The psychology of sparkle

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34/365- pretty little sparkly

I was putting on a couple bracelets this morning, and happened to glance at this particular necklace I have. It’s a pretty little crystal I got years ago in Austria, the simplicity has always worked well for me. But it got me thinking, what is it about jewelry? Women freak out over getting something in the little turquoise bag (Tiffany’s, if anyone is wondering), or getting the big sparkly ring put on their finger. I understand the excitement of a proposal, but why the bling? It’s an interesting bit of human psychology, to think that we’re so attracted to glorified rocks. I like what jewelry I have, but I have difficulty processing the idea of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a stone. Is it what it represents? A superior form of beauty that we treasure over other things? Maybe I’m just being too practical. What do you think?

For science!

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33/365- Stage for Behind the Myths show
Mythbusters is a spectacular show. For those who may not have seen it, it’s a television show where they test out urban myths, “common sense” and general perceptions, trying to determine whether there is some truth in it. Oftentimes they just blow things up. They’ve created a live show, demonstrating basic science properties and having some fun with the audience. Example: shooting a full size anti-aircraft paintball gun at a guy dressed in a full suit of armor. Awesome fun. It was a great blend of humor, science Geekery and little pearls of wisdom and stories. A great night, and something worth checking out if you can.

Dog days

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32/365- Lady’s best friend.
This is my friend’s dog, Jaxx. Also known as Mootz, Dairy Cow, Tall boy and Fathead. My friend often brings him into work, he just camps out in one of the spare offices while she’s working. I think bringing a pet to work is a brilliant idea for workplace stress management. I can see the complications, but from an employee morale perspective, must be awesome. I’ve been sensitive about stress and emotional health lately, just thinking about the things we do to mess ourselves up, and what can help us out. Seems like having your dog around could be an important boost. I know my kitties sure help me out at home, but it’s a little more difficult having cats out in public πŸ™‚ I guess it’s just about finding whatever things we can to make our lives that little bit better.

Do your pets help with your stress management? What else do you do to help yourself out?

Light painting

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31/365- My first forays into light painting

31/365- My first forays into light painting

Things I learned today while playing with light painting for the first time:

1- Focus is a real SOB, but is less critical if you’re not going to have anything super detailed in focus.

2- Make sure you’re positioned so random background lights don’t become a distraction (although in this case, the car tail lights add an interesting piece).

3- Turn the audio cues on on your camera. It’s a pain to not be sure that the damn shutter fired, and that little beep makes life easier.

4- YouΒ do need to keep moving, but quick is not essential. It’s better to be methodical with things and have deliberate motion (this includes your body, not just the light).

5- Have a plan for your movements. Randomness may look decent, but having ideas helps.

6- Wear gloves (well, maybe this was more because I was running around outside in sub zero temperatures) πŸ˜›

7- You are going to need to walk back and forth between the camera and where you’re working. Live with the exercise.

8- Playing with the contrast in post will really boost your results.

9- Writing words isΒ much harder than it looks!

10- It’s fun!!

Obviously I will be playing around with this again, and flying less by the seat of my pants next time. But for a first fidget, not bad.

Playing around with edits in Nik's new Analog effect pro

Playing around with edits in Nik’s new Analog effect pro

 

Crystal water

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30/365- River ice

30/365- River ice

Sometimes you go out and the camera is really working for you. You’re seeing the shots, the camera is steady, the light is perfect. And sometimes, you’ll take a handful of shots, and everything is… blech. I had 28 shots on my camera when I finished. After deleting unacceptables (blurry, focus off, massively over or underexposed), I was down to 12. Through editing decisions, I think I have 3 that are worth playing with. This was one of them. Sometimes you get the breaks, sometimes you don’t. Just need to keep on truckin’.

How do you handle a bad day?

Mockingjay

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29/365- Some Hunger Games Fandom :)

29/365- Some Hunger Games Fandom πŸ™‚

I loved all three of the Hunger Games books. They were very well written, an interesting story and with some fascinating commentary. I’m seeing Catching Fire this evening, and of the three, I liked this one the best in terms of character development. I am interested to see how the film handles the PTSD that Katniss suffers from. As the story progresses, particularly into the third one, it becomes such an important part of things that I really feel they need to treat it properly. And equally, I think they have to treat it properly in order to show proper respect for those who do suffer from PTSD. It was actually the inspiration for the particular editing choices I made on this shot. The Mockingjay that Katniss becomes is tired, worn, abused and rough, so I felt that my depiction should reflect as much. Now there’s some deep thought from editing πŸ˜‰

How does your intention influence your creative process?

Meaningful obscurities

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28/365- One of my most meaningful possessions

28/365- One of my most meaningful possessions

This is probably one of the more unremarkable photos I will manage to take (although I must admit the detail in the grain is quite lovely), but this particular object is one of the most meaningful things I own. I was listening to this song tonight, which prompted me to take this shot. I know this is all very obscure, and I will heartily congratulate anyone who actually manages to identify the object. It’s a custom piece designed for me, hence the multiple colours. The clearest hint I will give is that a shorter version is used in the film Pacific Rim (which is an awesome flick, IMHO). If anyone guesses correctly, I will post the link to an old but special video of myself using it, which makes me both cringe and smile watching it πŸ™‚ Happy guessing.

What are some of the meaningful things in your life?