Who Won the Week (13 September 2020)

I always liked Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, and like to join in with some quirky stories from my own newsfeeds. All from our unique vantage points, the idea is to pick something (a person, organisation, anything) which “won” the week.


My winner this week comes from south-western France, from the Dordogne village of Parcoul-Chenaud, but I’m afraid my winner’s identity remains anonymous. Despite reading several reports, I couldn’t find the poor old chap’s name.

My mystery resident, in his eighties, was merrily sitting down to eat last weekend. In the warm weather, he was bothered by a fly as he ate, so decided to swat it.

He picked up one of those electric racquet swatters, one of those where the surface is charged, designed to kill the fly by giving it a shock.

Following the fly into the kitchen, this octogenarian did not realise that as he tried to swat the fly, the spark it generated would ignite gas leaking from a canister being stored there.

The result? Well, fortunately this guy survived, with only a burned hand. He is currently living in the town’s camp-site, after the resulting explosion destroyed his kitchen, plus part of the roof, rendering his house uninhabitable. It is not known whether the fly survived.

Oops!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-54051423

Life through the Lens (13 September 2020)

As my previous series came to an end, I had the idea to post some of my own photographs.

When my eyes were better, I used to enjoy photography. I had some decent kit and was around just as digital photography was taking off. Although it was strictly a hobby for me, two of my photos were published. One rural shot of hay bales ended up in a brochure made by the UK’s NFU (farming), another ended up in a coffee-table book about lighthouses. I wasn’t David Bailey but a couple of times, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.

I thought I’d share some. All these photographs were taken by me, I own the copyright so if you’d like to use any, go for it. Just so long as you don’t use them to make any money.

My aim is to publish weekly again but this time, on Sunday afternoons. I’m just going to repeat this spiel each week, too, for the benefit of new readers, so you can safely skip to the camera graphic to save reading the blurb each time.

If you look at the category above (high on left, by the date), I’ll put every photo in that same category so you can find previously-published photos. If I feel a photo needs some explanation, I’ll maybe write a line or two to go with it. Like the last time, I’ll keep going until I run out of steam. Oh, and feel free to join in, if the fancy takes you.

I’ve linked to a higher-res umage under each photo.

The last couple of weeks I’ve presented some wonderful chalk formations on the French coast. This week those same chalk formations, but in England. Durdle Door, in Dorset. Less than an hour’s drive from me, it used to be a regular haunt, I wandered over there at sunrise one day, and had the place to myself.

This one was an early HDR shot – all programs nowadays can produce an HDR (high dynamic range) effect, but when I took this, there were just a few specialist packages. I had to take several identical shots (so I needed a tripod to keep the camera steady). Each shot, I increased the the amount of light I let into the camera. Lastly, I used one of these packages to combine all these images into one.

The thinking is, by using several images, all with a slightly different setting, then sticking them together, the resulting image is more like what the human eye can see.

(In all photography, light passes through a lens, through a hole which you open briefly to allow the light into the camera. You can control how much light gets into the camera by changing the size of the hole (the aperture), and by changing how long you open the hole for (the shutter speed).

These days, every camera will make a very good guess at the “right” amount of light, so all we need to do is to press a button, but good cameras will let you to set these values manually if you want to achieve a specific effect.)

HDR photography traditionally involved taking the same photograph several times, each time with a different aperture, then using software to combine them into one image.

Unimpressed

The cats will not eat any food,
The stuff it the bowls can’t be good.
I must conclude our lovely pussy,
Has become too goddam fussy!

A war of attrition begins,
But the cat knows I will soon give in,
She stares me out, with poker face,
I know that food I must replace.

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 13 September, 2020, replace.