The i of the retina
Jun 16th, 2010 by scaredpoet

Ironically, a mere two hours before the great iPhone theft debacle that occurred earlier this week, I was busy photographing my beloved (and now lost) cell phone for a little project I wanted to work on.

In particular, I wanted to see just what kind of a difference there is between the previous model’s screen, and that of the new iPhone 4.  One of the new model’s oft-touted features is the retina display, which is purported to offer a resolution so high that the human eye can’t make out individual pixels.

Whether this is true or not is subject to heated debate in the blog and pundit arena. But I’m willing to bet that although my own naked eyes might not be able to make out individual pixels on the new iPhone, I think I know an eye that can.

With the right optics and magnification, my current 18 Megapixel digital camera should be able to give me what I’m looking for: the ability to really compare, pixel-for-pixel, between the existing iPhone 3GS display and the new iPhone 4.  While I still don’t have an iPhone 4 to test with, I figured I might as well get the first subject – the previous model – ready for its closeup, and then compare when I ultimately could get my hands on the new one.

And so, I got to work setting up the lab…

My Canon EOS T2i was fitted with an EF-S 60mm macro lens, and mounted directly above a comfortably-resting iPhone 3GS at the closest distance this lens will focus: 0.2 meters.  Simple enough, and pretty straightforward as seen from the image above.  Though I think the title shot, taken with lights-out over 25 seconds, with only the camera’s red-eye light and the iPhone display providing the lighting, makes it much more dramatic looking.

The actual shots themselves were taken in complete darkness (aside from the display of course) and the camera set to 100 ISO.  And the phone’s display brightness was set to full.

So how did it look?  See for yourself…

Hmm, that does seem pretty grainy, doesn’t it?  Well, We haven’t even scratched the surface.  This is a hugely-downsampled version of the original image, which you can download here.  But, in case you have a slow internet connection, here’s an enlargement of a small section of the image:

And now, we can see through the power of high-end digital photography, that the iPhone 3GS screen is pretty damned pixelated!

There are more images after the cut, showing additional examples of the screen at close range and at angles.  With any luck, I’ll be able to repeat this experiment with a brand new iPhone, and see what kind of difference a retina display can make.

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Down On the Farm…
Apr 17th, 2010 by scaredpoet

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, and this isn’t a doctored photo.  You are in fact looking some dude “carving” sculptures of turkeys and bears with a chainsaw, while kids are riding an elephant in the background.  Welcome to New Jersey.

Specifically, welcome to the New Jersey State Fair, also known as the Sussex County Farm & Horse Show, held every fall.  Indeed, most people who don’t live in NJ think the place is only smokestacks, garbage dumps and Mafia families.  But believe it or not, we actually have trees and plants!  And Farms!  With real animals!

This fair actually melds a lot of different state pastimes together: old style carnival rides and attractions, “shore food” (even though it’s not near the shore), and agriculture. This is the place where all the city slickers and suburbanites can see the more rural side of the state.

There was also plenty of random stuff too. There were robots (yes, robots!). there was an old beekeeper who kept getting stung by his very angry bees. And various random but interesting farm equipment.

Lots of additional photos of random events at the 2009 fair appear after the jump…

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Greetings from Cape May, New Jersey (Updated with actual photos!)
Nov 6th, 2009 by scaredpoet


Update: Sorry folks, minor glitch. The photos now really do exist after the cut!

With the end of summer well upon us, my significant other and I recently headed to Cape May, NJ for a weekend to enjoy the last good-weather weekend of the year.  For all the flack New Jersey gets, there really are some incredibly nice places to visit in the state, and this little resort town is definitely one of the nicest spots I’ve ever been to.

The weekend we visited happened to coincide with some kind of outing by a local club of Chevy Corvair enthusiasts, which allowed me to get the nice retro-shot seen above.  In general, everything just seemed to kinda fall into place there, and just about every picture I too came out looking somehow awesome.

Of course now, the weather is colder and the town has pretty much battened down for the winter, though there are still a couple of bed & breakfasts and wonderful eateries in the area that might be worth a visit in the off-season.

The area’s most notable landmark though, is its lighthouse and the nearby park and beach.  The photos after the cut tell the story of that awesome-looking area.

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Terror Behind The Walls: Eastern State Pen
Oct 27th, 2009 by scaredpoet


As Halloween gets creepily close, the season for famous haunts is heating up. Recently, I took a trip – my second one actually – to Eastern State Penitentiary, a historic landmark in Philadelphia that was, in its prime, the world’s first actual Penitentiary.

If you’re into famous haunts, I recommend Terror Behind the Walls, a haunted house event at Eatern State Penn that runs now through November 7. guaranteed you’ll have a good time. 🙂

But, if you’re really interested in the real, genuine spookiness of this place, then you might want to take a day tour, which is offered daily, year-round. The concept of this place of rehabilitation was straightforward and earnest, but its history leaves a lot to wonder, as does the creepily dilapidated nature of the structure as it stands today.

Many a photographer has tried to capture the true, haunting nature of this place.  Now, it’s my turn to try.  The gallery of photos for Eastern State Pen appears after the cut:

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Sign #1 that you’re starting to get old: “It couldn’t have looked THAT bad!”
Mar 26th, 2008 by scaredpoet

Take a look at this photo, ostensibly dated 1985 from the Chicago Tribune, depicting a mall that (in current times) is about to get razed and redeveloped.

Let’s see, in 1985, I would’ve been 7 or 8 years old.

Chicago, 1985

Holy hell! Did things really look that… old, back then? I mean, the cars, the signs… they look so… well, OLD! I would’ve easily pegged this image as being early 70s if I had not been told of the date. In fact part of me still has doubts!

23 years down the road, am I gonna look at photos I took of my car recently and think “DAMN! I owned THAT old jalopy?!

Maybe it’s just that the photo was shot in black and white that makes it appear so dated. I mean, Christ, when did people finally get it that shooting in color isn’t so bad, particularly for historical preservation purposes?

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