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Doctor Who is getting the Mr Men treatment - and it's all official. =:D

The kind of processing power we have, perfectly routinely, in our lives is really quite awesome, ne? Consider just panorama stitching - you can take dozens of photos, and have some program accurately spot matching points between them, with no instruction necessary, and warp them as necessary to make for a perfect match, even blending out differences between them, such as objects in motion. That's some fairly intensive processing - and yet, it's easily performed by any system in the home, and even on phones, to a more modest extent. Imagine trying to pull that off in the age of film!

For photographers: what apps do you use for HDR? I'm not thinking of overt HDR, so much as the more classical style, simply enhancing the extremes of range. AutoPano will perform such, but its design emphasis is really panoramas, where it does a particularly good job. I'd particularly like the ability to control the degree of contribution of the different exposures, to gain a look I'm comfortable with, given automatic HDR creations can often be dreadfully surreal. (And for me, that's not normally a bad thing =:)

Not really a story of import, as far as substance goes, beyond the fact that it's something that happened: Tim Cook met up with Shigeru Miyamoto, who can be described as influential in Nintendoland. =:)

An interesting little game idea: Really Bad Chess. "Chess is one of those games I always wished I enjoyed, but its commitment to beauty, elegance, and perfect balance always turned me away. Really Bad Chess removes these boring restrictions and flips chess on its head. As much as random pieces change the game in some ways, I was really surprised to notice how much the game remains the same, and how powerful some pieces are you've never truly struggled against a pawn until you've struggled against a pawn in the back row. For chess pros, Really Bad Chess will give you a new type of challenge the pieces & the moves are the same, but you'll have to throw out your openings and your understanding of normal patterns of play."

Sadly, I missed out on the recent New Scientist convention at the ExCeL - did anyone else I know go along? The roomie attended on Saturday, and it sounded like it lived up to every ounce of its promise, like a sci-fi con stuffed with much more of the "sci". =:) I'd hoped to get along, but the trip got in the way. Oh well. ^_^

Via huskyteer, a music video that's simply fun: TMBG, Walking My Cat Named Dog.

Here's a look around the Bay Area, in a 360 degree panorama from Inspiration Point. You reach it by half-killing yourself clambering up the peak from Nimitz Way, which is a gorgeous walk (across one of many different routes through Tilden Nature Area) from the ridgeline above Berkeley, which you can easily reach courtesy of the 65 or 67 AC Transit buses departing from the stops by the downtown Berkeley BART. (Note that during weekends, the 67 dips down into the park, but also ends earlier - about 7pm) I'd very much recommend viewing the full size version fullscreen, for a better feel for just how large the view is. ^_^ (And even that version isn't the full size - the stitched output from AutoPano Giga 3 is 50926 x 7808. Very temping to try printing that out.. hm. At 300dpi, that'd make.. just over 14' x 2' =:)



And if you'd prefer something more subdued, but no less grand, head on over here for a gorgeous pre-sunrise in Colorado, courtesy of kishenehn. ^_^

Yay! Just managed to renew my LJ account for another year. (Am I right in thinking LJ hasn't offered permanent accounts in a while now? I know they've only ever been available for limited periods now and then, but I haven't seen that in a few years now) Always a nice sort of feeling to have that squared away.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Thanks. ^_^ That was a wonderful afternoon indeed. I'd been worried I might not have time, as I didn't actually get off my tail until something like 1.30pm - add in a little time to get to BART, then over to Berkeley, then up on the 67.. and I recalled one occasion back in 2011 when I wound up missing the last bus back, making for quite an extra walk, on top of having been tromping around all afternoon up and down the hills. ^_^; But it worked! Got to the welcome center about 2.30pm, where I had the forethought to pick up two cans of apple juice (which were very welcome - first one halfway up, second once I reached Nimitz Way), and reached my target somewhere around 4.30pm, thankfully not needing to hurry along the way - the views all the way were just gorgeous. (I must post a few! Of course, you can't really capture the expanse, the sense of having that majesty all around, but it's fun to try)

Oh, indeed, there are some superb views around - I've got a few shots from the ferry from SF to Alameda, including some panoramas I need to try stitching together, and another from Inspiration Point, but with the 300mm, looking down upon the distant Golden Gate Bridge, bathed in the late afternoon's glow. I didn't get back to the peaks along San Bruno Mountain Park this time, but, I certainly don't intend to leave it anywhere near as long until my next orbit. ^_^

