Microsoft PhotoZoom is Now DeepZoom

Posted in Mixed Nuts on May 28th, 2009 by MadDog
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Sorry to unload a nerdy post on you today, but I’ve been housecleaning and I need to tidy up a loose end so that I can feel that I’m finished.

Long time readers will remember that I was once a Microsoft Photozoom fan. It’s a cool way to put your photos on a web site in a way that viewers can zoom in on the details, pan around, and see them easily in full-screen mode.

Anyway, with no notice to users, suddenly PhotoZoom didn’t work any more. I don’t know what happened, and I don’t care, but I notice that it’s now back under a different name.

So, I had to go back to my seven posts that used it and change the links. It wasn’t too difficult, but I don’t know why it couldn’t have been done automatically somehow. I’d hate to be someone who had hundreds of links to it.

So, here are the seven posts that had zoomable photos:

PhotoZoom – The Next Cool Thing

Along Came a Spider

Giant Green Fly

Today’s Inverterbrates

New Panoramas

A Trip to the Supermarket

North Contender in the Dark

You’ll have to install Microsoft Silverlight if you don’t already have it. You may as well get it over with, as more and more web stuff is going to be using it.

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New Panoramas

Posted in Photography Tricks on February 8th, 2009 by MadDog
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A couple of days ago it was a misty, cold morning. Low clouds were drifting slowly over the Finnisterre Mountains across Astrolabe Bay from Madang. I got this panorama on the way to the office. Madang residents and those who have lived here will find this scene very familiar:
Misty panorama of the Finisterre Range across Astrolabe Bay from Madang
I did the next panorama when I was visiting Samarai Island along the way from Madang to Port Moresby on Miss Rankin:

I used Microsoft Photozoom to prepare the image. If you don’t have Microsoft Silverlight on your computer, you’ll need to download it – it should only take a short while.

When you have Silverlight installed, use your mouse (drag it around) to pan back and forth and up and down. Use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Try the “Full Screen View” – it’s terrific! You can see people on the dock.

Samarai is a fascinating place – full of historical and cultural treasures. I’ll be doing more posts on Samarai and I’m writing an article for Niugini Blue that will have more photos and some interesting background information.

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Today’s Invertebrates

Posted in Mixed Nuts, Photography Tricks on January 20th, 2009 by MadDog
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The garden was busy this morning. Everybody was hungry. This spindly looking spider was laying in wait for a tasty bug:

A spindly spider

Here’s a Microsoft Photozoom rendition of him:

Here’s a different kind of spider on the same kind of flower:
Green spider laying in wait for breakfast One thing that I’ve noticed is that, no matter how many of these flowers are blooming in my garden (sometimes hundreds), about half of them will have a resident spider.

I went a little crazy shooting this caterpillar. I don’t often show four images of the same thing on a post, but I’ll make an exception this time:

Caterpillar on Curry Tree branch In the shot above, I like the way the sun slings the spiky shadows of the caterpillar’s horns on the leaf. The lower leaf is on a Bird of Paradise plant and the one that the caterpillar is crawling on is from a Curry Tree. (Yes, the leaves of a Curry Tree do taste like curry – sort of.)

Charlie, our security guard, is always on the lookout for interesting items for me to photograph. He enjoys the hunt and likes to observe as I shoot what he has found. Many of the creepy-crawlies that I’ve shown from my garden were discovered by Charlie.

Here’s a shot from the side with the sun behind me. The feet are very interesting. They are quite pudgy and remind me of spats – if anybody out there remembers what they  are:

Hungry caterpillar

The poor little critter (about 3cm long) became very confused because the twig on which he was crawling was only about four times his own body length. He went to one end and turned around, then crawled vigorously to the other end. There he found once again that he was at the end of his world and turned around again. Finally, he stopped for a minute in the middle of the twig and made another turn:

Confused caterpillar

The image above nicely shows his cute little feet.

Here’s one final image of the caterpillar going back the other way on the underside of the twig:

Caterpillar on a mission

In the image above you can see the tiny thread of silk that he trailed behind him during the entire horrifying experience.

When we were finished shooting him, we transported him safely back to his Curry Tree. Charlie said he would see if he could discover where it will build its cocoon. He wants to know what kind of butterfly or moth will be produced.

Charlie is a very curious fellow.

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Giant Green Fly

Posted in Photography Tricks on January 17th, 2009 by MadDog
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I finally got Microsoft Photozoom going again. This is a quicky post to prove it to myself.

Here’s the little green fly that I showed to you a couple of days ago:

This is fun, I’m going to magnify some more bugs!


Photozoom – The Next Cool Thing

Posted in Photography Tricks on October 31st, 2008 by MadDog
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Well, Microsoft has zapped us again with another übercool photo gizmo. It’s called Photozoom.

You have to get a Windows Live logon to make Photozooms, but anybody can then view them over the web.

Please note that the first time you try to view one, you may have to install Microsoft Silverlight (Microsoft’s super-clone of Adobe Flash). If none of this means beans to you, don’t sweat it. Just click to install Silverlight, if you like. I seriously doubt that it will cause your computer any discomfort. You may as well go ahead and do it, because more and more juicy things are going to be showing up on the web that require the Silverlight thingamabob.

This morning I walked out in the street and took this shot. I then went to the Photozoom site and created an account (no funny business here – just give it a name). I then made an ‘album’ of one photo and gave it a name. Then I uploaded the photo. They even give you the code you need to imbed it in your blog or website as I have done here. It’s all so easy that I was a bit dumbfounded. I kept thinking, “Something’s not right here. This is going too well.”

Here is what it looks like:
The controls are very intuitive. Click and drag on the image to move around. Use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Try the little button that says “Full Screen Mode” when you mouse over it. It’s incredible!According to the speed of your connection, you may have to wait a few seconds for the image to clear and become sharp. When zooming, you’ll eventually come up against the limits of my camera to form a sharp image on only a few pixels.I’ve heard some people say that the Windows Live thing is not very interesting, because there’s not much there. I beg to differ. If you dig around there is some amazing stuff. I showed you Photosynth a while ago – now Photozoom. What next?

Just keep it coming.