Totally Optional Photo Discussion

Since people said it would have been nice to have more discussion of photos — and there won’t be time on Wed since we’ll be doing presentations:

I went to this track meet on campus this weekend specifically to photograph it. I didn’t carry my longest lens, so many of these are cropped from larger pictures. These show the value of having MORE megapixels: you can crop and still have an fairly good image. A couple of images are online in more and less cropped versions; I cropped them further in response to feedback from a photographer friend. I think you can see how cropping out the extra strengthens the image.

Continue reading

Tutorials on Media-Making and Tools

This is linked from our blog but I had forgotten —
They have online tutorials on Final Cut Pro, audio editing including Garage Band and Audacity, Photoshop, Soundslides…and so forth.

There are also tutorials on making media, not just tools.  I skimmed through the one on making video — started really obvious, but had some good advice, points I hadn’t thought about.  I think it’s worth going through their tutorials (which it’s easy to to quickly) for various media, just to see what they may say that you don’t already know. Especially, tof course, for whatever media you plan to use, but others as well.

Playing with Whitebalance

While camping, I played with some of the white balance when taking pictures of the campfire. Made for some interesting photos of the fire.

Edit- While taking the photo of the fire, I manually set my camera’s white balance (it is one of the white balance options). The camera tries to reset the white balance in accordance to the scene, which caused the change in color of the flame.

Speech Search for Video and Audio?

UPDATE 2/5/11: Forget it.  I tried it with a nice, clean audio file recorded under optimal conditions, and it was gibberish. They shouldn’t have this on the market.

Adobe Premiere Pro is supposed to now have a Speech Search feature that does automatic transcriptions.  No one claims it’s as good as a human transcriber, but some claim it’s 75% accurate or so.  They advertise it as being for searching audio and video for where certain things are said, but of course it could also be used to do a first pass at transcriptions, IF it is as good as they claim.  I don’t know anyone who has tried it.  I supposedly have access to it — need to see if I can get it working.

Here’s a review:

And this is from Adobe:

I found a blog posting about Get, an add-in for Final Cut Pro that does something similar, but it’s $499 on top of the $800 or so for FCP.

Recap from Jan 26 – camera basics

Keeping settings on auto is fine for now.

Zoom: use optical but not digital. The digital zoom just makes the pixels bigger, considerably reducing image quality.

ISO: 200 is a good all-purpose setting (but may be too dark for indoors). 400 is fine. Going above that depends on your camera; the less expensive the camera, the sooner you’ll get noise in the image as you raise the ISO.

Image settings (size and resolution): maximize these. The only reason to go to a lesser-size/resolution is to save memory, but you lose image quality.

The only special scene mode worth using is the one for fast-moving subjects, usually labeled sports with an icon something like this:

Canon special scene modes

Canon ISO control

Nikon ISO control