No Entry Redux

No Entry Redux
The “Do Not Enter” sign makes me want to do the opposite,
and explore the tunnel-like alley beyond.

“No Entry” taken 8/21/2006 Boston, MA
Another new look at an old favorite. I completely reprocessed this one, starting from only a relatively low res JPG I took in June 2006 on an old Nikon of a photogenic alley I stumbled across while walking Boston’s Freedom Trail. My original attempt at this was very similar, but this time I did a single exposure monochrome tonemap instead of just desaturating my original exposure, added some lightroom magic, then cutout & pasted the unaltered street sign. I also made an even narrower 16×9 ratio vertical crop, and a 5×7 ratio horizontal crop, having trouble deciding which I liked. Ended up coming back around to the original composition with just a little bit of cropping to emphasize the framing of the street light at the top.

Desert Rust Redux

Desert Rust Redux

“Found this abandoned and shot up car in the desert when ATVing in Tucson.”

“Desert Rust” taken 11/21/2005 Tucson, AZ
original “cutout” post-processing 8/21/2006
Decided to go through and collect and retouch some of my old favorite pics. Here’s the first to receive some Lightroom TLC originally taken on an old lower res Nikon, and processed with an ancient Paint Shop Pro app, but still not too bad.

Alien Squid Lady?

Squid Lady 3
The Creature from the Colorado Springs Lagoon?

A huge, strange metal sculpture that is part mermaid, creature from the black lagoon, alien xenomorph and squid or octopus that sits on the top of a an old brick warehouse building on the border of downtown Colorado Springs, CO and Old Colorado City. It’s in a location that makes it hard to see and appreciate, being up on a building surrounded by railroad tracks, a major interstate highway and a major road overpass, underpass intersection. Have driven by many times I decided to walk by and see if I could capture some images, but most of the angles except for one side are blocked when you’re on foot.

The sculpture’s placement makes it seem a strange part of the billboard in front and below it.
Squid Lady 2
Looking out from the top of the building like a strange aquatic version of a gargoyle.

What D&D Character Am I?

I’ve seen these kind of surveys or discussions before, but never really looked into them much until today. I used this Alignment Survey once before to kind of pin down the alignment of a character I had envisioned, answering the wide range of questions as I thought the character might answer them. On a whim I recently answered the questions as I would answer them, and the result I thought pretty much “nailed” my world view in terms of a D&D Alignment spectrum. Suddenly curious, I decided to take their long survey which attempts to build a D&D character complete with statistics that match your answers.

According to the results, I would be a fairly average multi-class Halfling Druid/Ranger. I like the idea a lot. The Halfling (aka Hobbit) seems to fit me (mostly in just the mentality, but some in the physicality). The rare multi-class and average “jack of all trades, specialist in none” statistics, combined with an emphasis on preferring nature to the big cities, preferring solitude to large crowds, belief in an underlying caring yet impersonal divinity in nature and fascination with the science of how nature works more for the sake of knowing than using the knowledge towards some huge technological goal, though finding the pursuit of those tech goals fascinating as long as they don’t destroy the Nature I love. Continue reading What D&D Character Am I?

Preparing to Be Born

Galactic WombIn a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?”

The other replies, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”

“Nonsense,” says the other. “There is no life after delivery. What would that life be?”

“I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths.”
Continue reading Preparing to Be Born

On Beauty & Patterns

What is Beauty? They say it’s in the eye of the beholder. Can beauty exist without someone to see it and call it beautiful? I can’t answer that, but while pondering what beauty is as we perceive it, my mind started to link things together that for me was very profound. I don’t for a moment think that I am the first to consider these things in this way, but… Well, I’ll try to explain myself.

First beauty is a pattern. We see something that we recognize as beautiful and it is always going to consist of a pattern of some sort. There’s all kinds of patterns in nature. Look if you want. Here is a full encyclopedia article on just that.

If you look at nature closely enough you’ll find:
Continue reading On Beauty & Patterns