The fuckup elves

Finally found the time and energy to mix chemicals and set everything up in the back yard to take a few pictures. The fuckup elves were out in force today and things went wrong in both old and entirely new ways so I learned quite a bit. Took forever to figure out a good exposure. My basic problem is usually hurrying and today was no exception. I should have just taken the time, made a test plate to figure out exposure, but I thought I could skip that step by guessing, which didn’t work so I ended up wasting more plates than necessary.

It was very sunny today, and I am beginning to think overcast days are better for wet plate. Four finally, sort of, turned out and are posted below, from best to worst (IMO).

I am beginning to get tired of shooting pictures of flowers, and looking forward to going somewhere and doing landscapes or portraits.

Kerria japonica, full sun, 4 seconds at f11. 13x18cm (5x7 in) black aluminum

Kerria japonica, full sun, 4 seconds at f11. 13x18cm (5×7 in) black aluminum

The photo above is the kerria japonica bush in my back yard. I have always loved kerry bushes; my uncle, who lived next door, had one near the hole in his wall the honeybees flew into, and I spent many hours sitting there watching them. I love how this picture turned out. It has fewer specks in person, a lot of the dirt is from the scanner, I think.

Bush, full sun, f11 4 seconds. 13x18cm black aluminum.

Bush, full sun, f11 4 seconds. 13x18cm black aluminum.

I was hoping the contrast would have turned out a little stronger with this bush (above), I like the patterns and the potential for creepiness. (Actually, the more I look at it, the better I like it.)

Roses (dry), aluminum foil background, full sun. f11, 4 seconds. Wet plate collodion on black aluminum, 13x18cm (5x7 inches).

Roses (dry), aluminum foil background, full sun. f11, 4 seconds. Wet plate collodion on black aluminum, 13x18cm (5×7 inches).

This picture is my first experiment with aluminum foil. I was hoping it would turn out blurrier in the background, but I guess 4 seconds were not enough. I have seen photos by other photographers who move aluminum foil around during the exposure for a misty or smokey or glow effect. In this picture, it just looks like a piece of aluminum foil stretched between two rods…

Roses (dry), full sun, f11 4 seconds. 13x18cm (5x7in) black aluminum.

Roses (dry), full sun, f11 4 seconds. 13x18cm (5x7in) black aluminum.

A picture of roses in a vase a friend invented – it is basically a plastic collar you screw onto a pickle jar and voila, vase. I think it’s brilliant. The vase. The photo less so. Oh well.Fail better, right? Thanks, fuckup elves!

To do

Knock alarm clock onto floor [x]
Hit ‘on’ button on coffee machine [x]
Realize your wife had already turned it on, so you just turned it back off, so turn it back on [x]
Make coffee [x]
Mop kitchen floor and bathroom floor [x]
Get reprimanded by wife for doing a half-assed job [x]
Check outside temperature, put tortoise out, saying, “You are a very naughty tortoise” [x]
Mop kitchen floor a second time [x]
Write in journal a little [x]
Take shower, get dressed [x]
Go to store for cat food [x]
Drive kid to school [x]
Drive to work [x]
Take a walk at lunch time but fill pocket with peanuts first [x]
When the crow swoops by your ear, feel gratitude at being alive so you can hear the whoosh of a crow flying close [x]
Give crow peanuts [x]
Observe crow hiding peanuts by poking them down into grass and carefully covering them with leaves [x]
Stand there a long time watching the crow, which is big and fat and sleek. Also grey, so grey crow most likely, c. cornix [x]
Buy a sandwich at the store [x]
Give the crow more peanuts until it stops even hiding them and just stares at you, stares you down, then give it part of your sandwich and watch as it throws away the tomatoes and lettuce, throws them with great dislike, and tastes the mozzarella carefully, and flies away with the roll [x]
Wonder why slain and hanged. Were those the only causes of death in ancient Scandinavia? [x]
Develop a theory of the multiverse based on choice, with alternate universes bubbling up like foam, branching off from each other with every choice, a few conscious, most not, most not even imagined or suspected [x]
Think about the foam you used to see on blades of grass in the field in early summer, when the grass was still green, put there by some insect [x]
Realize you just created another universe just now, one in which you actually did think about the grass of your childhood, another where you did not [x]
The crow, however, did not create an alternate universe in which he eats a peanut instead of hiding it, because even though the number of alternate universes is infinite and growing larger all the time, in none of these does the crow eat a peanut, that’s how tired it is of peanuts [x]
Go back to work [x]

