So, there's this image going around with a man's hand holding a wee bunny. The caption reads
You can tell the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him or some twee twaddle like that. Anyway, a friend suggested an alternate second part:
No, I don't advocate throwing small bunnies. Tossing? Maybe.
The postscript is that some douche-bag on Facebook took the modified image, stripped off my friend's name, and then reposted it. What a douche-bag.
Because, deep down inside, I'm still a 12-year-old boy.
Yeah, it's a huge-ass animated GIF. Just let it load.
Well, okay, this isn't really a hack. But it is a method for grabbing low-to-medium resolution photos from Disney's rip-off PhotoPass
Basically, what you do is go to their site, display each photo, and take a screen-capture of it.
But wait, you say, those images are tiny, a mere 400 x 286 pixels! And it's true, they are. So, here's what you do:
Okay, you have the image as 9 close-up images. Now you just put them all together. But, keep in mind that the resulting pieces do not match pixel by pixel where they overlap. (I don't know why. Ask Disney. They just don't.) Here's my method.
Difference,you can then jiggle the layer around until the overlap is as black as it gets. Then set blending back to
And that's it. The end result is a photo at 1142 x 761 pixels. Yeah, that's not great at all. But it sure beats 400 x 286. (And it beats paying Disney fifteen bucks for a high-res copy of a poorly-taken photo.)
I love lolcats! So I made one of my own:
That's all. Get back to work.
A couple nights back was the biggest, brightest full moon in 15 years. The Moon was both completely full and at its nearest approach to the Earth. So I went out with the 18x Lumix and a tripod and took a bunch of exposures. Here's what I ended up with:
True, nothing compared to a telescope or a real camera-zoom combination. But not bad for a consumer-level camera.
The actual image is twice that size. But, frankly, it looks much sharper reduced down a bit.
I've been playing around with high dynamic range images. The idea is that you take multiple exposures of the same scene, combine them into an image with a dynamic range higher than screens can output, then remap the image to a range you can display. The result can simply be an image with more detail, as different areas each get the proper exposure. Or the results can be really hyper-detailed with super-saturated colors.
They have a neat process. Once they've scanned your stuff, they put them on a web site for you to view. And then you can reject up to half of them. And you don't pay for the ones you reject. (And you can reject for whatever reason you want, even if it's just because Aunt Mildred's eyes were shut.) Then they send you a DVD with all the scans you kept. (And your negatives, of course.)
I've read that their quality is really good, much better than consumer negative scanners can do. And the prices are way low, only 19 cents per photo from negative, which is where my interest lies. You see, we like to take photos. So we have tons and tons of old negatives around the house. In particular, we spent a really nice week touring parts of Europe one summer, before digital cameras were any good. And we took photos, about 400 or so. I've always wanted these in a digital format. So we're trying out these guys with the European trip as a test.
They can also scan APS/Advantix film. Remember that stuff? Anyway, we have a few rolls of it from Europe as well. They were shot in panorama mode. Scanning those costs more than twice as much per photo, because it's a pain with which to work. But some of the photos are really nice, so we bit the bullet. (Okay, actually, I sent them in before I realized they cost more.)
They actually do the scanning manually, rotating and color-correcting things by hand. So, how do they keep their costs down? By doing the actual scanning in India, land of really smart people. (Honestly, I've never know anyone of Indian ancestry who wasn't really smart, starting with Ruma, my old debate partner.)
So, therein lies the sole drawback. You ship your negatives to California. They repackage orders in a big bundle and send them to India. India scans them. Then the negatives get sent back to California and then back to you.
The whole process can take two months. Is that a problem? Not at all. Those negatives have been sitting in a closet for years. (This probably isn't the way to go if you need things back quickly, though.)
So, we sent ours out and they arrived in California this morning. In two months, we should have some great scans. I'll report back then.
(If it all works out, we have loads of negatives from a two week stint in Norway.)