing. If so, “1/10 s” corresponds to three images.
I had the Pixel location tracking in “battery saving” mode with the GPS turned off:
In reality, the bridge is about 90 feet above sea level. The “GPS Time Stamp” and, presumably, the date, use UTC. We’re in UTC-4, with Daylight Saving Time in full effect, so we were comfortably early for the 8 PM show.
The camera doesn’t produce DSLR-with-big-glass quality images, but it fits in my pocket and it’s better than my old Canon SX-230HS for most purposes.
The best way to get a pure, non-reflective black uses optics, not pigments:
The shiny steel blades reflect light just fine, but the reflections have no way back out of the gap between adjacent edges: the angle of reflection always points away from you and the incoming light.
I always admire the blackness when I open that box.
Yes, I’m a member of the Society of the Easily Amused.
By August 2, a pair of caterpillars had hatched and grew to 3 mm:
A day later, they were 4 mm long:
They really were sort of blue-ish with green hints:
By August 9, one had had more mature coloration:
The other caterpillar had vanished; we assume it got out of the aquarium and wandered off.
Apparently, the front end of the caterpillar (at the bottom of the picture) has a hard windshield reflecting the ring of LEDs around the camera lens. The caterpillar eats its skin after each molting, except for the windshield:
We kept fresh milkweed branches in a vase and the caterpillar ate almost continuously:
By August 15, the caterpillar was ready for the next stage in its life. At 10 in the morning it had attached itself to the screen covering the aquarium and assumed the position:
It transformed into a chrysalis by 5:30 PM:
The discarded skin remained loosely attached until I carefully removed it.
What look like small yellow spots are actually a striking metallic gold color.
Eleven days later, on August 26 at 9 AM, the chrysalis suddenly became transparent:
The shape of the butterfly becomes visible in reflected light:
The gold dots and line remained visible.
The magic happened at 3 PM:
The compacted wings emerge intense orange on the top and lighter orange on the bottom:
The butterfly took most of the day to unfurl and stiffen its wings into flat plates:
By 8 PM it began exploring the aquarium:
As adults, they sip nectar from flowers, but don’t feed for the first day, so we left it in the aquarium overnight.
At 10 AM on August 27, we transported it to the goldenrod in the garden, where it immediately began tanking operations:
A few minutes later, it began sun-warming operations:
Mary watched it while she was tending the garden and, an hour or so later, saw it take off and fly over the house in a generally southwest direction. It will cross half the continent under a geas prohibiting any other action, eventually overwinter in Mexico with far too few of its compadres, then die after producing the eggs for a generation beginning the northward journey next year.
Godspeed, little butterfly, godspeed …
In the spirit of “video or it didn’t happen”, there’s a 15 fps movie of the emergence taken at 5 s/image.
An array of tiny eggs appeared on the outside of our bedroom window:
The patch measures 12 mm across and 14 mm tall. From across the room, it looks like a smudge, but it consists of hundreds of eggs, each on a tiny stalk glued to the glass:
The bottom image is two days later than the top one, both are scaled to about the same size and contrast. The critters look about the same, although I think the lines have more prominent ripples or bumps.
We have no idea what they’ll turn into, but they certainly look like they have two eyes and wings …
As usual, we’re at the Rt 55 end of Burnett Blvd, returning home from a grocery trip; I’m hauling two full bags of chow in the trailer. The white car pulling up immediately to our left will make a left turn from the left lane:
The more distant white car, turning left out of Overocker, is eases past us in the right lane to make a right turn:
We’re on the left side of the right lane, rather than the right, to avoid right hook collisions with drivers who flat-out do not stop before turning. Been there, had that happen, we know better.
The car approaching in the right lane will attempt to pass us on the right:
That’s happened before, too, so I’m watching this happen in my mirror. My line will pass to the right of the inconveniently placed manhole cover in the intersection:
Mary’s nearing the right side of the lane, I’m in the middle, and the driver jams to a stop rather than run up over the sidewalk:
The passenger window is rolling down, which is always a Bad Sign:
It’s all the way down and I know what’s about to happen:
So I preempt the discussion by pointing out she was passing in an intersection and the license plate on the silver Chevy say FEX-4194:
She passes Mary and stops directly ahead of us in the middle of the right-hand lane. We jam to a stop behind her. The black car approaching us swerves into the middle lane:
She pulls around the corner onto Manchester and stops in the intersection. I stop well behind her to remain visible from Rt 55, which turns out to be a Good Idea:
Mary eases beside the drivers window, which rolls down. The driver says she’s going to call the police, “because we pulled directly in front of her”. Mary points out we have video of the entire encounter. The window rolls up and the driver pulls away.
Overocker, Burnett, and a short sprint on Rt 55 to Manchester is the only route from the grocery store to Rt 376 and home, so it’s not like we’re looking for trouble.
No helmet camera video, alas, because I tried those piece-of-crap Wasabi batteries in the Sony HDR-AS30V and the second one was flat-out dead. The first one, in the camera when I left home, showed empty after the half-hour ride to the grocery store, so they really are junk; “Premium Japanese cells” my foot.
I set the Sony HDR-AS30V atop a tripod, told it to take photos at 5 second intervals, then stitched the images into a Youtube video. It won’t go viral, but watching the spider construct her web over the course of two hours was fascinating.
She finishes the spiral at about 1 m video = 1.25 h real time, settles down for what might be a nap (it’s hard to tell with spiders), and has an insect join her for supper at 1:28, half an hour later. Spiders go from “inert” to “death incoming” almost instantly, even in real time running.
Another orb weaver set up shop in the adjacent window, but moved out the next day. Perhaps there’s a minimum spacing requirement?
Two more orb weavers guard windows in the kitchen and laundry room. We sometimes leave the lights on for them.
YouTube has other web-building videos with far more detail, of course.
The magic incantation to create the video from a directory of images in the form
sn=1 ; for f in *JPG ; do printf -v dn 'dsc%04d.jpg' "$(( sn++ ))" ; mv $f $dn ; done ffmpeg -r 15 -i /mnt/video/2017-09-03/100MSDCF/dsc%04d.jpg -q 1 Orb-Weaving-2017-09-03.mp4
The Pixel’s camera shows a black stripe across both the live preview and the final image:
That’s under the high-intensity LED lamp on my desk, which must have a high-frequency flicker. I’m amazed the camera remains in absolutely stable sync with the flicker for as long as I’m willing to aim it.
The stripe covers only the moth and greenery, not the LCD monitor in the background, so it’s caused by the overhead lamp, not something internal to the Pixel or its camera.
A closer look shows shading on either side of the deepest black (clicky for more dots):
The stripe location and width differ based on the image zoom level, although in no predictable way:
The Pixel camera definitely doesn’t have optical zoom, so it’s surely related to the scaling applied to convert the physical sensor array into the final image. Even though all images have 4048×3036 pixels (or the other way around, at least for these portrait-layout pix), zoomed images get made-up (pronounced “interpolated”) data in their pixels.
Not a problem under any other illumination I’ve encountered so far, so it’s likely something to do with this specific and relatively old LED lamp.