Warship Panorama, Blondes and Other Stuff

Posted in Mixed Nuts, Photography Tricks, Under the Sea on April 7th, 2010 by MadDog
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Today is yet another day when there will be no plot to follow. I’m free associating. Come along for the ride. The big Australian Hydrographic Survey Ship HMAS Leeuwin sitting across the harbour from our house inspired me to Zoomify nearly the entire west side of the peninsula.

Here is the view from our front yard in a zoomable image:

On the far left is the main wharf and the warehouse. Moving to the right, you see HMAS Leeuwin.  If you zoom in as far as possible, you can read the name of the ship on the side of the bridge. At the far right is a the only three floor house in Madang. It belongs to a big-shot politician about whom I will say nothing else. I’m not a fool. In front of the house is a sunken boat. Again, no comment.

Geeks may be interested to know that the image above is about 20 MB and is comprised of nearly 1,000 files.

Eunie occasionally feeds me tidbits from the newspaper. I read neither The Post Courier  nor The National.  They’re simply too depressing. However this tasty morsel merits a bit of space here:

BLONDE-haired women may be traditionally labeled as fun-loving and less intelligent but a new study reveals they earn seven percent more on average than women with other hair colours. They also marry wealthier men, who earn six percent more than the husbands of other women, the University of Queensland study revealed. The study, which surveyed 13,000 women, found that the difference in pay remained the same even when factors such as height and education were removed. No other hair colour had the same effect. The research, reported in journal Economics Letters, does not explain just why blondes earned more and have wealthier husbands. But Dr David Johnston, who led the study, said: “Blonde women are often depicted as being more attractive than other women, but also less intelligent. But it seems the association between blondes and beauty dominates any perception that they have low intelligence.”

You see, this makes perfect sense to me. Having married a fun-loving blonde who is also, I’m quite certain, the Smartest Person On the Planet, none of the positive aspects of blondeness surprise me. My wife missed out on the big money, but that’s because she married for love. That she got a looser for her trouble is not her fault. I’ll never be a big earner, but I’m ever so sincere and also cute and cuddly – like a 59 kilogram puppy.

Well, I’m not out of space yet. I’ve done a lot of work this morning and I have a few minutes before my lunch hour. I don’t actually take a lunch hour. I just eat while I work. That leaves me more time for a beer when I get home. Then I have to go back to work again in our “other” office. I’m not complaining. It’s not like I’m stoking boilers on the Titanic.  Most of my work is enjoyable now that I have the network bludgeoned into submission. So, since I’ve got the time, here’s this morning’s sunrise which I have titled from the depths of my boundless imagination Sunrise with Canoe:Also, since we can’t have a post without a fish smell, I’ll show you a Mushroom or Solitary Coral (Fungia fungites):The green stuff is a kind of Sea Squirt. Tomorrow I’m going to show you the biggest blob of those that you are ever likely to see. I bet you an hardly wait. The anemone above and to the right is the fairly rare Merton’s Anemone.

Here’s a cute little Linckia multifora  Starfish:That one’s for you Julie. It seems that one of his legs has decided to have its own way. In reality, I suspect very strongly that this starfish regenerated from a single severed leg. That would explain the one huge leg while the others are small. They are only now approaching normal size after having sprouted from the cut end of the severed leg.

Maybe if I ate enough of these I could grow a new face.

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Rainy Good Friday – Approaching Nothingness

Posted in Photography Tricks on April 2nd, 2010 by MadDog
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I get stubborn sometimes. Today is one of those times. My general attitude is that, if I can’t work reasonably efficiently or too many things are going wrong for mysterious reasons or my stupid mistakes, then I’m not going to work at all. I’ll play instead.

I’m at the office writing this. I hadn’t planned that. I nearly killed myself yesterday up on the roof of the supermarket (see below) trying to get the wireless hop to my house fixed. Here’s a shot of our brave workman Andrew up the pole at the coconut oil refinery removing the wireless units so that we could put them at the supermarket:

Yes, it’s a horrible photograph. The back lighting was so bad that I gave up. It’s the story that counts. Anyway, despite our best efforts, the stinking link still doesn’t work and I don’t know why. We’ll have to find out next Tuesday when Madang comes back to life.

I like spiders because spiders like to pose. This one was posing on our front door:I think that I need to start thinking about giving that front door a little paint. I’ll think about it some more.

