Tag Archives: photoshop
August 31, 2006

Alpine Lake Panorama

Alpine Lake Panorama

Purchase a Print

Last year Oksana and I observed Memorial Day with a few of our friends on the bank of the Taku River . It was a great weekend spent hiking, canoeing, and hiding in the cabin from bloodthirsty mosquitoes. My toy for the weekend was a new digital SLR that arrived in the mail just hours before our departure; I barely had enough time to charge the battery. I put it through its paces that weekend, though, coming close to filing the 1GB card.

On our second day there, our group decided to hike up the side of a mountain. Our goal was to have lunch on the shore of a beautiful lake where we would reward ourselves for navigating the steep, pathless trail alongside some raging river. It became a murderous death march of a hike that only gets worse with each retelling.

The mosquitoes denied us any rest breaks and the lake was still so full of snowmelt that there was no accessible shoreline — the water came right up to the trunks of the encroaching trees. After that legendary climb, new camera in hand, I wouldn’t be denied. While everyone else helped construct a tiny, smoky fire to keep the mosquitoes at bay, I fought my way down to the edge of the water and sacrificed a dry hiking boot so that I could step out onto a partially submerged rock.

I quickly set my exposure and focus points and started taking pictures. It took 40 frames to cover the entire lake, and if the mosquitoes hadn’t found my near-motionless arms and face around shot #10, I probably wouldn’t have missed the extra coverage on the bottom right. Still, I was pleasantly surprised to see the results when I stitched all 40 photos into a panorama.

Canon Digital Rebel XT
Date: 28 May 2005
Focal Length: 18mm
Shutter: 1/640 second
Aperture: F/5.6
Photoshop: Autostitch for stitching, cloning in upper left to fill in tree branches

More on the software I used after the jump:

November 11, 2005

Green Card

Oksana\'s Green Card PhotoA continuation of this journal.

You’d think that, 38 months after our wedding, we would be all through with the expenses. Not true, when you marry an alien.

Oksana has been keeping an eye on the calendar and, back in February, it was time for her to submit another INS form. Her temporary green card (i.e., her permission to work in the U.S.) was about to expire and she needed to apply for the permanent extension. We fired up the internet, sussed out the appropriate I-551 form, and started to compile the appropriate paperwork. We wrote a check for the form submission fee ($200!) and packaged it up in an envelope with 20 pages of supporting documents. It was mailed off to Anchorage on February 3rd ($4.30).

A couple months later, we received notification that our paperwork was in process – that was a good thing, because Oksana’s temporary green card would have expired in May.

In late August we received another letter from the Anchorage INS office informing us that her petition for a permanent green card (for the INS, permanent apparently means “ten years”) had been approved and that she only need to do a couple things to make it official.

Step One: Provide three passport-sized photos.
Step Two: Submit the photos. In person… at the Anchorage office.

October 31, 2005


Abstract-but close up!Back in September, I ran across a website that had a tutorial for making Post-it note mosaics. I didn’t even read it, just skimmed it long enough to realize that they used Photoshop for their pre-process trickery. I knew I could do what they had done; I wanted to do what they had done. But where? And more importantly, why? National Boss Day! I work in a lively office and I knew that something like this would go over well. I looked up National Boss Day (a Hallmark holiday if ever there was one) on the internet and discovered that it wasn’t until October 16th (ironically, a Sunday). I placed a little squiggly mark on my calendar; something to remind me. The week before the 16th rolled around, I called a coworker to see if they’d be interested in spending Sunday night arranging thousands of Post-its on a wall in our boss’s office. I asked him because he had a key. Although he thought the idea was great, he mentioned a small problem: On Saturday night, both he and the boss were getting on a plane bound for Orlando. They’d be spending the entire week at the EDUCAUSE conference. What to do, what to do. Why, take advantage of the boss’s absence and bring the whole department into it, of course! That week, I set myself to work. There was much to do. (more…)

May 5, 2005

Photoblog: Dead yet Strangely Effective

Mendenhall Glacier Panorama
Last month I made my first sale from my photoblog site.

Or, if you want to get technical about it, I made my first sale back in January.

Let’s go back to the real beginning. April 1st, 2004 was the day I posted the first image to my photoblog. The weeks leading up to that foolish day, I had been struggling mightily with the Greymatter software, trying to wring some sort of decent design out of it. I was happy with the final results, but the weekly process of uploading a new picture was, to put it simply, a pain in the ass. Lots of html code, lots of writing, lots of image preparation.

Still, I enjoyed doing it. I kept it up, posting one image a week, all the through late October. I wish I could blame the end-of-posting on the back-to-back business trips I took in late October and early November, but really, it was just another case of blog burnout.

So, there the site sat, forever displaying on the main page the last uploaded photo. Neglected but not forgotten – you can tell by the way I categorized the site on my main page’s redesigned index: “Optimistically Updated.”

And then, late in March, Oksana decided to start work on our taxes. While sifting through our small business’ records for the previous year, she encountered a suspect PayPal charge for $18. I didn’t know what it was off the top of my head, so while she looked over my shoulder, I logged into my account and checked its history. Problem solved.

Before I logged out, I noticed something – a balance in my account for 280-some dollars. What the heck? I followed some links and discovered that someone had placed an order for the Mendenhall Glacier Panorama print from my website almost two months prior!

May 28, 2004

Once Upon a Time on a Dark and Stormy Night

Sample After Effects Composition Window (25k image)The video club of which I’m a part has been working lately on finishing some of our first-year projects. One of them, entitled Once Upon a Time on a Dark and Stormy Night, is worth mentioning simply because I’ve invested such a large amount of time in it recently.

In our first year, we adopted a certain operation for our club. Each month, a new member would step up and offer up their own idea for a project. That person would often take on the role of writer/director and the group would rally around them and offer whatever help they could on the day of the shoot. Other responsibilities, especially those that require work outside of shoot dates, would invariably arise, but essentially, participation for most people would amount to an evening planning meeting and a daylong production schedule.

Every project will also have the typical post-production editing, audio, and music related tasks associated with it. What makes Once Upon a Time on a Dark and Stormy Night different is the amount of time we’re putting into extra effects.

Amelia Jenkins is the proud owner of Once Upon a Time on a Dark and Stormy Night and from the beginning she visualized it as animated. We discussed doing stop-frame animation, claymation, and the like, but ended up discarding those ideas because we suspected that they would be too time consuming. I suggested that we plan a normal shoot and use a combination of digital effects in post-production to achieve the animated look-and-feel she was after. Although I haven’t seen the movie Waking Life, I did read up online about how the director supervised the post-processing of the film. I was confident that, after the shoot was behind us, we could find something that would work.