Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Category archive: Photography

Thursday February 26 2015

This is cool, says Instapundit, and he’s not wrong:

For all his joie de vivre, Jardine is a master drone builder and pilot whose skills have produced remarkable footage for shows like Australian Top Gear, the BBC’s Into the Volcano, and a range of music videos. His company Aerobot sells camera-outfitted drones, including custom jobs that require unique specifications like, say, the capacity to lift an IMAX camera. From a sprawling patch of coastline real estate in Queensland, Australia, Jardine builds, tests, and tweaks his creations; the rural tranquility is conducive to a process that may occasionally lead to unidentified falling objects.

Simply put, if you’ve got a drone flying challenge, Jardine is your first call.

So, Mr Jardine is now flying his flying robots over volcanoes.  There are going to be lots of calls to have these things entirely banned, but they are just too useful for that to happen.

When I was a kid and making airplanes out of balsa wood and paper, powered with rubber band propellers, I remember thinking that such toys were potentially a lot more than mere toys.  I’m actually surprised at how long it has taken for this to be proved right.

What were the recent developments that made useful drones like Jardine’s possible?  It is down to the power-to-weight ratio of the latest mini-engines?  I tried googling “why drones work”, but all I got was arguments saying that it’s good to use drones to kill America’s enemies, not why they are now usable for such missions.

Monday February 16 2015

Incoming from 6k, with apologies for taking so long to post it:

Re your Bayeux Tapestry post, please find attached a 500x18px copy of that very wide/long (9917px) version on the site you linked to.

image

Would a photo thinned to 18px in height be a record for BrianMicklethwaitDotCom?

Probably.

For some idiot reason, when I first came across the big image, sideways scrollable, at that site liked to above, I couldn’t seem to manage to download the image, and gave up, hence my request.  All I got was the entire page.  Just now I tried it again, and succeeded at once.  That kind of thing often happens with me.  6K mentioned a resizing site.  But of course, resizing images is something I do all the time, with my regular photoshop-clone.  My problem was not having the image file in the first place. (I now realise that I did download the image, several times.  I just didn’t realise where it had gone.  That also happens to me a lot.)

6k also mentions another Bayeux Tapestry sighting he recently made, of bits of it redone with Lego.

Saturday February 14 2015

First, the BMdotcom headline of the day:

Ukrainian Army Using 3D Printed Drones To Battle Pro-Russian Separatists As Cease-fire Nears

These drones are being used to “monitor”, not for bombing or shooting.  Nevertheless, interesting.

In other drone photography news, have a look at the new Apple Headquarters, as it takes shape.  This particular movie seems to be friendly, so to speak.  Apple would appear to have agreed to it.  But what of drone photos and drone movies that are not so friendly?

I first realised that drones would be a big deal when I saw one (with a camera attached) in a London shop window.

Wednesday February 11 2015

One of the better kept secrets of the popular entertainment industry of the modern world is how very good certain people are at faking reality, with quite small but very well made models.  Thoughtless people say they can always spot such fakery.  But the truth is that they only spot what they spot.  What they don’t spot, they don’t spot.  Obvious, if you think about it.  The same principle applies to things like men wearing wigs.  We can only see them when they are done badly.

So, I’m guessing that not everyone in Hollywood will be pleased about the internet presence of this guy, who contrives pictures like this ...:

image

… by doing this:

image

I found out about Michael Paul Smith from this Colossal posting, which is also where I got the above photos.

Much of the success of such fakery is to do with the camera being in the right place.  In particular, it needs to be low enough to see things from the same angle that a human would see them if the scene was real.

I remember first working this out when, as a kid, I went through a model railway magazine phase, a craze I caught from my best friend just a few doors away in Harvest Road, Englefield Green.  Most of the pictures in those magazines were obviously of models, but this was not because the models were always badly made.  It was because the camera was looking down on the scene, just as you do when you are looking at a model.  On the few occasions when the photographer would take the trouble to get his camera at real eye level, so to speak, it was amazing how realistic everything could suddenly look.

