Sunday, October 3, 2010

Trying Out A New iPhone App . . .

Yesterday I made the long drive up to my Aunt's and Uncle's house, which is way out in the middle of the woods in upstate New York. They had their last outdoor cookout of the year there, and I had a good time. I also thought it would be the perfect opportunity to test out this new iPhone application called "Pano," which allows you to take panoramic pics with your iPhone -- in effect "cheating" a much wider angle than you would normally be able to achieve on any phone's camera. You take around 4 or 5 pics, moving your viewer to the right with each photo taken, and line up your next shot with the previous one to get as close to a seamless stitch as possible. Once you've taken the required number of photos, the software goes to work and blends each one together so that you have one super wide-angle shot. I was impressed!

I ended up taking several panos around the property, which you can see below. Click on each one and to see a larger image:

As you can see, the leaves have already changed and have even begun to fall this far North. By contrast, down in my neck of the woods in NYC -- we've barely begun the changeover process even though it's already October. I provided a pano I took just this morning outside my bedroom window in the Bronx for comparison:

Pretty neat, huh? I'll take another one in a few weeks to show just how long it takes for it to really start looking like Fall around here. Usually, we don't start looking like upstate NY until the end of the month and into the start of November. Although we've had a problem with drought conditions this summer, so I expect the leaves will start turning sooner and more severely than in years past. We'll see.

The cookout ended with roasting S'mores around a bonfire -- although, to be accurate, they were roasted before the fire got as big as it is in the pic below:

All in all, I had a great time and got to meet a lot my Aunt's and Uncle's friends. I left their place around 8 for the 3 hour drive back to the city alone (Lisa was at work). It was a long, boring drive in mostly pitch black conditions along lonely and curvy roads. But I had an audio book to keep me company the whole way, so I was fine. At one point, a fox ran across the road lightning-quick in front of me. Luckily he was far enough away--and didn't look directly into my high beams--that I didn't even have to swerve or slow down. I had my fingers crossed that no deer would attempt to jump in front of my car, though -- and none did. Phew!

Hope you all had a great weekend!


  1. Great results, David. When we first toured Canada we took lots of panoramic shots with our trusty old 35mm (pre-digital). We got quite good at taking a series of shots and pasting them together by hand to make a reasonable panorama, but this it fantastic!

    And that looks like a wonderful property for a bonfire party, too. Lucky you. We have a fire ring in the back yard, but can't use it because there's a permanent outdoor fire ban in our district. Too many snooty neighbours don't want to be inconvenienced by smoke.

  2. Oh man, I couldn't even imagine making panoramic photos by hand -- YIKES! Applications like this "Pano" were made just for lazy people like me! :)

    That's terrible that you can't have outdoor fires, Ian. I absolutely LOVE the smell of wood fires outside . . . so long as they're properly tended to and don't involve the demise of all of Bambi's friends and relatives.

  3. Love those pics - I have a droid - I'll have to ask my son about apps for it. Thanks for the idea.

  4. coool!! I love the panoramic feature on my camera, even though the camera isnt so good, it always comes out a little bit warped and surreal :-D

    Lovely blog indeed, nice work's :-)

  5. I'm certain Droid has a number of apps that do the same thing, Kim. So hopefully your son can help you find them. I think it's well worth the effort.

    There's another similar app I just downloaded for my iPhone 4 called "Autostitch," which in some ways is even better than Pano. With Autostitch, you can take an enormous amount of pics of the landscape in front of you -- it doesn't matter in which order, or even that you line up each shot precisely like with Pano. Just point and click all over the landscape, open up the program and select the photos, and then just let the app sort them all out and stitch them together in the right sequence. It's amazing!

  6. Hi ruairi! Thanks for visiting.

    I know my digital camera has the panoramic function, too. I just never learned how to use it. Thanks for reminding me, though. I think I'll go and mess around with that right now. I hope it's as intuitive as these apps, which are really just so wonderfully easy to use.


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