Friday, 12 April 2013

COMIC 1: are you one of the traffic victims of the common cold?

So I was driving home last night, stricken by one of those horrible spring colds, sneezing my way from intersection to intersection. And what I thought about was this:

Yes, I know, it's crappy quality, but that's not what's important. It's the message people. The MEH-SIDGE!

Let me know what you think!
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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Big One-Eighty (0001)

The Big One Eighty is a collection of random pictures, published exactly 180 days (or roughly six months) after they were taken.

The first image in this series was taken on September 30th, 2012. It features Petrol, the younger of our two cats, just days after we adopted the little rascal.

You can view the entire collection below:
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Friday, 26 October 2012

Going Vintage!

Well hulloo there! Glad to have you here. I'm in a pretty good mood today, so I think I'm gonna rave a bit about one of my favourite subjects, photography. Topic of the day: going vintage!

As many of you undoubtedly already know, I'm quite a photography aficionado (or freak, if you prefer that word). As it happens, not too long ago I managed to lay my hands on a very old, almost ancient camera: a Kodak Anastigmat Junior 620 to be precise. For those of you who can't immediately sum up a list of memorable cameras of the past century, I added a picture of the little critter:

yes, you're seeing this correctly: a camera with a bellows! *
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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Foam Cartography

Imagine you're standing in front of the bathroom mirror on a sunny sunday morning, razor in hand, daydreaming away. Birds are chirping lovingly and you wonder, just wonder what would happen if the tufts of shaving foam in the sink would be islands in a vast sea, or better still: continents in a steaming ocean.

I'm sure you're not the kind of guy that has these fantasies. I'm sure you dream of that party you went to last night, or that game you're saving your pocket money for, or perhaps that beautiful girl you saw on the bus the other day. Yep, busted, I knew you were!

But if you happen to dream about islands and continents in a sink full of shaving foam, then I have news for you: you're suffering from a bad case of carthocacoethes. Yes, you're seeing maps in random patterns. I'm afraid it can't be cured, but with a bit of work you'll be able to live with it. Sort of anyway.

So I'm standing there, staring dreamingly into the sink, which looks like this:

But what I'm really seeing is this (move your cursor over it)

Well, not exactly that, not yet. The image above is actually the result of quite a bit of work. But I find myself wondering how life would be like on the shores of that lump of foam on the bottom left. Or what the people would look like on that archipelago on the upper left. And I notice I don't like it there. It should be more to the south. I don't like the fact that the northernmost continent is stuck to that wall in the north. And only then I remember I'm still staring into a sink, with half a beard on my cheeks. A bit like a madman, actually.

So I run for my camera and take a picture of the sink, still with foam on my face, and continue shaving. I'm going to process that image, of that I'm sure, but not today. Not while the birds are chirping and the sun is shining as if its life depended on it (which is does, but that's another story).

A few days later the sun has burned itself out again, and has been replaced by a carpet of fat, low hanging, ominous clouds. The perfect weather for some cartography fun. So I start messing around with the picture. The first result I get is the one you've already seen above, but I don't really like it, there's too many messy bits. Plus, I want it to incorporate my story map, which looks like this:

So I start messing around with the image in GIMP. I decide to reduce the image to the essentials: a coastline. The rest will be filled in by yours truly. And when that's done, I start hustling them together. I insert the coastline of the map above. Apart from that I keep the main continent. The smaller ones that used to be stuck to the sink wall get a coastline of their own, carefully harvested from already existing lines so as not to change the style of the would-be map. After a few hours' work I end up with this:

notice the northwestern part of the continent, where I
plugged in my story map

Still not satisfied with the result, I start moving the resulting continents around, mixing and mirroring them as I go. When I'm finally content with the lay-out of the map, it's time to start filling in the details. A very preliminary result:

and then, after many, many more hours of work (done on rainy evenings over the course of some weeks), I end up with this map.

And this one I actually like. The mountains could have been better, but that's a job for another period of bad weather and too much free time. For now I'm perfectly content. How about you?
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Thursday, 6 September 2012

A most memorable collection

Life is all about collecting memories. And every once in a while taking them out of the box and polishing them up. A bit like silverware, really.

Like that time I slept on the roof of a house in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains, with the Milky Way wheeling above me. Or that time I saw a glacier for the first time, and immediately the biggest monster in all of the Alps. Or that amazing sunrise on the Aegean - the same sea so many Greek heroes crossed on the way to their adventures - with, far off to the north, ancient Athens rising from the predawn gloom. And that's just a few of the memories I managed to collect.

Sunrise over Piraeus. Awful quality, I know - in fact this picture (taken back in 2005) was the one that inspired me to throw myself into photography
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