Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Here's a New Camera Concept Craftperson's Should Love

From the late 1960's to the 1980's I was a video producer.  The term "videographer" hadn't even been coined back then.  In fact, we saw the video camera and the still camera as tools in two different realms requiring relatively different sets of skills.  That all changed with the advent of the digital still camera.

Today my still camera produces HD video images and most video cameras include still image capabilities.

Now I am going to show you something that promises to take us in a whole new direction.  It's a camera that the developers claim will make taking photos out of focus a thing of the past.  It's from Lytro and they call their new concept "Living Pictures".  One doesn't focus when taking the picture. One focuses when viewing or printing the picture.   Here's a sample.

A "Living Picture" allows YOU to determine the focus of the image. This particular picture demonstrates a situation that many of us have faced when having to shoot through a chain link fence. The fence is in focus but we really wanted the players to be in focus. With your current camera this picture would be a total loss. But, that is not true of a Lytro image.

Try it. Simply click on one of the players you want to be in focus and see what happens. Then click on the chain link fence. Notice that YOU are in control of what is in focus. Pretty neat, isn't it?

Let's try another...

In this image we can selectly bring into focus the flowers in the foreground, the seeds right behind the flowers or the foliage in the background. In fact, there are quite a few potential focus selections that you can find by clicking various objects.

You can find out more by going to Lytro's Home Page.

OK. So, it's all very cool. But, how does this help a craftsperson?

It both simplifies and enhances the way we communicate our work to others.  It simplifies by taking away the need to worry about focus and depth of field issues that all of us face when trying to take pictures of our work.  And, this is particularly true of 3D pieces.

But, it also enhances our ability to communicate our work in that the viewer can explore the objects in our image in a highly interactive way.  Ultimately, there are some hints that at least some limited 3D perspective might be possible,  Those of you that make pop-up cards should be very intrigued by what this camera might be able to do for you.

No price or delivery date has been set as yet.  So, I'll keep you posted as things progress.  Sounds like fun!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy to see the eCraft progressing

All of the court cases have been resolved and, for now, are behind us.  But, we'll still need a bit of decompressing before things are completely back to normal and I can, once again, turn a lot of attention to cutter issues.

The first step was purchasing a stand for the huge 24" printer that I'd purchased for court exhibits.  It's no longer sitting on the table that was occupied by the eCraft.  But, for at least a little while, a high speed scanner to be used to make sure that the mounds of paper generated in the case are captured electronically will have to continue to displace the eCraft. 

Believe it or not, I already have scanned and/or created 8,046 files related to the court cases. Going to court to protect an elderly parent or parents is NOT for the faint of heart.

Unfortunately, the problem of financial elder abuse is all too common given the emails that I've received from people in similar situations.  While I'm not a lawyer, I certainly am in a position to at least understand the plight of those who find that a brother or sister is intent on depleting or stealing an estate from their siblings.

But, the good news is that the worst is behind us and the eCraft seems to be maturing from where it was when I had to put it aside.  I am REALLY looking forward to being able to be an active part of this crafting great community once again.  As my granddaughters would say, as their excuse for picking on me, "It's fun AND Special!"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Crafting is STILL a lot more fun than Lawyers

Tonight, I removed the eCraft from the table beside me to make way for a 24" printer that I need to make exhibits for what should be the final hearings in the epic battle we've been waging regarding my in-laws guardianship and, now, estate.

My father-in-law passed away in January.  While it changes the nature of the battle to protect my in-laws, it didn't change the need to keep going for at least a bit longer.

I didn't remove the eCraft from its accustomed place because I plan to permanently abandon it.  But, right now it's a victim of the need to set priorities.

If we win the next two court cases, we expect it to all be over for a while.

If we lose, then we expect my sister-in-law to keep fighting until the estate is eaten up by lawyer's fees.  And, the odd thing is that I don't think she will ever see any of the money she craves because her lawyers will get it first.  Greed, it appears, kills the area of the brain that thinks logically.  And, bitterness stuffs rationality down into the deepest hold imaginable.

So, until we see the end of the saga, cutters, cutting and crafting lie beyond the limits we have in a 24 hour day. 

But, it not all been in vain.  I have learned to appreciate the value of planning for those days when we lose the ability to plan.  And, I've got an even greater appreciation of the wonderful gift of my own parents and siblings in the context of my parent's aging and deaths.  I've probably already written this somewhere.  But, my parents were gracious in life and equally gracious in death.  That may seem an odd thing to one that has not watched a parent decline to the point of death.  But, sooner or later all of my readers will know exactly what I mean by that sentence.

I WILL be back.  You are a great group of people and I could NOT stay away forever.

You probably will not hear from me again until after the March hearings.  Hopefully, I will be a happy camper on my return.  :)