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Morfternight #86: A Thousand Morfternighters!
The one with a surprise gift.
Today, we unveil the surprise giveaway to honor our latest achievement. Then, we explore black-and-white photos taken by a monochrome camera. Also, we hear Stephen Wolfram discuss AI.
We did it!
Thanks to a collaboration with Refind, we are on a roll and have just passed 1,000 Morfternighters. Read on to learn about the surprise I promised.
I love having you here and hope you’ll enjoy reading Morfternight.
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📷 Photo of the week
A Granary - More Photos
👋 Good Morfternight!
Last week, we were approaching 1,000 Morfternight subscribers, also known as Morfternighters. I promised a surprise once we reached that milestone. I also shared my photo series, "Focus," secretly connected to the surprise.
We now have over 1,000 Morfternighters (1,078 to be exact), so it's time to reveal the surprise!
I ordered printed postcards featuring the Focus Photo series. Each set contains 14 postcards with all the photos from the series. These sets will be available for sale on my website soon, but I'm giving away five complete sets to five lucky Morfternighters.
To enter, share Morfternight publicly on your preferred network (Instagram, Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky, or LinkedIn) using the button below before next Sunday. Tag me (@p3ob7o) in your shared message and reply to this email to let me know you shared Morfternight so I don't miss it.
Next Sunday, I'll randomly select five participants and contact you for your postal address to send your postcards.
🗺️ A few places to visit
The article How Your Physical Surroundings Shape Your Work Life brought to mind Dan Ariely and his idea of hacking your environment to make it simpler to adopt desired habits and give up unwanted ones. The space and arrangement in which you spend most of your waking hours greatly influence how you spend your days.
The Age of Average guides us through a fascinating, yet bleak, world where everything appears identical. Apart from the enlightening list of examples, I value the author's approach to viewing this situation as an opportunity rather than allowing it to defeat us.
I only partially agree with Why Chatbots Are Not the Future. Chat interfaces are indeed blank slates that could do a better job of showcasing their capabilities upfront. Still, humans have been talking to each other quite successfully for as long as we can remember without providing any affordances most of the time.
📷 Back to black & white
Upon examining the granary photo I shared above, you might notice a distinct appearance compared to the black-and-white images from the past nine months. I believe the grays in this photo are more natural and nuanced and have a wider dynamic range.
The featured photo and the two below this text were taken with a monochrome camera. This type of camera can only capture black and white images, eliminating the need for a Bayer filter to separate incoming light into red, green, and blue images. This results in two main advantages, one direct and one indirect.
The direct advantage is the increased image sharpness, dynamic range, and ISO range achieved by removing the RGB filter. Instead of requiring three separate pixels in different colors to define a single RGB pixel, each pixel on the sensor contributes to the image.
The indirect advantage involves producing black-and-white images on a color camera, allowing me to adjust gray levels using all the color signals. However, this often leads to overprocessing my pictures, which I may only realize days or weeks after publishing them. With a black-and-white sensor, this issue does not arise. The only adjustment I make is a physical and permanent one: attaching an orange filter to my lens to slightly enhance the sky's contrast.
A Field - More Photos
A Lake - More Photos
After a nine-month hiatus making grayscale images with a color camera, I am delighted to be back on the monochrome bandwagon!
🤖 Stephen Wolfram on AI
I have shared multiple interviews with Lex Fridman before and for good reason. He is an exceptional interviewer with a deep understanding of current technological issues, especially in the realm of AI.
In one of the latest episodes of his podcast, he talks with Stephen Wolfram, the creator of Mathematica and Wolfram Alpha. This episode offers some of the most straightforward explanations of ChatGPT, its functionality, and its potential future applications. Stephen Wolfram excels at making complex concepts easy to understand.
ChatGPT and Wolfram Alpha complement each other well. The recent launch of a plugin linking them may reduce ChatGPT's hallucinations. It could also help improve its factual accuracy.
To learn more about ChatGPT or Large Language Models, read What Is ChatGPT Doing … and Why Does It Work?