Monday, August 25, 2008

(summer trip back-dated)

The blog entries of my trip to Scotland have been written offline and have not yet been uploaded. I am going to backdate them and post them some time here, in the order and with the date when they were written.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympic Flag at Leeds Met

On Sunday afternoon, a ceremony was held at Leeds Met on the Headingley campus: as the Olympiade in Beijing came to a close during the closing ceremony, the olympic flag went down there, and went up in many towns across the UK. One of the designated locations of the olympic flag is the James Graham Building of Leeds Met.

This was celebrated here with a small party on the lawn. When the flag went up, a firework of glitter paper was shot in front of the entrance. The flag will stay on top of the James Graham Building for 8 days until next Sunday.

On the Footplate of a Steam Locomotive

Last year, I had visited the Leeds Middleton Railway, which claims to be the oldest working railway in the world: operating since 1758, 250 years. I had taken a few photos and posted them on Flickr. A few days ago, the traffic manager of the Middleton Railway asked for permission to use some of these pictures in their archive, and I agreed. As a thank-you, I was offered to take a ride on the footplate of a steam locomotive this Sunday.

I took my camera(s) (the picture cam, the video cam, and the head-worn video cam), set myself up with the Soundman in-ear microphones, and bought a day-rover ticket for the railway. First a ride in the "coach", then a ride on the steam engine. Very interesting, to see the operation of the mechanical levers and valves which make that steam engine move.

Friday, August 22, 2008

My first "PhotoSynth"

I just learned that Microsoft has now released their impressive Photosynth tool, which can link pictures automatically into some sort of panoramic view, without any user interaction.

So I quickly used pictures from my visit at Nicosia in March to create such a synth. You can hover with the mouse over the picture and click around, to zoom in or out:

I will search among my other pictures for suitable scenarios, and in the future I will specifically take pictures of interesting objects, so as to create these synths.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Live from Barcamp Leeds

Today and tomorrow there is the Barcamp Leeds here at the Old Broadcasting House. This year I had not prepared any talk, but I just decided to stop by and meet a few people there. Right now, Tom Scott gives a very interesting presentation about creating videos for YouTube or other video sites. He pointed out that this is right now the "big thing" to do, as the technology is here, and video provides a very good way to access audiences and present ideas. He gave a few tips on how to make a good video, using frequent cutaways to keep the video alive and to cover cuts and camera position changes. He also pointed to the parody site he made a few years ago about the UK government emergency web site (brilliant parody!).