A lot of people were intrigued when Venus announced their 15mm ultra-wide macro lens the other day (sample images and video), but ultra-wide macros are possible with any wide angle or ultra-wide lens and a thin extension tube. Clay Bolt and Paul Harcourt Davies have been doing it (very well) for quite a while. They even authored a beautiful (and inexpensive) 93 page eBook on the subject. More sites for information & inspiration? LearnMacro.com ||| Wide Angle Macro Photography Close-ups with Impact (part 1) ||| Part 2 ||| Part 3 ||| The Art of Wide Angle Macro Photography by Shawn Miller ||| [more inside]
In the 80's and 90's, Robert Norman "Bob" Ross gave us The Joy of Painting. In each minimalist, 30-minute show, he would create an imaginary landscape using a wet-on-wet (or alla prima) oil painting technique while gently teaching viewers his methods. His signature, soothing comments described the "happy little clouds," "almighty mountains" and "happy little trees" that he was creating with his brush. Of the 31 seasons and 403 episodes that aired on PBS, the Internet Archive currently has the first 19 seasons (247 episodes) available for stream and download. [more inside]
Some short videos from a Japanese construction shop that practices traditional joinery techniques. The tools are modern, but the components and joinery techniques are traditional. For instance, joining two beams end-to-end. [more inside]
Do you hate swallowing pills? Let NPR's Nina Totenberg show you how using animated GIFs. A new study shows that the pop bottle technique for tablets and the lean forward method for capsules improve pill swallowing for 60% of people who use the pop bottle and 90% of people who lean forward. For kids, there are extensive resources that teach them how to swallow pills. Why swallowing pills is hard is a subject of study, and is a big deal, since it causes around 40% of people to delay, skip, or avoid taking medicine.
"Masuma Ahuja and Denise Lu for the Washington Post applied a technique called databending to a bunch of photos. The idea is that computer files — even though they represent different things like documents, images, and audio — encode data in one form or another. It's just that sound files encode beats, notes, and rhythms, whereas image files encode hue, saturation, and brightness. So when you treat image files as if they were audio, you get some interesting results. Jamie Boulton has a detailed description on how to do this yourself with Audacity Effects." [via]
Since 1977, Nikon has held a Small World Photomicrography Competition, to showcase that which cannot be seen with the naked eye. This year's winner will be announced in November, but until October 31, we have been invited to vote for one of this years' 115 finalists to receive the 'Small World Popular Vote Award.' [more inside]
The Getty Museum offers some videos of modern artisans demonstrating art techniques from the past. Don't miss the wet collodion photography process - today you can carry a camera in your pocket and look at pictures on your phone, but in 1860 you needed a horse-drawn darkroom to get those shots. [more inside]
James Gurney (of Dinotopia fame) blogs at Gurney Journey daily about making art, making worlds, and making faces.
It's always great excitement to see a rainbow. If you're lucky enough to have your camera with you, even better. But there's more to it than just being in the right place at the right time. How to Photograph a Rainbow gives us some pointers so our pictures can look like these. As a last resort, if you have a great photo opportunity but no rainbow: Add A Realistic Rainbow To A Photo In Photoshop.
Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) is the first video journal for biological research accepted in PubMed, featuring hundreds of peer-reviewed video-protocols demonstrating experimental techniques in the fields of neuroscience, cellular biology, developmental biology, immunology, bioengineering, microbiology and plant biology, free of charge.
Improve your Rock Band drumming technique. Rock Band as in the videogame, that is.
There are several ways to roam the world. But if you want to do it like a king, you have to master this. Maybe mix it with that. Or this (spanish spoken here). Then, you can bring your old acoustic guitar, hit the street and sing.
50mm, the Forgotten Lens Why You Should Ditch That Zoom for a Classic 50mm "Normal" Lens. [more inside]
How to make a film like Hitchcock would have. Also, a sociological perspective on guilt and innocence in Hitchcock's work - rituals of liminality (pdf). (via)
Interview with Ze Frank on creativity Ze Frank discusses some techniques he learned himself to harness his creativity. Apart from his quite creative daily online video, which is now defunct, he's apparently also an adjunct professor at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Parsons School of Design, and SUNY Purchase.
This is not a study for the weak of heart or will. If you do it right, it is gonna hurt. A Simple Guide to Ansel Adam's Zone System.
Learn to Play Guitar like a SuperDork. Can't. . . not. . . look. Don't miss the links in the comments.