Easy Monitor Backlight

– I’ve not written on this here blog for quite some time now. Not sure if it’s because of stress or just that it’s so convenient to post articles on large forums like Reddit, mostly due to limited formatting. And as there are groups of people with special interests it makes posting easy to motivate. Add to it automatic Imgur galleries and YouTube buttons… it’s just such a smooth and quick experience. It might be because I use RES but anyhow, lets migrate one of my Reddit posts from last December to here. You’ll also get my internal dialogue about my blogging woes. Also, this post never got posted and it’s now three months old!

Previously I had a huge desk on which I could have stand alone lights behind my monitor. This helped a lot with reducing periphery contrast when using the computer. Now when I live in a single room that I rent from a couple of friends I only have one small table. As I was pondering my options for a lighting solution I happened upon IKEA’s warm white LED strips. My previous experience was that LEDs most often had a cold tint and as such were harsh on my eyes. At this point I had had good experiences of other warm white LEDs so it seemed like a good solution! Much slimmer than my old solution too.

– Right here I am considering  if I should just hotlink my Imgur gallery or if I should actually upload the images to my own blog, then again, I think of the far future where services will be dead and this blog archived… I will continue with local uploads. Videos are larger so I’ll keep those on YouTube I guess.

Below is a gallery with annotated images.

– This is also something that has changed for me, which text for images that actually becomes the annotation. I think I need to find a different image viewer, perhaps WordPress has a built in one that works now… the one I use hasn’t been updated in many years! Oh, none works, I better look into this… there, swapped out the plugin! It doesn’t size very well though, and captions look like crap. Urgh.

There is a shadow square behind the monitor, but it is invisible if you're in position.  The TN panel looks much dimmer as it's shot from the side.

There is a shadow square behind the monitor, but it is invisible if you’re in position. The TN panel looks much dimmer as it’s shot from the side.

The product I used is called DIODER from IKEA, again it’s a warm white LED strip, you get four in a pack and they all hook up to the same power supply.

I have them connected to a master-slave power strip so they are automatically turned on with my computer, same as most accessories connected to the machine.

When I mounted them I just held a strip in place, without removing the protection for the adhesive, to see how the light would project on the wall. Then I moved it around until I was sure it would end up as I wanted. I chose to mount them where the back of monitor was curved, this made the strip angled slightly outwards to spread the light more.

I could have mounted one strip the reverse way to get all the cables to end up at pretty much the same place, but the 3M stickers are super crazy and I wouldn’t try to remove it now!

The LEDs are clearly visible from the side, but since taking these photos I’ve moved the table to face the corner, so it’s quite hard for anyone in the room to look straight at the LEDs which otherwise can be a bit intense.

I had four strips so one ended up at the bottom as well.

I had four strips so one ended up at the bottom as well.

As the strips were shorter than the width of my monitor I placed my webcam and DK2 tracking camera in the spots where they didn’t cover any LEDs. Even if it was neat not to hinder any of the light, I have since moved on to having the webcam in the middle again and the DK2 camera is now mounted high up on a bin rack behind my computer. Actually, I’ll add a photo of that in the end as a bonus.

– I think I got this figured out a bit, but when it comes to my blog so many question marks appear. Should I have a fixed width? Will that render properly? All my embedded images, will it look bad in the future if I change the width of the body? Images have specific sizes, how will that work with denser displays?

– What I really would have liked was to just upload images, and the blog would automatically generate the size of images needed when the software / template was updated. It can do it in a per request basis, not as a batch. If I update my site now I know I will go back and edit a whole lot of posts, actually I should do that already to move descriptions from the title/alt text to caption! Gah.

Below is the image of my current computer corner, I’ve provided it below. This was originally made as a stereo pair, but I only have one of the images below. I was trying to start a series of sorts by including the stereo pair of another Reddit poster at the time, but I never asked anyone to continue it :)


In any case, now the monitor lighting lights up the entire corner, pretty nice!

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Impossible Figure: Fence4

I’m really getting behind now, I still have kept up making one illusion per month, minimum… eight years straight now (!!!), but me posting them has been more shaky :)

Linework | Fillwork

While the bottom parts sit flat they have different lengths connecting to the top, which is also flat.

