Children at play

A sign in Fermoy, Co. Cork warns motorists to watch out for kids playing on the road.

I’ve seen so many people speed through built up areas these signs mean absolutely nothing to them.

Technique:
1. Original image was flat and plain. Background sky was monotonous so I ran it through auto-levels which brought out the colours.

2. Then I duplicated that layer and blurred it using Gaussian Blur with a radius of 25px (original image is 3504px wide). By adding a layer mask I was able to rub out some of the blurred layer to expose the sharp original below. Opacity was set to 41% to reduce the blur effect.

3. Finally an overlay layer was added and circular gradients drawn on with a low opacity. This darkens the sky and sign slightly in patches.

All manipulation done in the GIMP but will work just as well in Photoshop or other application.

Was that useful? Want more?

Light trails on Oliver Plunkett Street

Light trails from a passing car leave their mark on this long exposure shot of Oliver Plunkett Street in Cork.

Can you see pink lights on the vertical poles standing at the edge of the pavement? On my Linux box they’re clear as day but I can’t see them at all in Preview on the Macbook.

The lights were designed and made by MAAS here in Cork and the colour changes slowly from blues to purples to pinks to yellow and to any other colour. It’s quite a sight to see the colour change when standing at one end of this long straight street!

The Gallery ICA launched on Friday

Haydn’s Gallery ICA launched with a party on Friday night. I wasn’t there but Haydn blogged it yesterday. Did you make it to the party Ryan? Jacinta and I were minding the baby and didn’t budge out of the house.

Haydn and myself have gone through a large part of my photo archive and we’ve selected 10 images I’ll be making limited edition fine-art prints from to display in the gallery. That was almost 2 months ago, but with the birth of my son Adam, other priorities came first.

Now I have to decide:

  • What size should the prints be?
  • Where do I get them printed?
  • Where do I get them framed?
  • Price? There will only ever be 10 prints of each image. The cost of a print must cover the expenses incurred in creating it. That includes the above printing and framing costs, time and effort, gallery costs such as insurance, running expenses, and more. I used to think that charging €400 for a painting was exorbitant but the costs quickly mount up. Pricing must reflect the exclusive nature of the print. This print could take pride of place in a living room for years to come. A small price to pay.

I’m heading to San Francisco at the end of July for WordCamp but hopefully my prints will be on display in the gallery long before then.

G-BKSP on Inch Strand

Another shot from our few hours at Inch Strand in Co. Kerry last September. This is G-BKSP waiting on the beach to fly. Unlike the glider I posted earlier I saw this plane fly. Unfortunately conditions weren’t suitable for flying the gliders before we had to head home to Cork.

Clouds over Dingle

Clouds floated by on a glorious September afternoon in Dingle, Co. Kerry. Tourists relaxed on seating on the waterfront.

I just love clouds and wide angle shots!

Zooomr Mark III launches with some hiccups

After what seems like a long week of false starts and unfortunate hardware melt downs the new Zooomr launched this weekend. I haven’t logged in yet but I’m looking forward to exploring all the new features Kristopher has been working on.

I do have a bone to pick with them. They are still not caching images properly! Run any Zooomr hosted image through the Cacheability Engine to test it and you’ll get a report like the following:

http://static.zooomr.com/images/2403982_586b90d879.jpg
Expires 1 day from now (Mon, 04 Jun 2007 19:04:14 GMT)
Cache-Control max-age=86400
Last-Modified 2 hr ago (Sun, 03 Jun 2007 17:04:14 GMT) validation returned same object
ETag –
Content-Length 65.4K (66953)
Server lighttpd/1.4.15

It makes no sense for the image to be sent again. Your browser should be allowed to cache the image. Besides the caching issue, the image is still slow to load and it’s only 67k.

Way back in December I asked, Is Zooomr slow for you too? and was heartened when Kristopher Tate said he was working on a fix. Hopefully the fix is part of an as-yet-unreleased part of Mark III. Without it, using Zooomr for image hosting is really not recommended. Please fix the caching. I really want to like Zooomr!

Now, if only Robert would evangelize fixing their image hosting I’d be a happy camper!

The curious dog

While wandering about on St. Patrick’s Day this year I spotted this adorable little dog. I got a few snaps and his owner didn’t seem to mind. The doggy was more than happy at the attention and sniffed eagerly at my lens!

Tinfoil hat time! Google recognises you now!

Thanks Mike for pointing me towards this Arstechnica article about the new facial recognition in Google Image Search. If you add &imgtype=face to any image search url it will only show you faces. Try this search for Cork, Ireland and compare it with this facial search for the same terms. Scary eh?


Ordinary image search


Facial image search

PS. That 4th picture on the facial search is mine. This should make finding images a lot more interesting.

PPS. My Thieving Duck has been used on the Consumerist website! That photo seems to be rather well known!