3D Glasses and People Who Wear Glasses

I have realized something last night when I put in a 3D version of Journey to the Center of the Earth, with Brendan Fraser. Yeah, I know, it wasn’t the best movie he’s made…  but it was there and I enjoyed looking at Anita Briem.

 

3D movies at home and at theatres aren’t made for people like me, who wear glasses.

The problem isn’t with the movies itself, but at the theatres, they had you these paper/plastic glasses, either with coloured gels or a type of polarized plastic that makes the movie 3D.

When I went to see Avatar in 3D, I had to wear these glasses over my regular seeing glasses.  I had too, in order to see the movie.  This is very uncomfortable, not to mention, it takes a lot of adjusting, in order to wear them properly to see the movie.  Also, the constant, re-adjustment of them, well, you probably won’t notice in the dark, but later you may, I don’t care what they say, those plastic lens may scratch up you own glasses lenses.  You paid hundreds of dollars for your glasses, are you going to risk scratching up your lenses with these RealD3D glasses?

Why can’t they make the frames bigger for those that do wear glasses.  Especially, since I wear a wide frame (Oakley Chop Top 6.0).

I guess there is a work around, that you can wear contacts, but you’d just can’t buy one pair of contacts just to go to the movies.  Sure you can buy a year’s supply of disposables and only wear them to the movies, but that’s not really financially feasible to most of us.  A year’s supply of Acuvue Oasis contacts (and this is without astigmatism correction), cost me about $350 CDN and they do have an expiry date on them.  It’s a couple of years, but how often do you see a 3D movie in order to justify it.

Most people have said on some forums that I read, that they don’t have problems and that the 3D glasses are designed to fit over top.  I say, some yes, the Real3D glasses did fit over, but they weren’t all that comfortable.  I have had to adjust them a few times during the entire play of Avatar.  However, some didn’t mention it, but the glasses they did mention, were small enough frames to fit comfortably over top.

So, what’s a near sighted person to do?  Don’t fret, I’ve found a place, with the help of the ever powerful INTERNET.  You can order clip on’s.  Yep, clip on’s.  Yeah, you may look like a doofus, but you’ll be able to see the movie and let’s face it.  People in ‘dark’ theatres don’t care.  They won’t be looking at you.

The Rainbow Symphony Store carries three types of clip on’s: Polarized (circular and linear), Red & Blue and Magenta and Green.  You’ll want to check, somehow, on which one your local venue is using.  Now, I’m not plugging for them (unless they send me some free 3D clip on’s and glasses), I’m just giving you an alternative to having put in contacts or wearing 3D Glasses over your regular glasses.  You can find another place online probably, but this is the first one that popped up.

Having said this, these will not work on your new Sony 3D home theatre system.  Those have been designed with a special kind of glasses.  These glasses use a shutter mechanism (yes, they run on a battery that you have to replace) and they will only work on the Sony plasma television.  They will not work on the Samsung system or vice versa.  I haven’t researched how these work, but they seem to only work on flat screens at the 240hz range.  NVidia has come out with a system that will work with you home computer system, but you need the Samsung monitor that runs at 240hz.

These glasses are NOT cheap.  The Samsung ones will run you at least $250 a pair.  The Sony’s will run about $150 a pair.  By the way, you will need a 3D enhanced system with 3D enhanced Blu-Ray player.

I have been to FutureShop where a co-worker of mine got a job with Sony and was showing off the new 3D tv’s.  Yep… as I thought, they won’t fit over my regular glasses.  So, either contacts or the system is totally useless to me.

That’s it for my rant this time.  Check back later has I will be blogging about my day at the Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville, ON (July 30th and July 31st weekend).

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Geocoins/Travelbugs

And good day to you folks that are reading my blog page.

I am currently sitting here on my computer, going through all my travellers (geocoins, travelbugs, etc.) on geocaching.com (when I should be sleeping :-)).

What is a Geocoin?

Well, basically, it’s a coin, that’s either made of metal or wood (mostly metal), that is minted like a medallion, military challenge coin, etc., for the use of geocaching.  These coins will have tracking number on it.

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What is a Travelbug?

Similar to a Geocoin, it’s an item that had what’s called a Travelbug Dog Tag attached to it.  This dog tag has a tracking number on it as well.

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What do I do when I find one?

Well, you go to geocaching.com and you can do one of several things with it; Retrieve it “from its’ current location”; Grab it from elsewhere (if its’ currently location wasn’t posted properly), Discover it (if you don’t plan on taking it or if someone else wants to take it), or Write a Note about it (this is used alot if the coin isn’t in the current cache and the last finder of the cache suggests to mark it as lost).

Where do I get one?

Oh gosh, there’s plenty of places to get one.  Local geocachers are good about selling/giving you one, you can go to Landsharkz website, my friend Derek Wong aka Ozymandiasism (be aware, that his inventory has not been update as he is moving his webhost) has a website as well for selling geocoins, there’s even a forum on groundspeak.com that cachers announce new geocoins, do a google search on GEOCOINS and you’ll find some somewhere.

image Mudlark teaching My Pal Signal, travelbug, how to read a GPS.

