Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cambridge in Colour

There's some really neat photographic techniques out there, and I have to say that this website - Cambridge in Colour, was awesome about explaining lots of technical details. I had come across this one before when trying to learn about the detectors and resolution limits of digital SLR's. I didn't bother to check his gallery until now. It's amazing. The depth of field and dynamic range are great. I had tried stuff somewhat like this with the "photomatix" program, or just writing my own code, but that couldn't handle cutting and pasting to get close and far away things both sharp. Liz and I have been having a disagreement on style - I like the pictures that look a little surreal because the vivid colors and sharpness brings out what it's like in my memory and imagination. She doesn't like it because the pictures are not accurate - "That's not what it looked like." Either way, I really liked this website and style.

I suppose that I lean towards the enhancement because that's my job - astronomy is all about using special filters, techiques, whatever we can to make super vivid, shocking & exciting pictures that you would never see with your naked eye. I'm used to the idea by now.
This is a comparison (from CFHT) of a nebula in visible and infra-red wavelengths - you can barely see into it with your eye, but the IR view is pretty neat.
Or this view of Jupiter with the Gemini telescope in the IR (from APOD) - the red spot is totally obvious, as is the cloud structure.
I know liz is scrunching her face, thinking I'm ranting and possibly attacking her belief, but really, all I'm trying to point out is the art of this - changing & tweaking perception to make a point or invoke a feeling........


Blogger Lynn said...

I love your photos! Sorry Liz! It is important to capture the moment. The photo of me at Sai-ko was enhanced a little because there was TOO MUCH haze!

4:19 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

I don't feel that astronomy pics are in the same catergory as just walking around taking pics of stuff (pro or not). The only thing I really disagree with is taking a pic that already looks really cool and then tweaking it so the colors aren't believeable and making it look fake.

7:03 AM  
Blogger geekedout said...

so it's just colors? not sharpness, contrast, field of view? i suppose that cameras are thought to be capturing what your eyes do, but telescopes, microscopes, microprobes (for anne), are specialty things. i can see how you'd draw the distinction.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Pretty much. I have no problem with cropping, getting sharpness better, fixing over/underexposure, blahblah.. just crazy unnatural colors - like setting the camera on vivid color (instead of natural) and expecting people to think it really looked like that.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Like my hydrangea photo? :-) (See 07/27/06 post)

4:05 AM  

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