Product Placement – Again?

Well, obviously, no one took the slightest notice of my suggestion that they advertise on this blog. Well, I mean, why should they? It was only a joke, after all. But, more seriously, my readership has been steadily falling for yonks and yonks. I thought that, maybe, things would improve when Covid 19 placed everyone indoors and bored them stupid; but sadly I was wrong. My stats continue to disappoint. And now that WordPress seem to have it in their heads that I want the Premium Plan and are asking for real money from me, I’m considering walking away from good old HamsterBritain dot com. But before I do, I thought I might have some more fun with product placement. In this case it is a product that I actually use. And here it is…

When Magnuss Earplug and Hair-Trigger Provost find their energy reserves sapped by endless heroic acts – made in the preservation of the sanctity and liberty of The Museum of Future Technology…

…they whip out a tube of Berocca from inside their novelty sporrans; tear off the…er…tear-off bit , and up-end the contents upon their tongues. A short while later…

…they’re feeling perky as heck and ready to go kick some ass.

Berocca: makes you go-go-go when you feel totally shit! 

Photography: How Mauve is Mauve?

From my experience, there are certain colours that digital cameras seem to struggle with. The worst is yellow in bright sunlight. Particularly when shooting shiny flowers. Of the 50+ cameras that I currently keep in the bottom of my wardrobe, only three or four of them can cope at all. Most just flare out. The other problem colour is mauve/purple. I have a Primula in the back garden that not one of my cameras can capture accurately. But that’s another story. We don’t want to talk abject failure here on HamsterBritainDotCom, do we? No, we don’t. I also have a pleasant mauve plant, the name of which eludes me, which comes up every year in a terracotta pot on the patio. And it was to this plant I went when I decided upon  another of my famous comparison tests. Here are the guilty subjects this time…

A 4.0 megapixel Kyocera Finecam 410R. A 9.3 megapixel Ricoh CX2. and a 12 megapixel Kodak EasyShare M550. None of them are even remotely new, but I have been known to snap some quite nice pictures with all three – but never before at the same time. Here are the results of the Mauve Test…

The least mauve camera here is the Kyocera. The medium mauve, you might assume would be the 9.3 mg Ricoh. But you would be wrong. Not unusually it’s the Kodak that lets us down with a half-way-decent effort. And the winner – displaying a picture with remarkable similarity to the actual shade of mauve as seen with these aging eyes, was the Ricoh. And here’s the complete picture in all its glory…

RICOH CX2: Good camera!

In conclusion, it seems that if you want a vibrant, true-to-life shot get a Ricoh. If it’s quick snaps whilst on holiday, the Kodak will do just fine. And if you insist on an ancient Kyocera, do as I do. Just keep it as a curiosity, and maybe bring it out for a walk around the garden once in a while.

Product Placement?

If there’s one thing missing from the Earplug Adventures that has probably gone unnoticed, it’s product placement. Yup, you can search through 30+ volumes and you will fail, miserably, to discover any product placement. This isn’t because I’m virtuous to the point of sainthood, but because no one has ever offered me money to place their product in one of my tales – the bastards.But, just to give would-be advertisers the idea, here is a couple of product placements that wouldn’t go entirely without comment, were they to appear in the next serial / e-book…

Before they start their day – defeating would-be dictatorships and alien threats to the Museum of Future Technology and what-not, Magnuss and Hair-Trigger always enjoy a huge bowl of Scotts Porage Oats – even if it does make Magnuss delightfully windy.

And…

When Dr Gideon Snoot and Flaxwell Maltings break from their heavy schedule whilst shooting the Earplug Adventures, they pass on Cafe Puke and march straight to Starbucks. Coffee that’s guaranteed to keep them awake at the controls of the Scroton Five – and tastes quite nice too!

Okay, advertisers: I leave the ball in your court.

Photography: As in Film, So in Digital

Back in the days of my youth, I was, as now, a bit of a happy snapper. Of course then it was all Kodak Instamatics and 110 cartridge cameras. I discovered, quite quickly that there were distinctive differences in film stock. Kodak film gave a bright, colourful print. Fujifilm, conversely, was more subtle, bordering upon clinical. Of the two I favoured the more honest Fujifilm – though looking back through old photos, I wonder if those halcyon days might be better remembered in a more bright and colourful Kodak manner. As I took my daily constitutional today it came to my attention that I was carrying two cameras – made by Kodak and Fujifilm. “Hmmm,” I mused, “I wonder if, in these digital days, the old ways still hold true.” Or, to put it another way, are Kodaks still bright and cheerful, and Fujifilms all clear and sensible? The obvious way to answer my simple question was to pause my route march and take a couple of snaps. So I did. Here are the results. Which one is the Kodak; and which the Fujifilm?

