Flying Cross Country in a New Horizons Space Probe

18 July 2015 - Filed under space

I wanted to get a sense for what it would be like to look out the window of an airplane flying at the speed of the New Horizons space probe which, as the probe passed Pluto, was about 36,000 mph. Flying at an altitude of 37,000 feet, here’s what that would look like, with windows from a 747 and an SR-71 Blackbird for comparison:

To put 36,000 mph in perspective, at that speed, you’d be able to fly from San Francisco to New York in about five minutes. Of course, you’d also be turned into a ball of searing hot plasma.

Comments Off  ::  Share or discuss  ::  2015-07-18  ::  Clay

Abraham Lincoln in Pennies (2013 version)

18 February 2014 - Filed under art + projects

Over the holidays, I spent a couple of days creating a portrait of Abraham Lincoln out of pennies. (1,617 of them, to be exact.)

The portrait is actually a recreation of one I did in 2005, and incorporates several learnings from the first go-around. The 2013 version here is based on a better known photo of Lincoln, and his face is more closely cropped to maximize the number of “pixels” used for defining his features. I also used a tighter penny tessellation (one with offset rows), which reduces the blank space between pennies and improves the quality of the image. The offset tessellation made placing the pennies a bit trickier, and I ended up writing a simple command line tool to compute the exact color and placement of each coin.

I just got the portrait back from the framer on Friday, and figured that President’s Day was as good a day as any to post about it. Here it is.

Here’s a close-up of Lincoln’s left eye:


Thank you to Kelly for all of her help sorting and gluing (and for being really patient with me!), to Jesse for his Objective-C coaching, and to Mahmut and Jaime at Richard Sumner Gallery in Palo Alto for doing such a wonderful job with the framing.

1 comment  ::  Share or discuss  ::  2014-02-18  ::  Clay

Underwater Abstracts

12 May 2013 - Filed under photography

Taken with the waterproof Olympus TG-1 in Hawaii.

Comments Off  ::  Share or discuss  ::  2013-05-12  ::  Clay

Photos from Bryce Canyon

8 January 2012 - Filed under photography

More photos from my road trip through the national parks. The star trails photo was a one hour exposure at 2am – the latest and longest exposure I’ve ever taken!

(Click for a larger version.)

Comments Off  ::  Share or discuss  ::  2012-01-08  ::  Clay