A contrast in a hedgerow

Life and Death

What bits of the City of London look like when covered in water.

Everything London

Everything London

Look up!

Look up!

A reflection upon the City

A reflection upon the City

City parking

City parking

Street life

Street life

A Kimbo

A Kimbo

Some details from Oxford in the Summer.

Up High I

Up High I

Gateway to Knowing

Gateway to Knowing

Physical Angles

Physical Angles

Market Covering

Market Covering

Up High II

Up High II

Doing what reindeer do
Video not working? Try the GIF version

V & A Fountain
Video not working? Try the GIF version 

This is my first attempt at something a little different, from my recent visit to the South Kensington museums. This is what is sometimes referred to as a “cinemagraph”. It’s simply a short section of video where most of the frame is frozen while a small element of movement loops. The name comes from the first people to come up with (and trademark!) the name, Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg. Their website cinemagraphs.com, which showcases the technique as part of their fashion photography, is well worth a look.

Technically this wasn’t too difficult to put together – I recorded a short video of around 6 or 7 seconds hand-held on my Fuji X20 (in black and white mode, obviously) and then used a free bit of software from Microsoft Research called Cliplets. That takes the video, performs some aggressive image stabilisation to keep everything level and then lets you build up the loop using various layers. This one is about as simple as it can be, with just a still image layer and a loop masked out over the fountain. Then it was just a case of saving the output to an animated GIF or MP4 (the latter being higher quality but the former being compatible with more devices).

One drawback of the Microsoft tool is that it is fixed at a 10 second output length. Being fussy, and a programmer by trade, I wasn’t happy with that so I opened up the saved .xclp file in a text editor and found that it is actually just XML. Judicious editing of every parameter with “TimeOut” or “End” in the name gave me a nice single loop in the output, which you can see above. Just be warned if you try hacking it yourself that if any of the times in the whole .xclp file are inconsistent then it won’t load at all, which can be a bit frustrating.

It’s definitely a fun effect which I intend to play with more in the future.

Underground, over ground

Underground, over ground

A (very) short series in and around the South Kensington museums in London.

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Stop and Look

Stop and Look

After a bit of a photographic hiatus over the summer, or more accurately a lot of family-centric photography that I’m not going to bore my three readers with since they’re all related to me anyway, I have got back into the swing of things again with some more street photography. This set is all from the last couple of weeks in Oxford…

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Another month, another trip out with the camera club. This time to the wartime RAF Bicester bomber base that is being reinvented as Bicester Heritage, a kind of historical business park with a focus on companies who look after old cars and aeroplanes. We were given an excellent tour, with the added spectacle of two dozen photo nuts peering into every available dark corner.

Heritage Evening

Heritage Evening

Click through for the full set

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Peacock Plumage

Peacock Plumage

Here’s a short series from a trip to Cotswold Wildlife Park back in March showing the colourful world of animals enjoying the start of spring…

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Some more monochrome pictures taken from very nearby to things.

Throttle cam

Throttle cam

Slotting into place

Slotting into place

Raindrops

Raindrops