Monday, April 30, 2012

Top 3 Digital Procrastination Ideas to Start the Week

Tilt-shifted Lourdes.
1. Unnecessarily Tilt Shift Old Photos.  Tilt shifting is when you blur the top and bottom of a perfectly good photo to create the illusion that you are looking at a miniature scene.  I found a good online site and iPad app for tilt-shifting photos.   Online, I've been playing with, where you upload a photo, tweak it, and then save it.  Its pretty easy and has a nice range of options.  For the iPad, I used TiltShiftFocus.  I think I prefer the iPad version, although I don't have as many photos to play with on the iPad.  Tiltshiftmaker is free and TiltShiftMaker cost $1.99.

Tilt-shifted Alberta badlands

Slightly tilt-shifted Esco, Spain

I don't know if this is really tilt-shifted, but the vignette blurring was done in TiltShiftFocus on the iPad

2. Learn about Caribou Fences.  Caribou fences were complex wooden features designed to funnel and trap herds of caribou by arctic and subarctic hunters.  Caribou Fence Interactive is a fantastic site out of the Yukon that illustrates the construction, use, and archaeology of caribou fence systems in northwestern Canada.

3. Make MagicPlans.  This is something that I plan to spend a lot more time procrastinating with, because I think it may have archaeology mapping applications.  MagicPlan is a free iPad/iPhone app that lets you construct accurate floorplans using a series of photos that you take in any room.   Its designed to help arrange furniture and create real estate floor plans.  But it seems so quick and easy and accurate that I think it could be used in archaeology to record features, especially on historic or industrial sites.  I've really only played around with this in my house and it mapped my bedroom accurately in a couple minutes.  An archaeologist friend used to to map his backyard.  I'd like to take it around to some of the historic buildings and foundations sprinkled around St. John's and see how it works to record features.  One weakness that I can foresee is that it assumes a horizontal floor surface, which may not always be the case in an archaeological feature - still, I think its worth exploring and experimenting with.

Photo Credits:
1-4: Tim Rast
5: Screen Grab from Caribou Fences Interactive
6: Screen Grab from MagicPlan Website

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