On a lark I did some animation silliness today. The typical explanation for the taijitu, or the yin-yang symbol ( ☯ ), mentions how dark and light are intertwined, one leads to the other in a symbiotic wax-and-wane cycle, and one contains the seed of the other inside. Well, said I, I wonder what this wax-and-wane cycle would look like if the taijitu was rotating and you took the average grayscale value of the portion of the symbol passing at the zenith part. Who wouldn’t wonder that?
To make that more obvious, I’ve prepared this anigif, which contains three parts: a rotating taijitu, a cropping of the topmost sliver of the symbol from the centerpoint up (indicated by the red box in the first part), and the average grayscale value of that sliver:
So, basically, as the Wheel of Earth and Heaven rolls ponderously around, there are alternating times of lightness, darkness and shades in-between. I will leave you with a stand-alone gif of this interplay for your own amusement (caution: may not be synced with the above animation):
Just in time for Turkey Day, two more composites from my Hyannis commute. Monday’s I shot from the back window, so it features the heating elements on the glass. In order, going, returning, combined:
Today I tried to beat holiday traffic by leaving a little earlier, so the going composite has a lot of sunglare in it. For those images, the sun became a white hotspot in a sea of blue with the rest of the scene reduced to shadows. Thus, the scene shifts bluer than usual, there is more reflection from the dashboard, and the dust on the windshield is more highlighted. The returning commute was much longer that usual because of holiday traffic, and includes both a stop at the West Barnstable post office and at a paper store in Ball Square in Somerville.
Only a couple weeks left of the semester, and probably and end to this round of commute composites.
This week I just went for a straight-ahead approach, and didn’t change the camera orientation between trips. This enabled me to get going, returning, and complete commute composites.
An interesting effect to notice, because we’re back on Standard Time, the returning commute is now shifted substantially toward sunset, so the colors are much redder. This effect carried over to the Wednesday commute:
This week I decided to focus on my car’s side mirrors. I did the passenger side on Monday, and the driver’s side today. I did a normal shot going down to the Cape, and a close-up coming back. I’ll display these as pairs, with the wide shots together and the close-ups together.
The passenger-side wide-angle has a ghotsly trash can and gas pump in it, as I needed to stop for gas and that took the duration of several time-lapse shots. The driver’s-side close-up has some rain speckles in it, as it’s been cloudy today and started to rain on the way back.
Two new composites of my commute to Cape Cod. The first: training the camera on myself as I drive through southern Massachusetts:
It was warmer in the afternoon, so I took off my black wool coat.
The second set concentrates on the instrument panel. You can see the speedometer and tachometer needles clustering at different speeds, which would be for traffic, city driving, and highway driving, and you can also see the fuel gauge slowly drifting downward. In the first one, you can see the wiper stalk shifted, as I ran into showers in the beginning.
No tachometer in this one, but more of a closeup on the panel itself.
Last weekend I took a whirlwind tour of Las Vegas for my mother-in-law’s 75th birthday. I didn’t have much time, but I was able to get footage for three composite video pieces.
The first was set up on the footbridge over Spring Mountain Rd connecting the Wynn/Encore complex with The Palazzio. I was interested in getting the large video displays in a composite, but I also got a young, visibly-pregnant beggar holding her sign for the crowd. The only thing besides the casinos that didn’t move much in the video is her begging cup. Things that make you go, “Hmmmm.”
The second one I tried to squeeze in between the Fashion Show and Cirque du Soleil, but I couldn’t get the perfect shot and only managed twenty minutes of footage. This one is next to Caesar’s Palace, with the video display for The Linq as the object of interest. It’s only a minute long.
Finally, after the Cirque du Soleil show, my wife and I went down the Strip seeing the sights. I set up near the Bellagio and got a final icosacomposite of the crowds. Hidden in the footage: a guy haranguing the crowds from the center island, a drunk individual hanging out of a stretched monster truck screaming “I love Las Vegas!”, various wedding parties of all description, numerous motorized signs touting “Live Nude Girls”, and my wife handing off a second set of batteries to me.
More commutes going up! As I’m getting to know how the suction cup mount works, I’m discovering that the “gorilla” interlocking system is not as amazingly strong as its name would imply. So for three of these commutes, the mount shifted during the time-lapse. The first time, going to the Cape on Monday, was fine. The second time, the return trip on Monday, the mount shifted because I hit a bump. The third time, the trip going to the Cape today, the mount wasn’t in a happy position and slowly lowered itself over the course of the trip. The final time, the return trip today, I accidentally brushed the mount with my shoulder, so it shifted.
The first set was fine, and the third set was so gradual in its change that there was no demarcation to divide the commutes. The second and fourth sets had a definite demarcation point, so I divided the commutes into two sections: Before Shift and After Shift.
Monday’s pics were with the camera stuck to the sunroof and angled across the cabin:
Wednesday’s set had the camera stuck to the driver’s side window near my left ear:
Notice the difference in the feel of the composites between the Before Shift and After Shift sets. The smaller sets keep more of the feel of the fellow automobiles and the streets passing by, while the larger sets blend into a much creamier fog of color. I may experiment with more or fewer photos in each set to see what looks cool.
The joys of suction cup mounts! Here’s a set with the mount stuck to the sunroof glass and the camera pointing forward. (The camera was also hanging upside-down, but the joys of Photoshop means that that is easily corrected.) The two images, “Going” and “Returning”, are somewhat different because I take the camera with me when I go in to class; the parking lot at CCCC is big and I don’t want to give anyone the opportunity to grab a free camera.
Both of these use automatic exposure settings, so the color is consistent. There are portions of the scene that shouldn’t move, like the mirror, the dashboard and the little Lego guy sitting in his spaceship, but the camera does vibrate on the end of the mount so it blurs the resulting composite. I think the next set will be with the camera again on the sunroof but pointing toward me and the steering wheel. Then I could reverse it and have it pointing out the passenger-side window.
For each new week, I think I’ll just post the new ones on Wednesday or Thursday.
Just a couple of images to show what I’ve been playing around with recently. It has to do with the shapes of the major tectonic plates and their overall vectors. Interesting thing: the amount of distance that each plate moves in a year can be easily expressed, in real-life scale, in a print one can hold in one’s hand. More on that later.
One’s a colorized overlay, one’s a simple outline overlay.