Delving into HDR

by Tobias on August 22, 2011

HDR: Eastlake Docks in Seattle
(The above is a composite of 8 images with exposure times in the 5min and above range.)

HDR is one of those buzz words in Photoland that usually invokes a set of viewer expectations and a bit of mystique. In a nutshell, the photographer is “merely” taking the same photo multiple times, and at various settings, such that they can get the over exposed and under-exposed elements properly exposed in a single image. The basic example is a bright sky; You want the bright sky to show the great cloud formations, but you don’t want to alienate, say, the trees in the foreground. (Poor trees!)

HDR: Sunrise in Suburbia V1
(This image is one I am using as a learning piece and is not meant to be a token of great composition.)

Here are the specifics for each photograph used in this composite: Composite of 4 images. All images captured at ISO 100, focal length 48mm, ƒ/5.6

Shutter speeds:

I have started using HDR because I take a lot of nighttime photographs. This means that if I am doing a very long exposure and there just so happens to be, for example, a street light in frame, then that street light is going to end up extremely bright compared to the rest of my image. This is where HDR comes to the rescue.

How do you magically make an HDR image?
[click to continue…]


I am working on a book of my Bioflash images. I am using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 point’n’shoot camera in a method it was not intended.

More details to come, but in the meantime check out a few previews:


How to type an ellipsis (…) on the iPhone. Why didn't I know about this sooner?

If you aren’t familiar with the three little dots and the fact that they are a type character in their own rite, then I recommend checking out the very informative Wikipedia entry.


Hold down the period button until the secondary keys appear.

You can even do this while the keyboard is in alphabet mode. Just hold down the numbers key, don’t let go, drag onto the period, wait until the alternates appear, drag onto the ellipsis and let go. Bingo! You are right back to the alpha keyboard.

(After testing, it seems the dragging to/from both keyboard sets works only in certain settings. It definitely works if you click into the number layout and then drag and release.)

I love ellipses…

“Three little points of suspension…”


(Some pictures I took at the Monterey Bay Aquarium that I used for this design.)

After a few hiccups due to an error that I am going to blame on someone else once I can figure out who, I have gone back and polished up this site to bring it back to its full Jellyfish Potential™.

On that note, relax to this video I produced of jellyfish slowly swimming to ambient music I recorded a few years ago:

“Exe_Centa” – Jellies @ Monterey Bay Aquarium from T.bias on Vimeo.


iPhone Camera icon

iPad: No Camera is a Bad Idea

by Tobias on January 27, 2010

Today Apple announced, with little surprise, a tablet computer called the iPad.  Some nifty things going on, but very little in the “knock me over the head with Wow™” going on.

One thing in particular is lacking: A camera[tech specs]

Now, this at first glance does not seem to be much of a big deal.  The device is straddling the fence of the iPhone and the MacBook lines, both of which have a camera.  The obvious similarity would be with the iTouch which lacks a camera, but I’m willing to bet that many iTouch users will understand my complaint.

iPad: No Camera?

Steve Jobs says iPod touch didn’t get a camera because “it’s a great game machine” –engadget

The iPad will be a wonderful platform for application development.  Take all of the wonders that have come from the iPhone developer community and amp it up ten fold.  e.g., You can now make a device that a doctor carries around from patient to patient and can easily access information, charts, etc. on the fly and with more granularity for drilling down to specifics or complicated interactions.

A camera provides a very useful input source for such applications.  QR Codes, augmented reality, business card scanning, face detection, object detection, and all of the other wonderful things that we haven’t even thought of yet are now all closed off. A very large door for innovation has been closed in our faces before we even went to open it.

Will I need to have a camera dongle if I want to, say, make a Doctor Application™ that allows them to take photo graphs of injuries to be entered into the patient’s file?  The Wine Taster Application™ won’t let you take photos of the label of wine you just drank that blew you away.  Of course the lack of video chat via iChat is a striking feature set that is missing.

The built in camera on my iPhone is an integral part of my experience with the device.  To have taken that integral tool out of the iPad was a very sad mistake that Apple has made.