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Fake news, flaky reviews (a parody)

Thanks to the runaway global political gravy trains that are behaving like mammoths on mescaline; and an incandescent media which thinks it’s all such a laugh, we have a phenomenon called fake news.

Like most things it’s not an original idea…

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“See how our tireless workers smite the American weakling with ease”

In the good old bad old days, fake news was called propaganda. A dirty bomb of a word, it was largely confined to posters, newspapers and an occasional pompous gentleman on a state-sponsored news reel. It is wedged in our psyche and projects blunt images of blood stained bogeymen or the thinly veiled creeping tide of a menace to our ‘freedoms’.

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As an interesting aside, did you know that the slogan “Keep calm and carry on” was never seen by the public in Britain during the war? (JSTOR, August 20, 2018)

Fake news like good old fashioned propaganda, is still the manipulation and conflation of fact with fiction… it just has an ‘always on’ button now.

What the..? This is a ‘modern adventures in model photography’ blog, not some deranged sociopolitical rant Anthony… what’s your point here young feller me lad?

Err sorry, kit reviews is where I’m going with this.

  • Can we really trust them to tell us the unadorned truth?
  • Are they the real deal?
  • Can you:

“tell your plastic from your trash, your culture from the crash, the stripper from the paint, the sinner from the saint, the ladder from the snake?” 

Caveat: Before we go any further, this is a satirical poke at our rapidly disintegrating world, addiction to consumerist marketing spin at the hands of commercial greed and our (at times) unwitting complicity in all of it by taking the word of others at face value.

So, don’t growl at me if your sensibilities are offended or your favourite reviewer’s ego takes an Aichi Val amidships, it’s meant to be tongue in cheek; and I’m a sensitive lad who doesn’t take kindly to shouty men with no sense of humour.

Also, watch out for the purple prose and tangential song references…”Ask questions, demand the truth” Continue reading “Fake news, flaky reviews (a parody)”

“Use both exits, no loitering”

This is the first in an occasional and light hearted series on inter-war and post-war British aircraft designs.

#1 in the series considers the ins and outs of vacating the ‘office’ and takes a sideways glance at the ergonomics of cockpit design and how the prevailing thoughts of designers in the 1930s and 40s tended towards form over function.

“It looks bloody marvellous  Sid, but are you sure it will fly?”

Sir Sydney Camm, W. Heath Robinson and the Hawker Typhoon

If Walter Gropius crystallised the European design ethic with a clinical functionality and clarity of line that resulted in the Beetle, Bf 109 and Tiger; then Sir Sydney Camm possibly spent much of the inter-war years in the Dog and Weasel with his good friend and mentor William Heath Robinson.  Continue reading ““Use both exits, no loitering””

Big Big Train’s True Founder: Tom Bombadil

I’m a big fan of Prog Rock and grew up with the likes of Genesis, Camel and even Asia. Big Big Train are a favourite and having spent five years working for someone with more than a passing obsession for all things Tolkien, I thought this might be interesting.

Progarchy

Since his first appearance in English literature, in 1954, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Tom Bombadil has intrigued readers to no end.  Could he be an angelic vala gone native, an Adam without sin, or merely an enigma?

With the Bodleian’s new exhibit on J.R.R. Tolkien, some vital and compelling evidence has surfaced.  Vala gone native, Adam without sin, and enigma, Bombadil is also the founder of the greatest British progressive rock band of all time, Big Big Train.

Look closely at the Hildebrant Brothers’ depiction of Tom.  You, too, will be amazed.

39077920_1815178288518354_1047249031199195136_o Photoshop by Brad Birzer (but, really, by Martin Teraud).

The evidence, of course, had always been there, but most refused to see it.  Here’s the most telling passage from The Fellowship of the Ring.

He then told them many remarkable stories, sometimes half as if speaking to himself, sometimes looking at them suddenly with a bright blue eye under…

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Resolution No.9

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“Bugger!… It’s small and blurry, I’m done for”*

In my recent posts, I’ve waffled on about pixels, colour and the uneasy relationship between screen image and print image resolution ( the great PPI vs. DPI debate). I realised that there is lots of stuff out there that confuses people and more often than not, it puts them off making the effort to take really good photographs of their really good models.

The old, “my model looks much better in real life” excuse doesn’t cut the mustard anymore chaps, so let’s just crack on shall we?

Separated at birth

Common and garden variety photographers love chasing after image quality, including maximum sharpness, detail, and resolution. In our strange little model-world, it’s something akin to perfect gloss coating for decal application. Something which requires the testing of at least 15 different brands of clear coat, waiting for a day where the humidity and wind direction is perfect (accompanied by lots of swearing and wailing due to dust or cat hair incursions) and a smidgin of luck. Almost impossible to achieve, but still, modellers and photographers alike, we will persist in a groundhog-esque parody of chasing perfection…

With all these similarities, it’s almost as if photography is model making’s twin brother, separated at birth with one child going to wealthy parents and the other being brought up by cats.

“So what’s this post all about Anthony?”

Most likely, you’ve wondered at some point how to increase the resolution of images you already have. Maybe taken a year or two ago on an antique 3MP point and shoot at a show in some damp dingy church hall in Essex; the images aren’t all that bad, it’s just they lack a bit of detail, a bit soft and indistinct.  This article explains how to increase resolution quickly and easily.

(But there is a caveat. And it’s this: resolution is all about the amount of image detail captured in the original photo. Doing this properly the first time is the only true way of high resolution, sharp images. Good photographers never rely on post production sorcery).

*The word ‘bugger!’ is in common use in New Zealand and is variously used a term of endearment or exclamation of surprise following a less than pleasant event…elsewhere it means different things…

Continue reading “Resolution No.9”