Photography: Who Needs Megapixels When You Have a Good Lens?

I ask that question because when I stopped in traffic recently I had plenty of time to pick up the three small compact cameras that were living in my glove box at the time, and take three photos of the same thing. Not for fun exactly (though snapping merrily usually is fun – or at least it should be), but just to see if the number silk-printed proudly upon the camera body actually means much. And here they are…

on f30

This was snapped on a Fujifilm F30 of 2010 vintage, on standard settings of 12.2 megapixels. The next was shot on a 2006 Fujifilm A500 of 5 megapixels…

on a500

Can’t say that these eyes spot much difference between the two. I fact I can’t spot any difference. I suspect, though, that under several different circumstances (e.g poor light or close-ups) the F30 would produce more reliable pictures. But when I uploaded the third picture to my laptop I was most surprised…

Is it me, or is that piccie every bit as good as the others? Better maybe? The camera? A 2003 Olympus boasting a mighty 4 megapixels. Which suggests that it doesn’t really matter how many pixels are involved, just as long as your camera has an excellent lens. Now I wonder how good a shot from my 3 megapixel 2001 Sony Cybershot would have looked. Bloody fabulous probably. There might even have been towering mountains in the distance, and twinkling wavelets with brightly-coloured sailboats in the bay! 


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Earplug Adventures: Unity (part 29)

Two days later Professor Hydious Gout received an invitation for himself and his wife, Putridity, to attend a demonstration in the engine room.

“Oh, Gerald, “Doctor Putridity Gout exclaimed as she and her husband arrived…

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…”you’ve made duplicates of yourself!”

“I prefer to call them replicates.” Gerald replied. “They’re all basically a copy of me – but with different paint jobs..”

“How shall we tell you apart?” Hydious Gout inquired as more G’neerbots appeared…

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“Aroma.” Gerald explained. “We all smell differently from each other. It’s particularly useful in the dark. By the way, when do you want us to begin construction of the bridge you mentioned?”

These were the words that Gout had been praying for at the foot of his bed since the night before last. “Straight away!” He blurted. “You can start with my Ready Room. My cabin is ideally positioned.”

So before very long…

aug4 007 began. The G’neerbot builders took great pains to link Gout’s cabin with the area inside the ship that had been designated as a perfect location for a ship’s bridge…

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But it was only when they installed the Captain’s Chair…

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…that Hydious Gout could truly think of the Chi Z Helmut as his command.

Then, with their task complete, the G’neerbots packed away their tool bags and departed for the engine room…

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…where they intended to take up their duties monitoring tell-tales and read-outs, whilst awaiting commands for more power from a desperate captain…

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…and leaving the ‘crew’ to screw in the final fittings and fixtures themselves…

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© Paul Trevor Nolan

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Earplug Adventures: Unity (part 28)

They were so frustrated with the situation aboard ship that they didn’t even bother to introduce themselves. Instead they said: “Right then, you useless bastard,” to Gout, as he sat in his favourite chair with his back to the sole tiny window that looked out upon interstellar vacuüm, “that dick-headed A.I doesn’t give a shit about the safety of us passengers. We’re sick and tired of its terrible risk taking.”

The A.I was an extension of Professor Hydious Gout’s personal super computer. Any attack upon his ‘baby’ was considered an attack upon himself. He fought to remain calm:

“Arse holes.” He roared. “Present me an example of this recklessness, and I’ll consider your complaint.”

Both ‘guests‘ agreed immediately upon an example. It occurred only a day previously, when the ship…

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…encountered a gossamer-thin membrane that barely separated space/time from an alternate quantum reality.

“The only reason we didn’t pierce it and disappear for all eternity,” the taller ‘guest’ growled, “was because someone chose that moment to flush the toilet, and the sudden violent expulsion of yukkiness altered the ship’s trajectory just enough to save us from certain doom!”

Much to the expedition leader’s disgust, the example quoted was entirely accurate. He too had considered the A.I’s flight to within microns of contact had played with the lives of the entire ship’s compliment.

“Yes, alright, I’ll give you that. But what would you have me do about it?”

