Merry Christmas to you and to me! I scored the most awesome gift ever this year, courtesy of my thoughtful husband. The way he put it: "Well, my hobby [of brewing craft beer] seems to cost me a lot more than your hobby [of scrapbooking with dollar store stickers]. I figured it's about time you get something nice to use for your hobby."
I love my shiny new Nikon D60. It's a digital SLR that seems to have come out fairly recently as an attractive entry level camera. I have wanted one for a long time.
So what does this have to do with computer science, you ask? Funnily enough, understanding photography has had a lot to do with my thesis lately. While trying to match panoramas, which have a rather small focal length, and regular photographs taken with a more standard focal length, I have had to get a more intuitive feel for such phenomena as perspective distortion. Fortunately for me, one of my two new lenses supports a wide-angle focal length (though it's not terribly extreme), so I can continue to get a feel for things.
Take the above photo of my camera Santa, for example. The standard focal length's field of view would only be Andrew himself, but this wide angle shot contains much more of the scene. Things look pretty normal at first glance, but some objects may look a bit distorted when compared to a a shot at a regular focal length. (Based on the fact that I am not describing things very well yet, I have much to learn!)
I'm very much looking forward to playing with my new toy and learning all of its settings. I have no doubt that it will come in handy as I continue my grad school journey.