Great quote in 3D Latin at Bee Emm Dot Com

It’s been a while since I’ve included anything from friend-of-the-blog BrianMicklethwait.com. That’s not to say that I’m not a daily visitor to his haunt – I am. But he is him and I are me, and thus it’s only when the paths of our mental scribblings cross that I choose to share his stuff with you. Sometimes that happens three times a week. Sometimes once in three months. I don’t keep count or have a quota to fulfill: when it happens, it happens.

Good news, reader: it’s happening right now with this image of a bit of wall of the 5 star boutique Milestone Hotel in Kensington:

See it there? That’s 3D Latin, that is…

Spero Infestis

it says

Metuo Secundis

Which, according to several (or more) websites, translates as:

I hope in adversity, I fear in prosperity.

or, in more basic terms:

I am hopeful in times of danger; I am fearful when things are going well.

Which seems both a positive outlook, but also a bit pessimistic at the same time. So overall, pretty neutral and perhaps even rather sensible, then?

Given that generally, we live our lives not in a constant state of one extreme or another, but mostly somewhere down the middle, this 3D Latin thing will only kick in occasionally, but when it does, it will surely temper our acute and foolish emotions and restore some sort of natural order to proceedings.

I like it.

Golf

Golf. Sport of Kings. Or is that Polo? Whatever, I’m not a fan of golf.
Golf is dull.

Fans of golf – you know who you are – will tell you that it’s not dull. They’ll tell you about that exciting finish to the Ryder Cup in 2012 or some such, and yes, perhaps for that putt, we all held our collective breaths, at least briefly. But it took us four days of repeated five hour games of golf to get there! Dull.

And then there’s the fact that if you want to play some golf, you basically have to schedule most of a day for it. It’s not an hour’s footy, or a 30 minute run round the block. It’s most of a day.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Still, I just think that golf is dull. Brian Micklethwait feels slightly more strongly than that:

I still hate and fear golf.

A little more digging (I clicked a link) reveals that it seems to be the same issue with the length of time the whole process takes that’s the root of his hatred and fearfulness:

I remember once having a go at it, when I was at my expensive public school in the middle of the last century.  I still remember hitting one golf ball really sweetly and deciding, right then and there, that I would never do this again, because if I did, there was a definite danger that golf would take over my entire life.  And I wasn’t having that.

Brian does like cricket though, including test cricket, which for me falls into the same “occasionally a really exciting last few minutes but to be fair it took things an awfully long time to get there” category as golf.

The difference is that cricket has noticed this issue and adapted with one dayers and T20s. Horrible for the purists, but key in saving the sport.
Golf, though? Golf has only just agreed to let women be members at its most famous clubs (although they’re not allowed to change there).

So golf is actually old-fashioned, sexist and dull. And it takes ages.

No, thank you.

Brittany Lighthouses

Tagged by London blogger and member of the MEC (Mutual Enjoyment Club), Brian Micklethwait in a lighthouse post? I had better document that.

Brian shares a photo of a poster in a shop window; a poster featuring 12 Brittany Lighthouses, which I love, and which I have half-inched to share here:

brittanylighthouses

Two things I noted about the poster (which I now want for my study wall). Firstly, the second lighthouse from the left is La Jument, a 48m high stone tower built in 1911, and apparently “The most famous lighthouse in the world”. Why the fame? Because of this famous (see?) photo by famous lighthouse photographer, Jean Guichard, which has sold over a million copies.

strength-guichard

But you must ignore that motivational crap about looking fear in the face, because when the photograph was taken, the lighthouse keeper Théodore Malgorn (for it are he in the doorway) had no idea that the wave was coming, as this account testifies:

Malgorn, suddenly realising that a giant wave was about to engulf the structure, rushed back inside just in time to save his life. In an interview he said “If I had been a little further away from the door, I would not have made it back into the tower. And I would be dead today. You cannot play with the sea.”

The photograph – taken on the 21st December 1989 – won second place in the 1991 World Press Photo awards. (The winner was Guichard’s compatriot Georges Mérillon.)

