Seven years ago, I wrote a chapter for a book about eco-activism. It was during an incredible time in my life between spending 10 years chasing strange underwater stories, and a partial-return to tech. Ultimately, it was deemed that I was not "hardcore" enough of an eco-warrior; my chapter was silently struck after I was told that it needed to be "in some ways rewritten."Read More
I've been asked a lot recently by friends for product recommendations for useful baby things (our son is now 18 months old). I remember how daunting it was to have a new baby on the way. A few friends dropped off literally truckloads of hand-me-down baby stuff, much of which were confounding collections of plastic tubes, cylinders, and funnels that were apparently supposed to connect in ways that might be useful. Every kid is going to be very different, but here's what Mako ended up using...Read More
The state of 360 capture is such that you can currently almost always find the photographer in the shot, even in high-profile, brand-name pictures. These are from the 360 photos coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympics by Getty Images in the Oculus 360 Photos app. There are so few photographers shooting in 360 at the Olympics that they become recognizable almost immediately!Read More
Here's a consumer 360 camera comparison that includes videos shot using a Samsung Gear 360, Ricoh Theta S, and LG 360 CAM. I put the cameras side by side on a light stand and captured using default settings.Read More
A lot of my friends are Mac users who are setting up dedicated Windows machines to run VR setups like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Many of them are trying to figure out where to put an extra desktop computer and all of the accessories necessary to accommodate a VR headset...Read More
Psst! Center those horizons in your 2:1-aspect ratio equirectangular 360 photos, and your horizon will also be centered (and straight) in interactive viewers.
I take a lot of aerial drone panoramas, and I always have to stretch the sky a bit and paint in a bit at the very top to get my horizons centered...Read More
A few days ago, I wrote a note over at Facebook about how to get Facebook to recognize 360 photos that have been edited by programs that strip out the image metadata that tells the world that they should be treated as 360 panoramas.
If you're interested in editing 360 photos for interactive sharing over at Facebook, it might be worth a read!Read More
A discussion of various consumer 360 "VR" cameras for shooting 360 photos and videos, as well as how to hold them up using tripods.Read More
Our family orders something from Amazon at least once a week. Increasingly, we order items from Amazon third-party sellers, many of whom honor Amazon Prime shipping and are almost indistinguishable to the common buyer throughout the entire purchase and delivery workflow. We have very few problems with third-party sellers, but there is one major difference between buying something Amazon-stocked and from a third-party supplier: the inevitable follow-up email that essentially puts the buyer on a mailing list they never opted into.Read More
On Friday, I lost my $2,800 Apple MacBook Pro by following standard TSA security protocols at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). I look back on the series of events that led to the lost computer with incredulity, and although all of the TSA staff and LAX airport police were courteous, I am still without my computer and am unsure whether or not I will be reimbursed for my loss.Read More
From a natural history perspective, the underwater ecosystem is actually very accessible. You can have close encounters with wildlife, even with big animals, and many of the relationships between animals are easily observable -- commensalism, which includes symbiosis and parasitism, is literally everywhere.
I love learning about natural history, and it's as important to me is the photography itself.
On land, it can be very hard to see wildlife up close, and if you do happen to get close to a big wild animal, it is often dangerous.
People say they wish they could be doing what I'm doing. I do feel extremely fortunate that I get to do what I do, but I also feel like almost anyone can get into photography if they spend enough time doing it.
We live in a time of unprecedented access to camera equipment--there are literally billions of cameras on the planet--more cameras, in fact, than there are people. Interesting subjects are also almost everywhere on the planet, and subjects become interesting when a compelling stories are created about them and shared.
The last pieces are having an audience, and most importantly, spending a lot of time behind a camera. Audiences are easy these days because of the Internet, which leaves time spent taking pictures... which takes me back to what goes through my mind when someone says that they wish they could do what I do. If you spend thousands of hours doing something, you will probably become an expert, especially you are naturally predisposed to being a storyteller. It's really simple: go out and spend all of your free time capturing and telling stories about something you care about, and after a year or two, you will suddenly find that you have an interesting body of work. At this point, you'll also probably discover that you are very knowledgeable in both photography and in whatever domain you have chosen as your subject of choice. Good luck!
Mako fell asleep during our morning walk, so I sat around for a few minutes filming this banana slug eating a flower in our entryway (played back at 14x realtime). Shot handheld with iPhone 6s and stabilized in post.Read More
During the time my dad battled stage IV lung cancer, Craig Blower, a friend of a friend, was also going through the fight. It helped me to see how Craig dealt with his struggle (he and my father had very different methods of doing it), and Craig documented the whole thing on his blog,Read More
I'm cobbling together a synchronized shutter-release / timelapse controller for triggering Sony a7 series cameras, and it seems to work! Although, as is usual when chaining remote cables together, I'm observing some strange behavior. For example, when I connected only a 2.5" to Sony Multi-Terminal cable plus a 2.5" to 3.5" cable adapter, all physical controls on the Sony camera disabled themselves (but I was able to trigger the camera via remote). Moving to a wired Satechi remote from a wireless Neewer remote seemed to free up physical controls, although I haven't done exhaustive testing. Still, the proof of concept is sound, and I'm going to order the remaining cables to get 4 cameras synchronized. I haven't tested how accurate the sync is (yet), but I'm targeting long-exposure timelapse, so having extremely accurate sync isn't required.
I processed 3D models / maps using Pix4DMapper Pro and DroneDeploy using the 569 aerial images I took at Cosson Hall on Treasure Island the other day, and the results are pretty spectacular. The images in this post are actually renderings of the texture-mapped 3D model, and are not photographs.Read More
Do people answer random phone calls anymore? I basically do not answer the phone unless Caller ID matches a (good) friend, or I have a scheduled call in my calendar.
I also use Google Voice to transcribe voicemails (I never listen to them). The transcriptions are never perfect, but I usually get the gist. It's much more effective to hang up and send an email or text, but if someone just writes "call me" without saying why, I usually do not call.
And this is coming from me! A middle-ager! Imagine what happens when you cold-call an actual millennial: you've just advertised yourself as someone who has not adapted, probably will never adapt, and possibly doesn't ever want to adapt.