Archive for the ‘Media’ tag
Folks, I’ll be at the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Fall meeting in San Francisco starting December 13th. TheAGU (twitter) had the awesome idea to put a webpage together that lists bloggers that participate at AGU. There will also be a meet-up including lunch. I’m very much looking forward to meet you fellow bloggers as well as professional writers out there!
Also, if you happen to be in San Francisco between Dec. 13th and 21st and if you would like to chat – let me know!
It will be available online, for free, for one day on June 5th, for example on YouTube. Here is the trailer:
Here is a great presentation that does not contain spoken words, and it is about how a lot of people lack drinking water. I am not sure if I agree 100% with all its content, but I think it is still a very interestingly made presentation.
Via Presentation Zen.
Some of the readers of this blog are alumni of the environmental engineering curriculum at the University of Stuttgart. There is a club, called “Kontakt Umweltschutztechnik Stuttgart e.V.”, whose goal is to bring students, teachers, and alumni together in order to exchange ideas and thoughts. Check out the club’s homepage as well as the new XING group!
Sylvia is a deep ocean exploration expert. Her talk is on the importance of the oceans to know everything about our live support system — Earth. She gives a very vivid and powerful presentation trying to motivate us that saving the oceans and marine life is critical. Right now.
She has worked on the team that incorporated the oceans into google earth.
As far as I can see, photos offer three advantages:
- You see through a different set of eyes. When I walk around with my camera up and running, I generally pay more attention to detail and to my surroundings. I turn around more often, and the landscape behind you tends to look differently than in front of you! Without a camera, I tend to miss that part.
- Photography helps your memory. If you have photographs from the past available, they help your brain by remembering how things were, or how things evolved over time. This can be very useful. Do you remember how the chairs in your cafeteria looked like or were arranged 6 months ago? If you have the chance of knowing or storing the information of where the photograph was taken, this is a piece of great additional information. Geotagging.
- Photography is art and as such is beautiful. This is if you are careful by some minimum amount when you create the photography.
Why am I writing about this? Two reasons: primarily I have been having a lot of fun with photography lately, and secondly photography has been proven to be highly useful in a medical case I have been involved with.
Before I went on that trip to Chile, I contemplated for a very long time about which camera to take. I wanted to take a camera, because this is the kind of trip you just don’t do on a regular basis.
I do have some photographic history, which lead to some standards. The history dates back to shooting Lego scenes with my neighbour in the grass of our garden when we were about 8 years old with some obscure Rollei camera. This is where I learned what shutter speed and aperture were. I had no idea about ISO back then. The second flourishing period of my photography past happened during my student-magazine days. I managed to acquire sufficient ads so we had enough money to purchase a Minolta 500si super. That was very thrilling. This was in the late 90s so our school had on the one hand a black and white digital scanner. But one which you had to drag manually over the piece of paper you wanted to scan, and it was only about 10cm wide. It was quite a mess, but very exciting when your picture showed up in Corel 3. On the other hand the school still had a lab, where we developed our b/w film and magnified it on paper. This was so cool. I clearly remember the first roll of film that I took out of its tiny little box. In the dark. And there were only two of us in the lab… 🙂
In the end it came down to the question DSLR or point and shoot. More flexibility and picture-quality on a DSLR versus portability on a long backpacking trip. Sony just had released a series of DSLRs on which I could use my old Minolta lenses. I made the decision against heavy weight. As I said, I had some standards, so I still wanted some manual control, so I bought the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500. And I have been very happy with it! It has a really great automatic program. It has both aperture and shutter priority. At the beginning I was not sure if the display at the back would be bright enough if it is really light out, but I have been happy with it. The only thing I am not overly happy with is the autofocus. At times it’s a little slow and at very few times it doesn’t focus what I want to focus. I also bought an Amod AGL 3080 GPS tracker, because I wanted to have access to the second advantage from the triplet above. This thing works really nice for its money and for what I wanted it for, for tagging the location of where a photo was taken. Only drawback here is that it goes through batteries quite quickly.
