Watch your Histogram

I didn’t know how to use them a few weeks ago, now the web seems to be overflowing with tutorials like this on histograms. I link to this one because it shows the multi-colour histograms available on some Canon cameras.
I noticed in the GIMP 2 that the Curves tool has a nice histogram in the background of it! Must figure out how to assign accelerator keys. It’s a Gnome FAQ so fire up Google later.

Press Record – document your life

Mark links to lots of useful tools and gizmos but I see a lot of trouble ahead for this camcorder. Record your life? Who’d ever relax or be themselves around you if they knew that a camera was recording them all the time? No doubt I’ll be completely wrong and it’ll change society like mobile phones have changed the way people keep in touch.
And, speaking of which, this Yahoo story about camera phones is interesting. I’ve seen phones with fairly good quality cameras (all things considered), they even had a digital zoom (ok, useless!) but will they replace the extensive control a dedicated camera brings you? For point and shoot purposes, of course!
It’s only been 18 months since camera phones hit the market in a big way and gyms banned them. Plenty of growth left in that market!

The hidden camera story above brought back memories for some members of the Street Photography list! Here’s a great story from John Brownlow:

In my previous incarnation as a documentary film maker, I actually used a hidden (button) camcorder to film covertly on several occasions. It is a very strange experience. To be aware that YOU are the camera is odd. Moreover, you find yourself trying to do all the ‘moves’ smoothly… pan, tilt, rise and fall, crab, dolly in and out… I can only imagine how strange this looks.

This film was made using extensive footage from hidden cameras…

Everybody has forgotten it now but it’s one of my favorites. We sent ‘undercover chefs’ into the kitchens of three of Britain’s top restaurants to film the mistreatment of underlings. It was terrific stuff. There is my favorite ‘doorstep interview’ sequence of all time where we corner one of the bastards in his kitchen, but he manages to lock us INSIDE the kitchen (with the other chefs and a lot of sharp knives…!), then goes and hides in the scullery and refuses to come out. Later we spot him trying to escape by a back door and so pursue him across a ploughed field with the camera crew yelling “we just want you to answer some questions”. The last shot of the film is a guy in a chef’s uniform running away across the mud with the commentary line “So and so declined our request for an interview”.

There was also a good bit where we managed to surprise one of the chefs on the street and interview him. We kept asking him ‘Do you hit your staff’ to which he replied “no…. no… of course not”, and after each ‘no’ we cut in a bit of secret footage we had shot where he smacked one of them upside the head. Great.

The whole thing was probably the most surreal and funny film I ever worked on. We had some great dinners, too. I don’t think it did the restaurants involved any harm at all.

As part of the whole thing I interviewed chef Gordon Ramsay who is now everywhere on British TV. I was astonished to discover that he wore make up in the kitchen while cooking. And that was BEFORE he was on TV.

On 11-Jun-04, at 8:24 AM, wrote:

> If you subscribe to the Photo Blog, you’ll already have seen this short item — — about the wearable camcorder. In addition to its baseball cap or sunglasses clip-on ergonomics, the company says, “the Model 100 differs from other camcorders because of a recording approach Deja View promises will eliminate missed shots.” How can it fail with the aspiring street photographer? I wonder if it has a Leica-like head’s up display? The company’s website is; the banner graphic reminds me a bit of Nicole Kidman in her current, wifely promotional incarnation. While I’m being deliberately facetious with this post, the technology raises some interesting SP related questions in my mind.

John Brownlow
Deep Fried Films, Inc

Today In Alternate History

Humour? Is it funny? Today In Alternate History explores things that might have happened.

in 1944, the desperate push by the Allies to invade Europe and end Hitler’s control of the continent is begun at Calais, France, under the command of General George Patton. Despite Patton’s brilliant leadership, the Allies are defeated, and Nazi control of the continent is solidified.

in 1997, a condom manufacturer delivers a small case of its product to the White House. The rest of Bill Clinton’s second term is quietly uneventful.

in 2001, Former President John F. Kennedy passes away quietly, in his sleep. The 2-term president was 84 years old.

Setting up a fast, stable and tweaked PC

This guide may be useful to some. I don’t use Windows very often but some of the apps mentioned are cross-platform, and occasionally I do switch it on to play the odd game or two!
And while we’re on the issue of setting up a PC, configuring a Linux install to boot off a software RAID partition is simplicity itself in Red Hat 9! I setup a friend’s PC last night and it worked like a charm.
I should do the same at home with my ever-expanding photo archive!

I, Cringely, a weblog?

In his latest column, Cringely discusses weblogs, and points out what many of us know already, that “most web logs are so boring.” Can’t argue there! zzzz, oh sorry, nodded off there.
His name dropping at the end of this column is cleverly done, he met a then governor for dinner way back in 1978. Who? Well, this is what he has to say about him:

Ronnie Reagan was a very funny guy.

Heard that joke before too. heh.
Someone posted photos from the funeral on STF. Good shots, pity about the narrow iframes.