Tuesday, July 24, 2012

360-degree panorama photography (review 2) DMD Pano app

The DMD Pano App.

Quite fast to use once you get the hang of it.

You hold your phone upright and tap the screen to start. Then you move it slowly round until the two yin and yang symbols on the screen join together. A second image is automatically taken. repeat until the app stops (it recognised when it's done a 360).

What you are left with on your phone is a superb quality panoramic image.

The problems start when you want to get the 360-degree image online. 

You can share it immediately on most platforms (Twitter, Facebook etc). But what you are actually sharing is a flat, wide image. There is no spinning the image round.

The best way I have found to get the interactive 360-degree image online is to visit DMD's website, register and then upload the image to it. I did this by dragging a tweet of the image on to my desktop, I know, this is hardly a simple one-button publish exercise.

Once the image is uploaded (with descriptions, geotags etc) you can then grab the html/embed code and paste it into your website or blog. Apparently Wordpress does not like this code.

And, if it works, the result is shown below.

GOOD: Easy to use. Image looks superb on the phone.

BAD: Too hard to upload and embed interactive 360-degree image into blogs or website. Using the upload process described above, the panoramic image looks low quality on screen.



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Preston Guild 2012 Photography Workshops

PP: Photography Preston
Produce the images of a lifetime at Preston Guild 2012
Since the mid-19th century, documentary photography has been used to record major historical events.
Preston Guild will have more cameras focused on it this summer than at any time other time in its history.
PP: Photography Preston will help you get the most out of your camera during Preston Guild – and push your photography skills to the next level.
This opportunity happens just once in a generation - this workshop will inspire you to capture Guild 2012 in all its glory.
Workshops will cover technique, project aims and the law with regard photographing in public. Our aim is to allow you to gain confidence, successfully deal with the public and produce great images from the celebrations.
We will also arrange special access to several locations in Preston to allow participants to produce unique documentary images.
Whether you are an aspiring amateur or a keen snapper, whether you own a digital compact, SLR or medium format, the course will help you produce documentary images which will form an important record of one of the city’s most important events.
Participants will attend workshops, be guided on location and will have their work reviewed as the course progresses. Assistance in editing of the final images will be given at the end of the project. Some of the images produced could then go on to form an exhibition at The Continental.
All workshops will be held at The Continental, South Meadow Lane,
Preston PR1 8JP. www.newcontinental.net
Workshops: maximum number of 10. Minimum number of seven participants required.

Saturday, Aug 18, morning (before First Proclamation)
Workshop to deliver technique, themes and aims. Two hours
Saturday, Sept 1, morning (before Final Proclamation)
Workshop to review images taken so far, discuss ideas for Guild Weekend. Two hours
Saturday, Sept 15, morning (week after final Guild weekend)
Review of images, editing. Selection of images for possible exhibition at The Continental. Two hours

£120 for three two-hour sessions, plus assistance during events on the Aug 18 and Sept 1.

For more information and to sign up to the workshops contact:
Garry Cook on 01254 822 179 or 07976 579 522
E-mail: gazcook@hotmail.com

Monday, July 09, 2012

Article about Outsiders from Lancashire Telegraph

This text and photo montage is taken from the online version of the article on Outsiders in the Lancashire Telegraph. It was written by Jessica Cree. The photo of me is by Andy Ford.
A WHALLEY journalist has released a thought-provoking new book containing interviews with some controversial figures.
Garry Cook has compiled Outsiders, a book of 20 interviews and portrait photographs on diverse themes such as religion, war and racism.
Featuring transcripts of chats with BNP chairman Nick Griffin while he was canvassing for local elections in Burnley and Padiham, a transsexual dominatrix and a British soldier injured by friendly fire among others, Garry said he was keen to explore issues usually shunned by society.
He said: “My aim has been to present stories and people’s experiences in an open and as honest way as possible, enabling people to evaluate subjects they may have preconceived ideas about.
“We all judge and pre-judge people but through some fantastic stories I want Outsiders to help us look at our own thought processes and behaviours, however distasteful some of these may be.”
Garry, of Mitton Road, said one of his most interesting experiences while gathering material was meeting a mid-American family, who are part of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church and were extremely homophobic.
Garry, 37, said: “It was amazing to interview the family. They are the perfect, wholesome American family, I have never been treated so well. They are so nice and loving to each other.
“But then they start talking about religion and it becomes a bit hard to stomach.”
Garry said he was also shocked by some of the things he came across while spending the day with Mr Griffin.
He said: “It was strange, a lot of people who were standing in the local elections were doing it for really good reasons.
“But they have adopted this stance and you wonder how they have ended up there.
“Mr Griffin had these big burly bouncers with him and it was certainly an education.
“A lot of things he said to me were quite normal and then he just hit you with this extreme stuff.”
Outsiders is available to buy now from Amazon or Garry’s website www.gazcook.com