By the same token, and being only an occasional flyer, I have never yet tired of the thrill of looking down at the ground, preferably at built-up areas, from an airplane in the process of taking off or landing.  Everything looks like toys.  Really, really well made toys.  Your frequent flyers have got used to the idea that this is really just boring old reality, seen from above.  But to me, what I see from an airplane is something totally different from reality.  It is an entire world, painstakingly faked in miniature, for my personal entertainment.

Monday February 09 2015

Me having written here about Anish Kapoor, he of the Big Olympic Thing, someone today emailed me about an art website which includes him.  None of the pictures of Kapoors at that place strike me as very interesting.  Certainly not nearly as interesting as the Big Olympic Thing, or as interesting as The Bean.  So instead I googled for other Kapoor imagery, and found this rather excellent Kapoor photograph, of him posing in front of one of his creations, outside the Royal Academy, in London, in 2009:

image

Click on that photo to get a bigger version, which I recommend doing.

What I (of course) like is that you can see the little clutch of photographers, including (of course) the photographer who took this photograph, in the photograph.

Friday February 06 2015

Pride of place in David Thompson’s ephemera today, and pride of place this Friday at Bmdotcom, goes to the cat who changed her mind.  She stepped out, with just the one paw.  She pawsed.  Paw cold cat!  She pawed cold water on the original plan and retreated back into the warm.

In other cat news: Why cats like to hide in boxes.  It’s because they like to hide.  They’re not good at conflict resolution.

So rather than work things out, cats are more inclined to simply run away from their problems or avoid them altogether. A box, in this sense, can often represent a safe zone, a place where sources of anxiety, hostility, and unwanted attention simply disappear.

I’m not the only one doing frightful cat puns.  Belfast Telegraph headline:

Why Cats is still not feline its age after thirty years in the limelight

Guardian headline:

Cats take centre stage at Perth’s first internet cat video festival

More cat news from Oz, this time transport related.  Brisbane Times headline:

Uber delivers cats on demand with UberKittens

Finally, the New York Times reports on work by Professor Matthew Ehrlich on the history of media coverage of cats.  From the Ehrlich’s abstract:

This article critically examines the Times’ cat tales in the context of the cultural history of journalism and the academic study of human–animal relations, also known as anthrozoology. Trends and themes in the coverage indicate that cats have been used and portrayed as commodities, heroes, villains, victims, women’s best friends, and urban symbols. The stories demonstrate how and why animal news should be taken seriously by journalism scholars. Not only does it offer insight into our evolving relationships with animals, it also provides a provocative means of thinking about where journalism has been and where it is heading.

Critically examines?  He just wants to get lots of internet mentions.  This is mere academic postmoggyism.

Time to stop.

Thursday January 29 2015

Number 11 of these:

image

The trick was to get really close.

One of David Thompson’s latest clutch of ephemera.  He just keeps them coming.

Monday January 19 2015

This posting is a bit of an experiment, because the two pictures embedded in it may not be small enough, to start with, and may have to be made smaller, after all those of you who hang on my every posting, and see it immediately, have seen it immediately.  Also, I want to put them on both sides of the posting, and that may not work either.  So, patience everyone, and be ready to endure graphic juggling, because these are the kind of things that my posting software is bad at showing me.  I have to see evertything in situ, to be sure.

imageimageSo, to get to the point, what this is about is the way that very small pictures sometimes look quite different to the exact same pictures, but larger, a theme also explored in this posting. And the idea is that the two pictures will go, on the left and on the right, at the top of this paragraph.  De-dum de-dum de-dum, computer crap computer crap.  Well, touch wood, this is working.  There was a bit of fiddling with the instructions about putting pictures on the right or on the left, but I finally cracked that and made it happen.

The point of all this is that the pictures, when small, look quite similar.  The only very obvious difference is that on the left there are rather more verticals in the railings to be seen.  But click on the pictures and get them ten times larger, and you will see that the focussing is quite different.  In the one on the left, the railings are the front are in focus and the Shard is barely discernible behind them.  On the right, the big picture shows the Shard quite clearly while the railings are very blurry.  Okay, the small pictures are not identical, and alert viewers may have detected the very difference that I say is so unclear in the small pictures, but the small pictures are much more similar to each other than the large ones are.

