Swimming with the Razorfishes

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Sorry. Haven't much been in a writing mood. Feel like crap, don't have the structure of work to get me going in the morning.


I'll get back to it soon.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Ok, so maybe I picked a bad example for the last one. Take a look at these two.


Number one is the photo converted straight in Photoshop. Number two had the color balance tweaked before conversion. I like number two better. Be sure to take a look at the large versions of the photos. The thumbnails are done with web-safe palettes, which makes everything kind of blah.

Here's a question for the photo geeks out there. I'm a fan of the black and white image. Often I'll see a photo as black and white as I'm taking it. Of course, I'm shooting digital, so I convert to black and white later.

And this is what I'm wondering; how other people do digital black and white.

This may not be the best image to convert. It is a little too mid tone heavy.
The first thing I do is mimic the effect of a light red filter. With Levels, Curves, or Channels, drop about half the blue and some of the green values. Then tweak overall contrast.
Finally, remove the color, and sharpen.

I think that altering color to improve contrast helps make the resulting black and white punchier. I think it certainly looks better than a straight black and white conversion.

simple conversionaltered colors

So what do you do with black and white photos?

Monday, December 29, 2003

W00t! Now that's a temperature I've not seen in a long, long time.


Of course, It has gone back up a little, but it was nice to be normal for a little while.

Ah, the High School years.

Grade 12 students in Ontario's Oakville Trafalgar High School conspired to nominate Andrew Ironside as valedictorian as some kind of joke. They thought it would be funny to see the introverted student making the graduation speech.

The day of graduation, a popular student introduced Mr. Ironside:

"I'm pretty happy to say I've spent time with almost all of you," said the good-looking blond who introduced Mr. Ironside at the graduation ceremony.

"Sadly to say, Andrew is not really included in this group of people. The truth is, I really barely know him."

[...]"He probably was the most unlikely person to be nominated, let alone actually win, [...] "So why is he representing us? He was nominated by us, we campaigned for him, we persuaded people to vote for him."

With that, Mr. Ironside took the stage. He began reciting his prepared speech. but soon crumpled the paper and began ad-libbing, telling his fellow students how they behaved.

The intelligent and socially conscious teen knew his reputation and valedictory victory was a joke, but did not think his legacy had to be one.

"Valedictorians always go up there and talk about how we have all these great memories -- the best memories of our lives," he said from Brock University in St. Catharines, where he is now studying biochemistry. "I didn't want to talk like that. I wanted to maybe help the people who didn't have the greatest time in high school."

Good story, right? Thoughtful introvert gives the jocks a piece of his mind. Even the school administration seems to get it:

Mr. Adams, who had been principal of the school since 1999, said Mr. Ironside's speech prompted much "reflection and soul searching" in the school and the community.

But then you read on.

The principal does not believe the teen was the target of bullying or ridicule at the school, but admits his Grade 12 class, part of the province's double cohort, suffered a higher than normal level of teenage stress.

Since Mr. Ironside's controversial address, members of the school's faculty have approached Mr. Adams about changing the system by which valedictorians are selected, perhaps moving to a short-list model chosen by teachers.

Ah, yes. The selection process. That's the real problem here.

Public education is such a frustrating mix of extremes. Some of the most talented, dedicated people mixed with some of the most mind-numbingly dim people, all with enormous influence over young people.

So I'm watching a lot of television, being sick. I just finished watching an EPL game between Arsenal and Southampton. I was too lazy to change the channel, so I started watching the Rugby match that aired following the Arsenal match.

What is the deal with Rugby!?

There are seventy players to a side, guys are lifting each other up into the air, and it is OK to stamp on one another. Ouch.

I really have to read up on the rules of this game.

Rumors have been bouncing around for a week or so regarding a trade-in program for Apple PowerBooks in the U.S.

It seems that Apple may be offering a $700 trade-in for all first-generation and Gigabit Ethernet G4 PowerBooks.

Cool. I think my PowerBook is a first-gen; I'll totally do this.

Check out these apples. In any Cocoa application (or Cocoa-derived text area), type a few letters and hit option+escape.

Poof: instant picklist of possible word matches:


If you send someone a gift certificate to the iTunes music store, and that person uses Apple's e-mail application to read e-mail, the notification e-mail for the gift certificate gets filtered as spam.


USA Today: "This will be the year downloadable music ... goes legitimate," says Dave Fester, general manager of Microsoft's digital media division.

Uh...I thought this happened last year. I think what Mr. Fester meant to say was, "Microsoft sees income potential in downloadable music. This is the year we bundle it with the OS and try to kill all competition."

Dave Fester, by the way, is the same genius who, in a fit of Borg mind control, attacked Apple's iTunes music service as "closed," claiming that Windows users, [...] expect choice."

Sunday, December 28, 2003

I'm getting tired of being sick. I'm getting bored. I'm doing zone charts for my camera. Here is a grey card.

0 (1/250 @ f/8)

I (1/125 @ f/8)

II (1/60 @ f/8)

III (1/30 @ f/8)

IV (1/15 @ f/8)

V (1/8 @ f/8)

VI (1/4 @ f/8)

VII (1/2 @ f/8)

VIII (1 @ f/8)

IX (2 @ f/8)

X (4 @ f/8)

I couldn't find a good, high-contrast texture. I'll have to get some textured fabric.

0 (1/250 @ f/8)

I (1/125 @ f/8)

II (1/60 @ f/8)

III (1/30 @ f/8)

IV (1/15 @ f/8)

V (1/8 @ f/8)

VI (1/4 @ f/8)

VII (1/2 @ f/8)

VIII (1 @ f/8)

IX (2 @ f/8)

X (4 @ f/8)

This 10D has a wider range than I thought it did. I'm surprised.