Best wishes for 2016!!!!!
Because it is not possible to get 1:1 photographs of objects using kit lenses, I have purchased add-on lenses (diopter) to allow for some magnification of the object being photographed. While a +2 diopter and a +4 give some magnification, managing a +10 diopter is a bit tricky. Using this diopter, the DOF is very small. Also because the diopters have a single element, the drop off in image quality can be significant on the edges.
So, I have been trying the other trick. That of reversing the lens. Presently, I am not using a reversal ring. And that makes the task of photography very very risky and not advisable. This is because you will need to hold the lens in your hand and touch the front of the lens to the camera body. Without a reversal ring, the lens is not attached to the camera body and you may drop the lens, which can result in a serious depletion of funds.
Though I have tried the risky lens reversal technique a couple of times, I do not plan to continue with it. Surely not advisable and I am also not that rich to keep purchasing new lenses. Purchasing a DSLR itself was a big investment.
Since quite some time, my wife’s Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime (quite a mouthful, that) phone downloaded an upgrade from Android 4.4.4 to Android 5.0.2. I had been delaying the upgrade due to multiple reasons. Initially, I did not download the upgrade and kept differing. Then, one day, when the phone was connected to home WiFi, it went ahead and download the 500MB upgrade package. Even then I kept differing.
Finally, a couple of days earlier, I decided to plunge and complete the upgrade. The upgrade itself was very smooth and without hiccups.
I had been differing the upgrade due to space availability on the phone. The upgrade wanted 3GB free space on the phone and also mentioned that the available space would reduce with another GB. 1GB space on the phone is quite a premium considering it has only 8GB on board. The saving grace is the SD card, where music files can be stored, freeing up space on the phone.
Around 10 years ago, when I purchased my first digital camera, I took around 180 pictures on the very first day of sightseeing. Over the years, the count has crossed 30K. Recently, on my 10 day picnic, I took around 2700 pictures in total. that amounts to 270 pictures on a daily average. If I include pictures from my mobile phone, the number hits 3000. And if I include my old digital camera (which was also present during the picnic), the count is 4000.
With most of the pictures being from a DSLR, the space requirement has shot up considerably. The size of these 4000 pictures is around 12GB.
Now, I need to remove the really bad images from this collection. And more importantly, tag them properly, which is going to be a big task.
Now that I have a DSLR, I need to put a check mark against some of the effets that we get to see in photographs.
- Light trails for an automobile – Check. By reducing the shutter speed (keeping the shutter open for a longer duration) and shooting at night, I was able to create a light trail. With this effect, we get to see a red coloured line in the photograph, which shows the movement of the automobile. I also tried the same thing during the morning, for vehicles that had their front lights switched on, but the effect is neither similar nor so dramatic.
- Blurring moving water – Check. Once gain, by reducing the shutter speed (keeping the shutter open for a longer duration), it is possible to create a ‘milky’ waterfall.
- Freezing moving water – Check. By increasing the shutter speed (keeping the shutter open for a lesser duration), we can freeze the water droplets in a stream or a waterfall. We can appreciate the many droplets that are trying the escape the waterfall.
I know that the terms reducing shutter speed and increasing speed may be counter to commonly used logic. Hence I have explicitly mentioned the action taken for the shutter speed. This is similar to what happens with Aperture numbers. A smaller number means a larger aperture and a larger number means a smaller aperture. This logic is initially counter-intuitive when reading material about photography.
When reading about photography and after moving to cameras that allow finer control, you will come across aperture size as one of the elements that you can control.
But, the numbers mentioned for aperture size (also known as f-stop), are counter intuitive. This is due to the fact that a smaller aperture number means a wider opening while a larger aperture number means a smaller opening. Thus, aperture of f/32 results in a smaller opening, allowing less light to flow through the lens as compared to a value of f/4.6. In turn, f/4.6 is smaller than f/1.4.
To help you understand this seemingly convoluted logic, try this. Consider a box that has a length of 1 inch. Width and height are not material considerations. Suppose we wish to pack needles, side-by-side in this box. The number of needles that we can place side-by-side will be determined by the opening of the needle. Thus, we will be able to place few needles that have a big opening, while we will be able to place more needles that have a small opening. Additionally, needles that have a big opening can be used to suck up water faster, while more time and effort will be needed to suck up water using needles that have small holes.
Why this example? This precise example was shared by my father to explain why needles that have a ‘bigger’ number as actually thinner and have tiny openings and needles that have a ‘smaller’ number are bigger openings.
Recently, I came across this blog entry United Airlines to Equip Airport Customer Service Reps With iPhone 6 Plus (http://daringfireball.net/linked/2015/12/02/united-iphone-6). The author’s suggestion was to AirDrop the boarding pass to the customer’s iPhone.
On reading this, I really appreciated the suggestion to use technology, but a few questions also came to mind
- What happens when customers do not have an iPhone? Will AirDrop work with other phones?
- In many airports, the paper-based boarding pass is stamped at each checkpoint. How will we ensure that the mobile based boarding pass is ‘stamped’?
Each time I go to the library to change a book, I notice the ‘Braille’ section. The count of such books is pathetic as compared to the number of books available for the people who can read.
Can this situation not been changed by the use of technology? Can we not create an e-book reader for the blind?
Why not create a reader as follows
- The reader can be around six to seven inches in length and should be able to accommodate three or four lines of Braille. In the extreme, even a one line display will probably suffice.
- The display of the device will be a matrix of pins similar to those used in a dot-matrix printer.
- A few control buttons can be provided on the border of the reader.
- The reader should also support an SD card reader and should be able to support standard and open formats like epub or txt.
- While reading, the book software can read a line of the book from the card and create equivalent Braille impressions on the display, which can be ‘read’ by the person.
- To move to the next line, the ‘down’ arrow can be used.
- For navigation, the reader can support buttons like ‘up’, ‘down’, ‘table of contents’.
- It is important that the books be placed on the SD card in a simple structure, placing all files in the root directory. This is because navigating sub-directories will be pain-staking on such a simple device and will also not be friendly for blind people.
The primary thought behind this gadget is that people who are not able to read and enjoy books the way we do, should also be able to enjoy them. Till date, I have only seen printed versions of books and that number is seriously not up to the mark and does not match the number of books on the market. If we can create a gadget that makes it easy to translate text into Braille and that too not on paper, the amount of effort needed to make text available will be drastically reduced and many more people will experience the joy of reading.
Also, why restrict to English? The dot matrix gadget can easily be extended for other languages like German, French, Hindi, Marathi, Chinese and many more.
Note: I have put this thought down even before doing a Google search for such devices. And as usually happens in this wide, wide world, there is a chance that someone must already have implemented the idea you are putting forward.