One of the many morals to be drawn from this is that the bigger the screen on your camera is the better, because the bigger the picture, the easier it is to tell exactly what that picture looks like.  This is yet another reason why people who take pictures with tablets, the cameras with the biggest screens of all, are being very sensible.  They are the ones who know exactly what they are getting, exactly when they are getting it.

In the end, the only cock-up that early readers were subjected to was that in the heading, I at first put that the Shard was in front of the railings rather than behind them.

Two pictures of the Shard behind some railings
Hand done photos
Another place to look out over London from
Golden Gate being built – Severn Road Bridge ditto – C20 photography – Hitler’s paintings
The wrong kind of cranes
Old Quimper Cathedral
Don’t mention The Wires!
I’m an adjective!
Photo-drone wars to come
My digital photos on his TV
I finally did something for Samizdata
To Tower Bridge: Shadow selfie – Peace memorial – Big Things old and new
Photographed flatness that doesn’t look flat
Why I am a point-and-shoot photographer rather than a Real Photographer
And now a photo-drone in a London shop window
MDL and DPD delivered what they promised but were wrong about me having to be there to sign for it
Skycam
Another facade being carefully preserved
Not about cats
65x zoom!!!
Tate cat
Bright buildings in front of dark sky
Parisian roof clutter gets the Real Photographer treatment
A swimming pool in a skyscraper
Umbrellas!
My favourite Tour de France in London photo
Colossal fun
More Big Things from the Oval
Big Things from high up at the Oval
Big Things in the sunset
Cashing a cheque by photoing it
Why aren’t people happier about amazing new stuff?
Hartley waterlily
GARBAGE SHED AND JUMP INTO THE SEA IS PROHIBITED
I need a new passport but just now passports are a problem
Another London vista
Tower Bridge before it got covered in stone
A Real Photographer does a shadow selfie
Organised water
Moving picture
Homer Simpson on Thames
Pictures of soon-to-be-built London Big Things
Jiaozhou Bay Bridge (aka Spaghetti Junction on Sea)
Mark Littlewood photoed by me and by this other guy
Spot the owl
Lego bridge in Germany
Green screen blue screen
A selfie taken in 1955 - another taken in 2014 - another being taken in 2014
Feline ephemera
A Bitcoin vending machine and a Lego photographer (and a Lego Hawking)
Colour photography
Omaha dead
Vladivostock from above
Temporary art made of brightly dressed people
London’s Big Things from Alexandra Palace
6k quota photo of sea
Good question
Photoing the A380 from above – from the ground
Please help me buy a new computer screen
Sandcastles that will live for ever
Dencity
The Tate Modern extension nears completion
The text of my talk for Christian Michel last night
Making sense of digital photography
Digital photography as telepathy
Nowadays a picture is no longer worth a thousand words
I’m not the only one who suffers from rightward lean
Michael Jennings photoes Cape Bojador
The Kelpies of Falkirk
Polish girls in Moscow doing a selfie
Sidwell (and me) on selfies
Michael Jennings photos the bridges of Porto
Crows nest made of coat hangers
A photo of a photograph
Relocating the Porto bridge
Rob Fisher on old things not looking old
Wedding photography - old and new
Hampers can be annoying
A Strutton Ground shop and a Strutton Ground pub
TIL
The Heron Tower restaurant
Two favourite photos from September 5th
Morgan – Abbey reflected in Morgan – Abbey reflected in other cars
Huge semi-submersible ships
Edwin is a bad person
Photoing each other - and photoing stuff in the canal
Baltimore: cranes - a bridge - scaffolding
London Gateway from above
Chicago sunset
Bridges for animals
A fake feline photo and a faltering feline enumerator
Wedding photography (7): Evening
I love it that the parents are called Susan and Freddie
There are cranes and there are cranes
Spot the Samsung connection
Wedding photography (6): The Wedding and the Reception
Wedding photography (5): Photography!
Phablet news
Pictures from Georgia and Warsaw