Mmm, I know the feeling.. it's a deeply fascinating game, but that ability to see the game several moves deep - maybe I'm wrong, but that seems like a relatively rare talent. Of course, there's nothing to say you need to be good at a game to enjoy it - I love pinball, even if I'm mostly quite hopeless with any table you'd care to name. =:) That said, I'm approaching okayness with Scrabble - that's an iOS title I revisit on the iPad several times a day, albeit always on just the "Normal" difficulty mode. Go up to "Expert", and it takes its virtual gloves off - you'd never realise how many arcane seven letter words exist. =:) Still, I can usually manage to surpass the 350 point level, though there are the inevitable games where the letters just aren't coming, or in clumps of all syllables or all vowels. =:P Backgammon's also proven to be good fun, though sometimes intensely frustrating, when a seemingly overwhelmingly good position suddenly crumbles as the iPad gets just the roll it needs to escape, and maybe trap me in the process. (FWIW, I use iGammon - a fairly old app, and might not even still be on iTunes any longer, but it plays a decent game, and importantly, the animations are fast, and the way in which it implements the usual "can only drop a piece in these positions, given the dice roll" feature means it's possible to play a game quite rapidly. But, it has no facility for playing against others remotely, nor any means to save particularly fun games, where maybe the lead's swapped around a few times, eventually resulting in a hefty victory =:)

I wish I'd still had the rooftop access as in 2011 - there was quite a nighttime cityscape from there, down in North Beach, by the park. I do have a couple shots, but the tripod I was using was a very cheap affair, and conducted the street vibrations a bit too well for really sharp results. (Hmm. Nope, I don't have that one up on Flickr yet)
Nice panorama.

Is there a plain text description of Really Bad Chess somewhere, or does it just in app form?

Yeah, LJ hasn't been selling permanent accounts in a loing time. Then again I think they've only been for sale two or three times, when the site was particularly desperate for short-term money. They're not otherwise supposed to be something you can buy.
Thankee. ^_^ I perhaps should've remembered to edit my shadow out, but I suppose I can always do that in a subsequent revision. Would be nice to see that printed out large, but with that aspect ratio, anything tall enough to be enjoyably viewable would be a touch wide. Maybe I could sell it in a frame with scrolls on either side, and silent motors to pan across the view. =:)

RBC's purely an app, as far as I know. It may well exist for Android as well, of course. (Hm! The dev seems to be quite a busy guy!)

Mm, a pity - ISTR opportunities popping up around once a year or so, but not in the past.. foo, at least five years, I think. Still, at least I was able to renew for another year. (Thinking of which, I wonder what Flickr will be doing with their pricing.. Pro accounts had been $25/year for a while, then they got axed in favor of everyone going free, then brought back not long after, but with new Pro accounts costing something like double that, with existing ones grandfathered in for a couple years. I suppose even $50/year isn't bad, considering somewhere like SmugMug starts around there for the Basic and Power accounts, going up to $150/yr for Portfolio (adds the ability to add prices and vendors to photos), or $300/yr for Business. Thinking of which, they sent out a mailshot the other day, offering 31% off the first year for new accounts - presumably I'd qualify, given I closed mine several months ago. It's tempting, but I'd really want to make it pay for itself, which definitely wasn't the case previously. Maybe I'll try putting together some kind of marketing plan (definitely not home turf for me!) and setting a time limit of, say, three months to see if it can be self-sustaining, or even turn a profit. Trouble is, I still don't have much idea of whether or not people buy wildlife prints at all, other than from world-famous names like Jim Brandenburg, let alone of buns rather than imposing predators and safari species. Other than a few places like r/awww, I'm not even quite sure where might be worth trying to advertise, especially given high traffic sites often charge fairly huge sums - a side banner on Cute Overload was something like $300/mo. O.o; Hmm. I wonder if advertising on Autostraddle might work.. maybe I'll enquire, and see if their rates are something I might be able to give a quick try.

More tea, vicar?


Edited at 2016-10-14 04:12 pm (UTC)
Ah, didn't even notice your shadow. :) I don't think it's particularly distracting, but yes, I'd edit it out for a print.

I don't know whether any of these sites are worth it, really. What are you paying for in the end? Hosting? You can get that anywhere, really, for free or nearly so. Exposure? Sure, it may help to be on a site that people will typically think of when they think "high-profile photography", but there's still no guarantee at all YOU will be noticed, rather than the established big names. And like you say, in the end it's the likes of Brandenburg that really get the lion's share of the attention anyway.

I do think that there is a market for bunny photography, though. Cute sells just as well as big'n'sexy.

Advertising's another thing I'm not sure about; I have a gut feeling that in the end it's only the ad sellers that profit there, not the ad buyers. But of course if you want to be successful, getting your name out is important.

