Oh Snap! I could have used Google+

November 07, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

2013-11-06 14.44.012013-11-06 14.44.01 Yet another photo from the bike path, this time taken with my SONY phone camera (4.5mm, f 2.4, 1/640s, ISO 50). As you can see from the image to the left, the picture is obviously of a Wooly Bear (more about the Wooly Bear below) but overall the image is flat and the eye is not particularly drawn to the Wooly Bear. I took the picture intending to explore a new feature on Google+, which IMHO is the best photo sharing network on the web. And Google is making it better all the time. First, any photo I take with my camera or iPad is automatically uploaded to Google+. But many "cloud" apps have that feature. But Google is going much further. Google uses technology to evaluate each photo you upload and will automatically highlight photos that might be the best, eliminating photos with issues such as out of focus. Then it will also auto enhance (adjust brightness, contrast, etc.) the photo. You can turn this feature off and on and you also can customize the enhancement you desire. But wait, there is more. If you use Chrome as your browser (and your OS is up to date), further non-destructive editing of the photo can be done online with a version of Snapseed, an app that is also available as a free download. So the image at the left was edited online in Google+ to give the image below. The image is not fantastic but does encourage the question of why does the Wooly Bear cross the road? Or more seriously, why do we see so many Wooly Bear's in the fall? The Wooly Bear is the caterpillar stage of the Isabella Tiger moth. The moth emerges from the pupated caterpillar in the Spring, mates, and lays eggs that hatch in the fall. The caterpillar survives the winter by freezing solid. First it's heart stops and then it's organs are protected by a cryogenic solution. The Wooly Bear is found in the arctic but the growing season is so short that the caterpillar cannot completely mature in one season and thus will freeze and unfreeze through several seasons with some taking up to 14 years before the Isabella Tiger Moth can finally merge and mate again. I learn so much from biking and photography.

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