27 April 2008

OT Is As OT Does

Okay, I'll bite this time. OT has fired off another salvo in their classic whining style. No doubt intended as biting humor and eloquent sarcasm. But, it really is just another hypocritical attack on the Fractal Universe calendar and the editor(s). Once more, OT doesn't let facts get in the way of their crusade.

OT laments at great length why they have never received any answers to their "concerns" and "questions". I'd ask anyone, if you have been relentlessly attacked in the manner OT has attacked the calendar and editors, would you take any of their questions seriously? I didn't think so. If I didn't know they were serious, I'd think they were doing this whole crusade as a lark.

OT complains yet again that they have been banned from Keith's blog. But, hasn't OT banned several people from commenting on their blog? Those are the "retired hecklers" they refer to. Yes, you are correct, that is hypocritical. But, remember, this is OT we are talking about. But, we "hecklers" aren't retired. We just aren't bothering to respond as often. But, given how much OT likes to refer to us, it is gratifying to know we hold such a special place in their minds. We do feel honored in a weird sort of way.

It is funny reading OT's feigned ignorance about how the calendar works. They know how it works, and have known for a long time. Editor(s) are guaranteed one image in the calendar. It can be more than one, and often has been. OT shouldn't fake ignorance of that fact.

It is also funny reading the continuing saga of complaints. Judging from the number of posts, you'd think that the calendar was a huge enterprise that was run like some companies that take advantage of their employees in all sorts of unprofessional ways. You would think that OT had lots of support for their "charges". But, when you look and find that there is zero public support for their crusade, you quickly realize that the complaints are just coming from a couple (one really, the other doesn't say anything) of disgruntled people. I've no doubt there are a few people that send private notes of gratitude and encouragement to OT for their "bravery", but given that no one speaks out in defense of OT, there really isn't any support for them. Whenever OT has tried to take their crusade elsewhere, there are always comments in opposition, and from people other than me.

OT lays down the gauntlet and tells the calendar editor to do just two simple things so that OT will cease and desist. Extortion and threats really aren't the best way to achieve your goals, but then OT has never been strong in the application of basic people skills or negotiation. The "my way or the highway" approach rarely is successful when you aren't in control in the first place, but I digress. Why should the calendar publisher and editor take a process that currently allows anyone to submit images for consideration and turn it into a private, invitation only process? Isn't that the sort of "elitism" that OT has been critical of in the past? Sound hypocritical again? Sure, but again this is OT we are talking about.

What OT should do, is simply create and run their own calendar by their own rules and standards and show the world how it "should" be done "professionally". But, OT never has been strong at "putting their money where their mouth is". In fact, their response is essentially, "why should we, we want you to fix a process we don't even participate in".

At a minimum OT, and anyone that might happen to agree with them, should create and self publish their own calendar. If you don't, then I say you have no right to just sit back and whine about a calendar that you don't like. Show the fractal community that you can actually do something positive for the community rather than whine, criticize, complain, and make phony charges against something that you don't like.

I will echo Keith's encouragement for people to contribute to the calendar. You've got nothing to lose.

However, just to appease an OT complaint from a couple of whining posts ago, I did outline a number of ways that people can promote their own, and fractal art in general, here. And, if anyone wants to know more about the calendar, they should read this post. Reasonable questions or concerns with the calendar can always be brought up publicly or privately with the editor. I'm sure she will address them if they are polite and civil. If you are a troll like OT, then you will probably be ignored, as you should be.

14 April 2008

All My Kids

One of the things that I enjoy is trying new techniques with photographs. A few years ago, I got interested in panoramic photography. A good friend of mine owned a Linhof Technorama camera. This camera made photographs on medium format film that was two frames wide. Unfortunately, I no longer live near him, so I can't borrow the camera any more. They cost more than one of my cars is worth, so I won't be buying one in the near term.

But, there are some things that you can do cheaply. There is some pretty amazing software that is available for free or little cost. Many of these tools are based on the freeware Pano Tools package.

One that I have used is called PTGui. It puts a nice GUI front end on the PanoTools library and makes the creation of panoramic images much easier. Using that program, I created this image from about 13 individual images.

Click the image to view it larger.

The house in the picture is my grandparents house. It was built in 1910.

08 April 2008


I was reading a recent entry the blog of a fellow "troll". She wrote about an interesting blog devoted to art, Lines and Colors. While browsing through some of the posts, I came across on that I found absolutely fascinating. The post talks about a web site call Worth 1000.

I've only just begun exploring the site, but one of the sections that is a lot of fun to explore is the section devoted to Photoshop. There are contests that are run routinely. Several of the galleries of the contests are devoted to taking classic paintings and manipulating them in Photoshop. These are quite fun to browse. Here are a couple of examples.

I haven't investigated the contests in enough detail to know whether or not I should be concerned about the "professionalism" of the contests. I'll leave that to other concerned parties. :-)

If you like this sort of thing, let me pass along a couple of warnings from Lines and Colors. This could easily be a time sink, and some of the images may be considered inappropriate or offensive by some.

Update: The links to the modified pictures aren't working, so I removed the pictures. You'll have to visit the site yourself to see examples.