Have you looked into DeviantArt at all, BTW? The site takes photography just like any other kind of (visual, digital) art, and there's bound to be groups you could submit your stuff to. What's more, in my experience DA groups actually get browsed, unlike e.g. Flickr groups (which, in 99% of all cases, are little more than a place where photos go to die).

But whether it's all going to EARN you money in the end — I'd say that while it might happen, don't count on it. Hard work and a good plan aren't enough, you also need a fair amount of luck, so it's really best to do what you enjoy because you enjoy it, not because you're hoping to turn it into a business.
Whenever I consider getting a paid account again, I remind myself that my fl has dwindled down considerably from when I did have one. 35% of this account doesn't post anymore, and over 60% of my other journal has moved on. Some of these went to FaceBook and/or twitter, though I don't see much of them there, either. The others have just gone away.

Time hurries on... ;o)
It's certainly true that quite a few folk have moved on - I haven't really counted, but I imagine it'd be similar with me also. But - I've also discovered other folk (yourself included! =:), and - actually, I was spending around an hour or two a night in 2008, and I find it's taking about the same now too. I'm guessing it's that a lot of people didn't post very often, or only quite brief updates, where they might perhaps now be found on Twitter. But yes, if I do - as I have, rather too often in the last year or two - leave catching up with LJ for a week, it has taken me basically all day to catch up, sometimes into the next day as well.

That said, I am trying now to keep up on a daily basis, sometimes more. If I then happen to miss a day, through perhaps going out for a night, catching up is far less of an event. ^_^ So much better.

Indeed, I think a fair few did migrate to Twitter, and some just gave up entirely, sad to say. Still, I suppose that's the nature of things - people change, lives change, and the new web hotness changes.

In all, I still have a great time here, though, and it looks like you do too. ^_^ I'm happy to pay the fee - not just the account, but the icons too; you may have noticed I have a stupidly large collection of icons. =:) But that's one of the many things I like about LJ - for every entry, every comment, you get to choose. Conversely, it's a little baffling to me how people don't feel constrained by Twitter's option of one icon, and that's it! Just the icon can say plenty, even before you've started typing. ^_^

I do miss my array of icons! It's tough on Twitter with only my standard Mondhasen pic.

I try to get here each day to catch up on things. I've added new friends (like you :o) as well and will look about for more. I love lj's flexibility over FB and Twitter.
Interesting statistics!... I think the % of my friends posting here still is a tad higher, but not by much... but yep, I try to make this a daily stop.. if not every other day...
...and re: permanent accounts, wow.... yeah, sure has been a while yeah. Personally I think they're just asleep at the wheel. Although I'll take that over all the breakage they did for months right after the previous ownership transfers.
Still ...that one thing (offering perm accts) could bring a nice influx of funds if anyone there *were* thinking smart thoughts there... *eyeroll*..

In comparison, I also was very appreciative when XMRadio offered permanent accounts... and those were not just available during special promotions, .... but they downright stopped offering those altogether, whereas I guess there's still hope for LJ ones to return...
I'm a late adopter here, and it's natural that folks move on. I miss most the plush talk, and other 'furry' topics, but I guess it all gets repetitive. Even back in my first chat room days I realized that I had a sort of Peter Pan outlook and where I'd loop back through my furry beginnings others 'grew up' and moved on.
I think it's ok to 'move on' with respect to 'expanding horizons and experiences and adding friends' along the path of life, but it should not be exclusive of all things and people that came before... for that is how we Build life's foundations of friendships and so much more...
I'm sad for those who cannot embrace more than a 'cut and run' approach.. I think some great philosopher said the best plan is to keep one foot on the firm foundations of the past as we tread with the other adventurously into the future...
I think that makes us more Genuine also.
I don't think LJ has offered permanent accounts since they were bought out by a Russian company (I think it was a Russian company...) several years ago.
It might well be, yes - I recall that was a while back, and I know I haven't seen permanent accounts since.. probably before 2008, as I would've been able to afford one after then. I suppose it's no huge loss, given we're not talking about immense sums here, but - I've been here since 2003, and I don't see myself leaving. ^_^

Still, if we're going to contemplate "what if" scenarios on the web, I've done pretty well anyway, with the domain sale, which has and will transform matters. ^_^
That photo is absolutely amazing! And thank you for the shout-out. :)

I got my Permanent Account way back in 2005, and as far as I know that was the last time they ever offered them. Best $150 I ever spent.
Thanks! ^_^ I really must continue to review the rest of them, of course. I ought to put up a bit of a.. well, maybe not so much a travelogue, so much as just photos of some kind of significance. One I know must be present is my sake bento. =:) It had lain unused, waiting, for a bit over five years. I was.. well, delighted to be able to surprise Charlie, the chef, at said sushi bar (and pause to dab away the tears =:). I wouldn't claim it's the absolute pinnacle of sushi, but - it's a good place, and we always leave happy, which is what good food's all about, ne?