As the title implies, it’s raining today, probably all day, from the looks of it. That squashes my hope for going out on Faded Glory  this afternoon, so I took a couple of hours off to play with some images that I got on the way into the office a couple of days ago.

I’m doing fantasies today. This is my fantasy at Coconut Point:I like playing with colours, as you can plainly see. I don’t care if it looks possible. In fact, I like it better if it looks impossible.

Here are some more impossible colours at Machinegun Point:I wonder if the guy sitting there on the rock was seeing the same thing that I see. If he did, he was probably drunk.

If we’re driving around Coronation Drive with a camera, we can’t leave out the Coastwatchers Monument. It too is having a strange day:

I’m working on the “cartoon look”. This one doesn’t quite make it.

But this one, oh yeah, I’m getting there. It looks like a cartoon to me:

I used the Photoshop Poster Edges filter on that one.

I took some shots from the top of the supermarket roof yesterday and stitched them together. I was about ready to faint from the heat, so I didn’t get in everything that I wanted. Then I Zoomified it for your viewing pleasure:
The big black ship on the right is loading up with wood chips to go somewhere in Korea or Japan to make the box that your next fridge will come in. If you zoom in completely to the stern of the ship, you can read its name. At the fare left, you can just barely make out the name Maneba  on the back of a LUSHIP boat at their engineering yard.

Oh, well, maybe your kids can make a clubhouse out of the cardboard box.

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GEEK ALERT – Zoomify Test

Posted in Photography Tricks on March 31st, 2010 by MadDog
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Theoretically, it should be easy to put a zoomable image in a WordPress site. At least that’s what everybody claims. You can go to all kinds of  I IS GEEK blogs and see wonderful zooms. The instructions are invariably “easy to follow”. There are so many misspelled words and grammatical errors that you’d think that they were grammar school projects. Well, the instructions are not  easy to follow, because the writers make stupid assumptions about what the readers know.

Supposing the instructions were perfect, there is always the problem of distracted, feeble minds and unruly fingers. One errant thought, one misplaced fingertip; that’s all it takes to end up with a blank hole in your otherwise lovely page. That’s what I was getting. I thought that I was precisely following the most lucid set of instructions that I could find. Nevertheless, I’ve been playing with this, alternatively grappling and then yelling, “Uncle!”, since December with no noticeable luck.

Somhow I got the attention of a Facebook friend Bobbi Bennett (three sets of double letters in your name are impressive enough) who offered to hold my hand through the process. What a difference a friend makes. Within an hour I had it working.

This was my first tentative foray into the world of Zoomify, which is, by the way, free for this simple use version:

As you can plainly see, it is a Scarlet Soldierfish (Myripistis pralinia).  The controls are more or less idiot proof. Clicking on the image zooms in. Moving the mouse around pans back and forth and up and down. The rest, you can figure out. There’s not much detail in this one, so you reach the zoom limit pretty quickly.

This one has a little more depth. It’s a Spotted Porcelain Crab (Neopetrolisthes maculata):

You can get quite a lot of detail by zooming in on this one.

Here’s the one with the most detail. I went up on the roof of our office to shoot five frames and stitched them together in a panorama:

Uploaded by FTP to my server in the USA it was 639 files totalling about 10MB. That’s how you get so much detail. Each little section of the image is loaded only when you need it. I suppose that Google Earth and similar programs work the same, only on a much more massive scale involving petabytes of data available immediately from giant server farms spread all over the world. Funny, until a few years ago I thought something called Petabytes would be good to feed to my dog, Sheba.

According to the speed of your connection, you may or may not see grey blocks and fuzzy sections that take a while to fill. If you’re patient enough, you’ll be rewarded by detail in these areas. Try moving around and looking at other areas while you’re waiting for the blanks to fill. If you’re really patient, you can make out the picture of the man on the billboard at the far side of the softball field on the left side of the image.

I’m looking forward to using Zoomify more often, though I’ll probably limit its use to one per post. It does make the page take longer to load and those with slow connections may tire of waiting for the full-sized images. At least it loads only what  is needed, as  it is needed.

I want to do some reef panoramas in which you can zoom in on individual fish. I want to do some jungle panoramas in which you can zoom in on a spider. That was what attracted me to Bobbi’s site here.

I still haven’t figured out how she got that depth. Blows my mind!