Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Love-Hate: Body Area Network and Internet of Things

This expresses  my first reaction, from in an article:

 There will be complicated, unintended consequences: ‘We will live in a world where many things won’t work and nobody will know how to fix them.'

  1. Internet of things

    2.  Body Area Networks


Monday, September 29, 2014

Important Photography Books

I have studied photography from several points of view.  Even though I studied at Brooks Institute of Photography for several months in 1977, most of my learning was self driven.  I pored over libraries of books, gleaning bits and fragments of photographic wisdom.  But photography is a wealthy man's pursuit; for several years, it hasn't been one I could pursue.  I have a simple Canon PowerShot point and shoot, and that's about it anymore.  Fe and William have newer Canon PowerShots, so I use theirs. 

I am drawn to macro photography, and I have also spent a good amount of time doing photography through a microscope.  I am no good at it.  I admire those who have not only the focus but the equipment to pursue it.  I spent a year or so doing Underwater Photograhpy, and I have a (broken) underwater housing for the Canon SD1100 IS; underwater photography, like fishing, is a pursuit requiring many unproductive hours to produce a single fish, or a single good photography.   The camera of my cell phone is fun to play with, but not a serious tool by any means. 

A few books stand out as exceptional.  For one thing, the techniques they discuss are themselves out of the ordinary.

  1. Alfred Blaker's books on Scientific Photography and Field Photography. 
  2. Mertens: _In Water Photography_ is a highly technical text delineating a few techniques that are a far cry from the mainstream howto books.  It is worth reading, even if most of us could never even begin to pretend to apply these techniques.
  3.  Ansel Adams's books on the Zone System
 Blaker's macro techniques were taught at a workshop I attended many years ago.  The idea was to use two cheap strobes, arranged like lighting in a portrait studio.  A neutral density filter over one would create modelling.  It is possible to take a photograph of a bee on a flower with wings frozen, using such a technique.  

Using Canon PowerShots, the Canon Hacker's Development Kit (CHDK) is interesting and useful.  I have found that my PowerShot is too unsophisticaed to support most of the CHDK features, since it does not have an iris, and is less capable in almost all respects than higher end PowerShot cameras.