Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Garden Cam

I apologise, I have had to delete my original post for today as the photograph collection I was talking about has been removed for some reason. So here is a hasty replacement.

Time lapse photography can be very cool, especially when it features something like plants. It can open up (no pun intended) a whole world that simply cannot be seen by the naked eye. But who would be mad enough to leave their expensive camera outside for hours on end? Problem solved with this...


Hammacher Schlemmer have produced this clever little waterproof camera which is specifically design to capture time lapse movies of your growing garden.

It can focus as close as 20" away to illustrate petal growth or, with its wide 54" field of view, it can capture perennials as they grow to conceal your spent spring bulb foliage. The camera takes a picture at one of six pre-determined intervals (five seconds to 24 hours) and combines them into a single 1280 x 1024 resolution AVI movie file for easy playback on a computer. It has a light sensor that turns off the camera at dusk and back on at dawn, allowing for continued video capture each day. Movies are timestamped and stored on the camera's removable 2GB USB flash drive, which can take up to 18,000 pictures. The camera's weather-resistant exterior enables operation between 122° F and 14° F. Four AA batteries (not included) provide up to four months of operation (using the one photo/hour setting).

The whole thing is mounted on a stake for easy positioning. Take a look here to order one.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Sheep Art

I have really struggled with regard to what to actually write about this. To be honest nothing I can say would be adequate. Just watch and enjoy it.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Speedtest

Just a quick post to mention a rather cool site for testing the speed of your Internet connection. I know a lot of sites offer this facility but Speedtest.net is very nicely designed and allows you to store a history of your tests. Pick a server near you and give it a try.

Test your Internet connection speed at Speedtest.net

Friday, 27 March 2009

Surround Sound

I'm sure Surround Sound is a phrase we are all familiar with. Especially if, like me, you own a home cinema system. But this one goes a half step further. Listen to the YouTube video below. Headphones are essential to get the full effect, no matter how good your speakers are. I also recommend you close your eyes. There is nothing fancy going on here except the taking full advantage of stereo. But if you're like me you'll flinch slightly when the guy whispers in your ear. :-)

A Bride's Insincerity

The title of this post is a bit of a joke. I don't know Karen well but I know that she is definitely sincere. I was just poking gentle fun at the title of the song of choice. As a devout and perhaps sometimes fanatical follower of U2, I should really despise this. But the truth is I think it is superb. It actually makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up which only happens when I am truly moved. Nice job people.

To Karen and, the son of one of the best friends I have ever had, Richard...I wish you both all the happiness in the world.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

30 Designs 30 Days

I have been saying for a while now that the layout of e-clecticism was in desperate need of a change. I had tried nearly every template that Blogger has to offer but was always dissatisfied in one way or another. Either the colours and design were good but it interfered with images or the like and did not render to my satisfaction. Or, like the one I am using at the time of posting, it is just too plain.

Well hopefully that is soon to be a thing of the past. Klaus Peter of Virtua Gallery is running a bit of a promotion which I have taken advantage of. The 30 Designs in 30 Days Challenge is a way for Klaus to generate some income for his hobby and passion of photography and for Bloggers to get a professional makeover of their site (Blogger or Wordpress) to help them stand out from the crowd. He is charging just $100, in the form of a gift certificate from B&H Photo in the US, for what I consider to be an excellent service. Klaus not only listens to your ideas and designs something just for you but he is open to you making changes before he either hands it over or he will even help you get it installed.

If you have a website or blog contact Klaus and see what he can do for you. Tell him I sent you of course. In the meantime, keep an eye out for the new look coming soon.

Shhh...

I just thought I'd share my latest photograph with you all. As always, my complete collection can be found here. Many thanks to my model who was very patient and a consummate professional. :-)

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Who's Among Us?

I have used SiteMeter to collate statistics about e-clecticism's visitors for a long time and it works very well. It is nice to know where in the world you lot come from and what posts interest you. You can view my statistics for yourself by going here.

Yesterday I added a new statistics collector for a bit of fun. Who's Among Us provides real-time totals and geography of a site's visitors. You will see the current number visiting my site plus a map of recent visitors in my sidebar. Or you can see an overview by going here.

If Browsers Were Women

Let me first apologise for the sexist connotations to this but please take it with the fun it was intended. Click to enlarge. With thanks to FavBrowser.com.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Ambroise Tézenas

Yesterday I came across another photographer whose work is along the lines of the sort I'd like to eventually produce. Ambroise Tézenas. Taken from his biography...

Born in Paris in 1972, Ambroise graduated from the Applied Arts School of Vevey, Switerland in 1994. First based in London and then in Paris, he was a member of Editing agency from 2000 untill 2002. From 2002, Ambroise Tézenas has essentially devoted his time to the creation of a personal work on landscapes. In 2004, he co-founded the association of independent photographers Think Pictures.
His work produced in Beijing from 2001 to 2005, witnessing the changes happening in Beijing before hosting the Olympics, won the Leica European Publisher’s Award. It was published in five languages and is now in its second edition.

His work has taken him all over the world but I have to say that his pictures from Beijing are may favourites. I have linked to some examples below but a more comprehensive collection can be found here. As always, click to enlarge.



Saturday, 21 March 2009

Funky Mashup

A good friend of mine (hello René) pointed me to this very clever piece of editing. A chap by the name of Kutiman took several YouTube videos that featured people playing various musical instruments and cleverly stitched them together to form an original track. More of his work can be found at http://thru-you.com/ but for now enjoy...The Mother Of All Funk Chords.

Friday, 20 March 2009

I/O Brush

Here is one for the creative amongst you. A paint brush developed by folks at MIT that allows you to paint using any colour or pattern you can touch. The music is too damn catchy as well.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Google Goes Dutch

Well actually it goes Dutch and UK. Just a quick post to let you know that Google Streetview has finally released imagery for certain cities in the UK and the Netherlands. As usual it can be accessed via Google Maps or Google Earth. Have fun exploring.

