Photowalking with a professional

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Photowalking with Thomas Hawk is grand, but today we have a real treat: a photowalk with a real professional photographer. Marc Silber. He even has the license plates to prove it! It’s long, but not boring. Just in case you don’t have the hour to spend Rocky made you a short and sweet editor’s choice for you.

Marc has written an eBook on how to take better photos, and we talk about some of the tips in the book. You’ll learn a lot on this hour walk. Plus you get to see some great scenery on a ridge above Palo Alto/Silicon Valley and hear some stories about the property because Marc used to live on the property, which is now a public park.

Oh, and I did almost the entire hour by walking backward. It’s a skill that only my parents would be proud of.

Thank you to Seagate for sponsoring my show and supporting digital photography through not only their storage devices but also by supporting my efforts to do educational photowalks like this.

Photo tour of Stanford University

Here’s the photowalking we did a few weeks back of Stanford University. This is a fun 18 minute video where Thomas Hawk shares some low-light shooting techniques and we visit a variety of different parts of Stanford’s campus. More on the photowalk over on Thomas’ blog.

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet, but I was touring the midwest and visiting friends.

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Scoble has "long and boring" videos…

People keep saying my videos are “long and boring.”

Well, let’s look at this one. It certainly is long. 54 minutes long.

But if you find a camera that can refocus AFTER you take an image boring then I really don’t want to know you.

That’s just the start. It’s an interview with me and Thomas Hawk of Mark Levoy, one of the top graphic researchers in the world. He’s a professor at Stanford University and does a TON of interesting stuff with photography.

Oh, and if you don’t have the 54 minutes to spend, my editor Rocky made a short five-minute version for those of you who can’t watch anything longer than 10 minutes.

Damn you Rocky. I liked having a reputation for having long and boring videos.

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Flickr truism #347: babies outpull geniuses

Looking at the number of views on my Flickr photos this morning you can clearly see that photos of my baby son greatly outpulls photos of geniuses like Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the mouse, or Vice Presidents of Yahoo or Double Click.

What does it all mean? Just reminds me of my journalism schooling at San Jose State University. They always told us to put as many kids and animal photos in the paper as we could. Why? They sell newspapers. One teacher, I remember, told me “at least that kid’s family is gonna buy a copy that day.” Heh.

If you watch my link blog you’ll see me drop in a few photos here and there from Thomas Hawk and other photographers. Why? Cause I love great photography and it helps break up the more serious stuff.

Speaking of which, looks like there’s going to be a Photowalking on Sunday at the Rosie the Riveter National Park in Richmond, CA. I’ll try to be there with Patrick for a few hours.

The Robotic Helicopter Show at Stanford (Tim O'Reilly eat your heart out!)

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Here’s the rest of the video with the STARMAC team. That’s Stanford Testbed of Autonomous Rotorcraft for Multi-Agent Control.

Geek translated: helicopters that can fly on their own.

This was filmed during our recent Photowalking at Stanford University. The team explains why one of these flipped over and attacked me. “It wants you dead,” was one explanation.

These are quadrotor helicopters that can fly remotely without much human assistance. Really cool research project that you’ll want to check out. Anyway, here you meet the team: Gabe Hoffmann, Ph.D. candidate, Aeronautics and Astronautics; Haomiao “H” Huang, Ph.D. candidate; Aeronautics and Astronautics; Steve Waslander, post doctoral scholar, Aeronautics and Astronautics; Vijay Pradeep, M.S. student, Mechanical Engineering and Mike Vitus, Ph.D. candidate, Aeronautics and Astronautics. They fly it around and explain what it is. By the way, in the video they said it costs $10,000 to build one of these. The team did more research and found out that you could build one for about $3,000 now.

Projects like these are inspirational and who knows where the things they are learning by building them will show up.

Thank you to Rocky Barbanica for the great editing on this (and the camera work too).

Thank you big time to Ian Hsu of Stanford University for setting this up.

Why do I say “Tim O’Reilly eat your heart out?” Because these are the kinds of things (and geeks) he’d love to have at Foocamp.

