Sunday, February 26, 2012

How to Take Great Panoramas Using Your iPhone

1. Get the 360 panorama app. link

or Photosynth by Microsoft. link (this one gives true 360 control, but harder for to make horizontal panoramas in my experiences)

2. Find a Scene. look for some breathtaking landscapes around you.
I often like taking panoramas from these elements: sunset, crowds (ie. beach, concerts, campus...), oceans/lakes, architectures...

3. Compositions
Dont forget about the rules like the rule of thirds, balances...
If you forgot about all that from your first year design course or never heard about them.. here is the wiki page on composition techniques: link
or just go with your instincts!

4. Steady hands! and be quick!
Especially if people or animal are in the shot, you need to act fast before those objects move away.
Here is a tip on how to hold your iphone: Think of yourself as the center of a clock, and your arms joint together like one of the clock hands which rotates. Try not to shift your body from moving left or right, rotate your body and follow your arms instead.
Steady hands comes from experience and confidence!! practice and practice!

5. Natural Lighting
iPhone's might not be the best in class for taking low-light photos, therefore it making shooting panoramas at night extramly hard, or sometimes, impossible.
The light you will get on your left side is not always be the same on your right side. Since iphone is too smart to adjust the camera brightness accordingly, it often screws up your panoramas.
Plus, the more light you get, the faster the shot will process. Hooray, un-steady hands can be excused! :)

6. Crop and edit.
Last but not least, take your panorama to a photo editing app for the final touches.
my all time favourite is got to be: Camera+ link
Trust me, it makes huge difference!
Here is a 'before & after' of my beautiful campus. :)

Hope some of you out there will find this helpful.
For more panoramas taken by me, even from all the way back when I was just new to this. Check here: link

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Scala - Scalability

The name Scala comes from the word scalable, as the name suggests, Scala is meant to have great scalabilities. 
Scala is able to construct very simple codes/functions that has powerful functionality. The codes are very usable, due to its strict typing system (I will be expanding on the typing system in the next section). It is also very easy to adopt existing components and libraries. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Helvetica has been popular for almost 50 years. It is everyday, and in fact it is something we take it for granted.

Why there is so much love about Helvetica? Why is it 'the font' when it comes to graphic design? Who started all this?

The film 'Helvetica' had all these questions answered.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

steps to a better CSS stylist

When styling a web page, CSS file will always end up like a mess. things get out of control pretty fast.

There is ways to improve your CSS!

The most simple way is to adopt a framework, like the blueprint framework.
It provides library like grids and forms that comes in handy. It shortens the time as well!

Also, we can continue the best practices in coding onto styling CSS. Comment lines and maintain consistence in naming in your HTML elements. Try sharing properties with elements as much as you can to avoid writing duplications that will lead to potential conflicts in the future.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Scala - The Programming Language

Object-oriented programming language treats every value as an object in a program. Scala allows developer to implement objects and classes just as Java. In Scala, semi-columns are always optional. This alternation of the semi- column made OO language cleaner and more concise. However, if statements are presented in a single line, semi-columns are required to separate them.

One interesting feature in Scala’s object-oriented paradigm is the trait, which I will cover briefly later.

As mentioned previously, Scala is not only object-oriented, but also functional. Being functional, it provides developers the option of both immutable and mutable data types. Scala leaves the decision to the developers to declare. Scala comes with a shell interpreter just like other functional languages like Haskell. An interpreter made testing small functions and quick evaluation easy. All the foundation of functional program is preserved in Scala, such as First- Class values. This means we can pass functions as an argument to other functions. Functions can be defined inside a function just like Haskell.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Sunset Downtown Vancouver
iPhone 4S
app used: Camera+

Nowadays, smart phones have made taking photos easy. Almost all smart phones are equipped with high-resolution cameras. Better yet, applications that makes your photos more breath-taking.

iphoneography is the new emerging trend in photography. It proved that we don't need an expensive DSLR to take amazing photos.

Snow at SFU
iPhone 4S
app used: instagram

Monday, February 6, 2012

Logo - PART II

In my last blog, I have briefly talked about what is the first step for a logo design.

Once I selected a handful of typefaces that I think are suitable for my company, I would go into brainstorming about combining icons, symbols and company's identity with the typefaces.

In this step, it is important to think about that are the denotations and more importantly the connotations that you would like your design to convey. Choice of colours are very powerful in revealing connotations. Different color scheme provides different connotation.

Wikipedia has a very good description on Color Scheme.
Adobe Kuler is a cool website that rates user submitted color combinations.