January 22, 2007

Russell Brown’s PUG recording now available

In case you couldn’t attend last week’s Photoshop User Group meeting in San Jose–or if you did attend but just don’t want the dream to end*–you can check out the session online (recorded with the help of Acrobat Connect–neé Breeze) here.  After an initial two minutes of futzing around with the technical setup, Dr. Brown’s antics run for an hour or so.  Because of the length of the recording (note to self: next time don’t simply shut the laptop, or you will record 10 hours’ worth of silence), it may take a little time to start streaming.

If you have suggestions or requests for future PUG meetings, feel free to post them here or drop me a line directly.
[* Results may not be typical. No warranties expressed or implied. Your viewing pleasure may vary.]

3:51 PM | Permalink | Comments [5]

Burning bulbs

Yesterday I happened across a rather cool photo gallery from Lightroom engineer Kevin Tieskoetter, in which he captures the moments just after shattering lightbulbs.  Kevin writes,

I was inspired by a similar image I saw on photo.net and thought it would be fun to give it a try. I went through probably 50-100 bulbs, and discovered I had the most luck with the candle-flame-shaped frosted bulbs, mostly because they have a more interesting design to their elements, they’re dirt cheap, and I can break the bulb with a pair of pliers. If I break just the tip off, I can then use a needle-nose pliers to break off additional chunks until I have just the amount of glass remaining that I want (although I found it was usually more interesting without any glass showing). Traditional lightbulbs turn out to actually be very hard to break, especially without destroying the filament in the process. Also, the filament is so simple that the flame pattern isn’t as interesting.

I borrowed a Nikon D2hs and a Canon 1D Mk II to do the shots: high pixel count wasn’t particularly important, but a high frames per second was critical. Once I lit the bulb, it would burn for 1-2 seconds, but the only interesting shots were generally at the very start of the process as the mushroom cloud was rising. An 8fps camera makes a big difference here.

The images were backlit using a standard flash on an extension cord. I set it to manual mode at 1/64 power (I think; I did a lot of experimenting here to find the right settings). Lenses used were a 50mm macro (at 1.5x magnification) and 150mm macro (at no magnification).

Kevin took additional photos of the process & hopes to do a how-to page at some point.  First, though, there’s the small matter of shipping Lightroom. :-)

9:33 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]
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