Long way from home

Spotted on the M3 going north through Constantia this morning:

That’s a Manx-registered Hyundai i30, for the uninitiated.

It’s only the second Manx-registered car I’ve seen in Cape Town during my 15-year sentence. Little bit disappointed with the lack of a GBM sticker, but otherwise, top marks for giving me a smile today.

Thanks.

#RBOSS continues

The original #RBOSS post is here. Do go and read it.

Here’s a tall ship in Ramsey Bay, Isle of Man this morning:

Beautiful. But then someone (slightly further away and a bit more to the left) hit the #RBOSS button to get some more Facebook likes:

Yowzers! The sky is aflame!
Vibrance and hue pushed to the max!

“Saturation is at Warp Factor 9! She cannae take anymore, Captain!”
[sound of photo editing program exploding]

Here’s the same Snapseed Criminal at it again on Monday morning:

My fok, Marelize.
Really. Don’t do this. No need.

On sunrises

OK. Let’s talk about #RBOSS.
Fair warning: this could be a long one.

Names below have been redacted because this isn’t meant to be a personal thing, ok? 

I’m a member of several Facebook groups connected with and concerning the Isle of Man. I do this because I enjoy keeping up to date with the news from over there and because I will never get tired of looking at pictures of what is a very beautiful place. Some of the news and photos are lovely, some are less good, but they all go some way to portraying the uniqueness of Manx island life.

Well, mostly.

See, there are one or two people on the groups that evidently don’t feel their photography is good enough, or that their subject is simply not beautiful enough to share. Much of the time, I’d disagree: as with Cape Town (and as I have stated many times on this blog), everything you need to make a beautiful image is right there in front of your lens – you’re already a long way up that scale. The skill then comes in making something beautiful into something exceptional, but there are only a few photographers that can do that. Don’t knock yourself because you can’t do it, just as you shouldn’t knock yourself for not being able to do a sub-10 second 100m.

Continuing with my crap analogy, if you want to go 100m in 10 seconds (or less), you can: just cheat. Get on a bike or jump in a car. Of course, such devious methods are going to be easily spotted by athletics fans and fellow athletes, so you won’t get away with it, but still – technically – you did 100m in 9.5 seconds. Well done, you.

You can cheat at the photos too. Software that can remove people and distractions from your images, bring out the highlights on that dark wall against the bright sky or simply add a bit of “pop” to your photo, is readily available and look, there’s nothing wrong with using it to make what your camera saw look a bit more like what you saw.

Or what you wish you’d seen.

In addition, technically there are no rules here. What you like might not be what I like and vice versa. I hate over-edited photos; you might love them. But please, just be honest and tell the world that you’ve had a bit of a fiddle with Snapseed or Lightroom. Own your edits. You wouldn’t expect to get away with riding a 1000cc Honda CBR down the Olympic sprint track and still take away the gold medal.
Don’t take us for fools.

See, the thing is that I have contacts on the Isle of Man – specifically on the bit that you’re taking sunrise photos – and we can see that your photos have been embellished. A lot. We’ve taken to calling it the Ramsey Bay Over Saturation Society: #RBOSS

Here’s a photo from last Thursday’s sunrise there:

And here’s what you did with it:

Wow. #RBOSS much?

Both posted on Facebook, the top one got 19 likes, and the #RBOSS one 613.

But as I say, some people like edited photos more. And that bottom one clearly is edited, isn’t it?

Isn’t it?

Right.

So what’s going on then?

How strange that you’ve never seen colours like this before. It must be the UV filter our protagonist is using. So, what do UV filters do to bright, colourful images like sunrises and sunsets, then?

The extra flat piece of glass–which is often not coated–will cut the saturation (richness of colors) and contrast of your sunset photos.

Hmm.

One swallow doth not an over-saturated summer make though, so let’s see some more, shall we?

634 Likes. #RBOSS hitting the big time, baby.

“As shot”?

 

Mate, there were bits of Hiroshima just after the bomb went off that were less blown up than this.

One more, “for the lolz”?

#RBOSS on tour (just up the road a bit, anyway).
Glorious. And horribly over-saturated. But wait:

Can we just have a look around the outline of the cottage here? That telltale white fuzzy glow that comes when you… er… add a filter to your photos. Here’s one of some planes flying over our back garden that I hectically #RBOSSed just now to demonstrate:

Look at that subtle white fuzzy glow around the back plane, especially.
Recognise it?

So what is that weird smell of burning underwear?

 

I have questions. Here they are in no particular order.

