Daily Archives: Sunday, 28th Oct 2007

And back again

Weight back up, that is. Just the usual daily fluctuation thingy, combined with having a relaxed weekend, I’m sure.

Talking of things going back, last night was the end of British Summer Time, which seems a little unfair, as we didn’t really get much of a summer this year. And it’s that twice-yearly reminder of how many timekeeping devices we all have. And of how many of them are capable of sorting this nonsense out for themselves. I’m pleased to say that my new clock radio did reset itself correctly while I was asleep. Computers are pretty good at that sort of thing, too, but various other timers and clocks had to be adjusted manually. Fun.

On the bright side, this does mean that the week off I’m just beginning includes an extra hour free! Bargain! :grin:

Department of silly headlines

I’ve just seen a BBC news report about an auction of meteorites taking place in New York. It’s quite a nice report, with some interesting details about some of the items being sold. But it lets itself down a bit with the headline:

Space rocks go under the hammer

Ummmm, wouldn’t that, well, break them? :laugh:


Here’s another view of the geode that I mentioned recently.



This time, I put a light behind the light tent. This shone through the geode, showing off the fine structure of the white area. I used a diffused flash to brighten the coloured part, and took the photograph with the macro lens at maximum aperture, which turned the background into a uniform white area, which is exactly what I was after.


Yes, I’m still playing with the light tent. I’ve got lots more experiments to carry out[1], but this is one I couldn’t resist. I bought the plasma ball quite a few years ago and occasionally turn it on when I feel like I need to be in Mad Scientist mode. To get this image, I put it in the light tent with a black backdrop in place, and waited for it to get dark enough for there to be no daylight reflecting off the ball.

Mad? Me?

Mad? Me?

I then tried a few different exposures and settings before deciding that this was an occasion that demanded full manual control of the 30D. I normally shoot in aperture priority mode[2], with an occasional venture into exposure priority[3] if I’m trying to take pictures of fast moving objects. but in this case, with a relatively bright light in a dark room, the automagic stuff was getting a wee bit confused. Well, confused enough to not quite get the effect I wanted, so I had to play around a bit, which was fun.

What I wanted was to capture the movement of the streamers of light without getting them too blurred. If the exposure was too short, they ended up looking thin and weedy, too long and it just looked messy. This one was somewhere in the middle, and I think it works pretty well.

To avoid camera shake and potential damage to either my toys or my person while doing this in the dark, I had the camera mounted on my tripod, and used the cable release. More photographic fun will follow…

[1] Insert 1930s horror movie music here
[2] That’s with the dial set to Av, for those with clever cameras who haven’t read the manual :laugh:
[3] Tv for the baffled

Leonardo in extreme close-up

Now this is some seriously impressive photography. Haltadefinizione offers a 16 gigapixel image of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, which you can scroll around and zoom in and in and in and in and in, to a level of detail you wouldn’t see in real life unless you had your nose pressed against it and had really good close vision. And quite possibly not even then.

The work is a composite of 1,677 photographs taken under highly controlled lighting conditions and taken with a Nikon D2Xs camera fitted with a high quality 600mm lens. Lots of processing power went into creating the composite, which works very well indeed.

As the BBC report mentions, this incredibly close view makes it dreadfully clear how badly damaged the painting is by the ravages of time and pollution.