I Am The Player: Wake Up

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Only one game has ever got me totally engrossed to the point where I find myself quite literally losing myself: Minecraft.

I hadn’t played for a while before I got back into it recently, but like when I first played I keep finding myself losing up to 18 hours at a time just living in my own little dream reality.

It’s bad, yes, but it’s the sheer openness of the world and it’s randomness that really creates the game.

That, and my amplified level seed has to be the best thing to ever grace the planet.

But in all seriousness, it really captures the imagination on an awful lot of levels. I have the ability to do almost anything, create anything, and adventure anywhere. The vast infinite landscape is mine for the taking…that is if I could be bothered to go expeditions that far.

One thing I found though was when I defeated the Ender Dragon the ending script was actually quite…well…meaningful, especially for a game about blocks and gravel damage. It just reminded me how easy it is to lose oneself in a dream of any kind, and pay less attention to the ‘long dream’ of life.

Perhaps a few of us need to wake up.


ImagineWake Up

Selfies At 50mm: A Tragic Tale Of Fail

A Tragic Tale Of Fail
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Just let me tell you how much I deplore ‘selfies’ (of myself of course): A LOT.

There’s just something I dislike about taking photos of myself. Even my Instagram feed is filled with either my photography, or some decent photos of myself (bar the Skylanders woolly hat stint, blame the excitment… or Subway). I guess it’s true that photographers prefer to be behind the lens rather than in front… or maybe it’s just being in front of the smallest lenses, as most are taken with phones..

Either way, I hate them.

I do make exceptions on rare occasions though, usually for laughs and… laughs!

Yesterday was one such occasion. You know how it is. I’d been asked to take photos at a surprise meal, and it went without a hitch (unless you count the flash dying towards the end). Then, the friend who asked me to take the photos asks for a selfie!

Ah. Problem.

You see, the place was dark…so I opted for a 50mm 1.8 with a flash (in other words, it created damn near enough light to rival the sun)… and at a fixed 50mm zoom, you’re getting in pretty close.

Still, I gave it a shot, took the camera from around my neck, stretched out my abnormally long arms (seriously, no sleeves fit me, it’s depressing), and at the sacrifice of looking a little bit crazy, took the photo.

As you can see, it indeed was a ‘Tragic Tale of Fail’.

They Call Me Murphy

They Call Me Murphy
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It’s always a good day when it’s spent with your friends…and it can also be a good evening. Yesterday was a day filled with Reggae (courtesy of Jake & Spotify), Moneyboy TV (blame Matt), and the ridiculous headdresses worn on the evening with an all out 6-way video Skype call…and I blame myself for that.

It’s just amazing how a day spent with friends can be so uplifting…yet so odd…

Perhaps it’s being a teenager, or perhaps it’s just how life goes!

They Call Him PhilipThey Call Him Westwood

Drawing!

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Drawing Toph

I haven’t drawn in…well…forever, actually. It seems like it anyway. The last time I remember properly drawing is like in Year 6! Hopefully though after today’s lesson though I’ll pick back up on it! It’s amazing what a little boost in confidence can do for you after so long. I’m currently trying out hair and faces mostly though… I wonder who’ll guess the character?

White Wine For One (Or More), Please

Wine For One, Please
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Surprises are usually pretty nasty things in everyday life. You know how it is. Your car got towed, you’ve been unexpectedly fired, someone has passed away, etc. Just those things that you couldn’t really predict were going to happen, and didn’t want to happen anyway. A lot of these happen everyday too… Like how I went to eat some Cheerios this morning, only to find the box pretty much empty (of course, I scavenged what was left though), and yes that’s a minor example but I think you see my point.

There’s just something about how we as humans want a future set in stone…which is why we plan, scheme, have timetables, calendars, schedules, and all manner of things to map out or futures and feel secure in our planning to make sure nothing is left to chance. The problem is that more often than not, these ‘surprises’ often get in the way of what we want, and what we’ve been heading up to.

We often forget about those pleasant surprises that we get though (not as often) and focus more on the negatives, which has given a bad connotation to the term surprise in general. It’s odd yet understandable how we take those little surprises for granted, even ones such as surprise birthdays or other things, since in life the bad surprises usually far outweigh the good, but still… It’d be nice to focus on the times you expect to order white wine for one…then end up having more.

Aside

I love chocolate, and chances are you do too! Well… I hope so anyway… It’s just too good to miss out on.

Honestly I really don’t know when my love for chocolate began. I suppose it came from growing up with my Dad (who was and is a massive Cadbury’s fan), and taking frequent trips to the Cadbury’s factory, as well as just loving the taste.

I guess there’s just something about the ingredient combination that few can resist unless they have an issue, or decide that health prevails over taste buds…

The Curious Cases of Retro Photography & Shaving

One For The Record
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So, after a day of swallowing flies by the canal and eventually arriving home, I sat at my desk, transferred my photos, and began processing when a thought came to mind?

What is it with retro photography that seems so appealing?

So I sat… and sat… thinking of all the popular applications that make use of ‘filters’, and came to the conclusion that making a photo ‘wrong’ just seems attractive. It may as well be called brokography. I mean, taking a look at Instagram, Twitter, Oggl, and all the rest just seems to contradict the main point of a photo; to capture and display an image as close to human eye definition as possible, if not better. For years manufacturers have strived to increase photo quality, coming from half-baked fixed ISO film that could go wrong at any moment, to digital CCD’s and processors with the goal to reach the lowest ISO, a decent aperture, and a steady shutter speed.

Yet with the introduction of filters and companies such as VSCO, it seems like the clock just got turned back 30 years. Washed out imagery, distortion, grain, soft imagery, and the general question of ‘what even is this?’ seem to have made a spectacular comeback.

Then as I sat there, I began to look at these filters and effects in an artistic sense and see the point. I’ve used effects like these for a while, not all the time but here and there to sometimes add something fresh, but never really thought about what the different tints, low contrast levels, and other data could potentially mean in conjunction with the subject. For the most part it was just to make photos look pretty, but it became apparent that every subtle tweak of the vibrance, saturation, and other settings actually meant something.

So, next time you see a retro-styled image, take a look and have a think about why the effects have been applied. Sure, not everyone who uses filters actually thinks about them, but in the case they have been added purposely, you may just find some hidden nuggets within the RGB percentages.

In other news, I need a shave… and a hair cut. You can probably tell from the photo, but there’s no harm in re-iterating is there?