Categories
Multimedia Photography

Out-of-focus Photography

I LOVE pictures that have shallow depth of field or are out of focus….  That is why I do not get rid of a lot of my “crappy” shots… after a while, when I look back, I sometimes find shots that are pretty cool after cropping or rotating to focus on something that I did not realize was the subject of the photo.  (That often times includes photos that are NOT out of focus, but still.)

Check out some of these… Not too bad.

http://digital-photography-school.com/out-of-focus-photos

Do you guys subscribe to that site?  I hope, if there’s only one photography site you check out regularly, that it’s this one.

Categories
Studies

Happiness is Not Universal?

Here’s something interesting.  Apparently our concept of “happy” and “unhappy” is described differently in different cultures.  What we as Americans interpret as either of these is not observed in the same way for the Japanese.

It’s just a quick read:

http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2009/08/happiness_is_not_uni.html

Categories
Entertainment

Monk and Parenting

My dad watches the TV show Monk.  Or at least he used to.  Apparently the 8th and final season is about to start.  This guy from Wired was able to glean several parallels between Monk’s character and important principles in parenting.  I’m not a parent yet, but would like to believe that I will know how to respond to different situations when the time comes.

Read Everything I Know About Parenting I Learned from Adrian Monk

Categories
Photography

Artistic Lens Flare in Photos

I like lens flare.  It is one of the many types of “distraction” you can add to a photo.  Shooting a subject through obstructions is a great way of making the photo more interesting, “layering” the elements between your lens and the subject.

While allowing these interferences to be captured in photos, typically to also help frame the photo, lens flare can add a layer of mystery or dreaminess.  It’s very cool for portraits that seem “summery” or warm or playful.  Also can leave part of the scene up to the imagination.

Whatever the case, flare and excessive light are something to play with when possible!  Check out some tips here.

http://digital-photography-school.com/5-tips-for-achieving-artistic-lens-flare-how-to

Categories
Studies

Crows are Smart!

It’s fascinating to see how smart some animals are!  Check out how quickly these crows solve their problem!

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/08/aesopscrows/

Categories
Studies

Freaky Sleep Paralysis: Being Awake in Your Nightmares

This is an interesting article I saw on Wired.com, which was originally published at MindHacks.com (the link is at the bottom of the Wired article).  It is about when dreams seem extremely real, to the point where you are awake but scary elements of darkly-themed dreams seem to exist while in your bed.

I have slight memories of pretty intense dreams, but I do not recall vividly having the symptoms they talk about.  I would assume that I’d remember if it had happened to me.

These types of studies fascinate me because it makes you wonder what elements of our brains influence what we perceive as manifestations of spiritual connections.  Whether demons or talking to God or angels or whatever.  There are a lot of things where I think people jump to conclusions because they have to explain what has just happened to them.  If they are spiritual, then the explanations lean that way.

Also makes me wonder how you can tell the difference between the brain playing tricks on you and some actual supernatural experience.  I think that maybe some of these things that happen with the brain are our “tie” to the spiritual/supernatural world.

What are your thoughts?

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/08/sleep_paralysis/

P.S.  After reading the Wired article, check out the MindHacks link at the bottom of the article for some additional details.  Someone in the comments of the MindHacks post also posted a link to PsychologyToday talking about why we have dreams and why elevated dopamine levels:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200504/why-we-dream