“Build a bridge.” They replied in well-rehearsed unison. “A ship’s bridge. A bridge upon which earplugs can stand proudly, and have a degree of control of their destiny. We want to decide where the ship goes, and what it does when they get there.”

For a moment Gout imagined a doorway that led from his quarters directly on to a traditional starship bridge. A starship bridge upon which a crew lived and worked…

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Then he imagined the Chi Z Helmut hurling itself across the galaxy on the merest whim of its commanding officer…

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Then he visualised Gerald the G’neerbot – working alone in the engine room…

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“Who would captain the ship?” He asked his fellow (if belligerent) passengers.

“Ugh, you’re the expedition leader,” the shorter of the two mumbled. “Ah, that would make you the captain, I guess.”

These were the words that Gout most wanted to hear. Pressing an intercom button, he said:

“Gerald, I want you to conduct a feasibility study on the construction of a fully functional working bridge aboard this vessel. It would be manned by earplugs, and have full control of this ship – particularly navigation, propulsion, weaponry, and lavatory roll replacement.”

“I’ll get right on it.” Gerald replied chirpily. “Thank flip for that: I thought I was going to go mad down here on my own, with bugger all to do for months on end. Thank you, Professor: I love you.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan

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Wallpaper 263: Carport Cobwebs

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Earplug Adventures: Unity (part 27)

As Nature Beast’s compatriots made their clumsy way along the main thoroughfare, Vanilla Redbush thought that she might have some potential new customers on her hands…

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But being simple-minded creatures that had lived brief, and very sheltered, lives below ground that had no idea what breasts were good for, and for whom split-crotch panties were a complete mystery, passed on an offer that they didn’t recognise – very impolitely. Offended beyond professional endurance, Vanilla called (what survived of) the security forces to ‘sort them out’, and very quickly a pair of butch RoboSecGuas arrived to escort them to their destination…

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Arriving at Nature Beast’s apartment, the strange being quickly bundled them into his sitting room…

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…inside which he explained the situation to them in as many monosyllables as he could think of…

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And he ended it with a heartfelt plea…

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“Genetic foul-ups, help Nature Beast save museum. Please!”

Meanwhile, light years distant from Earth, the Wetworld starship, Chi Z Helmut still patrolled the gulfs between stars in search of a scent of a whiff of a trail that would lead them to the Museum of Future Technology, where they hoped to apologize to the captain of Ship Number Fifteen for being trigger-happy dickweeds…

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Although the ship was entirely automated and was controlled by an Artificial Intelligence, it’s ‘creator’, Professor Hydious Gout was the acknowledged leader of the expedition – even if he couldn’t tell the ship where to go or what to do when it got there. One particular day – the same day in space/time that Mister Zinc was removed from power in the Museum of Future Technology – two ‘passengers’ asked to see the professor in his quarters…

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© Paul Trevor Nolan   


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Earplug Adventures: Unity (part 26)

The swamp monsters continued in this manner as the bundled through tunnels and scampered along dried up water ways…

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In fact they got themselves so worked up into an emotional lather that they decided to chew their way to the surface…

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Soon all seven magnificent abominations stood in the good clean air of the Museum of Future Technology…

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As six of the seven began to follow their noses, the seventh discovered the joys of open air pissoires

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Unfortunately, being a primitive being with a tenuous grasp of decency, he neglected to put his willy away when he finished…

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…which surprised the other user – one Gregory Landslide – and severely shocked the semi-sentient wall poster on a nearby wall. And it was still flopping about like a captive eel when he caught up with the others…

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…which entertained some refugees fleeing the Zincification.

The recently arrived black end cap and his plugmutt…

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…considered writing a curt letter of complaint to the curators.

And a patrolling RoboSecGua attempted to intercept the rudimentary earplugs…

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…but being one of the more liberal-minded ‘gay’ variety, all it could realistically do was blow raspberries at them with its vast olfactory array – or ‘nose‘ as it was more commonly known.

© Paul Trevor Nolan


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Battered Barns 34: Flat Pack Shed.

Only the wicker chairs inside this shed seem to have survived the passage of time. That’s the trouble with flat pack sheds: they fall flat eventually.

flat pack shed

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