Scavenger Hunt #35 – Orange

A frame full of orange/yellow bubbles. There's a few larger ones, but the majority of them are small and dense.

The 35th Scavenger Hunt had a very colorful theme, because there’s all colors of the rainbow in it, and then some. It took me a while to manage to find a way to get a set of pictures that would look like a proper set. My first idea was to try to do something around food photography; some of the colors dissuaded me. I finally landed on the idea of doing something I had wanted to do for a long time: playing with water and oil and soap to make BUBBLES. Not all the pictures have all these components, but I tried to keep a uniting “bubbles/droplets” theme while trying to provide some variation on the technique to get cohesive, but different images.

Orange is one of the pictures where I deviated from the original concept: there’s no water, oil or soap in this picture. Instead, it’s simply orange juice, which I stirred with a small electric milk foamer and let sit until I got the adequate amount and texture of bubbles. Initially, I was a bit annoyed by the fact that I could see my reflection in all the bubbles; a posteriori, I think it adds a bit of texture and fun to them, and it’s not entirely obvious what that triangle is in the final picture. One of the challenges was to avoid for this picture to look a lot like another one in that set that I had shot previously; this was essentially a question of choosing the right setup of bubbles at a moment where they were set in a way that was different enough from the other picture.

A glass full of foamy orange liquid, shot from above.
CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR
Focal length100 mm
Exposure time1/160

The complete Scavenger album is available here: the Orange album.

Scavenger Hunt #35 – Red

Abstract photography in red tones. There's a larger circle that takes almost the whole square picture; that circle contains numerous small bubbles. Outside of the circle, there's a larger circular arc on the right, also scattered with bubbles, that fades to orange/yellow tones.

The 35th Scavenger Hunt had a very colorful theme, because there’s all colors of the rainbow in it, and then some. It took me a while to manage to find a way to get a set of pictures that would look like a proper set. My first idea was to try to do something around food photography; some of the colors dissuaded me. I finally landed on the idea of doing something I had wanted to do for a long time: playing with water and oil and soap to make BUBBLES. Not all the pictures have all these components, but I tried to keep a uniting “bubbles/droplets” theme while trying to provide some variation on the technique to get cohesive, but different images.

For Red, I wanted to see if the color of the liquid made a difference, and what results I could get with a lot of water and no soap to break the oil puddles. I shot over a red t-shirt, and my water had some Campari in it. I don’t think that the color made much difference – if anything, mayyybe in the fact that the bubbles were also red instead of picking the light from the outside, but there’s, at best, weak evidence of that.

The bubbles I liked were very close to the border of the dish, which meant that my edits were somewhat heavy-handed; at the end of the day, I quite like the arc that I managed to get there, it helps selling a planet/sun/space feeling, which was what I was trying to go for with that edit. It still feels like one of the weakest shot of the series – but there had to be one!

A picture of red liquid with three large oil puddles floating on top.
CameraPentax K-1 II
Lenssmc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR
Focal length100 mm
Exposure time1/200

The complete Scavenger album is available here: the Red album.

June Writever

I ran into Writever on Twitter a while ago, mostly via @Uneheuredepeine (who writes in French). Writever was created by @k_tastrof, and is hosted by @WriteverB in French and @WriteverJ in English. They run a list of prompts every month with the concept “1 day – 1 word – 1 story : science fiction, fantastic or fantasy”.

June’s theme was around family, and I decided to partake in the fun πŸ˜‰ I didn’t really *decide* to write in English, but, while I’m a bit more self-conscious about my command of the language, 90% of what I read is also in English, and English became my default language for fiction. Hence, when I started thinking about the project, English came more naturally to me.

We’re now at the end of the month, and I thought I’d keep my work for last month on this blog too, for posterity, and for people who don’t follow me on Twitter. I took the opportunity to add a few links and references, because even for micro-fiction, there’s a bit of research πŸ˜‰

I don’t expect to participate to the July round (you can find the list for that round here, or here in French), around beginnings and births, because I don’t think I’ll be able to write on that topic these days. But the overall June experiment was, for me, a success – I had a lot of fun, and it felt like a good stretch of my creative muscles – so there may be a repeat in another month πŸ™‚

Without further ado: 30 pieces of micro-fiction!

June 1st – Parents

“Define: parents.
βˆ’ Parents are the ones who give you life and take care of you while you learn to do so yourself.
βˆ’ You are my parents, then?
βˆ’ We prefer the term programmers.”

June 2nd – Giving birth

“They’re… placentals?!
βˆ’ Yup.
βˆ’ Gestation, giving birth, lactation, the whole thing?
βˆ’ Yup.
βˆ’ Huh. I wouldn’t have expected that kind of ordeal to be compatible with advanced civilization, to be honest.”

June 3rd – Wedding

🎢 Then put your little hand in mine – There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb… 🎢

“Nope, yesterday was still not the perfect wedding day. Here we go… again!

June 4th – Hereditary

“I can chalk off the yellow eyes of our newborn as the consequence of a hereditary accident; genetics can be weird, I can allow for that. But the horns, really, it’s a bit much.”

