Category Archives: photography

Commons Picture of the Year

Every year, the Wiki­me­dia Found­a­tion – the par­ent organ­isa­tion of many well-loved pro­jects, such as Wiki­pe­dia, Wiktion­ary, Wikiquote and Wikiversity – runs the Com­mons Pic­ture of the Year com­pet­i­tion.

The aim of the com­pet­i­tion is to identi­fy “the best freely-licensed images from those that dur­ing the year have been awar­ded Fea­tured pic­ture status”; an accol­ade awar­ded by the com­munity indic­at­ing that a pic­ture is one of the finest released into the com­mons.

With the first round of vot­ing due to end on the 4th of May, the Fifth Annu­al Wiki­me­dia Com­mons Pic­ture of the Year com­pet­i­tion has now star­ted. If you’re eli­gible, get vot­ing: the win­ners and run­ners-up from pre­vi­ous years (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) are abso­lutely breath­tak­ing and this year is sure to be no dif­fer­ent.

Objective Photo Ratings Compared Across EXIF Data Categories

Nikon D90 users who take pho­to­graphs out­side of the F2.8 to F5.6 aper­ture range and with a fast shut­ter speed are the best pho­to­graph­ers on Flickr. If they also post-pro­cess their images with any­thing but the man­u­fac­turer-sup­plied soft­ware, and license their images with Cre­at­ive Com­mons licenses, then they’re even bet­ter again.

Using a vari­ation of the Elo rat­ing sys­tem to object­ively rate the qual­ity of pho­to­graphs, these are the res­ults from ELO­grade’s cal­cu­la­tions look­ing at the qual­ity of pho­to­graphs com­pared across vari­ous EXIF data cat­egor­ies.

Of course, they went and spoilt the fun:

Please keep in mind that cor­rel­a­tion does not imply caus­a­tion as well as the sample meth­od­o­logy and size used by this report.

But I did like this com­ment, on dis­cov­er­ing the cor­rel­a­tion between Cre­at­ive Com­mons licensed pho­tos and high­er qual­ity rat­ings:

Maybe people who take the effort to make it easi­er to share their work do tend to take bet­ter pho­tos.

via Fooman­doo­n­i­an

Sydney Dust Storm

After trav­el­ling to Sydney, I some­how man­aged to miss the spec­tacle that was the biggest dust storm to hit the city in over 70 years by going some­where else for a week.

While I was in Mel­bourne pre­par­ing for a road trip down the Great Ocean Road (and gen­er­ally avoid­ing the earth­quake and the col­lapse of one of the Twelve Apostles minutes before we arrived) The Big Pic­ture was on the case pre­par­ing a fant­ast­ic set of pic­tures of the phe­nomen­on.

Those I have spoken to in Sydney have attested that this is exactly what it looked like to the naked eye.

I’m now read­ing Wiki­pe­di­a’s list of extreme weath­er events.

The Tao of War Photography

Lay­ing dormant at the bot­tom of my book­marks was this art­icle Jason poin­ted out over four months ago: pho­to­graph­er Bruce Haley’s Tao of War Pho­to­graphy.

1.  To begin with, prac­tice this sen­tence: “If I get out of here alive, I’ll nev­er do this again.”  You’ll say this to your­self every single time an already dan­ger­ous situ­ation really turns to shit…

63. Always keep in mind the fol­low­ing when you pho­to­graph people in war zones and oth­er awful places:
a. You’re there because you want to be – they aren’t…
b. You can leave – they can­’t…

Beware, the Flash inter­face makes my eyes bleed.

Cardiff Characters

I have recently become enam­oured with two photo pro­jects show­ing two very dif­fer­ent sides to my home city, Cardiff.

The offi­cial word on the city is slightly amus­ing… in a cheesy, sales-pitch kind of way.