Why would you #RBOSS your images?
To be fair, this question raises more questions than answers.
Do you, as I suggested above, not think that what you caught with your camera is spectacular enough? If not, why not? And why does it matter? Is this all about the instant gratification and self validation of getting Facebook Likes? It does seem that way.
That very first (unadulterated) image in this post is pretty, but it’s not going to get (and indeed it didn’t get) 600+ positive reactions. I’m fairly sure that the guy who took it isn’t very bothered about that. Mr #RBOSS though – well, evidently he couldn’t bear to post something so horribly pale peach, so washed-out, so drab, so ACTUALLY REAL.

And now if you’re going to do it, why lie about it?
I’m no world expert in the field of photography, but it’s clear to me (and lots of other people) that these images (and many, many more like them) have been altered. And yet, repeatedly, when asked directly, he denies it.

There’s a word for that behaviour.

The fact is that many people on that group are decent, honest individuals who are quite happy to believe that what is on those images is an accurate representation of what was going on in the sky that morning (or evening). And why would they not? After all, the guy who took the photo, the one who stood and gazed in wonder at the STUNNING ORANGE mildly pink sky has just said that that’s what came out of the camera.
I think it’s sad that they are being deceived this way. And it’s wholly unnecessary.

Other than those last two sentences, there’s no real conclusion to this post. I think I speak for many individuals when I say that it just needed putting out there. What people choose to do about it (spoiler: probably nothing) is up to them. It would be nice if it stopped, but it would be nice if people were just better generally and that’s not going to happen either. In the meantime, repeatedly taking the piss seems to probably be the best way to deal with it.

 

Oh, and for the record:

Reproduction [of screenshots of public websites] for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research is not copyright infringement.

So we good? We good. Thought so.

Have a special day.

 

Beach Buddies

Whenever we’re walking along the beach in Cape Agulhas admiring the otter, we take a bag along with us to collect any plastic waste we find on the shoreline. Suiderstrand lies behind something of an offshore reef, so it doesn’t get as much flotsam and jetsam as some of the beaches in the area, but it does have a great number of fishermen (did I just assume their gender?) who leave behind miles (or more) of fishing line.

We never come back empty handed.

Further north, the problem with plastic is equally bad. And people are also doing something about it.

Yes, this preamble was merely opening for a link to a Grauniad article about Bill Dale’s Beach Buddies on the Isle of Man, with whom I have parental involvement.

Here is that link to that article.

Bit of hyperbole in the title; otherwise, it’s a nice positive piece about an important and praiseworthy volunteer organisation. And there’s a picture of Port Erin at the top.

Lovely.

As one of 52 Unesco island and coastal biosphere areas, the Isle of Man is focusing now with partners in Menorca, the Maldives, the Philippines and other islands on eliminating single-use plastic from their shores.

If that eventually puts Bill Dale out of a job, he could not be happier.

Indeed. I’d much rather have my hands free for… well… most anything else than picking up rubbish really, as I walk the beagle along our favourite bit of local coastline.

Manx SciFi news

When you see the line:

The Dalek was built by Robin Burchill, 18, from Bride, and was being operated by his girlfriend Nina.

in a news story, you just have to delve deeper.

And not do any obvious women driver jokes.

Basically, it’s the story of a bloke who builds Daleks in his spare time, whose most recent Dalek:

 

broke when it hit a pothole on (FTTH-free zone) Ramsey Promenade in the Isle of Man.

[sad trombone]

This isn’t “news”. I’m pretty sure this sort of thing happens worldwide on a daily basis.

Says Robin:

Upon completing my Dalek, I decided to take it for a test run on Ramsey Promenade. We decided to take it from the promenade over to Mooragh Park as there were a few more people over there, when crossing the road towards the park’s car park driveway, the Dalek fell into a pothole.

A test run for what? Are you planning some sort of invasion, Robin? Why go towards the people, Robin? People are scared of Daleks. I’ve seen Doctor Who – those wheelie bins with laser guns are dangerous. Were you putting some sort of evil plan into practice here?

Unfortunately, when the Dalek hit the hole, it caused significant damage, its head came off, its eye was smashed and the dome suffered a nasty gouge. Robin said both of these were quite large and fairly costly repair jobs.

Both three of them? Right.
But wait for it, folks…

He said that he had contacted Ramsey Commissioners to inquire about compensation, as the road had remained in a state of disrepair for a while.

Worth a try, I suppose. I wonder if they took the claim seriously?

Robin said: “I have to this day received no response. I imagine they did not take my claims seriously.”

Ah. Right.
But:

Ramsey Commissioners told the Manx Independent that they had not heard about an incident involving a Dalek.

And it’s really the sort of thing you’d probably remember, isn’t it?

Robin says that he is more concerned about the possibility of an elderly resident crossing the road on a mobility scooter and fears they could be injured.

Of course you are, mate.
And you were going to put your compo towards that, weren’t you? Not towards building another bloody Dalek or anything.

Ain’t no compassion like faux compassion.