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Outsiders by Garry Cook - Interviews with the unique, unusual and misunderstood

[gallery]Outsiders - Not one of us.
Now availabe on Amazon in the US and in the UK.
Also availble on Kindle in the US and in the UK (and you can also get it on Kindle in most other European countries).

I've worked on this book since 2008. It's a series of controversial interviews exploring the lives of unique, extraordinary and misunderstood people.

Outsiders contains 20 interviews and portrait photographs on subjects as diverse as religion, war and trainspotting.

Interviews include BNP chairman Nick Griffin, a British soldier injured by ‘friendly fire’, a cerebral palsy sufferer seeking sexual fulfillment and a transsexual dominatrix.

There are some darker subjects in the book - areas of life many peple are too horrifed or too scared to consider. Issues explored include racism and the usually shunned and emotive issue of paedophilia.

There are very valid reasons why these are included. I strongly believe that education and being properly informed on specific issues is the only way you can make proper social decisions.

I travelled across three continents – America, Europe and Asia – and visited seven countries for the project.

In mid-America, I spent a day with the homosexual-hating Westboro Baptist Church, a group composed of mainly one family who picket the funerals of American soldiers claiming their deaths are God’s punishment for their own country’s support of homosexuality and other sins.
In the Czech Republic I met a treasure hunter who has searched for treasures and myths across the globe.

In Israel and the Palestinian Territories, I spent time with two teenagers, one Israeli and one Palestinian, who have both lost family members in the long-running conflict.

And in Holland I met and interviewed four paedophiles in order to explore the difficult and often misrepresented subject and how it can be dealt with by society.
By presenting these interviews side by side, I'm exploring how we judge others through prejudice, appearance and ignorance.

Through these profiles of individuals who inhabit sections of society alien to most of us, the project explores the human characteristic of judging which can often lead to prejudice, racism and hate.

My aim has been to present stories and people’s experiences in an open and as honest way possible, enabling people to evaluate subjects they may have preconceived ideas about – then also look at their own behaviour and attitudes.
All the interviews have been presented as direct-quotes pieces to minimise the impact of my opinions in the project.

We all judge and pre-judge people but through some fantastic stories I want Outsiders to help us look at our own thought processes and behaviours, however distasteful some of these may be.
Selected quotes from Outsiders:
Treasure hunter: ‘They came at us with spears crying ‘argghhhhh!’

Converted Geordie Muslim: ‘People see a Muslim woman and you can see all the word association flashing through their minds: Bin Laden, terrorism.’

Homeless man: ‘My Thai wife paid someone to push me off a third story balcony.’

British soldier: ‘I was on fire but I couldn’t see much, the flash had burned my eyes. Just thought I’m going to die.’

Westboro Baptist Church member: ‘If you’re going to dedicate your life to serving yourself, and your lust, God hates you. That’s what the Bible says.’

Paedophile: ‘I don’t regret the relationships, only the sexual part of it.’

Israeli teenager: ‘Some of my friends in Israel, they don’t see the Palestinians as humans.’

Continents visited for Outsiders: North America, Europe, Asia.
Countries visited for Outsiders: USA, Czech Republic, Israel, Palestinian Territories, Ukraine, Holland, United Kingdom

NOTE: More images from Outsiders can be seen on gazcook.com