In some previous posts I showed the results of experimenting with focus stacking. In those posts, I would combine one of the individual shots with the finished effort to show how shallow the depth of field could be on individual shots and how deep the focus was on the final image. I was pondering whether this was an effective way of communicating the concept to someone when it occurred to me that animation might be a better way. I created a new stack of images for a different subject but this time I used Photoshop to animate the movement of the point of focus through the shot and then show the final image. This can then be an animated GIF. I wonder, does this provide a better demonstration?
Getting repetitive here. My never ending quest to capture and demonstrate the unusual gear articulation of the Boeing 777-300ER gets another outing. Similar animation of some stills as before. This time the light was good and the distortion was limited so here we go again. I won’t bother with the technique aspects this time. Instead, here is the animation with the rotation about the rear axle pretty easy to see.
Part of the entertainment at the Sonoma Skypark Family Fun Day was some skydiving. Some lines were marked out on the grass and Joey jumped from the Cessna flown by Trevor and targeted the landing zone. People could guess which line he would hit with a prize for the closest guess each time. Skydiving looks so cool to me so getting some shots of Joey seemed like a good plan.
He was great fun to hang out with as were the rest of the guys. His first jump came in a bit hot and he landed a little long compared to the marked area. That was not a competition jump, though, so no-one lost out. After that, he was on target for the remaining jumps. I started out staying well back but, as I built confidence in him and he knew I wasn’t going to do anything stupid, I was able to get in a better position to show him coming in. It is a quick transition from a long lens for the aerial shots to a wide one for the touchdown. He is coming in pretty fast. With a few jumps, you can try a different approach each time.
Once on the ground, Joey certainly knew how to keep the crowd happy. He stopped off to chat with people on his way back to repacking the chute and the kids seemed to love talking to him. I need to get more shots of these guys. They were fun and they look cool too. A couple of the group are also in to paragliding so now I have something else I want to check out. I also created a few animations of Joey’s departure from the Cessna so they are included below.
There seem to be quite a few posts on the blog of kite surfing. Whenever I come across someone out in the waves, I can’t help myself but spend some time watching them. Driving down the coast from Coronado, we stopped on the beach to eat our breakfast. As we sat on the wall looking across the sand at the waves, the kite surfer headed out a short distance away.
Of course, he never came up as far us us but he was still close enough to get a good view. He managed to get some good air at times, usually when I wasn’t trying to photograph him. The wind off the ocean was strong and steady so he was having a lot of fun with some reasonably sized waves to launch off periodically. I figured an animated GIF might be a good way to show him in motion. See what you think.
When Boeing launched the 777-300ER, they took the stretched fuselage of the 777-300, a model that didn’t sell particularly well and married it to the updated wing that made use of the fuel capacity of the outboard portion of the wing that had been left when the original concept of a folding wing was contemplated. The increased the weights of the jet, added far more powerful engines and, with the increased fuel capacity, came up with a winning formula that has done a very effective job of killing off the 747.
One problem that they had to deal with during development was runway length requirements for takeoff. Even with the bigger engines, the long fuselage limited rotation angles at takeoff and meant a higher takeoff speed was required which meant a longer runway requirement. Boeing came up with an interesting solution (after dumping some slightly more curious ideas). The main gear on the 777 has a triple axle bogie. Previously this had rotated about the pin attaching it to the main gear leg. Boeing’s solution was to lock the bogie level during takeoff.
The result of this is to have the rotation of the jet at takeoff to take place around the rear wheels of the bogie rather than the gear leg pin. The slight aft movement of the rotation point allows the aircraft to rotate slightly more nose up and gain a greater angle of attack. This gives slightly more lift for a given speed. This means an earlier takeoff and a shorter runway requirement.
I have tried many times to witness this at work. First, it happens pretty quickly. Second, I am often in a poor position to see the rotation point. Recently I was at SFO to pick up some people. I was getting a few shots prior to their flight arriving and a Singapore 777-300ER was taking off. The rotation point is quite far away (although, if you are in the terminal, you might have a good view) and the heat haze is a problem. However, I decided to get a sequence of shots anyway. Now, how to use them.
Heat haze is crappy on stills but less of an issue with moving images so I decided to animate the sequence. I imported all of the shots into Photoshop as layers in a single document via Lightroom. The hardest part was aligning them. I started at the bottom layer and then progressively made each layer above visible. I then changed the latest top layer blend mode to difference. This makes aligning them a lot easier since everything is black unless it is different. I was focused on the gear so used that as the reference as the fuselage rotated. Once each layer was in place, I changed the blend mode back to normal and moved to the next layer up.
Once they were all aligned, I used the animation timeline to make frames from each layer (and reversed the order since every time I do this they seem to be the wrong way around). Then I could crop in to get the overall view I was after and save the file. A Save for Web allows the generation of the animated GIF and we are done. The image at the top is the final result. It does allow you to see a bit of what is going on if you look closely although it is still a bit hard given the distance, the angle to the ground and the heat haze. I guess I will have to find a location closer next time.