Return to Covent Garden

Back in December 2011 I was in London with a Yashica-Mat 124G that I had just bought on eBay. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the Mat was actually broken & of the full 12 shots I took on that first roll only half actually came out. As far as I can tell, the rest were actually shot onto the backing paper. That roll was also the first time I ever developed a film myself, so looking back at it I was incredibly lucky to get such a nice photo of the Christmas decorations at Covent Garden, which looked even better when I rescanned it when I got my Epson V600.

I told myself that if Covent Garden had the same decorations up again, I would go down better prepared with a tripod & camera I knew worked properly. Well Christmas 2014 came around & the same decorations went up, so I hopped on the train with my RB67 Pro SD, a 5-pack of Tri-X & a nice Manfrotto tripod borrowed from work. Well, not so much hopped, as it was rather a heavy setup!

IMG_88309819276775

Of course ‘the best laid plans’ etc. & the shoot didn’t go quite as perfectly as I had hoped. It was quite late on a Sunday night by the time I made it out & got set up, so there were far fewer people than I had expected & the same bustling Christmassy atmosphere wasn’t really there. But conversely, because there were fewer people & the parasols were down, you could actually see from the vantage point all the way to the back of the building & the pillars across the entry. The flare from the lamps is unfortunate as well, but I’m honestly not sure how I could’ve avoided that – something to learn for the future!

I took a bunch of shots, both from the same off-centre position as 2011 & from the exact centre. None of the shots jumped out like that original 2011 shot, but there were a couple that I was relatively pleased with (click for bigger).

img009-Edit

img008-Edit-2

Narrative Clip – Week 7

Week 7, covering the second half of November & through December.

Starting off with an early RAG Week, which of course means a copious number of purple balloons!

11192014134354

11192014141501

Ents Crew hard at work.

11192014145156

25ft up a ladder, gets pretty dusty up here…

11192014150915

Dropped the Clip & got a lovely sequence of the ceiling!

11192014162925

We had too many balloons (what a pity!) so we had to spill over into the bar.

11192014173203

11192014174229

Hard at work, part 2.

11192014174911

Lavin, the glorious Ents Crew overlord.

11192014175727

PhotoSoc committee <3

11252014182528

Ents Crew Xmas dinner!

12062014193537

12062014204815

Department Xmas party.

12122014172229

There was beer hidden in the technicians’ office.

12122014174049

12122014175003

12122014204702

12122014211630

After (too) much wine, we ended up mixing liquid DnB with BBC’s Look Around You. Made perfect sense at the time.

12122014224439

Following day, slightly groggy, but off to London!

12132014190813

12132014192031

12132014193725

12132014194500

12132014195444

Xmas dinner with some old St Andrews friends.

12132014200323

12132014214631

12132014230502

12132014232833

12132014233816

Professional street shooting with the Clip on the tube.

12132014234356

12142014120242

Some daylight in London!

12142014120413

12142014122511

Checking out Covent Garden in the morning – part of the reason for the trip was to retake this photo I took back in 2011.

12142014123451

12142014124434

Brunch.

12142014131004

12142014131317

12142014131347

Not sponsored by Costa, honest.

12142014131621

12142014134223

12142014141244

12142014142603

A different bar shot, for once!

12142014142937

12142014143011

Explaining the shot I was hoping to recreate that evening.

12142014151159

More St Andrews friends.

12142014151604

Dinner!

12142014153102

12142014155635

A pizza with noodles on top. Seemed like an odd idea, but it was rather nice.

12142014162731

Heading back to the hotel to pick up the RB67.

12142014180547

12142014181527

12142014184456

Setting up at Covent Garden.

12142014191339

12142014191602

Had to buy a new cable release that morning, as I forgot that mine broke & I threw it out.

12142014191909

12142014193409

12142014195347

12142014202031

12142014202437

Heading back to the hotel after exposing 3x rolls of 120.

12142014204024

12142014204359

12142014204940

12142014205419

12142014205449

Back in St Andrews just before Xmas, making sure a server wasn’t going to fall over whilst the building was closed.

12232014204926

Getting a bit frosty in the mornings, but no snow :(

12272014093915

The start of a long journey…

12272014094752

12272014095057

Train 1 of many. Too many.

12272014103938

Train 2.

12272014114345

Train 3(?).

12272014123752

12272014135523

Train 4.

12272014165615

At my grandmother’s house for the first time in nearly 8 years.

12282014112555

12282014112729

12282014113206

But only for 2 nights, before another long journey back North.

12292014103410

12292014103948

More trains.

12292014110528

Birmingham has changed since I was last there.

12292014114731

12292014114904

Traaaaaaaaaains.

12292014123547

12292014150451

12292014164424

12292014164850

Last train. Thankfully.

12292014174648

Waiting for buses at Leuchars is always such a pleasant experience.

12292014181657

12292014181831

12292014182238

Make sure to tune in next time, where there will be even more trains with another trip to London! ;_;

Narrative Clip – Week 6

Week 6, covering October & November. Because that’s how weeks work now.

PhotoSoc committee scheming.

09232014170329

09232014173615

Erm… That wasn’t me!

09232014174530

09232014175443

09232014175817

Running through an intro to digital photography workshop…

09232014180702

…for the following day.