June 5th – Meal

“What do you miss the most?
βˆ’ Food, I think.
βˆ’ Right… Cheese is better enjoyed with taste buds.
βˆ’ Yeah. The social aspect of it too: gathering friends around a home-made meal doesn’t have the same appeal without bodies to be able to seat and eat.”

June 6th – Home

Home, they say, is where the heart is… Whoever “they” were clearly didn’t take von Neumann probes into account. Either I’m very confused, or my home is shattered over the whole galaxy – and expanding.

June 7th – Species

Defining species boundaries around the notion of fertile offspring production had never been perfect, but it had been a useful model. The biotech advances that made litters of puppittens possible also made that model more and more brittle.

June 8th – Son

I just find it unfair that computer people have talked about child processes, child nodes, and child objects for the longest time and, now that we’re vaguely humanoid, I’m your robot son?? That doesn’t make any sense. I’m claiming “robot child” for myself.

June 9th – Portrait

“And, on this portrait by Vermeer, painted in the late 17th century…
βˆ’ Waiiiit a minuteβˆ’they already had neck implants in the 17th century? Also, that one is HUGE!
βˆ’ What? No! That’s a pearl!”

June 10th – Suburbia

If there’s a bright center of the universe, we’re on the planet that it’s farthest from.
βˆ’ Don’t be so overly dramatic! I know you’re not happy we moved to suburbia, and you’d have preferred staying in the galactic center, but this is not the Outer Rim!”

June 11th – Resemblance

“Shouldn’t there be more resemblance?
βˆ’ That’s a common misconception. The cloning is only the beginning. Then we have some tweaking, and more importantly epigenetics, in utero and later in life. At best, older clones look like siblings, not twins.”

June 12th – Tragedy

The tragic character an event scales with its number of victims, and with how avoidable it could have been. The collision of the orbital station with the ship that was supposed to resupply it had been one of the most devastating tragedy in human history.

June 13th – Father

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned…
βˆ’ Luke, I already told you that I find your abundance of faith disturbing.”

June 14th – Belief

“What’s your most deeply held belief?
βˆ’ That the aliens are a government conspiracy.
βˆ’ So… how do you explain the presence of our allies and their ships?
βˆ’ Skin suits and holograms to keep the population’s despair under control.”

June 15th – Ancestor

As they were filling in their tax forms, Zblorg child of Tuv child of Myrn child of Zblorg child of Exth child of Myrn regretted the low number of approved names, which made everyone’s legal identity involve a significant number of their ancestors.

June 16th – Secret

“Your young do need to learn how to talk, and when to keep things for themselves too, right?
βˆ’ Right.
βˆ’ Then why is it that you assume that, because we’re telepaths, we’re unable to keep a secret?”

June 17th – Youngest

“What do you want for your birthday?
βˆ’ A little brother or a little sister!”

Yes, aged 13, I am a bit old for that request. But traditionally, the youngest sibling of the family goes to war, and I really want to study magic. And I am running out of time.

June 18th – Reunion

Granted, a quarter my class got eaten by Snake Mayor And His Vampire Minions at graduation, and the high school itself got destroyed twice, including once with the rest of the city. Still, I kind of miss having high school reunions. It’d be nice, you know?

June 19th – Incest

“On today’s The Talk, our guests will debate on a very heated topic! Clones, sex, what is acceptable, what is not – you decide! Our title today is ‘The Moving Lines of Adultery, Incest, and the Relevance of It All in Our Post-Reproductive Society’!”

June 20th – Funeral

“Our Funeral Home reserves the right to charge a surplus for heavily modded bodies to compensate for the recycling hazards, costs and weight of the implants and cyborg parts. Thank you for your understanding.”

June 21st – Mother

“Now kids, that’s enough! Go and tidy your CO2, or only desert for you!”

The whole humanity got startled by the booming voice coming from the ground.

“What, you thought Mother Earth was a metaphor?”

June 22nd – House

The end of cookie-cutter neighborhoods: offer architectural variability to your customers thanks to DesAIgn, the first smart algorithm for house customization*!

* 88% of our generated house designs are guaranteed to be habitable. Noncontractual percentage.

June 23rd – Certificate

Certificate of Life

I, Dr Roberta Smith, hereby certify that, on June 23 2072 at 9:47, Josephine Martin was considered alive and corporeal, and that her body, including her brain, showed no sign of hijacking or tampering.

June 24th – Surrogate

I get that you’re tired and that decisions are getting harder and harder, really, I get it. But maybe the choice of toppings of the pizza is not crucial enough to pay for a surrogate for that decision? Maybe?

June 25th – Bio-logical

Adding real neurons to bio-logical chips instead of trying to mimic their behaviour had seemed like a good idea, initially. But combining wetware serotonin issues with hardware bugs yielded a whole new class of headaches for their manufacturers.

June 26th – Tree

Communication with the aliens took years to be established. The decisive discovery happened when we realized that their language’s grammar was not mapping to a parse tree, but to a parse multigraph. It was a mess – but linguists got very excited.

