Monday, October 25, 2021

A bit meta ...

September this year skipped by without my realising that this blog has been going for ten years. The first post was on September 1, 2011. It was also the date of the first comment, by Mx5Pixie (Mia), welcoming me to Blogger. 

258 posts in the first 10 years; that's just over 2 per month. Though, curiously, 2017 was not a very productive year with only 5 posts, while I was obviously feeling ultra garrulous in 2012. with 57 posts.

Back in 2011, I described the blog as, "A rather indirect ramble through the aft end of life."  And so it has proved to be and will continue as such for the foreseeable future. Anyway, happy tenth birthday, blog!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Through the pinhole

A year or so ago, I started dabbling in old film cameras. Not the cult film cameras that still cost thousands of dollars, but the 'cheap as chips' cameras that can often be had for a hundred dollars or so and, preferably, have no electronics. It has been fun exploring some of the cameras that I could never have afforded back in the 1950s and 60s when I was starting out in photography. But, I thought, why stop there?

Kornel, is in Budapest. He makes pinhole cameras that are simple, cheap and very well built. His business is called "Infinie Camera" and, global mail delays notwithstanding, he sent me this beautiful little pinhole camera from his Etsy store...

6x6 pinhole camera, f130 pinhole at 32mm.

The camera arrived well ahead of the film stock I had ordered from Melbourne, so I set the camera aside and exercised my patience while I waited for the film to arrive. Finally, the camera and film were both in my hands and a nice spring day called for a bike ride. The pictures were shot in colour on Ektachrome but, in deference to the pinhole aesthetic, here they are in black and white ...
Pearson Park, Oxford
Farm entrance, Coopers Creek
Bridge, Coopers Creek
Coopers Creek
Woolfs Road ford and swing bridge
Derelict swing bridge, Woolfs Road
Unnamed ford, Island Road
Eyre River, Harewood Road

But, I can almost hear you asking, don't pinhole cameras produce rather fuzzy pictures? Why do these look so much sharper? Well, it's part of an experiment: What happens when you marry old technology with modern computers? These pictures are not really that sharp, but they are much sharper than a pinhole camera can produce on its own. The results are a blend of the pinhole's simplicity and infinite depth of field, with modern, AI, computational photography. I'm sure I can't be the first to have thought of doing this, but I like the results enough to want to follow this path a little further. Your thoughts?

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Google reads your thoughts

So, today I open up YouTube, thinking as I do so, "I'll just be offered the same old videos as yesterday."

For many months now, YouTube has been really slack in its recommendations - about 20% seem to be videos that I have already watched (why am I being "recommended" them again?) the other 80% seem to be videos that I have little interest in watching but get offered over and over. Maybe, there will be a handful of videos I haven't seen before. It's all become rather tiresome. I thought there was an algorithm for that - well it doesn't work! 

Then, today, there was this:

What? Google's in my head now?

I expectantly click the button, hoping for something 'different'.

Only ... no ... I'm offered the same old videos as usual, just in a different order. 

Dear Algorithm, you suck.

Or, perhaps it's just that I have watched all of YouTube and there isn't anything else left?