Sunday, February 26, 2012
As it says on it's web site- "Magic Lantern is an enhancement atop of Canon's firmware that frees your Canon DSLR, allowing you to use many useful features. Initially developed for filmmakers, it now has functionality for both photo and video enthusiasts..." What this means is that it gives you a whole series of extra capabilities that allow you to do some absolutely amazing things with the camera.
I am still exploring it's many features, but one that I'm very excited about is how easy it makes it to do exposure-bracketed HDR-type pictures. This is a technique where you take multiple pictures of the same scene, at different exposure levels and then blend them together to create a picture that has a much higher dynamic range than it's possible to capture in one shot.
This is best explained with an example- here is a picture of the tree in the church parking lot, taken with my 60D with careful choice of white balance, exposure etc.
It's an OK picture, but with the dark of the tarmac in the foreground and the trees silhouetted against the sky it's almost impossible to get the exposure right- if you want to be able to see any of the details in the tree, then the sky is completely washed out, and if you expose for the sky the tree just becomes a black silhouette.
You could use a graduated neutral density filter to darken the sky, but in this case the tree would also be be darkened too. So, what's the answer?
Well, what you do is take multiple pictures at different exposures bracketing the standard exposure like this-
Then you blend them together (along with the original ) and get this!-
It's an amazing technique that I'm really looking forward to exploring further- this is just my first attempt and I'm really excited about it!
The pictures were blended by some very clever software that aligns the images perfectly (although I used a tripod to take them) called Hugin, and then another called Enfuse that blends the pictures together using some very clever algorithms to take the best of each exposure. In Linux there is a wonderful GUI program that puts them all together, but there are Windows versions available as well.
You can do it without the extra firmware- but it makes it sooo much easier. And this is just one of the enhancements Magic Lantern adds, I'm sure there will be lots more posts as I delve deeper into what it can do :)
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
After a bit of encouraging tennis ball chasing on the beach yesterday, I'm very happy to report that Holly seems back to normal in the woods today.
I spoke to the vet earlier today, and we agreed that the take away from this is that next year we don't do all her shots at once, we space them out over a few weeks.
But for now all I care about is that my crazy, tennis ball obsessed walking buddy is back to her rambunctious self :)
Thursday, February 09, 2012
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Just back from the vet.
Apparently Holly's malaise is not common. As I said to the vet, she's eating fine, no issues with pooping, she's not lame, she's not out of breath, it's just as if someone has turned her down a few clicks.
So they've taken another blood test to see if the Lyme vaccination has triggered a tick-borne infection she had a few years ago. They've also given her a pain-killer/anti-inflammatory, and I'm supposed to rest her as much as possible for the next few days- but we agreed that for Holly that means a mile walk instead of 3 or 4, and no tennis ball chasing!
Sunday, February 05, 2012
Saturday, February 04, 2012
I am happy to report that Holly seems much better this morning :)
We have done our usual walk around the property to open the place up and she has barked at the bell and checked around the garbage cans for squirrels as normal.
She still has a slight limp in that back leg, so I'll give her one more dose of painkiller and then we'll take it easy on our walk this afternoon.
Friday, February 03, 2012
Holly gave us a bit of a scare this afternoon.
I took her to the vet for her shots this morning (rabies, Lyme and kennel cough) and then we went for our usual walk in the woods. We got home about lunchtime and she seemed fine, but by late afternoon I noticed that she hadn't really moved from the same spot. I took her out for a pee and she was favouring one of her back legs, the one she had had two of the shots in. I called the vet and they said it isn't uncommon for there to be some irritation from the shots and to keep an eye on her and call them in the morning if she wasn't better.
Later she hadn't improved, in fact she was looking very sad and shivering, and totally ignoring all the people arriving for the Pinewood Derby upstairs, so we had to call the emergency vet line (the vet had closed by now), and he said she was obviously having a more serious reaction to the shots and he had us give her a stiff dose of Benedryl (the human kind we got from CVS) and a dose of canine painkiller I still had in the cupboard from a strain she had last year.
She is still looking a little sorry for herself, but is much improved from earlier- in fact she barked at the Cub Scouts as they left which we feel is a good sign :) Hopefully a good night's sleep will do her good and we'll hope she's even more improved by the morning.