Once in a while, I’ll go through all my travellers and look at there progress.

Currently, my Beta Frog – Signal Geocoin – May 06 has the most mileage on it (25,130 km, 15,615.058 061 miles).

Followed by, Friends, North and South (CSRA) (17,020 km; 10,575 miles), 2006 Canadian Geocoin (16,521 km; 10,265 miles), and World Flower II – Bauhinia (15,782 km; 9,806 miles).

I also go and double check who’s been holding onto my travellers for a bit too long and send them a friendly message to place it at their earliest convenience.

I usually will give them a couple of months before I send them a message.  It’s not uncommon for someone to hold onto a traveller for a bit.  Especially if they are on holidays and haven’t had a chance to log the retrieval or placement.

However, on this note, there are several people that have held onto my travellers for a couple of years.  These people probably wasn’t certain what a traveller is, took it as a trade item and never thought twice about it.  Or the probably got busy with life and never got back into geocaching.

The sad side on this, is that there is reports of coin thieves out there.  The constantly monitor some caches and when they see a valuable geocoin (at least to them), they will go out and steal the coin, then either keep them for their private collection or sell them on Ebay.

While this is annoying, unfortunately, it is the risks we take when we send these precious beautiful coins out into the world.

To date, I have had to mark 19 of my 39 travellers as “Stolen” or “Missing in Action”.  One actually surprised me and came back into action a while back.

I’m not going to get into how to make a geocoin, since I have never made on, but I know it’s a long process, especially when you’re trying to design one that’ll please everyone (especially for a group of cachers).

That’s it for now… keep on cachin’!

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LPC (Lamp Post Caches)

Is it just me or does anyone else hate these LPC hides?

There’s a number of names for these caches, Lamp Post Cache, Skirt Lifters, Drive-By Caches, etc.

EMC_thumb1[1]

Drive by skirt lifters.

I mean, yeah, they’re there for you just to go and grab up and increase your numbers.

But there’s not imagination to it.  As Steve (Model12) would say, these people are just out there placing a cache, just for the sake of placing a cache.

Notably, they are usually hidden in parking lots of shopping malls.  I’m pretty sure that these people did not place them with permission from the property owners.  Well, it’s public property, you might say.  Just because it’s a shopping mall, doesn’t make it public property.  Legally speaking, a shopping mall is deemed private property, with an invitation extended to you, as long as you have the potential of doing business on the property.

When Gord (KeeperofMaps) and I were looking for a quick cache to do that neither of us had done.  We look at our GPS and then the watch (I forget what I had to do, but had to be back home for a certain time), and saw that there was one not too far away from my home coordinates. GC1FRVV Diamond in the Rough.

We both agreed, after find this cache, that it was a bit dangerous.  Since when I went to retrieve the cache, I was feeling around the base of this post and was able to feel electrical wires.  Also, when I pulled it out, it was a little metal container, great, something else to conduct electricity.  The cache container, was little baggy, were in no way water proof.

There were plenty of trees behind this post, they could’ve hidden a film canister in a tree (AMIAT, Another Micro in a Tree), and that would’ve been ten times better.

Also, let’s not hide these things on private property, they tend to draw a lot of attention, especially when the skirts of those posts squeak when you raise and lower them.

Not too long ago, a skirt lifter was placed on the pedestrian bridge above a major city road and to a major bus station.  The noise had probably alerted the nearby nosy neighbour that thought they were doing their civic duty and calling in something suspicious.

Long story short, the bomb squad was called out and they eventually had to neutralize the ‘package’ with a high pressure water gun.

My thought’s on this, please take the time to think about what kind of cache you are putting out there.  Will it potentially get the notice of too many on-lookers and/or draw the attention of the local constabulary?  Please don’t put a cache out, just for the sake of putting a cache out.  Put some thought into it.  The finder’s will appreciate a well set up cache.

Skirtlifter_thumb1[1]Yeah, this cache would probably get questions.

BTW, there are requirements and guidelines on placing a cache, please go and read them.

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GeoTagging

Hey again,

I said in the last post that I would explain about a process call GeoTagging.

This is the process of adding location data into the MetaData of a digital photograph.  Now why would you want to do that you ask?  Well, maybe you have some family and friends, following your photographic adventure while you’re on vacation.  Maybe you just like taking a look at other people’s photos at a specific location.  The reasons are multiple and plentiful.

So, first, let’s introduce you to a couple of places that support Geotagged photos.  Amongst the popular, there’s Flickr and Panoramio (which is a Google Earth based application).  Do a Google search on the internet and I’m sure you’ll find something.  I’m going to talk about Flickr, it’s what my friends and I mainly use.

Capture

Above you can see this is Flickr’s map view of the Ottawa, ON area.  The little pink dots, well, as you probably have guessed, those are geotagged photos.  Doesn’t look like a lot, but trust me there’s a lot more.   You’ll have to zoom in closer.  In the next picture you’ll see a few of my photos that have been geotagged in at Phiney’s Point.

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Click on one of the Pink dots and it’ll open up the photo.  Neat, huh?

