Saturday, February 10, 2007

Never Too Tired to Be Weird

Lines in the sky: cirrus clouds and power cables

I've been working on a crackpot theory. It's largely unprovable, irreproduceable, and possibly applicable only to me. It is this: there are states of exhaustion in which some kinds of work can be done only with extreme difficulty, while others are actually enhanced.

An actual purchase order itemizes time travel at $75.

Take tonight, for example. When I left work, I had reached the point at which my eyes focused on the screen only with great effort and the frequent application of water. My concentration by then was marginally better, but it was clearly time to go. I was exhausted!

Impressionist filter and other adulterations
show off an actual rayed light effect at dusk.

Yet I had no trouble seeing and photographing an odd pattern of light when I got home a few minutes later. The camera still has that noise issue for night shots (Julie, can you explain further?), but that's the camera's glitch, not mine.

Solarization and pointillism tools and I-forget-what-else produced this.

I then went shopping for light fixtures with John, intelligently discussed Valentine's Day, jazz, language shifts and other subjects over dinner, did some good work on the Wikipedia article about "The Unicorn in the Garden," explained to someone who withdrew an invitation to his fictional kingdom (after an equally fictional coup) that Mâvarin is also suffering political instability "due to certain romantic entanglements and the expected death of King Jor," read half of my email (mostly the AOL alerts), and did some truly wonky photo editing, as you can see on this page. I even contemplated typing up the beginning of the Jor and Fayubi scene in Messages, but I guess that can wait for tomorrow. Yes, I'm tired, and yes, my eyes hurt, but none of those activities were at all difficult. This level of tiredness seems to bring the subconscious closer to the surface than it normally is, so that creative thinking escapes into the conscious world that much more easily.

I have no idea why the raw image seemed full of raindrops. It
hasn't rained. All I did was lighten and adjust hues and saturation.

On the other hand, being exhausted is bad for the typing and proofreading skills. And beyond a certain point, the brain can't concentrate enough to do anything productive with the stray thoughts and ideas. When that happens, there isn't much you can do except a) load up on caffeine or b) go to bed.

Good night!



julie said...

You can sort of compare camera noise to film grain. Back when you shot film, using a higher ISO film (say 400) under lower-light conditions most likely produced grainy shots. The concept is similar with a digital camera.

Here's a noise comparison someone did using the model of camera I use. You can try something similar with yours to compare how it does under various conditions and ISO settings.

You'll get your best night shots using a lower ISO setting and a tripod or other steady surface.

Anonymous said...

Your "raindrop" photo is most likely light reflecting off dust motes in the air. "Ghost Hunters" often attribute these reflections to spiritual presences...called orbs. It's just something I know. LOL! Your "eyes" entry below...I swear, until that last shot, your eyes were starting to look just like Stephen King's. ;-)

Doing anon comment since Google/Blogger doesn't seem to know me today.
Becky Y