Matt Roe cracks me up (Photowalk of USS Hornet now up)

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A few weeks back we toured the USS Hornet, a famous aircraft carrier that’s docked over in Alameda near San Francisco. Rocky put together a neat little video of the photowalk. But even if you don’t get much out of our photowalks you should check out the first minute or two. Matt Roe has the best answer to my usual “who are you?” question that I’ve heard so far.

Next Photowalking? With Trevor Carpenter on October 9th at the Marin Headlands (above the Golden Gate Bridge on the North side).

Now that I have basically the same equipment that Thomas Hawk has I’m even more in awe of his abilities to see things. Check out his photos on Zooomr (he just uploaded a bunch from yesterday’s Stanford photowalk — see how much better his images are than mine? Damn!) He just plain comes away with not only better images but MORE of them in a certain period of time.

That said, I’m really happy a lot more people are coming along on our Photowalks lately because you get to see the different approaches that people take to the same subject and you get to see images you missed that would be good to go back for later.

One thing that’s cool about the Photowalks is you get to see something you might not be able to visit and you also get to learn a little bit about history (the Hornet picked up the Apollo crew and was the site of the first steps that they took after visiting the moon). Thomas also shows us a few tricks including how to make a “poor man’s macro” and talks about his new Drobo drive system.


Oh, and Matt Roe? He cut school to go on one of our Photowalks. After seeing his images on Flickr (his newer ones are on Zooomr) I can understand why. That kid has a lot of talent.

UPDATED: Thomas Hawk posted more about this Photowalk on his blog this morning.

Attack of the robotic helicopter

Crowd pleaser

Ever start a story like this?

Yesterday I was attacked by an autonomous robotic helicopter

Me neither until I was attacked by one of these criters on our photowalking at Stanford University. Turns out that if it gets a bad bit of directional data sent to it they’ll go out of control and one did just that: flipped over and came straight at me and hit me in the leg (no one was injured and the robot was rebooted and flew just fine from then on). One of the developers said that it might just be an evil robot. Heh. Can’t wait to show you the video (Rocky says he got the attack on video). It was an incredible day with a mixture of art, science, and technology and Ian Hsu, of Stanford, gave us a great tour that’ll be quite hard to match.

UPDATE: We’ve just uploaded the video of the mishap.

The photographers, brought to Stanford by the National Geographic, who presented in the evening as part of the All Roads Project were incredible — they are visiting several cities in the US and I highly recommend getting to their talks and meeting them. Made me realize how much of the world we don’t see because many of the world’s photographers don’t know how to use blogs and/or Flickr and/or don’t have access to the Internet. One photographer, from Africa, if I remember right, told the audience that there are villages where people are getting killed during protests over electricity. He made the point that photographers there aren’t very likely to be on the Internet.

Some interesting brainstorming is underway of how to bring more images from these places to the Internet, which is where the audiences that might be able to help with money and/or PR attention (which is what many of these photographers are hoping for).

I’ll have my photos up in a few hours, still processing them. Oh, and damn Apple’s iPhoto. It crashed several times and ate my photos to boot. So, I’m switching my workflow over to Adobe stuff which I should have done in the first place anyway.

Over the next week or so we’ll get the videos up we shot, including of the robotics team.

The official tag is “photowalkingstanford.” But there’s photos on Flickr for photowalkingstanford and on stanfordphotowalk. I’m sure Thomas Hawk will get some up soon too and I’ll update this post when that happens.

UPDATE: over on Zooomr there are a lot more images. Here’s the ones on Zooomr tagged with photowalkingstanford and photowalking100107.

By the way, thanks to the approx. 40 people who showed up. Looking forward to seeing your photos. Please link to any of your blogs/photos here in the comment section so we can see them all.

Our next photowalking will be in the Marin Headlands with Trevor Carpenter on October 9th.

Crowd pleaser

UPDATE: Here’s my photos from the day:

Scary Thomas shoots New Guinea sculpture The Gates of Hell Team member reorients robot Who has more cameras? Stairway in Stanford's Memorial Church Photowalking inside the Church Pictures and Pews Beautiful Glass Stanford's Synchronized Swim Team Rodin this, Rodin that! Thomas Hawk gets a tour Photo researcher, Marc Levoy Part of a camera array A whole lot of cameras