Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday's spotlight - Kaleidoscopes

By guest blogger Pete

I can never understand why the majority of people in the world drive on the WRONG side of the road! What's wrong with them? Surely they realise that the English way of driving is the best? Now, I'm a wrinkly - a BALD wrinkly too - and although I've driven in the States - I would guess, in all, about 35 miles - it is not my favourite occupation.

When Ruth and John lived on Sanibel Island my wife and I took up cycling. I won't say which one of us fell off because that wouldn't be fair to her. We regularly used to pass one of those road signs that told you how fast you are going and, being delinquent daredevils, we used to speed up and flash by the sign at something approaching 10 mph. No speed cop ever caught us!

It was whilst on Sanibel that Ruth and John arranged for me to meet a character called Dick Shepherd. He had a photography business somewhere in that vast hot expanse that goes under the name of Fort Myers. Now the 35 miles I've driven in the States didn't include Sanibel to Fort Myers. Ruth took me on this occasion and arranged to meet me at a coffee shop called Borders; I think they sold books as well as coffee! However, this meeting place involved crossing a multi-lane highway - at the time it seemed as though there were 50 lanes at the particular spot I decided to cross on. I waited for the traffic lights to favour pedestrians and set off at a good sprint for a 60 something year old. I must have been about 2/3rds of the way across when the lights decided to favour the movement of vast amounts of traffic. That was an experience that did wonders for my prayer life. It is, also, the only time I've argued with a 50 ton truck!

Dick was very much into photographic kaleidoscopes and much of his keeness rubbed off onto me. Kaleidoscopes feed my love of detail. When I got back to that special land favoured by all people with good taste I tried it out for myself using as much of Dick's basic method as I could remember. They were a bit too basic but over time I developed my own method that gave me more detailed kaleidoscopes.

From this:

to this:
The main weakness with my method was that everything had to be done "by hand". Recently Ruth introduced me to a programme (sorry "program") known as "Kaleidoscope Kreator".

It took this photo from this:

To this:
Now this programme offers speed and detail with some amazing results. If you're into digital photography then why not try it out.

(Editor's note: I actually won my copy of the program from the Metal Clay Store - and it can be used to create photopolymer plates for metal clay - but only on a PC, not mac!).


tangled stitch said...

You know Pete you are going to have to start a blog of your own. You are very entertaining and the things you can do with a camera. Thanks again for an interesting read! I enjoy this blog every day but if you start your own blog I will enjoy that every day too.

Ruth said...

I know! When I first asked him to write a weekly post for me - the idea in the back of my mind was that it would lead him to write his own blog one day.... My parents are staying with me at the moment - so I'll work on him and maybe see if I can help him set something up. Nice of you to suggest it Debra! Take care

Pete said...

HI Debra Ann,

Glad you enjoyed the Sunday blog. Don't know if this retired would have enough to say to write a more regular blog. At least there might be a flickr around after today. Ruth has said that she will show me the secrets of flickering. When I get back home I'll put some pictures on it.

Bye for now, Pete

Beaded Zen said...

Hey, that's a cool programme and great rainy day project idea. Thanks for sharing