Thursday, November 29, 2007

With x's and o's

In this season of buy one get one free it's kind of interesting to see the marketing line "buy one give one"... However it's still interesting (even though they got to look at the math).
The vision is education and working on educating children that otherwise wouldn't stand a chance. The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) organisation is mostly focused on Africa and third world contries even though I would say that some inner cities in the US could need this help just as much (based on some schools performance compared to where you would think they should be using the available resources and location).
Anyway they have developed a laptop with handcrank and all running a linux operating system (read free - open source) to ensure that once you have the laptop there is no extra cost.
It's intended to be a $100 laptop which is now being sold in some stores as buy one give one @ $400 ($200 pr. laptop). The good news is that the give away is tax deductable in the US so you got a instant $200 tax deduction on top of everything :-).

If you want to know more check out the NY Times article on the mission or the OLPC website.

I think it's an interesting idea and kind of tempted. But on the other hand $400 is pretty close to what you could get a "normal" laptop for sooo... I guess you should be looking at it as a donation of a laptop.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Shooting the Stars

Soo I stumbled across an article with a photo of star trails.

It looks pretty cool so I have been trying to figure out how to do something similar.

I started out with long exposures but with long exposures of several minutes the chance of getting grain unwanted movement and that sort of stuff is far greater than the chance of it turning out the way you want it.

Sooo to get it I figured that I could do multiple shorter exposures and then merge them aftewards. The only issue with this is that you can get some pretty big files and alot of them. This makes the merging slightly difficult and demanding resources your computer may not have. Imagine the task of opening 200 5Mb files. This will take up your memory and use a lot of disk swapping making it painfully slow.

However I found photoshop action that will open one photo at the time and merge it with another ending with several photos being merged into one photo without killing the computer in the process and best of all --- it's automatic.

I did the first test but about 10 minutes into it the clouds came in.... sooo so much for that idea. However I did get about 50 shots without clouds and the result is here:

The photoshop action I used can be found here:
Now since I had about 150 photos in total I found another thing to do with them. I was browsing through them and could see the movement of the stars and the clouds coming in. Soo I set off to create an animation for this.
I "just" needed to find the right tool for it.... Easier said than done...
Anyway for now I ended up with a trial version of Adobe flash which you can use free for 30 days.
Then of course I had to learn how to as easy as possible load up 150 photos and "spit" out an animation.
To help with this I found a small video that did the trick. You can find that here:
You can see the animation here: Stars in action
All shots was done as 15 second exposure at f/2.0. I started out with the time period I figured would give the best image and the optimized the aperture after that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

found a new source

Finally I found a source for licorice in the US. and while we are at it twizzlers are not licorice...
Here it is:

They also got Christmas items and herring if you should want to try it out ;-)

Just a few

Well I can't hide it.

I like my truck :-)

But I love my family

If I can combine it all with a trip to burgers and things.... I can only say that makes my day :-)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's getting cold for sure now

Ok so it's getting cold but the Starpilot pointed out the fuzz ball comet appearing in the night sky and here is a few shots.

And another one now that I was out there doing long exposure shots

yeah well since I was out there freezing a bit well couldn't get much worse so had to try out this one too ;-)

That's it for now but got a few shots... I knew I just had to try it out and see how it works ;-)

btw. for these shots I used my Nikon D70s with the 70-300mm @300
Exposures changed a little and I don't remember them for sure but something like 20-30s@5.6.

Until next post
Have fun and be sure to visit my dear wife and check out more photos from the Starpilot...

Friday, November 2, 2007

To blog or not to blog

Well my very first blog

Hard to beleive but well gotta have a start somewhere.
sooo more stuff to come up ;-)