Seeing the big picture
17.35.02 - Mark
Today's adventure in photography is panoramic photography. This is a photo of Camp Raven Knob (from the upper knob) that I've been wanting to take for years, but have more or less lacked the experience, tools, and skills to pull it off. That's changed - when I was at the local art council's photography club I knew one of the members had some experience with digital panoramas and asked for some tips after the meeting. The tips were take the photos on full manual controls, take the series in the portrait orientation, then stitch them together in Photoshop by hand - aligning them in layers, then using layer masks to smooth out sharp lines and other misalignments. I have to say that his tips worked out really well, and the results are worth the extra time and effort involved.
Here's the first stitched image, A 15 or 16 image series forming one horizontal row. It's not particularly well suited to serve as a desktop (unless your desktop is a flight simulator or you have 3 or 4 wide screen monitors as your workspace). I took a series with two horizontal rows, but I might try and get a 3 or 4 row series later on. I'll stitch the two row series together next, and if it turns out well that may make a better candidate for desktop images and prints. I also might have to dig around for some QTVR software and use one of the 360 series to make a panoramic movie. For now, I really want to make a panoramic photo into a poster, but I want to have the image first (then worry about finding a reasonably priced large format printer...)
View Medium (4764 X 1024) Suitable for a multi-screen desktop
View Large (12100 x 2600) Suitable for printing - maybe
MacGyver CD repair
02.38.50 - Mark
I've heard for years that the best way to fix a scratched CD is to use toothpaste to polish the scratches out of the plastic. Thankfully I haven't actually had to test it out, but when working on an iMac I needed an Mac OS 9.1 CD. The bad part is that I only have one full OS 9.1 CD (plenty of 9.0) and I haven't taken the best possible care of it and its been scratched all to hell. So, out came the toothpaste, and after a couple passes, a couple minor scratches had come out, but not the major ones that were corrupting the disk. So, a quick google search and it turns out Brasso is the best CD scratch remover, so out it comes and after one pass it had done far more than the toothpaste.
I still had to do a couple more passes with the Brasso before the disc was usable (I don't have a photo, but this disc was seriously scratched) but its done the job and saved me $20 (going rate for a OS 9 cd on eBay)