I had no idea that when former Senator John Edwards invited me to come along on his plane back in December of 2006 that I would have had a front-row seat to a sex scandal. John Edwards today admitted he had an affair with Rielle Hunter back in 2006.
I, along with a few other journalists I had a front-row seat and have some of the only photos of Hunter.
See, stuff like this always seems to happen to “other people.” People you don’t know. Never have met. Don’t care about.
In this case, though, my wife, Maryam, interviewed Elizabeth Edwards. I interviewed John and sat next to Hunter. All while not having any clue about the secret they were all keeping.
It reminds me that as a blogger/journalist I have to always capture images, not knowing what the real story actually will turn out being. And always keep looking beyond what I was being presented.
The photo above is Hunter sitting next to Edwards. I never saw them behave inappropriately in front of me and Edwards let me hang out with him nearly around the clock.
There are lots of stories on Google News. Personally, my thoughts go out to everyone involved.
Here’s all my photos of the trip with John Edwards where he announced he was running for President of the United States. Unfortunately the videos I shot are gone, PodTech pulled them down and I don’t have the copyright on those, so can’t repost them.
Here’s my photo of Hunter:
First, Microsoft deserves a kudo for its Pro Photo Summit. John Harrington wrote up the highlights and linked to many of the coolest things.
But the coolest thing I saw on Wednesday?
Was something I saw at lunch: the Yosemite Extreme Gigapixel Panoramic Imaging Project. They mapped out Yosemite with 20 high-resolution panoramic cameras. To give you an idea how cool these images are, here’s an earlier version they did. The 20 new images should be up on the xRez site this week, they told me.
I liked it so much that I did three videos. If you only have time for one, watch this 17-minute video, which is the second one below.
The first video was one I filmed during lunch with Greg Downing and Eric Hanson, co founders of xRez Studios, which did the xRez Yosemite Gigapixel Project. They are the two geeks who built the systems to stitch together these huge images (gigapixels). Digital Producer has an indepth article on the technology they are using.
The second video and third video I filmed after the summit’s first day ended and things were a little quieter. This time Bill Crow of Microsoft’s Live Labs joined us. You can read his blog here, which is on HD Photography. These two videos not only give you a good tour around the Yosemite project, which contains some of the highest-resolution images of Yosemite ever seen (so much detail is in them that you can zoom into climbers on the top of Half Dome), but also Bill explains the technology that lets you view and zoom these images over the Internet. It’s called “Seadragon” and it’s quite remarkable. I wish these videos were a little sharper, but you’ll get the idea of just how cool this technology is.
Yes, that’s Thomas Hawk sitting next to Bill Crow.
Oh, and all of this stuff is demoed on Microsoft’s new Surface table-top computer, which is quite remarkable too. This is the first time I’ve really gotten a good hands-on look at the Surface and I see a TON of stuff that I liked a lot. I could play with one of those for hours.
Think Microsoft isn’t innovative? You can’t say that anymore, sorry.
Oh, and one more example of what Microsoft is doing in photography that just is magical: Microsoft’s Deep Photo. Dan Fay got first video of this new project and it’s wow. You’ll hear me in the front row saying “wow” when researcher Michael Cohen uses this technology to remove haze from an image of New York City.
This week Thomas Hawk (my favorite “Flickr-famous” photographer) and me will join a bunch of others on Microsoft’s campus up in Redmond, Washington, to attend a pro photography summit that Microsoft is hosting.
Why is Microsoft hosting a bunch of professional photographers?
Is it to kick off Microsoft’s Pro Photo Tools, Photosynth ( which got me, in 2006, to say it was the demo of the year), or DeepZoom? Maybe. After all, these things are really cool and photographers should flock to them in droves.
Is it because the digital photography market has finally gotten big enough to get Microsoft interested? Maybe.
But I think Microsoft has something else up its sleeve.
It knows that if Silverlight is going to have a chance against Flash it will have to get designers to give up Photoshop, or at least use other tools alongside.
Because designers now are in control of the toolset that many companies will chose. What’s the most important tool to these designers? Photoshop.
So, along comes a Microsoft salesperson trying to get Silverlight and the Microsoft toolset in the door. Things go well with the developers, because .NET code is a lot nicer than Flash stuff. The management likes the pitch too, because they probably will get a break on something else they are already buying (Office/Sharepoint/Exchange are all very popular inside most corporations). But then the team gets to the designers and they say “give up Photoshop? Over our dead bodies.” And the deal ends and the team chooses Adobe’s Flash. Adobe’s salespeople then get a call and they come over and show off Acrobat.com, which is a hit against Microsoft Office and you can see how this goes.
So, I’ll be watching this week to see what’s really behind Microsoft’s moves into photography. Is it to do something really remarkable (which Photosynth and Deep Zoom are)? Or is it to switch designers from Adobe stuff?
What do you think?
No Mars on TechMeme tonight. Really.
But some stupid one-word Twitter post made it on? Really.
So, excuse me if I say FriendFeed!
UPDATE: Just arrived from Mars, first color image! And another one. Awesome.
UPDATE2: Wired Science has a great blog post on the Mars stuff today.
You can’t compare a $3,000 digital SLR to a $500 cell phone from Nokia, can you? Well, look at these two photos. Which one was made with the Canon 5D with a 50mm F1.4 lens and which one was made with a Nokia N82 cell phone?
You can visit my Flickr account to see which camera made which images and you’ll see some other comparison photos and other images that I’ve made with the Nokia N82. Make sure you click on the “All Sizes” option to see the full resolution images to really compare.
Yes, if you look closely the images made with the pro SLR are nicer, but that isn’t the point. The point is that photos made with cell phones are getting to be darn good. The worst photo you’ll ever take is the one you don’t take because you didn’t have your camera with you. I don’t know about you, but only photo geeks like Thomas Hawk take their pro cameras everywhere (he shoots with a Canon 5D). I know I carry my cell phone everywhere, but only have my 5D a small percentage of the time, so I’m far more likely to get a shot of something interesting with my cell phone. Speaking of Thomas, he wrote two great posts yesterday. First is on the 10 things he learned from Ansel Adams. The second is about 12 ways to never miss a photo opportunity.
How does the N82 compare to the older N95? The camera is better and I like the phone overall better with one glaring problem: it doesn’t work with AT&T’s 3G network, so doing video on Qik on the N82 isn’t nearly as nice.
Now you’ve seen everything.
Today we were at Ansel Adams’ house and this is me getting a seat in the sink where he made so many of the world’s most favorite images.
I did some videos over on Qik, too, with our “professional” videos of Ansel Adams’ son and home and business coming soon to FastCompany.tv.
Frederick Johnson, who works at Adobe on the Lightroom team, blogged about our visit (we interviewed him too — it was real interesting to hear about the past and future of darkrooms all in one place).