Wallpaper 509: Buds and Berries

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Junior Earplug Adventures: The Grand Tour (part 59)

Thrashing about the vast warehouse, the five brothers made an eventual discovery. It was a huge crate – with a warning stencilled upon it…

Assuming that it was either nuclear waste or God effluent awaiting removal to the massive red giant sun, around which the planet orbited, the boys elected to move on. But then Miles’ keen young ears detected muffled groans and weak knocking sounds. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what the ‘nasty’ something was that lurked within the crate. Grabbing a crow bar, Valentine wrenched the front panel from the crate…

To the Earplug Brother’s consternation they discovered the Supreme Being bound and gagged. For a moment they stood open-mouthed. But the Supreme Being didn’t have that luxury…

“Get this flipping thing offa my face.” He mumbled through his futuristic, self-adhesive, gag.

It was approximately the exact same time that the bridge crew received a visitation from the Wonky Supreme Being. He held aloft a facsimile earplug, which he then proceeded to crush between his fingers…

“I hope that isn’t a real earplug.” Hydious Gout said bravely. “It appears to be in real pain.”

“That’s what’s gonna happen to you, you bearded wonder. If you don’t get the heck outta here in two seconds flat, you’re gonna regret the day you came out of the toilet and sat in that chair.”

“We have people on the planet.” Hydious responded calmly. “Earplugs don’t leave crewmates behind.”

“Is that so?” The Wonky Supreme Being sneered. “Well in that case…

…why don’t you go join them!”

In the time it takes to say: ‘Hello, how do you do? The weather’s looking a bit crappy today, don’t you think? And I’ve left my bloody umbrella in the vestibule.’ everything and everyone that wasn’t bolted down was transmitted off the Chi-Z-Sox…

Leaving it a derelict. The bridge crew suddenly found themselves standing together. In front of them stood an equally bemused quintet of earplugs…

“Yuk.” Miles spat. “I hate swimming out of my depth. This guy’s got us beaten well and truly.”

“This is what the future looks like  – if we don’t do something really quick.” Magnuss whispered. “Any ideas?”

To his surprise it was Dawlish who answered: “I think I might be able to help.”

Moments later…

Magnuss, Chester, and Miles had leapt aboard the Planet Pummellers.

“If these things can punch through the hull of a star ship.” Magnuss shouted as all three brothers opened their throttles. “Imagine what they’ll do to a false God’s face!”

The Wonky Supreme Being was caught off-guard – initially at least…

“You rotten little zits.” He snarled as the Planet Pummellers advanced upon him. “Try to break my spectacles, would you? Well we’ll be having none of that nonsense!”

Back in the Museum of Future Technology, the curators continued to attempt a breakthrough with the Omnipresent Scanner…

But they were unsuccessful, and so missed, in the flicker of an eyelid…

…a return to the status quo.”

“Any other brilliant ideas?” Chester said waspishly. “Does someone happen to have a pea shooter in his back pocket, perchance? Perhaps we can screw up some lace doilies and throw them at him.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2018

 

Three Cameras, a Shade, and a Potted Plant

Funny (innit?) how different cameras see the same thing…er…differently. Take, for example, the lamp that stands, beside a pot plant, in the corner of my sitting room. I often use it to test a newly acquired camera. Surely three pictures, taken within seconds of each other, would appear identical. You’d think so, wouldn’t you? So let’s see. Picture Number One was snapped with a tatty old Fujifilm J10 boasting 8.2 megapixels…

Notice how the autofocus had concentrated upon the pot plant? Well, with me standing in the exact same spot, it would be reasonable to assume that the second shot, via a 14.1 megapixel Canon Ixus 130, would look pretty much the same – only clearer. Well I thought so anyway…  

No, I wasn’t standing over by the door honest.  But what about a camera that falls roughly half way between the two megapixel extremes? How would that compare? I tried a 10.2 megapixel Samsung D1070. The result…

…was not what I expected. Which, I think, just proves that it isn’t the eye behind the camera that selects how a picture will look: it’s the sodding software. How very disappointing – even if the pictures aren’t.

Photography: Take a Backward Step (or two)

I found this camera…

…in a charity shop recently. I’m happy to take a chance on old cameras not working because the money goes to a worthy cause. But in the case of this 2006 model, I spent the money just get the memory card inside it. You see, I have more cameras than memory cards, and any opportunity to even the balance is grasped like a drowning man. But the camera did work; and so I set about checking its capabilities. This is the result of a close-up…

To place the mediocre result in perspective, I then took a similar shot with this…

A somewhat improved device from 2017. But even the Canon can’t perform miracles…

So I took a couple of backward steps and sat myself down . Distance, it seems, is what I needed for a decent picture. A long zoom too, of course. Witness…

Then I waited (not what I’m good at) for a cloud to hide the sun…

So what did I learn from this experience? Answer: For close-ups you don’t have to stand over your subject: take a backward step – or two. It can make all the difference.