Aaannd the other thing that interested me particularly about the post was the “coffee cup rings” over each of the towers. I don’t think that they are actual coffee cup rings – I’m hoping that they are examples of light characteristics – a representation of the sequence of flashes that differentiate and identify each lighthouse.

My theory is supported by the fact that La Jument (remember that? It’s famous, after all) has a light characteristic of Fl 3 R 15s that’s 3 flashes of a red light every 15 seconds. And look at its coffee cup ring:

brittanylighthouses

Assuming that ring makes up a minute (and ignoring that awkward gap, top right) I can see three flashes 4 times there.

It’s this sort of technical detail which I love about posters like this. It makes it less of a picture and more of a document. And just as I know that my readers needed to know who won the 1991 World Press Photo awards, I know that you’ll want to know the full light characteristic for Cape Agulhas lighthouse. And that is: Fl W 5s 31m 30M – a white light flashing every 5 seconds, 31 metres above sea level and visible for 30 nautical miles. .

Other selected lighthouse light characteristics include (but are not limited to):

Slangkop: Fl 4 W 30s. 4 white flashes every 30 seconds.
Cape Point: Fl 3 W 30s. 3 white flashes every 30 seconds.
Green Point: Fl W 10s. White light flashing every 10 seconds.
Dreswick Point (IOM): Fl 2 W 30s. 2 white flashes every 30 seconds.

Lighthouses, eh? I’m a sucker for them.

When is a photo-expedition not a photo-expedition?

From the blogroll, this gem from Brian Micklethwait:

…I went on a short photo-expedition.  It was short because I forgot to take my camera.

It was just thrown into this post, which was more concerned with the antics of his new hard drive than anything else, but I love the idea of a photo-expedition with no camera. Can such a thing actually even really exist?

When do you find out that you have no camera? If you’re lucky, maybe it’s as you’re walking towards your destination. Logic suggests that it can only be as late as when you try to take your first photo. And presumably then you go through the five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, the last being marked by the need to make something of your trip out: maybe grab some bread and milk at the corner shop and make it a shopping expedition?

But as requirements for photo expeditions go, I’m sure that Brian would agree that a camera is right up there under “essentials”.

Tenuous link time, because I also went on a short photo-expedition on the long weekend. I did have a camera. Mine was short because I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, and it was dark. It being dark was pretty much the point of the timing of the expedition though, since this was my night photography project take two. You can see the images here (c.f. take 1 here). Be nice.

Yes, different ways of playing, but the moon was too bright on Monday for a proper long exposure. Also the moisture in the air and the dew was a real issue: the camera needed a wipedown after every 20 second exposure: it would have practically drowned with a half hour effort. I’m hoping that maybe some of the “noise” was due to that phenomenon and I can find a drier evening as we head towards summer.
So yes, lots (and lots) more work to do to make nicer photographs, but I feel I’m getting somewhere, at least. And each clear evening that I spend in Agulhas, I will tweak a little further until I can produce something lovelier and better every time.

But hey, at least I took my camera along. 🙂

More photos from the weekend here.

Summer is coming

Not for us, of course. Winter is on its way for us, as indicated by the cooler evenings and later sunrises (which are already sitting at 0645, meaning that we get up very much in the dark). No, I’m obviously referring to the Northern hemisphere, which has been struggling with snow, ice, cold days and colder nights for the past few months.

A time for happiness, then?

Well, not for everyone, no. Because, as we’ve covered before, summer brings leaves to the trees and leaves on the trees block those views which you want(ed) to photograph.

But never has the displeasure at the approaching onset of foliage been expressed quite like this:

I think I see some leaves, even in this photo, evergreen leaves, attached to the tree on the right as we look. But there was, today, nothing like the visual ruination that will engulf everything in a few months time, turning intricately pleasing urban-rural counterpoint into a big old smudge of rural tedium.

There will be photographers of the pastoral persuasion who will have precisely the opposite opinion to this. But they can keep on taking photos of trees with leaves, without anything beyond being masked, obscured or hidden. No-one is stopping them. But in just a few weeks, Brian and his fellow (Northern) city-based ‘toggers will, once again, have to seek out new tree-free spots in order to fill their quota of images of entirely visible skyscrapers.