Bookshops as Amazon showrooms
Rothko Toast
Wedding photography (3): Technology as sculpture
Google Nexus 4 photos
A Fleet Street lunch
So painters also used to “take” pictures
Hong Kong housing that looks like abstract art
Art without Artists
Panoramic view of London from the top of the BT Tower
Alastair James on Blythe Hill Fields and smartphones
Michael Jennings - pictures of globalisation
Photoing people who are photoing food
Doing libertarian business at the Libertarian Home social
Talking architecture at the Libertarian Home social
New crane up
Is Samizdata in danger of becoming a photo-blog?
Christmas Eve feast
Multilingual botanical gardens in Cyprus
Crusader latrines
An earlier tablet photographer
Michael Jennings on why iPad photoing is not ridiculous
Here are (a lot) more photos that I took on March 27th
Photographing Kreod
A memorable scoreboard surrounded by empty seats
“I just came across this fascinating photo …”
Usain Bolt takes photos of photographers!
Another excellent spot to photo London from
Dream and reality in Mumbai
What’s up with that?
Flat cat
Birds
This is transport
Viaduct from above
University of California chickens coming home to roost?
Kazakhstan landscape
Rainbow Bridge
Today I’m in a “How very odd!” mood
Street social services management integrated command sub-centres
Ancient and modern (but mostly ancient) cars in Regent Street yesterday
Or maybe this will be my final camera
Another reason to like Colorado
I think I may have found my final camera
Camera-equipped sunglasses
Quimper cat on Harley-Davidson
Choosing a Clean Food Outlet in Lawas is as easy as ABC
Health and safety on a mountain in Borneo
Five pictures of me
Lion steals camera
A photo taken of a taken photo of the photo being taken
Multilingual signage
Signs from the Frenchosphere
Sexy beasts
Collision photo
Big crane
BrianMicklethwaitDotCom not threatened by the end of the Big Thing Boom
Paris signage
Another Assembly of Men
Shostakovich with cat
Gormley’s South Bank Men
Kyrgyzstan cemetery and awesome frogs
Mmmmm … scaffolding!
Quota photo by someone else
Raptor not being very stealthy
Sportsmanship by us – bullying by them
Stunning aerial photo of Shanghai
More signage
Giant bull held up by scaffolding
Fishermen photo
On pictures that don’t get any bigger when clicked and on the power of the tangential
Wagga Wagga has been flooded by the Murrumbidgee River
Shard in the clouds
From pop to purrfume
Digger and chain
The Brusio spiral viaduct also looks like a toy train layout
Another ephemeron for David Thompson?
Arecibo Radio Telescope
Superb Shard pictures
Those cameras are getting cheaper
Giant Jesuses
Thirteen swans
“There is electricity and water, but there’s no phone line …”
Wedding photography blogging
Mmmmmm … Asian skyscrapers!
Abandoned Bangkok tower
The curse of interchangeable lenses and how I want my category killer
Rockets are a great improvement on balloons
Beyond the Dome with Goddaughter One
More bridge magic
Cathedral photo
Advertising aimed entirely at me
Christianity defined
Mmmmm … bookshelves!
Tiny Cardboard Box People Appear All Over Singapore
Big Singapore Thing
Super Galaxy
Bay Bridge plus a new bridge next to it
Farnborough (3): On the photographic appeal of the Red Arrows
Everyone?
Lynxes and an A380
Another world cup photo of photographers
Photoing the World Cup
Sneezing chat
Pink railway clutter
I do love a steam train on a viaduct
Eye shadow
Everyone who shows this picture needs to add that it is not Photoshopped
Soviet space leftovers
One man’s intellectual theft is another man’s marketing
Alex Singleton on Photoshop CS5
The bottom half of the Tokyo Sky Tree
Car in in front of sloping houses
The US Navy photos itself
Airplanes converted into architecture
Goddaughter One is now a photoblogger
Unphotographable sign threatening to photo us
“I can’t respond to any e-mails today …”
A horizon(tal) sunset slice
Separating the men from the toys - the future of warfare and of sport?
I never knew Marmite came in tanker lorries
Biker shadow
Me taking pictures in a funny way while it’s still allowed
Scaffolding ball
