Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Playing Wataridori
Mizuka and I went to see my second cousin Keigo and his band (he's aka Cornelius) perform in Shibuya today. These Tokyo shows are sort of a family gathering and we got to see little Milo who had gotten a lot bigger and my aunt who appeared to be doing well.

The show was great as always. He played Wataridori which is one of my favorite songs and the song that he released under a Creative Commons license for the Wired CD.

He had some really cool videos using lots of low light photography and photo animation.

There was a bit where he had lots of old cheesy Elvis Hawaiian movie footage with Elvis' head/face covered by an animation of a sea anemone. It was really funny. Then he started playing "My Way" on his theremin.

There was also a lot of audience interaction and he took a group photo with the audience. He also took live video footage of the audience and did some video "scratching" a few times with it.

I had seats on the second floor and I was using a 90 mm lens hand-held so my shots of the stage are a bit crappy. I've posted my photos in a Flickr set.

Leica M8 IR Madness
Example of grays and blacks showing up as
purple/magenta under infrared-strong lighting.

I just started the Leica M8 Magenta Madness Flickr group.

About Leica M8 Magenta Madness

The Leica M8 has a sensor that is overly sensitive to infrared. This problem causes a magenta hue on certain blacks, particularly fabrics. The color is also visible directly in lights and on anything that is lit by strong infrared light.

There is a promised firmware update and IR/UV filters are just now shipping to early M8 customers with more to follow for the rest of us real soon now.

Until we get our filters, why don't we call this a "feature" and share our Leica M8 Magenta love with each other?

Web20Mirai Cover-1
Impress, a Japanese publisher, just released a Mook (magazine/book) called The Future of Web 2.0 - The Sharing Economy based on presentations at the Digital Garage New Context Conference last year in Tokyo. The book is in Japanese. There are excerpts from presentations by Mitchell Baker, John Buckman, Tantek Çelik, David Isenberg, Lawrence Lessig, Jun Murai, Hiroyuki Nakano and Cory Ondrejka. I've got some words in it including a translation of my DBA thesis proposal. (I really do need to work on this more...)

A really cool thing about this is that Impress has decided to release this mook under CC BY-NC (v 2.1 Japan). They have also made a PDF versions of each section available for download simultaneously under the same license on their site.

It's already April 1 in Japan. Technorati Japan is sporting a 60's look.

Screen shot on Fumi's blog.

HDR Stained Glass 3
High Dynamic Range image of
stained glass in cathedral in Lisboa
After the ICANN board meeting yesterday, some of us went sightseeing. We visited a beautiful cathedral. It was amazingly fun and full of wonderful photo opportunities after spending a week trying find interesting shots in conference rooms and my hotel room.

One thing I realized after taking some shots of the stained glass was that the cathedral was a perfect opportunity for High Dynamics Range (HDR) imaging. The Wikipedia article describes HDR thus:

In computer graphics and photography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI) is a set of techniques that allow a far greater dynamic range of exposures (i.e. a large difference between light and dark areas) than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention of HDRI is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes ranging from direct sunlight to the deepest shadows.

HDRI was originally developed for use with purely computer-generated images. Later, methods were developed to produce a HDR image from a set of photos taken with a range of exposures. With the rising popularity of digital cameras and easy to use desktop software, the term "HDR" is now popularly used[1] to refer to the process of tone mapping together bracketed exposures of normal digital images, giving the end result a high, often exaggerated dynamic range; however, in this case neither the input nor the output qualify as "true" HDRI.

Because I didn't have a tripod, I couldn't shoot bracketed images, but I was able to take the RAW files that I was shooting and use Photomatix to render HDR images of some of the stained glass shots.

HDR Stained Glass Stained Glass

Here is an example of the same image. The first one has gone through HDR and the second one has only had the levels adjusted. (Sorry, I rotated and cropped the second one so they don't look identical.) You can clearly see that in the second image, you lose detail in both the shadows and the highlights, whereas the first one is able to preserve both. You can argue that the HDR image is "doctored" but some argue that HDR is similar to the way our eyes work. Our eyes, apparently, are able to adjust VERY quickly to the brightness and change "aperture" as it scans between highlights and shadows providing with us with high dynamic range imaging in real life.

I think an argument can be made that HDR is "cheating", but I think it's a fascinating technique that I'm going to try learning more about. Hat tip to Justin who first turned me on to this and to Pat who helped me find the software. Also, I've heard that you can use Photoshop to do HDR, but that Photomatix is easier to use. Pat has a very cool landscape HDR shot and Justin has been experimenting with hand-held HDR.