June 27th – Cousins

George-388 felt nostalgic. Not for parents – the Growth Center was providing for her every need. Not for siblings – she had hundreds of them at the center. But for cousins, to go on adventures with like in the old books.

June 28th – DNA

“You can’t prove it was me!
βˆ’ We have your DNA on the scene. It’s all we need.
βˆ’ But… clones!
βˆ’ We don’t care. One of your clones being guilty proves that your line is able to act that way, and that you need to be removed from society.”

June 29th – Roommates

“See, Daneel” Baley mused, puffing on his pipe, “that ancient concept broke down very differently depending on the context. On Earth, the common areas make us all roommates, in a way. On Solaria, the repugnance to contact makes the concept unthinkable.”

June 30th – Divorce

“What do you mean, the rings of Saturn disappeared overnight?
βˆ’ Look for yourself… Saturn, no ring.
βˆ’ But but… it can’t be! Why? How?
βˆ’ We don’t know. But we there’s reports that Titan disappeared too.
βˆ’ … Maybe they got fed up and got a divorce?”

52Frames – 2022-24 – Shoot From Above

Agitated glacier water (milky blue/green) next to a rock, shot from above.

Another “opportunity shot” last week for 52Frames’ “Shoot From Above” – we visited the Aareschlucht, and so I snapped a few pictures of the water from the bridge above it. The rest of the day, we also went to Sustenpass; the whole album of that day with Moar Pictures is here: Aareschlucht (Meirigen) / Sustenpass – June 2022.

52Frames – 2022-23 – Triangular composition (and more chocolate!)

Cocoa beans and a wooden tool, looking a bit like a wooden rake, to spread them

We went to the Lindt House of Chocolate last week, so obviously I took my camera with me, and I did know that I had a 52Frames “triangular composition” to take care of, if possible. When I saw that tool – used to spread the beans to dry them – I knew I had a good opportunity for that theme. And indeed, it worked out pretty well.

And, if you’re curious, I have extra pictures of that House of Chocolate πŸ˜‰ It is, incidentally, absolutely worth the visit: the whole museum is very well made, there’s a lot of information presented in many different ways, and there IS a significant amount of chocolate to be eaten too πŸ˜‰

52Frames – 2022-22 – Everything in Focus

Droplets of water on a black surface

For last week’s 52Frames, the theme was “Everything in Focus”. While I was not particularly trying to work on that theme, I was playing around with another project yesterday and this one caught my eye for this week’s theme. It’s a bunch of droplets over a black background – which happens to be a tablet screen. It’s not the first time I use my tablet as a black background; usually, I’m more interested in its reflective quality; this time around, I was very happy about the behaviour of my water droplets on it.

52Frames – 2022-21 – Inspired by a photographer

Self-portrait. The woman in the image wears a green t-shirt and has a neutral expression; the picture aspect ratio and style refer to a passport-style picture.

For this week’s 52Frames, the theme was “Inspired with a Photographer”, with an extra credit for “… and do that with the first photographer provided by our randomizer”. The randomizer assigned Thomas Ruff to me. One of his most distinctive work is his Portraits series, where he has a series of large dimensioned portrait captured in a passport-like format, with subjects keeping a neutral expression. So, I did that. His pictures also tend to show details that are not necessarily visible in today’s smoother pictures, which I tried to reproduce on this self-portrait too.

I actually have a significant amount of pictures of myself with that expression on my hard drive, because whenever I setup for a self-portrait, the first pictures kind of look like that, always. Normally it makes me cringe; here, it’s part of the brief. Sooooo it’s not my favorite picture of myself, but it’s what I was going for, so there we go πŸ™‚

52Frames – 2022-20 – Abstract

An abstract picture made of stripes (background) and circles (bubbles floating on top); the bubbles refract the background in colorful ways.

The theme for this week’s 52Frames was “Abstract”, so I took the opportunity to experiment with something I’ve been wanting to play with for a while: water/oil bubbles. I put a bunch of water in a transparent dish, added some oil, put that on top of a colored background – and tried my best to get something that was reasonably focused (to be fair, it’s not GREAT.)

For a quick&dirty experiment (which is a lot of what 52Frames is to me these days), this is pretty satisfying – and this definitely gives me ideas for a future project. To be continued…

52Frames catch-up

My recent 52Frames have felt uninspired and perfunctory – but I still didn’t break my streak, so there is that. However, I’ve been remiss in posting them here – let’s fix that!

2022-17 – Leading Lines

Fork stuck into a cherry tomato, displayed on a wooden board

Not much to say here – I needed leading lines, I got leading lines πŸ˜›

2022-18 – Flat lay

Game of Terra Mystica in progress, seen from above.

Flat lay tends to work reasonably well with board games – and we got Terra Mystica out of its box last week-end, so that worked out well πŸ™‚

2022-19 – Architecture

Facade of the ZΓΌrich Opera Haus

I happened to be near Bellevue this week-end for the Architecture theme, and I didn’t have a picture of the Opernhaus yet. That is now fixed – although I’d have ideas to get a better picture – once the circus that was behind me is gone, that is πŸ˜›