Hypertemporal HDR Concept (htHDR)

October 17th, 2011 § 5 comments § permalink

My housemate at Langton Labs, Matt Goodman did an amazing photography project, planting a camera in the mountains overlooking the site of burningman, and leaving it to photograph every 6 minutes for 5 weeks!

The result was 8,000 12 megapixel images of nights, days, sun rises, sunsets, dust storms, cloud formations, and of course Black Rock City coming to life and then, as quickly, fading back into the dust.

They were compiled into this an amazing video — “Playa Time: Dust to Dust” – Burning Man 2011 Time Lapse — now blowing up on YouTube. (If you haven’t yet, go see it, “like it”, share it with your friends, and then come back here.)

What stood out for me, while editing this video was the difference between night and day. The two are fascinating in their own right but worlds apart. I figured it was time for them to meet. I used my goto HDR tool Photomatix Pro to create this fusion:

(click to see high res.)

The character of the night and day shots is very different, the sun providing a blanket of illumination revealing the whole scene, whereas night veils everything except for that which wishes to be seen, advertising itself through beams of photons spewed in all directions.

I call these hypertemporal HDR images, because it uses the concept of HDR to blend and align photos of different exposures, but draws from photos taken at very different times.

Sign up here to be notified high resolution image prints from this time lapse.

I have also used the same technique to make an image of an amazing laser projector built by another of my housemates at Langton Labs:

(click to see high res.)

1. I turned on bright work lights, set the camera on a tripod and took an architectural shot (highest F-stop, lowest ISO, remotely triggered, long exposure)

2. I turned off the lights, while Michael Broxton fired up the laser. I adjusted the settings for a 2-4 second exposure and blew smoke into the laser light path for the photograph until I was happy with the result. (You can’t even see me in the photo blowing smoke!)

3. I edited the photos independently using Lightroom, until I was happy that the features that each was contributing to the whole, were nicely defined. Then I merged the two using the fusion option of Photomatix Pro. (I use the Lightroom to Photomatix export plugin.)


On the internet, you realize that you never really invent something, but kind of refactor what others have already done. Here are two wonderful demonstrations of the same concept applied to generate the sense of time flowing within one photograph, and I’ll probably play with that in the future as well.

Slices of the day by Sam Javanrouh

timelapsed downtown toronto

And a full tutorial and gallery of HDTR (http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/fun/hdtr/?gallery) “high dynamic time range”, where a single photo contains a blend of times across a full day by Martin Krzywinski:

capturing the flow of time in a single frame


And really, you should watch the video:

Small World Potential

May 27th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

So you run into someone you know unexpectedly — total coincidence! It’s a small world, right?

Well, if *your* world is small, perhaps you should go out and meet new people. Because you see, the world didn’t change its size based on who you re-met. Instead *it was you who spent your small world potential* by churning through the same social orbit.

By contrast, every time you meet someone new, you increase your small world potential by seeding the possibility of re-meeting this person. I postulate that with practice, it’s possible to accumulate this potential and use it like rocket fuel to overcome gravity and propel oneself into stable orbit.

This way, you no longer expend small world potential, but derive energy from the motion of the sociolestial spheres. In practice, this means that you can stop having a home (gravitational constraint) but live as a fully potentiated large world nomad without wearing out welcomes, rather bathing your perpetually grateful series of hosts with your comet tails and new found interconnectivity.