Aah, I so wish I'd been able to hop onto that! That must've been earlier in the year - if it'd been September or later, I'd surely have taken advantage of the opportunity. What icon limits come with a permanent account? As is, I pay for the account, and two 70-icon packs, so it's about $40-45/year. (I've always enjoyed that aspect of LJ: there's so much one can say in just an icon, even before you're typing, or someone's reading your words)

I think if they did happen to open up such sales again (though I suppose I don't expect them to do so), I'd leap at it. I've been on LJ since 2003, and I don't see myself leaving. It's certainly true there's been churn, especially around 2008-2009, which saw quite a few furries depart LJ, but - I actually seem to find myself spending much the same amount of time keeping up with LJ as even then. And FSM knows, I've met some amazing people as a result of being here. ^_^

Out of random curiosity, when did you take up photography? For me, it's been quite a slowly simmering thing - I'd always borrow Dad's simple 35mm when travelling, but of course, that could only do so much; likewise the holiday 110 affairs. It sort of got started, for me, with a hand-me-down Canon A200 from a LJ friend who's since left. Fixed focus ("prime lens" is perhaps overstating it =:), horrible battery life, but good enough for wandering around and capturing scenes. When the next gig came along, I borrowed a co-worker's bridge zoom, and explored what was possible with that, soon picking up a Panasonic Lumix TZ5 superzoom, which helped get me into wildlife photography - enough reach, but with poor higher ISO performance, and no manual control over shutter speed. Then, one day, another coworker brought in their shiny new Sony DSLR and 18-200mm. I asked if I could give it a try, and as soon as I saw that photo of a crow on the fence, them in perfect focus, the fence falling off into the distance, not to mention such clarity and detail, even down to 100%.. I knew I had to go that route. Cue several months of learning just how complex it all was, and all the makers were completely incompatible, followed by a used D90 and a new Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3.

It didn't take too long for me to realise the Tamron was a bit wanting in various regards, and I wound up plumping for a Nikkor 300mm f/4D AF-S for wildlife, which remains my mainstay - ridiculously sharp, and light enough to wander around all day with, or focus on a warren for a couple hours. The D90's been replaced by a D7100, and here we are. ^_^

(Which is probably way more detail than anyone needed, but then, this is why I'm here and not on Twitter =:)
Hey, much better here than on Twitter (or Facebook or anyplace else)!

Anyhow, the nice thing about Gmail is that it likes to keep copies of everything, so I can report that I received a receipt for my paid account on June 6, 2005. (I have space for 235 user pics!) I'm not using most of the user pic slots or the storage space, but it's still been nice to have the perm account, and I'm happy to support the place. Like you, I've met some great people here, and like you, I'll be here till the end. :)

I've been taking photos a good chunk of my life, with varying levels of interest. I had a little instamatic when I was a kid, and took a photo class in high school with my Dad's borrowed 35mm Minolta. I bought an Olympus OM-1 back in college, and loved that camera for many years, finally dropping and breaking it on a trip to Finland. But my interest really took off with the advent of digital, since there was instant gratification and minimal cost and it became much easier to practice and work on technique. I had a couple of Pentax compacts and then a Nikon D80 DSLR, but now my "real" camera is an Olympus OM-D. I like it because it has the features and image quality of the big Nikon, but is a lot more portable. I have several lenses for the thing, but mostly use an 12-50 zoom, which is the equivalent of a 24-100 zoom in the 35mm world.

Honestly, though, probably 2/3 of the shots I post here are just from my iPhone. You can do amazing stuff with a good smartphone camera nowadays, and I think "real" cameras are going to become a niche market before too long. Kind of makes me sad.
That is a great panoramic shot. I am impressed,
Thanks. ^_^ It's one hell of an experience in person, I have to say. You see all of that, all around.. it's the kind of moment that just fills one with the joy and wonder of life. ^_^ But then, even the walk up was something I couldn't help but pause frequently, sometimes for photography, but sometimes just to pause, breathe, and try to take it all in. ^_^
I forget what kind of account type I ended up with, but I don't pay fees and also don't see ads. I think there was a version with ads that allowed more user icons and styling options, or something like that.
Interesting! Not sure what that would be, unless you're just blocking the ads? I recall there is/was a Plus account, which I think had some ads in exchange for more perks than the free offering. Your profile says just Basic, so maybe they've leant away from trying to stuff ads down people's throats, especially when there are so many other options available.