TheJoyOfHack

For people who like to make things

Digitally Blending Photos With Adobe Photoshop

I’m interested in tinkering with High Dynamic Range photography, but before I get Photomatix, the software that’s recommended most often, I thought I’d try out a technique that’s a very crude approximation of HDR.  It involves taking one image that’s underexposed, and one that’s overexposed, and merging them in Photoshop.  The technique is described in this article at luminous-landscape.com.  Essentially, you put the underexposed image in a layer above the overexposed one.  Create a layer mask on the darker layer, and copy the brighter image to the layer mask. Apply a Gaussian blur to the layer mask, and you have your blended image. more ...


How Camera Lenses Work

This is the first in a series of blog entries on photography.  Today we look at one of the most critical parts of any camera - the lens.

Have you ever noticed that people can run faster on flat ground than on sand or water?  It’s the same way with light.  Light travels faster in air than in glass. more ...



Cleaning Up After Others

Tethered to the shore, this boat is used to pick up garbage floating in the lagoon by the Sharjah Corniche
Tethered to the shore, this boat is used to pick up garbage floating in the lagoon by the Sharjah Corniche

This boat looked out of place on the Khalid Lagoon by the Al Buhaira Corniche in Sharjah. It was too small to be a water taxi, and too drab to be for tourists.  As I approached it, I realized that its purpose was to pick up all the garbage floating in the lagoon.  It was full of soggy plastic bags and other detritus.  I’m glad I wasn’t close enough to smell it.

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A Lucky Shot

A Lucky Shot
A Lucky Shot

This picture was taken on my walk along the Sharjah Corniche on January 6th 2010, shortly after dawn.  I framed my shot carefully, right in front of the minbar, to exploit the symmetry of the building.  As I clicked, I noticed a blur as a cyclist strayed into my shot.  I had just enough time for one more shot before he left, and this second shot is what you see here.  I think the lucky addition of this man into the frame makes this a better shot than the one I was planning.

1/50 sec at f/4.5 :: 22mm focal length :: ISO 400

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What To Do When Your Mac Is Temporarily Disabled

Sad Mac
Sad Mac

Last night my Macbook Pro would not wake up from sleep. After jiggling the mouse and hitting the space bar a few times I powered it down. I powered it back up, and I could hear it booting up, and could feel the hard disk move, but there was nothing on the screen. After a little Googling I suspected the video driver was dead.

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