09242014170052

09252014121006

09252014172630

09292014105513

Blue Sky Action?

09302014102453

It’s probably become painfully obvious by now that this is our favourite pub…

09302014173952

09302014181647

10022014094730

10022014094901

10022014095034

10022014095946

NO CARRIER

10112014013230

10302014091210

Arriving at the Informatics Forum at the University of Edinburgh for a SICSA DEMOfest.

10302014113137

10302014113411

Unloading the car.

10302014113514

10302014113716

My little corner & (hastily prepared) poster!

10302014114646

10302014121944

Enquiring about the (lack of) coffee situation.

10302014123840

10302014123940

Giving demos.

10302014132333

10302014140247

And more demos.

10302014141100

And back here again!

11042014183453

11042014185951

11042014192735

Back at the Informatics Forum two weeks later for ACM VRST 2014.

11112014090136

Lots of interesting paper presentations.

11112014091047

11112014103037

11112014123655

Augmented Reality demos over lunch.

11112014130019

More paper presentations.

11112014150812

Getting ready for my poster presentation.

11112014154908

Delivering my presentation!

11112014171642

And taking questions during the poster session afterwards.

11112014174043

11112014175159

Somce nice chaps from UCSB.

11112014181118

A fellow Rift researcher.

11112014183317

Dr Shum from Northumbria.

11112014185147

Several very long days!

11112014190436

A friend from Manchester happened to be in Edinburgh & I was rather hungry…

11112014195746

It was a long day for my Nexus 5 too, needed a little top-up.

11112014200324

11112014200830

11112014201209

More friends appear!

11112014213058

Oops, missed the train…

11112014214044

Good thing there’s a bar in the station, eh?

11112014215331

Back the following morning.

11122014091049

11122014100633

I kinda like the (very occasional) glitched photos :)

11122014104555

And the last day of the conference. I brought coffee this time.

11132014090044

Wine & cheese shopping for an exhibition/auction hosted by PhotoSoc (as soon as I got back from the conference!).

11132014163046

“Is this enough cheese?”

11132014163118

“I think we had more last time”

11132014163148

“We can’t buy them in threes, it has to be fours”

11132014163252

“Just a few more?”

11132014163656

“Maybe that’s enough now…”

11132014163758

Waiting for the cheese taxi to whisk us away from the supermarket.

11132014164542

Arty scaffold tower.

11132014170228

Setting up sound & visualisations.

11132014172200

Why are cables always either too short or too long?

11132014174810

11132014181001

*twiddle twiddle*

11132014182437

Might help if I turned these on!

11132014183933

Mirrorshades Update

As promised, a video showing excerpts of people taking part in Mirrorshades user studies! Once again this is in St Salvator’s chapel in St Andrews, with the participants comparing what the chapel looks like today against a virtual reconstruction of what it looked like in 1450.

For those that haven’t read previous posts about it, Mirrorshades is…

…a hardware & software platform which allows its user to observe & move around their real world environment whilst wearing a wide field of view, stereoscopic 3D, head mounted display which allows them to alternatively view an immersive virtual reality environment from the equivalent vantage point.

This is achieved by combining an Oculus Rift DK1 with the IndoorAtlas indoor positioning system & the Unity game engine. The user places the Rift on their head & wears a satchel containing a laptop & other accessories over one shoulder. An Android smartphone held in one hand determines their position via IndoorAtlas, such that as they walk around the real environment their position within the Unity environment moves accordingly, while an Xbox controller held in the other hand lets them trigger transitions between real & virtual visuals.

In the first stage, participants had 3x different transitions to play around with, mapped to the [A] & [B] buttons & the right trigger. Pressing the [A] button would instantly switch the visuals of the Rift from real to virtual;

switching-hard-with-controller

Pressing the [B] button would fade the visuals from real to virtual over the course of about a second;

switching-soft-with-controller

While pulling the right trigger would fade the real visuals by an amount that depends upon how far down the trigger is pulled (so pulling the trigger all the way displays only virtual, releasing the trigger displays only real, pulling the trigger 43% of the way displays a 67/43 real/virtual split, etc.);

switching-analogue-with-controller

Next, participants still had the same 3x transitions available to them, but their view would momentarily switch to virtual for a fraction of a second every 3 seconds;

timed-switch

Finally, participants had only the [B] button transition, but the base view was changed to a 75/25 real/virtual split & then a 50/50 real/virtual split (here visualized using the [A] button transition instead);

base-opacity-hard-switch

There are a lot of questionnaire & log data to work through, as well as interview transcripts & videos to analyse, but there are a few opinions that seemed to stand out (& will probably be backed up by the data).

Of the 3x transitions, people definitely seemed to prefer the right trigger one that let them control exactly how fast they switched from real to virtual & back again, plus choose any intermediary position to linger at. The momentary switch to virtual every 3 seconds was almost unanimously disliked. Preference between the 75/25 & 50/50 splits is less clear, with some participants saying that they didn’t like the 50/50 split because they couldn’t see enough of the real environment to feel safe walking around while others preferred the 50/50 split as it made switching fully to virtual more comfortable & encouraged them to switch to virtual more often.