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January 2011 Archives

Long Photos in Monterey

A while back, when Flickr introduced support for videos up to 90 seconds long, they chose to call them long photos. More recently, I've been fascinated by the tumblr blog If we don't, remember me, which features looping animated gifs made from movies, "long stills", if you will. On my recent trip to Monterey, I explored the long photo in several different forms:

First, I was fascinated by the common murre, which looks like a duck on the surface, but transforms into the Batjet when underwater:

Diving Murres look like Batjets!

It was hard to get a good picture of them, because they moved so quickly, but a collage gives you a better sense of their movement than any individual photo.

Next, we saw a man dive into the Bay from a rock:

Diver jumping into the Monterey Bay

I took photos of the entire dive in continuous mode. I originally wanted to make an animated GIF, but I decided that compositing them together was more interesting.

Speaking of animated GIFs, I did end up making one, but of a swell shark egg case. Look at that embryo boogie!

I was lucky to find just the right set of frames from both sets of photos that they looped just right together. :)

Finally, I shot a continuous series of 2-second exposures of waves washing over some rocks (best viewed full screen in 720p HD):

I recorded the audio separately and then synced the images up to it. The funny thing is that I originally called this a "time-lapse" video, since it's a series of still images, but in fact it's more or less real-time, so it's not technically a time-lapse. :)

These are attempts to combine multiple still photographs to convey a sense of time or motion. What other methods are there?

I Dream of Joust

A couple of nights ago, I dreamed I was playing the classic Williams Electronics arcade game Joust. You're a knight, riding a flying ostrich, and you try have to defeat enemy knights riding on buzzards. It may be hard to believe, but this is an actual game; I did NOT dream that part up.

In case you've never played it, here's a screenshot:

That's what the game normally looks like, in real life.

But my dream started to alter it a bit...

First, a giant UFO appeared in the sky!

How was I supposed to beat a UFO?!

Luckily, my tiny ostrich turned into a giant fantastical bird!

Just then, the UFO began firing laser beams at me, and I lamented that the size of my new bird meant it was actually harder to dodge the beams. :\

But before I could get shot, I woke up.

* * *

(The UFO and bird were higher resolution in my dream, but I thought it'd be more fun to draw them as pixel art! The UFO is simplified a bit—I dreamt something more like the Close Encounters mothership—but the bird came out looking pretty much exactly like what I dreamt.)

My Top 10 Photos of 2010

For once, I actually managed to cull my list down to 10! I'll try something a little different this time and say a little about each one.

Denver Oasis at Sunset

I've always liked taking pictures from planes, but I got really lucky this time on my way back from DC. I barely even adjusted the colors, and I love how Denver sits in the middle of a vast flatness like an oasis. I also like this photo of the Rocky Mountains I took around the same time.


Davies Symphony Hall - UCSF Medical School Graduation 2010

I've been to Davies Symphony Hall before, but it's always been for a concert (or movie with live music), and photography wasn't allowed. So when I attended my cousin's graduation there, I was really excited about shooting a panorama. I just love those sound reflection panels that hang from the ceiling. (Zoom in)


Día de los Muertos 3

A friend of mine dressed up in Día de los Muertos attire for Halloween. I took a few pictures, but this one works best because of the way she's looking at the camera. So femme fatale!


Showered with Petals

Showered with petals! And this is why I like continuous shot, so I can pick out moments like this.


The groom, underwater!

This is my favorite photo that I've taken with a waterproof disposable camera. I like the way he's all lit up while the background fades away. Snorkeling was the most amazing thing ever, btw, especially when I got to see a giant sea turtle up close.


Suzhou Creek in Shanghai at Night

I shot this from a window in the stairwell of my uncle's apartment in Shanghai, overlooking Suzhou Creek. I think it gives a good sense of how many people live there. (Zoom in) It was tough choosing between this and my Hawaiian wedding panos, so here are those: reception and ceremony.


Shanghai World Expo Cultural Center

The Shanghai World Expo Cultural Center, soon to be renamed Mercedes-Benz Arena, was my favorite building at the Expo. (Zoom in)


Carving characters onto bamboo

I like men-at-work pictures, and here's someone carving characters onto bamboo, at a tourist spot in Guilin.


And finally, two photos I shot at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island:

The Apocalypse

"The Apocalypse". I think this would've been better if I had shot it from a cliff overlooking the flat expanses of hardened lava, but the sun had already set by the time we made it back onto those cliffs.


"The Road"

"The Road". I like to think of her as the lone survivor of the events in the previous photo. I actually photoshopped out some other random tourists near the end of the road. Content-aware fill ftw! :)


Honorable Mention

Who needs Inception when you live in San Francisco?

My parody of this Inception poster. I call it, "Who needs Inception when you live in San Francisco?" It's not that exciting as a photo per se, but it's the most "interesting" of my 2010 photos, according to Flickr's algorithms. :P Also, I put far more effort than necessary into historically accurate "credits", which can you read when you zoom in.


Okay, that's all! Here's a longer list of my favorite photos if you want to see more. They're from all years, but the newest ones are first. Let me know if you think some of those should've made this list instead!

My top 13/12/16 lists for 2007, 2008, and 2009.

About January 2011

This page contains all entries posted to the klog in January 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2010 is the previous archive.

March 2011 is the next archive.

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