Thin rings
Nasa and Gordon Brown both have their uses
Fitness Superstore
Chained cat in Vietnam
SAY NO TO GOVERNMENT MOTORS
The right to photograph
Awesome shot of Dubai
Blur
Quota bridge
Reds against Blues in Munich
Two New York stadiums temporarily next to each other
Abstract satellite expressionism
Hasselblad hit by custom-built headquarters disease!
Free Skullcandy on a bus in snowy Edinburgh
Burj Dubai looking semi-sane
Three airplane photos
Osprey pictures
London cricket roof clutter
Giant Bean covered in mirror
Short posting (with short photo) about SpaceShipTwo
Picture of an aftershock of the credit crunch rippling around the world
Strange purple cat with four eyes
Gaddafi looking rather like Alan Rickman
Am I interested in dredgers?
Luxembourg church in hill and Luxembourg footbridge
Wuhan railway station under construction - with sunset behind
David Farrer photos
Shadows on rings
Of lists and distant totally photorealistic skyscrapers
A little archaeology
Green eyed monster devouring cat food
Great photo of David Blunkett
Back lit by the sun
Snapping the police
Small photos that look like something else
Photographers in bother
What The State looks like
Edinburgh’s skyline doesn’t suck
Bloke in posh suit holding Real Photographer camera like it’s a Billion Monkey camera!
The latest Canon DSLR comes without a twiddly screen
Saturnic majesty
Billion Monkeys in New York and London!
Globalisation Guido – and other Bright Young Things
There weren’t a billion of them then
Instapundit turns into Idiot Toys
Nikon D5000?
Signs of the times in Belfast
Another view over London
Unamazing photo of amazing road
Olympus E-620
Work photos
SwivelCam
Photoing the Police
Parliament photoed by a bus!
Rock faces
Flat train picture and regular train picture
Sailing photos – and another bridge for the collection
Billion Monkeys liked photoing the nastiest poster!
Star Wars mosque and rockets mosque
Seto Ohashi Bridge
SDXC
Making the new look and feel like the old
My parents and my uncle and two aunts
Colonial Governor’s Mansion dwarfed by modernity
The exact same photos I would have taken
Sheep under wolf’s clothing
New addition to blogroll
Redirect to a piece on Samizdata about a camera
Brisbane church dwarfed by modernity and this posting behaving very strangely
This and that on the Graham Norton Show
Wingtipping a V1
A thin bridge in Wales
Edinburgh’s Billion Monkeys must be chivalrous!
Wonderwoman picked by Unsuperman
Big Pictures
Another great viaduct
London after dark from above
Craziness done with austerity
Towers above the Dubai fog
Heroic Billion Monkey falsely arrested by cop whom he photoed breaking law to get to chip shop!
More at Jonathan Gewirtz
Narrow bridge
Tumor
What a lot of circles
It’s blue!
Portable copiers and copying jokes
Billion Monkeys close up and London from far above!
To Greenwich by train and back by bus
Birds
Modern above ancient
More Beijing smog-blogging
Horizons
Star and stripe
The new Lowe look
Bird’s Nest in smog
Tea with CDs
I’d be cheering
The original Burtynsky Nanpu bridge picture
Edward Burtynsky photos the towers of Shanghai
3D!
Photos are better
Wired bridges
A sculptural suggestion
Fred joins in with the pilates demonstration
Flat Red Arrows
Perkins photos
San Francisco from Sausalito
Self-guided photo-tour of the streets of San Francisco
Slow day here
Outstanding and numerous aerial photos of St Petersburg
Billion Monkey Alan Little?
Celebrating a victory
Pillocks
The Gatwick Beehive
Signs of civilisation
The moving bridges of Chicago
I love the internet
David Farrer in the Jedburgh mist
Making the Mississippi Delta make more land
Picture of Taipei 101 that came with Jesus
Flat horse pictures
Dot matrix printing in the sky
Flat viaduct and spiral bridge
Photo that hits the mark
More horizontal thinness
Thin picture redirection
Go to America and get a Dell Laptop
Not obviously but maybe …
Guess the city (2)
Guess the city
Winter wonderland
Thin camera picture
Spherical trouser sculpture
Billion Monkey murderers!?!
Michael Jennings photos Disney Hall
Billion Monkey madness and a proper picture