So, how do you Geotag a photo?  Well, the most inexpensive way, but the least accurate is to manually enter the data into the metadata of you digital photograph.  In Flickr, it gives you the option of drag and dropping it onto the map.  I’m not going to get into any great detail on how to do that.  You can figure that out on your own.  I have faith in you.

Now, the more expensive way to do it.

There’s at least two ways of doing this.  Direct Imbedding (while on the camera) or using a computer, handheld GPS device and geotagging software.

Now this is what I would like to get for Geotagging.  Well, since I have Nikon camera, I would like to use the Nikon GP-1.  This device will cost you about $280 at Henry’s.   It will automatically write the longitude and latitude coordinates into the picture as you take them.

25396_gp-1-gps-unit_front Nikon GP-1 Geotagging GPS Unit

nikon-gp1-mounted-20081202-600Nikon D90 with the GP-1 attached.

The other way, which is way more affordable is software.

I use a program called Robogeo, now there are other software out that that does Geotagging, but I found that Robogeo is more intuitive and easier to use.  Also that it will geotag RAW (.NEF) photos as well.

You’ll need to walk around with a handheld GPS that is capable of keeping a tracklog.  Previously, I used a Garmin GPSMap60 CSx (Robogeo was able to automatically grab the tracklog from the 60), now I use a Garmin Colorado 300.  I have to transfer the tracklog to my computer as a GPX file and import it into Robogeo.  Hind sight, being twenty-twenty, I should’ve kept my 60.

garmin_gpsmap_60csx_handheldGarmin GPSMap60CSx

garmin-colorado-300-sat-navGarmin Colorado 300

Technically speaking, this is the more expensive way to go about Geotagging.  Since you have to spend out for a good hand held GPS.  But since I go geoaching, I already had the handheld GPS.

Once you have imported the tracklog into Robogeo, then you have to import the photos that you want Geotagged.  You can either have the coordinates stamped right on the picture or written into the metadata or both.  This is a long process, especially when you go out for a photowalk and take hundreds of pictures.  I choose to write the geotagged photos to a new directory on the computer, therefore I don’t alter the original photo.

Well, I hope this answers your questions on what is geotagging.  If you have the means, I suggest giving it a try.  Oh yeah, Robogeo has a demo version available on their site.  I think it watermarks your photos until you register for a full version.

Until next time folks.

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Scott Kelby’s Third Annual Worldwide Photowalk (2010)

G’day folks,

This being my first blog, I’m going to start by telling you what this blog will mostly connect with.  Mostly with  a couple of my biggest interests/hobbies.  Doesn’t everyone do that?

Currently, my hobbies include Geocaching and Photography.

It was fun day today.  I, went on Scott Kelby’s Third Annual Worldwide Photowalk today in Ottawa, ON, Canada with walk leader Dale Hogan of Dale Hogan Photography.

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A photowalk is meant to be a social gathering of people that have a common interest.  That would be a passion for photography.

People from all walks of life get together and have fun taking pictures.  Some people get a little help with some techniques, talk tech and just all around other stuff.  It’s meant to be fun.

We first started off on the front steps of Parliament hill, walked around the Parliament buildings, through Major’s Hill Park, through the Byward Market and ended up at the Exchange Pub and Restaurant to compare and comment over photos.

Some of the local Geocachers from Canada’s Capital Cachers, with a passion for photography, also joined in as well.  RossMTBiker, GeoNarcissa, GarminGal, Tanglebones and I had a great time out today.  Ross showed off his new 100-400 lens for his sacrilegious camera, <cough> Canon <cough><cough>. jk

I drooled over someone else’s 70-200 f2.8 VRII Nikkor lens.  What I wouldn’t do to get one of these.

When I got to Parliament Hill, I totally forgot that I left my handheld GPS on the coffee table at home.  I wasn’t going to be Geocaching, but I wanted to grab a track file of the route we took, so I could GeoTag the photos that I took.

GeoTagging is a process of placing a location (Latitude and Longitude coordinates) into the EXIF metadata of a digital photo.  I’ll explain in a post about this in the future.

Back to the Photowalk.  There’s something to be said about going out with a group of people and take pictures.  You get to see the whole world differently through another photographer’s eyes (or lens).  I got some great ideas for some future shots, made some new friends, traded e-mails and phone numbers.

Scott Kelby is well known author and photographer.  He does photography training at kelbytraining.com and does a number of webisodes pertaining to photography and photoshop.  My favourite to watch is DTown, which gives tips and tricks on all things to do with Digital Photography.   Yes, he’s primarily a Nikon camera shooter, but the show is geared to Nikon and Canon, if you own something like a Sony Alpha, the same principles apply, but you’ll have to find out how to get through your camera menu to get the same result.

Once a year he organizes, online, a Worldwide Photowalk, in which local veteran Photographers lead a group of 50 photographers on a walk around the city and do what photographers love to do.  Take pictures!

I, originally thought about leading a walk, but the requirements needed a seasoned photographer or previous experience.  This is where I contacted fellow Geocacher and Photographer, Dale Hogan.  He graciously lead last years photowalk and this years as well.

This year, 1,111 photowalks with 33,483 photowalkers were registered worldwide.

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