Not a lot of colour here, but those greens in photo number one sure look…er…green . So, yep, judging by this test, it’s the same as it ever was. Maybe I’ll conduct a few more tests, just to make sure. After all – any excuse to show off my photos…

Photography/Story-Telling: Inspiration Can Come From the Stangest Sources.

Many are the  times that I have related prosaic sources for my Earplug Adventure’s photographs: – from peeling paint to polystyrene packing pieces: cornflake boxes to drainpipes. But the latest must be the least inspiring of all. A badly-taken photo of the sun through the branches of a tree. See, even my bad photographs can be turned into something worthwhile. At least they can, if you’re a self-professed genius like me! I was about to delete the picture, when the aforementioned inspiration struck, and I asked myself: “How would this look as a negative?” Always a good place to start when you’re looking to create something all science-fictional and other-worldly.The results of this silent, rhetorical question are five pictures in sequence – which will, most certainly, absolutely, no-chance-of-being-omitted, be included in A Tale of Three Museums. I just don’t know how pertinant they’ll be. And here they are. Imagine, if you will, that you’ve  wandered from your cabin into the control room of a Scroton Five…

 

…as it travels through hyperspace. An alarm sounds, and you turn sluggishly to regard the forward screen…

“Ugh – what’s that?” You ask intelligently. Then a form begins to resolve…

Fortunately the ship’s defense system is automatic…

You’ve read Earplug Adventures before: you know what a bunch of shits End Cap Hyperspace Pirates are. There can be only one action. “Fire!” You yell semi-coherently, as you rush for the space toilet. “Now – for flip’s sake!”

And because the ship was built on Scroton, you know the weaponry is of the irrisistable kind. Moments later…blam!

The final shot is the original photographic balls-up. It’s not the sun shining through a tree: it’s a spaceship exploding. It’s obvious really – if you’re me. And because of that, you can re-enter normal space in complete safety, and go upon your interplanetary way…

 

Photography: Girth – the Great Debate

In my earlier post, Photography; Zoom Wars, I discussed the merits of greater length. In this post I propose to debate the significance of girth. Simply put, is fat better than thin? Is dumpy better than lithe? I refer, of course, to the camera lens. Little weedy things like this Samsung ES74…

…take quite nice pictures (though it can’t handle the colour yellow very well)…

Note it has (what is technically known as) a thin lens. Now compare that with this chunky lensed Ricoh CX2…

Almost as wide as a London bus, which lets in lots of light. The same clematis taken with the Ricoh looks like this…

Er…I think they call that a ‘no contest’. Clearly a fat one is better than a thin one, which I think we probably already suspected.  But look back at the photo of the Samsung. It was taken with the Ricoh. And the photo of the Ricoh was taken with the Samsung. Now the latter was uploaded with zero adjustment to the exposure. But the former needed brightening and a tweak in the contrast – just to allow you to see the much-maligned ‘thin’ lens at all. So which camera is better now? Oh, photography: it’s all so confusing. Fat – thin? Long – short? It’s almost as bad as a penis.

Don’t Buy This Book….Yet!

It has been a while since I completed the re-write of this tremendous tome…

…but I’ve been loathe to advertise the fact. The reason for this uncharacteristic behaviour is because my publisher has recently revamped its operation, which included dropping several on-line author facilities and migrating all the files from the old system to the new…and things didn’t go…well let’s just say they didn’t go well.  From my point of view, they didn’t go well at all. They didn’t go well so utterly absolutely that – according to my account information – I’ve never sold a book, and they owe me zilch. Worrying, to say the least. They’re working on it – or so the auto-response to my e-mail said. I hope they’re working on pricing too. For some reason some of my books, in certain geographical regions, are selling for less than cost price, which means I owe the publisher if any of the books sell in those regions. Worse still is the fact that the system won’t accept my imput and let me alter the book price. Also worrying. So – for now – I’m pointing no one in the direction of my publisher. I’ve even removed the link on the side bar and the Tooty’s Books page beneath the header. But, because I can’t wait any longer to show off the new and improved photos from Worstworld Vol 2, I’ve decided to show you little montage from the book, which should show up on all the usual e-book retailers very soon…