Sunday, November 23, 2014

Conversion of Analog Photography to Digital Photography

Here is a photograph that I took in 1967 that originally was on the cover of my college's Fine Arts magazine. The photograph was also used in the college yearbook on Page 13 {I disliked the way their Layout Editor cropped the image}:

then it was used for a couple of years later in the course bulletins on Page 5:

Of course back in 1967 we had pretty primitive darkroom facilities tucked away in the basement of a building with terrible ventilation, so dust particles on the negatives was always a big problem!

Years later when photograph became all digital, I converted the image from analog to digital taking a relatively pristine copy of an original print and scanning it into a digital .jpg file at 1200 DPI. I then used GIMP to retouch the photograph to remove all those dust spots that kept getting on the negative in that old darkroom. The resulting photograph then looked like the following:

Since the original use for the photograph was for the cover of the college's Fine Arts magazine, I then dabbled with the photograph to make it more artsy by again using GIMP to add some color to an original monochrome Black & White photograph resulting in the following image:

So, this is the final result of retouching a photograph that was had taken in 1967 in the analog age and then using digital procedure to enhance the image to what it could of possibly appeared as all those years ago if I was a more accomplished photographer back then!

Finally using my image manipulation program I also made a 3D anaglyph photograph from that original, you can see the 3D effect by wearing anaglyph glasses (using Red & Cyan lens). Viewing the photograph in the 3D mode really gives the viewer a feeling of how remote the wooded areas of the campus were back in 1967. Students could really find solitude for personal thoughts back then just by going for walks in the secluded areas of the campus.

To see exactly how to produce a 3D Anaglyph photograph using the GIMP program, download the following tutorial and read and learn how to produce photographs with this eye catching effect:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Recording Live Audio Streams in Windows

In a Q&A article on 10/07/2014, 'The New York Times' published how to record live audio streams.

Here is ANOTHER way to accomplish the same feat without the hassle of having to adjust your Computer System's internal audio software setup as it is recommended in that article!

ALL of the cables can be bought from MyCableMart! 
You connect this device to your Speaker Jack in the back of your computer!
THEN you can connect one jack to your speakers (if necessary) 
NEXT you connect the following cable:
One end goes to the other jack and the OTHER end connects to the Line In jack on the back of your computer.
NEXT you get the free Audacity software and when you run it make sure you have the following settings:
Then you can record any sound that you hear on your computer using the free Audacity software.
To have your computer running Audacity to AUTOMATICALLY record when the audio from your computer's audio source starts; click on 'Edit' and then on 'preferences', make sure that the 'record' dialog box has the following items checked!
With this setup you can record any live or recorded audio that is played on your computer, no matter what its source, and then at your leisure, use Audacity to edit those recordings any way that you see fit. 
HOWEVER, check your state laws about recording any VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephone audio; in some states you can record if you are one of the parties in the conversation without the other party's notification AND in other states you have to notify the other party to the conversation that it is being recorded.
With just a small change of cabling, the user can also configure their computer system to then be used to convert any of their [old] vinyl records, stereo cassette tapes, and any old analog audio output devices that have RCA output jacks from analog out put to a digital recording.

1.) 1st the user purchases a second Y-connector cable.
2.) Then the user connects the second Y-Connector cable to the line-in jack on the back of the computer.

3.) The user reconnects the lead coming from the speaker output to one of the new the line-in plugs.
4.) The new RCA cable set plugs into the other new line-in jack.

Now the output from any analog device {Turntable, Cassette Player, and Radio} can be recorded using the free Audacity program to be saved as digital files of any type (.wav & .mp3 are the most common).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Free Long Distance Digital Audio/Visual Communication

AT&T introduced the “Picturephone System" in 1964, you can read about it at this website:
AT&T charged $160.00 per month in 1964 [equivalent to $1228.55 per month in 2014] and of course only a few businesses could afford those prices, so it was a technology that never caught on with American society.

My Wife and myself originally signed up for Skype a few of years ago because our younger son was going to be spending several months overseas and we all wanted to be able to communicate with each other over that vast distance.

Well, being a person that doesn't want to put all their eggs in a single basket, I investigated what other FREE video services were available to a internet user.

Well there are three (3) FREE services that offer video & talking services over the internet;
2.) ooVoo
3.) Skype
{Did You KNOW that ooVoo Software System gives the users FREE 12 person video conferencing? Could be IDEAL for organizing family reunions, investment club meetings, and/or such!}

I recently made a video phone call via “Skype” with a good friend that I have known for 56 years that now resides 3000 miles away in California over the internet for FREE {costing really part of my monthly ISP fee} and I also recently happened to send an email to a U.S. Army Primary Flight School classmate, someone I have not seen or spoken to in forty-five (45) years, and then he placed a video/chat notice to me via Gmail and we spoke via "Google Video/Chat" for a good three quarters of an hour; he was in Germany and I was in the USA. It was very nice catching up with him about how our lives have transpired since serving together at Ft. Wolters, TX in 1969, also for FREE {again costing really part of my monthly ISP fee}. Finally, I also have video chatted with 'computer club' friend of mine that lives in the mid west using "ooVoo" software.

Anyone that has family and/or friends several hundreds of miles to several thousands of miles away, then I suggest that if it is at all possible, internet users should probably join each of these services to be able to hold voice and video communications with those friends. The reason I think that the prudent user should have ALL three (3) is because one never knows when one of the particular services may have an outage; it is always good to have a couple of back-ups!  
These internet visual communication services fits right into my new saying, "If its FREE, then it is for ME!"

The only equipment cost, other than my computer system, was $20.00 for a middle of the road 'Macally' web-cam bought on sale through "Amazon" several years ago.
The internet has really opened up the world of digital audio/visual communication to the general public way beyond anything that could have been imagined in the old analog audio/visual communication world first tried by AT&T. The world probably can thank DARPA and Steven Sasson, for by society combining their two discoveries has been the key to widespread digital audio/visual communication!