Friday, 2 March 2018

So Bad It's Good

I've belonged to a site called DPChallenge for almost as long as I've owned a digital camera and I've learned a lot from their forums and from participating in their challenges.

One of their recent challenges was to take a photo "So Bad It's Good".

It was a struggle, but in the end I came up with something I was quite happy with. Sadly for this particular challenge no editing was allowed, but I've since produced a couple of black and white versions which I quite like. This one was created using Photoshop on my computer:

I love Photoshop and some of the plug-ins I have at my disposal, but strangely I prefer this version created on my phone using Photoshop Express:

Thursday, 5 January 2017

"Blind Faith" by Ben Elton

Imagine a world in which global warming has reached such serious proportions that man can no longer wear any but the skimpiest of clothing. A world in which humankind has rejected vaccination as a dangerous procedure which is no longer legal, exposing children to dread diseases which are uncommon in the world as we know it. A world in which fifty percent of children die before the age of five.

Click here to buy the book
Imagine a world in which the use of social media is no longer a mere obsession but has become a legal obligation. A world in which it is essential to post videos of every aspect of your private life, even the birth of your children. A world in which the desire for privacy is a crime.

This is the world of Ben Elton's Blind Faith.

Despite the fact that this is the only world Trafford Sewell has ever known, he wants more from life. Initially his defiance consists of little things like keeping his dreams secret "in order to enjoy the sensual pleasure of having a secret."

Then comes the fatal day when a work colleague approaches him with an offer to get his baby daughter vaccinated. Having already lost one young child, Trafford is desperate to give this baby the best chance of survival so, while he is aware that the consequences will be dire if he is caught, he agrees to the procedure.

Once he has committed this crime, further acts of defiance are inevitable.

It's been many years since I read George Orwell's 1984 and my memory of the story is rather hazy, but this book feels like 1984 re-imagined for a future based on a way of life that Orwell couldn't possibly have imagined.

The world of Blind Faith is inhabited mainly by unappealing characters, totally lacking in sincerity. The events that take place often feel completely absurd. And yet, when I think about the way many young people behave today, I can't help feeling that we're headed down the path to a similar and equally horrible future.

This book is a thought-provoking read. In Trafford Sewell's world, reading it would be a crime.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

The Meeting

I love the way my fisheye lens manages to squeeze so much into the frame. This was a quick shot I grabbed as I was walking into the room where a bonsai meeting I attended this weekend was being held.

Linking up with The Weekend in Black and White and Black and White View.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Red Car

While I've been experimenting with editing some of my old photos I discovered a very simple way to do selective desaturation. It doesn't look good for every photo, but I kind of like how this one worked out.

Linking up to Photo Friday.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Birds on a Street Light

One of the birds commonly seen in my city is the Hadeda, a member of the Ibis family. He's a large bird, and rather noisy, but I've learned to appreciate his presence because his diet includes a nasty creature commonly referred to as a Parktown Prawn - one of the few bugs that really frightens me.

In the past I've taken a few photos of these birds walking around on the ground, but recently I've become aware of their liking for perching on street lights, and I've been longing to get a photo of them up there.

Today the opportunity finally presented itself to me.

Once again, I've opted for a dark black and white edit.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesdays and Wild Bird Wednesday.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Another Moth

I finally finished the job of moving my bonsai blog to its new domain last night, but in the process I've been neglecting this one. Although I suffer terribly from writer's block, I'd be lying if I said that the problem was entirely a lack of inspiration. I can be terribly lazy too.

But even when I'm struggling for ideas, old photos are in plentiful supply, so I figured I might as well share another moth. This one wasn't quite as spectacular as the Big Brown Moth that I shared back in May, and if memory serves me correctly it was a lot smaller, but I like the way this photo came out too.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Weeds in Black and White

Lately I find that I can't stay away from black and white when editing my photos.

This was a photo of some weeds I shot a while back. The flowers were actually yellow, but they stand out against the background so much better this way.

If you click on the photo to see a larger version you may be able to see that the flower on the left was covered with ants.

Linking up with Floral Friday Fotos and Saturday Show Off.