Archive for November, 2011

His and hers … cameras?

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

From Amazon.co.uk’s camera section:

His and Hers ... cameras

…yeah. “Gifts for Her, Gifts for Him”. It is apparently now a useful commercial approach to gender cameras. (Interestingly, this is the only part of the “Electronics” section which has his-and-hers gift recommendations – I wonder why…)

Note that one camera, the Olympus XZ-1, is even on both lists. For women, it comes in white at £289.99, and for men it comes in black at £311.08. I don’t even want to know the logic behind that one.

I really should have thought of this earlier

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Every now and again, I find myself with a pile of telephoto shots of something which was very hard to focus on properly, where I want to select the best few images and crop them for display. If I’ve made a hundred images, this can get very tedious – I have to manually zoom in on each one to see how sharp it is before comparing it to the next.

Tedious, repetitive, tasks. Surely, this is something a computer can do for me? Lo and behold, imagemagick saves the day…

convert -crop 1024x768+1632+1040 *.JPG -set filename:f 'crop_%t.%e' +adjoin '%[filename:f]'

..takes a series of 4288×2848 pictures, crops out the centre 1024×768, and drops this into a seperate file called crop_FILENAME. Skimming through these is far quicker…

I know, I know, trivial solutions. But it saves me a lot of time. And as a result:

crop_DSC_3677

crop_DSC_3667

…pictures of the woodpecker outside my living-room window, shot with a D90 and an old manually focused f/5.5 300m lens.

It works! I had almost two hundred frames to run through to find these (which may explain why they waited a month and a half for me to get around to it…)

Moments of peace

Friday, November 11th, 2011

We think of the Armistice as being a moment of flags, of applause, of music in the silent air. But, for many, it was just a quiet morning; millions of men, sitting in the dust and the frost, looking around them and wondering what to do next. An eyewitness:

November 11th.—There had been so much talk of an armistice that a Brigade message in the morning telling us of its having been signed at 8 o’clock, and that hostilities were to cease at 11, fell somewhat flat. The event was anticlimax relieved by some spasmodic cheering when the news got about, by a general atmosphere of ‘slacking off for the day’, and by the notes of a lively band in the late afternoon. The men betook themselves to their own devices. There was a voluntary Service of Thanksgiving in the cinema which the Germans had built; the spacious building was quite full. […] ‘To me the most remarkable feature of that day and night was the uncanny silence that prevailed. No rumbling of guns, no staccato of machine-guns, nor did the roar of exploding dumps break into the night as it had so often done. The War was over.

November 12th.—Baths were a first concern.

— The War The Infantry Knew, 1914-1919, ed. Capt. J.C. Dunn.