Back in time with #RBOSS

The Queen’s Pier in Ramsey in the Isle of Man is in dire need of restoration. First opened in 1886, 104 years later it finally closed and has been in a state of decay and decline ever since. But things are looking up – the Queen’s Pier Restoration Fund are slowly but surely making progress on bringing this impressive landmark back into use.

It’s painstaking, expensive work and you can help them out with some funding by clicking the link above if you so desire. And – if you’re local and feel the need – you can even volunteer to help with the ongoing work.

“Oh ya, and I also helped rebuild a 2,244ft long Victorian pier.”

Stick that on your CV and smoke it.

But there are some locals who are trying to assist in ways that you and I could only ever dream of: taking historic engineering from way back in time and dragging them kicking and screaming into the 21st Century: rejuvenating the superstructure of the Queen’s Pier via the means of #RBOSS.

This incredible image appeared on Facebook yesterday.

Amazing. You can literally see some of the stabilising cross-bars between the Victorian cast iron piles (over 40 feet in height (with 18 foot piles) on a 6° pitch) glowing brightly as they are heated to around 1200°C in order to remove impurities which might weaken the overall structure.

You can usually only do this is a specialised foundry. For the metal on the pier, this heating was last done in Stockton-upon-Tees in the 1880s: the RBOSS technology to repair these important stabilising braces on-site simply wasn’t available until now yesterday morning.

This revolutionary technique is not without risk, however. Primary dangers in flinging the saturation slider all the way to the right, saving the image and then doing it again include literally burning right through the iron which is holding the pier up (you can see this occurring on one piece of cross member) and also turning the corona of the sun a weird grey-green colour.

But in the hands of an RBOSS expert (as we undoubtedly are in this case), this method is a quick and easy way of mending a Manx landmark. It’s surely only a matter of time until Peel Castle gets an evening* makeover. Sure – that’s made of stone, which will only melt at 4000°C, but with the right software and a desire to make everything oranger than it actually is, anything is possible.

In the meantime, we’ll keep enjoying the seemingly almost unbelievable explosive colour of every daybreak in Ramsey via Facebook, while the Queen’s Pier gets rebuilt by whatever means are available.

* West coast, see?

New levels of #RBOSS

With autumn slowly setting in across the Northern hemisphere, could it be that the time for #RBOSS is done? After all, there have been no decent examples for absolutely ages and so I’m pretty sure that it’s totally dead in the wa…

OH. MY. GOD.

The title of this one was the jaunty “Going Fishing”. And what better way to spend what are clearly the final hours of the existence of our planet?

Yes, in about 7.5 billion years, the sun will reach its maximum size as a red giant: its surface will extend beyond Earth’s orbit today by 20 percent and it will shine 3,000 times brighter. It will engulf and destroy our home.

And what you see above is pretty much what things will look like the day before all that happens. There will clearly be no escape, and thus, setting sail out onto the steaming orange Irish Sea in search of whatever boiled fish remain floating upon the surface of the water won’t save you.

Personally, I’d be looking for somewhere with air-conditioning ahead of our inevitable collective destruction, but each to their own, and if frying just off the coast of Ramsey is your thing, it’s probably going to be too hot for anyone to care anyway.

Tight lines.

Scandi #RBOSS

A (quite literally) horrifying image greeted me as I skipped through Facebook yesterday evening. This was it:

Wasn’t this just another repulsive oversaturation of Ramsey Bay in a desperate attempt to garner Facebook likes for the purposes of self-validation?

Almost.

But no. Imagine my dismay when I noted that this was a sunset in Bergen, Norway (but yes, still repulsively oversaturated probably in a desperate attempt to garner Facebook likes for the purposes of self-validation).

Bergen #RBOSS. Ugh.

I thought that the Norwegians had more taste than to wander down the rather tacky road of faking just how beautiful a beautiful view can be. And much like the Manx (and those of us in Cape Town) they are really spoiled for beautiful views that honestly don’t need ruining just because you feel that you need people to click on a certain part of their screen when looking at them.

Wholly unnecessary.

This rapid dissemination of #RBOSS is hugely concerning. Like the epidemiology of measles through a stupidly unvaccinated population or the ridiculous geographical expansion of Constantia, it’s frankly terrifying and needs to be stopped.

Don’t #RBOSS.

#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.