Keith Loutit

You may remember that I talked about tilt-shifting some time ago. (If not you might want to read that post first to avoid confusion).

What I was referring to then was the use of the technique in still photography. But it seems it can also be used very effectively in film making. Keith Loutit is a gentleman who is doing just that and I have to admit that I am truly addicted to his work. Keith's project, Little Sydney is capturing life in and around Sydney in short films. Each one is shot using a combination of tilt-shifting and time-lapse to create a very surreal but pleasing effect.

Mardi Gras is the latest example of his work and features this years Sydney Mardi Gras parade. Now remember, what you are about to see is not scale models, but real people and vehicles. See more of the "Little Sydney" project here and his Keith's main website is here.


Mardi Gras from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Ricky and Elmo

This is a set of outtakes of Ricky Gervais on Sesame Street. I love that Elmo suddenly become a little more adult which just doesn't see right somehow. It makes me laugh every time I see it though.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Star Trek Trailer

Over a year ago now I told you about the new Star Trek film that all of us Trek addicts are waiting for. A new trailer for the film (the first one that shows a bit of the story) has now been released which is great. Not long to go now thank fully.

Happy St Patrick's Day!

I won't make a big long post this year, I did that last time, but just a quick Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh to you all.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Dolphin Bubble Rings

I'm sorry but this is another post that I have stolen from Why, That's Delightful! It's just too good not to post though. A YouTube video featuring Dolphins that have learnt to blow "bubble rings" and then manipulate them very skilfully. It's not often I use the word "Wow" out loud, but this certainly caused it. More proof for me that Dolphins are even smarter than we give them credit for.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Fire Water

No not Whiskey, but a set of beautiful photographs entitled If Fire Was Made Of Water. Sadly I haven't found any information about the artist but you have to admire his or her handy work. The full set can be found here.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Bonsai Crossroads

Well not literally but I do have a decision to make. My second attempt at growing Bonsai from scratch has failed. Once again my, obviously vegetarian, cats have attacked and destroyed my young trees.

Now I need to decide whether to purchase more seeds and make a third attempt or purchase a young but more developed tree. Obviously I will need to make sure they are more protected if I go go with option one. I think perhaps I should try both. Watch out for future posts when I get a chance to get to a plant nursery.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

World War 2 (Condensed)

I can't tell you to much about this I'm afraid. I got sent it in an email from a friend. It's just one of those things that floats from inbox to inbox that has become disconnected from it's original owner and website. But it's just too good not to post. Despite the childish nature of the drawing, the artist has obvious talent and it really is nicely done.

If you can provide any information, please let me know so I can give proper credit. As always, click to enlarge.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Can You Hear This?

Well apparently I have the hearing of a teenager. Follow the link below and see if you can hear the rather annoying noise that generally only people under the age of 25 can hear. Although it doesn't sound "similar to a buzzing mosquito" to me, I can definitely hear it. I'm sure if I listened for too long I would get a headache. Give it a go yourself, but remember to turn your computer's sound on. :-)

Train Horns

Created by Train Horns

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Quick Change

I've always been a sucker for a good magic trick and this one is superb. I just wish my wife could get changed as quick.


IMPOSSIBLE Magic Trick - The funniest home videos are here

Sharing e-clecticism

As a blogger I obviously want as many people to read my posts as possible. This is why I offer a way for my readers to subscribe to the blog so that they don't miss anything. Another method I and many other bloggers use is to offer an easy way for a reader to share a post I have made on such sites as Facebook, Twitter or Digg. Up until now I have been using a method that was becoming increasingly unreliable. The links that were supposed to appear below each post would intermittently disappear. Or sometimes they would appear on one post but not on another.

So I have now dropped this method in favour of a service from AddThis. Now there is a convenient button, both in my side menu and at the bottom of each post, for you to quickly and easily share any post you particularly enjoy on many popular sites that you might frequent.

Please feel free to use it and help spread the word about e-clecticism.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Tilt-Shift

There is a technique in photography known as Tilt-Shift. It is where image manipulation software, such as Photoshop, is used to alter a photograph's focus and other attributes so that it simulates a shallow depth of field that would normally be associated with macro lenses. This makes the scene seem much smaller than it actually is and the ultimate aim is to "fake" a miniature scale model. Here is an example.


This picture is not of a model but a real life London street scene. But by shortening the depth of field and altering some saturation levels, this cool effect is produced.

This site has a great Photoshop tutorial which I will be experimenting with soon so keep an on my gallery. More examples can be found here.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Lasse Gjertsen

I originally came across the work of Lasse Gjertsen on YouTube a couple of years ago but for some reason have never posted about him here so I thought I best rectify that. Lasse is a young Norwegian animator and composer whose videos have become a bit of a sensation on YouTube. Hyperactive and later Amateur are examples of editing together very short pieces of film and sound to produce an effect similar to stop-motion animation. Check out his YouTube channel for more of his work.

This is Hyperactive. Remember this is not beatboxing in the normal way, check out Roxorloops for that (especially his echo technique at 6:40). This is recorded one beat at a time and just editied together.


Amateur. Despite not being able to play the drums or piano, Lasse has recorded himself one beat and note at a time to produce a pretty cool piece of music.

Monday, 2 March 2009

VCR Hack

Sorry folks, I have been quite busy recently trying to get back to work. Sadly I have been unsuccessful so far but I'm keeping going. Hopefully I'll get back to some regular posting soon.

Here's one I saw on Why, That's Delightful that made me smile. I just wish I hadn't just thrown our old VCR away. :-(

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