This thought crystalized when a certain character was described to me. Not everyone has this capacity. Incidentally, this [character](http://blog.titaniumdreads.com/?p=796) is now staying with [us](http://blog.langtonlabs.org) for a month.

no means to call for sympathy

October 16th, 2005 § 0 comments § permalink

i was riding a bike through traffic
when my cell phone flew from my pocket
a car smashed it into many little pieces.
i picked most of them up
except for the very little ones
because more cars were on their way.

the concept concept

July 15th, 2005 § 0 comments § permalink

the concept concept is an elusive one and requires further qualifications. it’s a concept propped by a series of assumptions, delivered in a necesserally raw form, practical only partly, and even then in small yeild.

the cactus concept yeilds toothpicks. whatever the means and costs of the industrial production of toothpicks, it is of note that nature makes them as nature does — naturally. mexican omelletes contain prickly pear cactus nopalitos as an ingredient and you can purchase it in abundance at our local street grocers with the spikes removed. where labor is cheap, the labor of removing the spikes may be worth the product, but perhaps there is a machine for this task. if there is or isn’t, there should be one, with the following specifications:

– roll along the flat nopalitos surface stripping spikes
– sort spikes and select longer (adequate ones)
– discard short spikes and debris
– produce both despiked nepolitos and spikes

sell spikes as toothpicks.

this, in turn, yeilds the cactus martini concept:

– cactus liquor (or adequate substitute)
– gin or ouzo
– garnish with cactus flesh staked with aforementioned toothpick

in making it, which i will as i get the right ingredients in place, it will survive its concept concept tag, since it will maintain all of the qualifications.

when i hire a cocktail photographer to represent it resting on a sophisticated urban bar counter, document the mixture, and sell it as a book on concept coctails, it will cease to be.


January 6th, 2005 § 0 comments § permalink

i happen to spend lots of time on airlines. my luggage happens to be lost. they say, somewhere in texas. if it’s not recovered in five days, they will tell me a number to call to file a claim. until then, the number exists, but is uncallable.

there is another idea that exists, that is very obvious but unimplemented and also has to do with airlines. there is one thing. just one item, that costs less than but would be appreciated more than the pretzels and peanuts they do give out, and that is a stick of gum.

dentists have already begun introducing massaging chairs and i enjoyed my last visit.

craigslist free list should carry the motto, ‘inherit from the people’ and aviator was a great movie.

drive-through voting

November 7th, 2004 § 0 comments § permalink

as high as voter turnouts were, it is still a pain to go and vote and the process could be simplified.

i propose drive-through voting, as this would not require a new infrastructure. to start with a reasonable suggestion, let’s consider atm’s. banks could be legally required to offer voting services if the customer requests it. with an upload of your voter registration at your request, voting can be made into an easy atm transaction. identity and data verification is something banks do anyway.

a harder case to make, but one that would yield yet higher turnout, is for a fast food drive-through. admittedly, the line at my local mcdonald’s occasionally exceeds that at my polling station, but at least you can get “fries with that.”

social experiment, apartment setting

May 20th, 2004 § 0 comments § permalink

there is an old politically incorrect russian jokes that goes:

do you know how chinese people name their children?


they throw some silverware down the stairs and name the child by the resulting sound.

well, as an american liberal arts enlightened student, i dismissed this as culturally insensitive nonsense.

but just now, i dropped a spoon in my room, and my flat mate (whose chinese name I cannot pronounce and out of sensitivity for the shortcomings of our pronunciation he introduces himself as john) suddenly responded from his room down the hall, ‘yes’.

bewildered, i thought, is there anything to this? does it deserve a follow up experiment?

update: 3 hours later.

my friend was over this time, so i say this with the weight of 4 ears. i accidentally clanked my cup on the table. this time john was in the kitchen. ‘yes’, he said but then walked over to the door and checked to see if anyone was there.

it must be that he has sensitive ears and timid quietly knocking friends, which actually is the case.

in simplest terms …

February 23rd, 2004 § 0 comments § permalink

i have also fallen madly in love with my handwriting and have spent the last hour scribbling thoughts on paper with a mechanical pencil–i only mention the mechanical pencil because for the duration of the past hour it was just as much of my social output as i was. i have grown rather fond of mechanical pensils over this hour. over this hour i have decided to buy a proper mechanical pencil that can hold its lead in a sturdy enough grip to allow long arcs with the sharp pencil tip without rotation and minimal breakage.