During the trip I had a lot of fun, and I have been using both camera and gps device quite extensively and happily. When I came back, I had about 2000 photographs and a few megabytes worth of gps logs. I was dawn back into daily life quite quickly, but since last weekend I had a new push to work on those pictures. I guess my general feeling was like this: Ok, I have this camera with which I am quite happy, but a DSLR would be a DSLR. I took all these pictures, I had looked through them, they seemed to be ok, but nothing too great, I thought. Then two things happened. I read a blog post, unfortunately I forgot where, saying that essentially every camera is the same, all have a shutter and a lense. So it depends largely on the photographer and what he or she makes out of the situation. On sunday the situation was sunny and snow was on the ground. I switched my camera to black and white mode, yes, back to the roots, baby! Admittedly, this was also inspired by some blog post. And we went on a walk and I took my camera. I guess these days this is called a “photowalk”. And it was a lot of fun!
Afterwards I had built enough desire to look at those pictures from Chile and those gps logs. So I came up with this workflow:
- Take the individual logs, process them, put them in google earth to see where I actually do have a log. This processing I do with a little python script which creates a simple kml file.
- Then I select the pictures which correspond to the location and time of the log file in Lightroom and drag them into HoudahGeo.
- I let HoudahGeo do its magic, check in GoogleEarth if the tagging is correct, and write the locations to the exif file
- I load the metadata back into Lightroom: while still having the pictures I geotagged selected I click under “Metadata” in the menu bar on “Read Metadata from File”.
During the process it is important to pay attention to the times. Before dragging the photos away from Lightroom it might be necessary to “Save Metadata on File” (cmd-S).
This little story made me very happy with photography, again! I have learned a lot about Lightroom and gps on the way! A really great resource for Lightroom has been Scott Kelby’s Lightroom 2 Book! Hopefully I can share some decent Chile pictures or that python script! 🙂
Sorry folks for not blogging for a while, but I was having troubles updating to the latest version of the content management system I am using for this blog, Word Press. I just solved the issue, finally, by temporarily de-activating all plugins.
Here is something fun: over at short sharp science they posted this idea of using water. I think it looks awesome and I want to try it! However, I am not sure if ther has been photoshop at use… 🙂
Planetwater.org appears on Andreas Roth’s map that shows the locations of where a given blog is based at.
Great idea for a goole.maps mashup!
Slideshare announced the winners of their presentation contest. The winning presentation is a cool summary about the importance of drinking water. Check it out:
I’ve heard from readers that I am writing too much “serious” stuff. The concern is that this “serious” stuff might scare contributors to this blog away. I have no intention at all to scare anybody! And I think that blog entries on music, literature, movies, art in general, or any other topic within the boundaries of legality and good taste really, are interesting. This “serious” stuff, water in general and climate change in particular these days because it is such a hot topic in the general public, at least within my current surroundings, is occupying my mind and hence I am writing about it. If the majority of the readers and contributors think that this blog is not suitable for this, I will stop.
A lot of fuzz is going on these days about our climate. Is it getting warmer? What happens if it’s getting warmer? Who’s fault is it? Should we do something against it? What should we do? When should we do it?
The role of journalism is critical in this process, as it is generally for forming public opinion. My personal favorite happened in German public news this morning, when the anchor announced, plainly announced without any background, that patio heaters (I assume those gas fired ones) are bad for the climate, and they should be generally abandoned. Wow. Somehow, before the latest IPCC report from the working group I entitled “the physical science basis”, the media was generally quite critical, and sometimes even doubtful if climate change is happening at all. On the IPCC web page I still can find only the “summary for policy makers” of the working group I report. It doesn’t seem like the actual report is actually published yet. This has totally shifted to announcing that climate change is happening, and almost to scaring everybody how bad this is. Another brilliant piece of journalism has happened in the New York Times yesterday, and is very well summarized here, including the responses this NYT article has caused.