ME and Ophelia

Monday, March 01, 2004


Neat photography tip

British blogger Dunstan Orchard is based in the English countryside - in the same county as me and ophelia: Dorset! Hey there Dunstan!

Dunstan blogs that he spends his days being told to Get washed and dressed before you start work, Stop working and go to bed and to Leave that computer alone and go out and meet a girl. So far he’s managed to ignore all these orders. He says he's a wally. Well there's nothing wallyish about Dunstan's neat blog.

Take a close look at this picture of his dog Poppy: Poppies. Neat photography tip eh? He just takes a bunch of photos of Poppy running around (without moving the camera), then he cuts out the dog from each photo (says you don't have to do that very carefully either because as the camera hasn't moved, the backgrounds will match) and stick them all together. The camera he uses is a digital SLR, Karen - a Canon EOS-10D
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Dorset viewed from his window

Check out the image displayed across the top of Dunstan's site. For those using CSS compliant browsers, it is a 1600 pixel wide panoramic view from the top of his house, in Dorset. The scene was originally captured as a series of photographs, before being traced in Xara X and Photoshop 7 to produce the cartoony version you (hopefully) see here.

The position and distribution of the sheep are copied exactly from the photographs: some face left, some right, some forwards, some away, some are standing up, and some are lying down. The sheep alternate their positions every other day, and also respond to their environment, sheltering when necessary, and huddling together at night to sleep. The textures on the tiled roof, and on the Dutch barn are taken from the photographs and superimposed onto the cartoons. The fog and darkness are built up using ten semi-transparent layers, depth-positioned for realism. The stars are positioned in various signs of the Zodiac, he can’t recall which ones, but Leo (his) is in there somewhere.

Here are ninety versions of this panorama, each depicting the same scene under a different weather condition, time of day, and (at night) phase of the moon. Dunstan says that thanks to an XML feed from, and some PHP jiggery pokery, the end result is a fairly accurate representation of what he currently sees when he looks out of his upstairs windows.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 3/01/2004
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