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Christmas Card 2014

It feels like a long time ago I posted anything else than my illusions. Hmh… I have many posts I should finish, that are still just drafts, stuff like instant projects makes me remember that. This is one project like that, something quick I had to finish fast, I had been thinking about it for a while but then just did something. Of course, here the motivation is to share it with people before a certain date, so that pushes me on.

Enough self reflection, this is my Christmas card for 2014.

Christmas Card 2014

It might not look like this was an especially complicated shoot at first, but as with most if not all of my projects this is a self portrait which automatically adds some levels of difficulty. How did I match the pose of Santa Claus? I’ll tell you :)


As I’m still just renting a room I don’t have much space and no good-ish camera left to take pictures of my rig, but I retouched one of the only pictures I took of it with my compact camera. This is a Panasonic Lumix G5 hooked up via a TriggerTrap dongle to a Nexus 5. In the flash hot-shoe, not really visible, there’s a FlashQ wireless flash trigger and at the back of the rail there’s a Logitech C930e webcam. On the floor I had a flash in the FlashQ receiver which was mounted on a small flexible tripod.

The webcam piped an image of the G5 screen to my desktop computer. Sadly the G5 does not have live video out so I could not use a direct feed. On my machine I had previously made a webpage that loads the webcam and displays it as a stereo pair converged at infinity (I think), this so it can be viewed in the Oculus Rift DK1/DK2. There’s no distortion correction or anything, but as the image is mostly in the center it works out anyway.

When I did this shoot I updated the page so the webcam views are flipped on their side, because I photograph in portrait, and I also mirrored them for easier posing. We are much more used to mirrors than a correct view for posing, if you hadn’t noticed Skype does this to your own webcam view automatically. I also added the image I wanted to replicate as an overlay.

As you might have guessed, wearing the headset I saw myself superimposed with the Santa wallpaper I had downloaded. Yeah, credit to someone somewhere, I did not make the artwork I just googled, sorry. I’ve made a small video of how it looked inside the headset while I was posing, it can be played back in a headset to see exactly what I saw. It’s a bit weird to see myself in third person, quite odd trying to reach for stuff, but it worked pretty well for this project. The video has no audio as I was listening to music while shooting.

I think the hardest part, as with many other of my photo projects I do, was alignment. Not only did I have to place the camera to get all of me in the picture, basically shooting corner to corner, but I also aligned the dance-mat to be under the feet of Mr. Clause and then tried to match the scale as good as I could. Then it was all about aligning myself to the ghost of Santa, the phone app was set to take one shot every ten seconds. In addition to this, I had previously aligned the webcam to the screen of the camera, which took some time to get right as I had to adjust two axes simultaneously to still get a non-distorted image.

Photoshop processIt was an interesting experiment, and it worked out better than I had expected, there are a few details I’m not that pleased with but meh… you’ll have to figure those out by yourself ;) I did not have the brains or time to set things up again, I had to disassemble the setup to get to the memory card. All in all I’m pretty happy with the result, a bit different than my usual Photoshop creations, not so much compositing but that left me with some brains left to add some framing.

If I do this again I will probably have the reference image either as a black or white outline or have some way of toggling it on and off, perhaps automatically cycling. This time around I had some issues to see the reference art and myself at the same time, which can also be attributed to the still limited resolution of the Rift headset.

Oh, and yeah, Merry Christmas, or your own equivalent :)

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Impossible Figure: Box3

The gallery seems to have broken with one post, and now images are offset… it’s weird. It’s my own plugin so I’ll have to look it over sooner or later, it’s years since I made it though. A wonder it still works, really, but now it has come up with a glitch :) Not sure when I will get time with that, but yeah, I know about it.

Linework | Fillwork

Two diagonally opposite corners are connected vertically, this while the corner turns inside out.

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Impossible Figure: Chain

I had this one sit in my notebook for, I think, more than six months. It took a few iterations just to get right on paper, and it took until I had a bigger span of time available for drawing to actually make it on the computer. It feels good to have made a figure with a higher degree of complexity though, it was a while since I dwelled so deep.

Linework | Fillwork

Each link has it’s end facing in perpendicular directions, even while being straight.

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