Billion Monkeys on Table Mountain!
Pictures of the year
Bristol footbridge photo
A Real Photographer comments
It’ll never catch on
Great but not great
Billion Monkeys and a Real Photographer at the Golden Umbrellas
Photography is not dead
Millau Viaduct with goats
More St Pancras snaps
Cats etc.
Billion Monkey lady does … “Heinrich Photography”?
The qualitative difference made by quantity
Digital Camera Review error
Fourteen British viaducts
The Eee PC is too big
Architecture talk
Cameraphone with 3x optical zoom
Russian weirdness for the Anglos
Wildlife news
Short posting with short photograph
American war memorial by the sea at St Nazaire
Berlin Billion Monkeys photo rat and cheese sand sculpture!
Billion Monkey in shiny robot head!
A squinting cat and a master ephemerist
Another angle on pylons
Smile
Fly-pasts - air displays - crashes
Renaissance Man
Feral Real Photographers and naughty Billion Monkey!
Further pictorial shallowness
Big Solar System things
At the dogs
Publogging
Adriana and Ivan in Addis
Dave Gorman sees faces!
Old cranes - new cranes
Short picture of a long distance
Billion Monkeys photo spaceship launch!
A new tower in Manchester
Real Photographers worship the Logo
Photo-ing the weather
Pictures with words
Back lit Billion Monkey lady and back lit Saturn!
Bicycling Billion Monkeys!
PG tips
Toy train to Darjeeling
Wedding photo tips anybody?
The Big Things of London
More Magic Andy sand sculpture
Billion Monkeys photo their own demo!
Shadow and light near Tower Bridge
Zong
Camera chat
The Mainstream Media finally get around to noticing Andy and his sand sculptures
Gatito
New Moscow road bridge
Pylons
Taipei with skyscraper
Church dwarfed by modernity
Tall chess men and tall buildings in the evening
Will twentieth century aerial warfare be repeated by toys?
Not much of a mystery detail
New footbridge in Edinburgh
Me on a bridge by Goddaughter One
Norman interested – Harry has some wildness in his genealogy
The Nanpu bridge approaches
Friday cat-blogging
Robot car park in New York
Printer in your pocket
Other people’s photos (6): More bridges
Other people’s photos (5): Red balloons on a monochrome bridge in Paris
Other people’s photos (4): Kitten on man’s head
Other people’s photos (3): Ice storm
But what about the iBattery?
Pictures of the world for the world
London photos by Fabio
Big ships
Alice in Fortnum and Mason
“Publish it in your Blog!”
Deceiving the eyes of Paris
More ways to use the best pictures
Top tips from Viz
Everyone likes Magic Andy
Man may not sit on Art bed and be photoed by Billion Monkey lady friend!
Billion Monkeys get instant feedback!
Sssssssss!!!! White man!  Take my photo!!
Samizdata cranks it out
What’s this?
A digital SLR that a Billion Monkey could lift!
Classical music Natalie
Shaftesbury Avenue over half a century ago
Patrick and Brian talk about the War on Terror - thoughts about podcasting
Bruce Nicoll (Real Photographer) - some photographs and an mp3
Adriana’s Thing mp3
Something to bore everyone
One click
Billion Monkeys and a flock of sheep!
Ethereal India photo
Never so much fun again
Billion Monkeys at black and white wedding!
Cricket with landmark
Also no relation
Fame at last
Old media
Phone glitch
Fish eye photos
Billion Monkey photos baby birds!
Billion Monkey photos flats in Bombay
Computer transparency
Billion Monkey takes photos of Mexico City from helicopter!
The Falkirk Wheel
Flickr blog in and Flickrzen out
The Billion Monkeys of Australia will continue to photograph oil refineries
Sun behind the clouds at Bognor
TV.com
Sexy photo
Cloudscape
Fishing rods in Istambul
Antlered lady in Lewisham
Inflight entertainment and information
Is Africa about to look boring?
Speeding up the mess
Just jumping would have been quite sufficient
Car bomb in Bogota
Ordinary photos
Daniel Cuthbert - wrongly convicted “hacker” - and photographer
Digital preservation
Katrina as art – and Katrina as proof of What I’ve Always Said
Celebrating or violating?
Photography in public places (and it all depends what you mean by public places)
Lady photographer doing it in the road
The joy of blogrolling