Posts Tagged as: photography

August 17, 2015

How to Make a Fillhouette

I discovered something pretty cool in Photoshop. If you select the inverse of a person’s silhouette and apply a “Content-Aware Fill”, the results can be funny, interesting, and sometimes quite beautiful. And it literally takes about 15 seconds.

Here’s how to make a “fillhouette”.

1: Find an image that’s not too difficult to silhouette. Anything with well-defined edges of the person is good.

2: Select the person. The easiest way is to use the “Quick Selection Tool”.

3: Shrink the selection so it’s a few pixels inside the person’s silhouette. Go to “Select > Modify > Contract…” and choose a value around 3.

4: Now invert the selection so the background is selected instead of the person. Go to “Select > Inverse”.

5: Now, just go to “Edit > Fill…” and choose “Content-Aware” from the dropdown. Press OK and you’re all set!

Here are some other fillhouettes I just quickly put together.

I’d love to see what the creative community can do using this technique, so I started a Tumblr where I’ll be posting the best examples I come across: fillhouettes.tumblr.com

February 5, 2014

Upstairs Downstairs

Here’s the view from the elevator in my new building – from the basement and the first floor. Mesmerizing and nauseating at the same time!

upstairs-downstairs

August 16, 2013

Queensboro Bridge Truck Fire Photos

Earlier today a truck burst into flames on the Queensboro bridge. Luckily nobody was injured.

Fast forward to tonight while I’m sipping some bourbon on my balcony (Breckenridge Bourbon from Colorodo, it’s not bad), and I notice two heavy-duty trailers hauling the burnt remains of a truck down Jackson Avenue.

I don’t know for sure this is the truck, but how often does a charred truck get carted down Jackson Avenue away from the Queensboro bridge? Anyway, enjoy the photos. The full hi-res gallery is here.

July 10, 2013

Embedding an Instagram Photo

Hot off the presses. You can now embed an Instagram photo into any web page. Just browse to any Instagram photo on instagram.com, and click the little rectangle on its right side.

Here’s one of my favorite recent shots, taken in Long Island City.

The New iPhone and 120FPS Slow Motion Video

Apple is apparently testing a slow motion video feature for its next iPhone. This Petapixel article includes an example video of 120FPS slow motion, and it immedlately reminded me of Apple’s new “Designed by Apple in California” ads.

See for yourself.

120 FPS Demo:

Apple’s TV Ad: “Our Signature”

Slow motion video can create some beautifully sentimental moments, and it seems Apple is already utilizing it in its ads. Soon it’ll be our turn.

This also relates to the Apple strategy suggested by Marco Arment in his article, iOS7 As Defense. If true, this slow-motion feature would once again leapfrog other handset manufacturers, giving Apple another lead in the market. Judging by how few cameras can do 120FPS, I can’t imagine this is easy to achieve in a consumer device.

June 30, 2013

How to Vine With No Hands

Whenever I see people using Vine with no hands, I assumed they were doing it with paperclips and sponges or something. But it turns out you can do it completely from the phone itself. Duh.

The basic idea is to use the iPhone’s built-in functionality for helping people with motor problems. In this case their deficit is our benefit. Nice!

First, go to Settings > General > Accessibility and turn “AssistiveTouch” on.

Then you’ll create a new gesture. Just tap and hold in the center of the screen until the time limit runs out. You’re probably figuring out where this is going.

Then save that gesture and call it whatever you want. I called mine “Vine” because I’m original.

Notice that when you turned on AssistiveTouch it added a little circle thingy to your phone? Well that’s how you activate the gesture you just made.

Tap the circle, choose “Favorites”, then tap “Vine”. Then it will add an extra blue circle to your screen. Tap that blue circle to start recording.

If you’re having trouble, here are some things I’ve noticed:

You can reposition that AssistiveTouch circle thingy by dragging it. Sometimes using it in Vine only works when it’s on the left middle side of the screen.

Sometimes your Custom Gesture of just tapping and holding in the middle of the screen doesn’t work. So try making a new gesture where you tap, hold, and slightly move your finger around in a circle.

Sometimes ending the Vine video is tricky. If you can’t tap the Next button in Vine, hit the home button and wait a few seconds, then relaunch the app. Your Vine should still be there.

So that’s how to Vine with no hands. Enjoy, and keep using Vine to record your stupid crap!

June 17, 2013

Face/On

This website looks amazing: thatsmyface.com. Apparently it can make a 3D model of your face based on photographs, then print it on action figures, legos, 3D sculptures, and more.

If anyone tries it let me know!

May 21, 2013

Sharing Photos From the New Flickr to WordPress


This is very cool. While browsing the new Flickr, I noticed a share button labeled “Share to WordPress – The Cleverest” so I clicked it. Apparently I had hooked it up to my WordPress installation ages ago and forgot about it. This type of one-click publishing is very cool, and reminds me a bit of Tumblr, which Yahoo also just snatched up. Interesting.

Via Flickr:
on Instagram bit.ly/10digbk

April 5, 2013

Listening to a Record from a Photograph

This blew my mind. Apparently it’s possible to use a photograph of a record and get an audible recording from it.

The step-by-step process illustrated in this article called Extracting Audio from Pictures makes sense once it’s broken down. Basically you convert the round image of the grooves into a straight line…

…then you use Photoshop to boost the contrast of the lines, which become the actual waveforms you feed into ImageToSound software.

Amazing stuff. I often wonder about future generations being able to eavesdrop on people in the past by using leaps in technology.

For example on this Wikipedia page about Archaeoacoustics:

Gregory Benford’s 1979 short story “Time Shards” concerns a researcher who recovers thousand-year-old sound from a piece of pottery thrown on a wheel and inscribed with a fine wire as it spun. The sound is then analyzed to reveal conversations between the potter and his assistant in Middle English.

The idea that people’s voices would have unknowingly been recorded onto the bowl like a modern day record, locked away until a future generation figures out how to extract the audio, is awesome. True, Mythbusters busted this myth, but I wouldn’t fully discount the general concept of learning more from old data with better and better tools. (Think the dino DNA in Jurassic Park.)

Taking that pottery example further, I wonder if when I take a photo with my iPhone, a future generation will be able to determine my mood that day by examining whatever minuscule image artifacts my brainwaves caused in the image sensor.

It sounds crazy, but not much crazier than one ancient potter telling his buddy to keep his voice down so the future can’t eavesdrop on their clay.

March 14, 2013

Barry Lyndon’s Opening Scene and the Golden Ratio

I re-watched “Barry Lyndon” last weekend and was reminded of how perfectly Stanley Kubrick framed his shots.

The opening scene, below, is one of the most beautifully-framed shots I’ve ever seen in a film. The more you look at it, the more you say “Yes. Why yes, that’s nicely framed.” And the better it looks too.

Kubrick’s use of the Golden Ratio here is pretty astonishing. While a composition will usually look nice with one use of the ratio, here I’m counting between three and four examples of it.

This would be impressive enough in a painting, but the fact that Kubrick was able to achieve such beauty in a real environment is even more stunning. Pretty badass Stanley.