Saturday, June 16, 2012

You'll be on Cloud Nine after polishing off one of these

Cloud Nine
I guess that's the idea. Amazing dessert -- chocolate cake, surrounded by vanilla mousse, topped with a ribbon of white chocolate and drenched with raspberries in syrup. Wow. If you're around Wisconsin Dells over the weekend, stop in at the Cheese Factory in Lake Delton. Cloud Nine was a dessert special when we were there a few weeks ago, as a sort of preview of a coming attraction. It's on the regular dessert menu all summer long, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Our lakes and streams thank homeowners for fertilizing their lawns so assiduously there's lots of runoff

Our Lakes and Streams Thank Homeowners for All the Fertilizer Runoff
Without it, they lakes and streams would not be nearly as green. The word is eutrophication. (Wingra Creek, Madison, which is unusually overgrown for this time of year.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tallard Conservancy

Tallard Conservancy
Great summer for local bike trips and we just keep discovering beautiful places we had never heard of before. This is in the Town of Middleton, just west of Morey's Airport and at the end of the North Fork Trail. By car, Airport Road will get you there.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Work of a mad 19th Century scientist? No, a brilliant modern American vernacular artist.

Work of a Mad 19th Century Scientist? No, a Brilliant Modern American Vernacular Artist.
The Forevertron is what artist Tom Every -- "Dr. Evermor"-- calls a "soul transformation device."  To get your soul transformed, go to Dr. Evermor's Art Park, across from the old Badger Ordnance Works on Highway 12 between Sauk City and Baraboo.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

How photo mosaics resemble human vision

Let's Go Log Rolling

I've been referring to my experiments with Autostitch and the iPhone as panoramas, but I'm not really using the software panoramically. I guess a better name is photo mosaics. I've mentioned some of the things I like about the Autostitch/iPhone combination, like the ability to make superwide, high-res images with just a cell phone camera. Also, it can increase dynamic range without the unnatural look of so much HDR. By planning your layout, you can usually frame your individual images so that you expose properly for both shadows and highlights.

But what most fascinates me is how a photo mosaic resembles the process of human vision. We don't see the way cameras usually do -- taking in everything at a single glance, from a single point of view. (This artificiality is probably one of the things that most intrigues us about photos, but it can be limiting.) Since the eye's area of really sharp vision is so small, our eyes constantly scan our surroundings, and our brain stitches together together what we see out of a lot of separate images without our even realizing it. Using Autostitch you go through a similar process, taking  numerous separate "glances" and then combining them into a whole -- either seamlessly, or letting the seams show, as I did in this 20-image mosaic photographed at Wingra Boats.

Just a Cubist painter at heart, I guess.