There was a strange baby that sang at midnight

A long line of strangers’ cars in the darkness, headlights off, idling or moving slowly. A little moonlight. People walking beside and amongst the cars.
Strangers all.
Near you, a strange woman has a baby and a lot of other things to carry. Maybe she is pulling a wagon. You hold the baby for her.
You want to comfort her and the baby, so you comfort her by comforting the baby.
You hold it gently to yourself, protecting it, and hum.
There in the night, among strangers, you hear a beautiful noise and it takes a while to realize it is the baby singing.
The night is quiet, people murmur, engines idle, tires grind on gravel. Footsteps and your tinnitus whining and whirring and jingling.
The baby’s song rises above all of it like wind whistling through a canyon.
You share a look with the mother. How wonderfully it sings, your eyes say.
How wonderfully the strange baby sings in the night.
What is all this, you ask the dream.
The necessary coexistence of the strange and the beautiful, says the dream.

Valentine’s bouquet 2

Shot today: Valentine's bouquet. Old Workhorse collodion, 14 seconds, f4, overcast day.

Shot today: Valentine’s bouquet. Old Workhorse collodion, 14 seconds, f4, overcast day.

Valentine’s bouquet 1

Shot today: Valentine's bouquet, Lea's Portrait collodion, f4, 7 seconds, overcast day.

Shot today: Valentine’s bouquet, Lea’s Portrait collodion, f4, 7 seconds, overcast day.

He can’t be wounded cause he’s got no heart

Odin goes to the store for a smoothie at lunch. His coat pocket is full of peanuts in the shell.
Believe me when I tell you crows can go through a peanut shell in no time.

Odin gets two small smoothies because they come in bottles he can use to make smoothies at home for Loki, now that he lugged the blender back up to the kitchen from the cellar. The glass jar he used the first time, Loki finally got a janitor to open it for her.

On the way back to the office, halfway up the hill, Odin gives some peanuts to Huginn and Muninn and admires the black storm clouds gathering over the city. There is nothing like that dramatic light, is there, when sun shines on black storm clouds.

He is back in his office before the hail falls.

It doesn’t last long.

Are you happy with your life? Odin’s wife asked him.

He thought about it. He was miserable, but not with his life. It was not his life’s fault. His life was fine and he liked it and he told her that. All the circumstances of his life. Loving wife and daughters. Nice house. Job.

He was just sick of himself. His life was innocent.

He had a dream after that, a nightmare about a beige McMansion. After the dream he asked it questions. Who are the scary men? They are your fears. What is the house? The house is your life.

So maybe he wasn’t 100% happy with his life, really. But it wasn’t his life’s fault it was beige.

What say the hanged?

If you have a twin inside you, don’t stop talking to it or you will eventually forget it is there and it will turn to stone.

What say the slain?

If you think you don’t have a twin inside you, you just haven’t found it yet. Or you forgot it already.

2015 St. Valentine’s Day Limerick Contest

2015 metamorphosism.com St. Valentine's day Limerick contest

We here at metamorphosism.com have the distinct pleasure to announce the opening of this year’s St. Valentine’s Day Limerick contest. This could possibly be the contest’s 14th year, if you can believe that.

Time flies.

You may be wondering whether there is a prize this year. So far, no. But that could change. Yes, of course there is a prize. The winner will receive a copy of The Bug, a comic book starring Mig Living’s much-loved orthographically-challenged insectoid, tEh Bgu.

Before entering the contest, please read the following rules. As last year, to encourage you to read the rules, instructions on how to enter the contest are hidden within the rules. Contestants please note slight rule changes below, in the bonus theme section.

  1. No fighting.
  2. The three most important things: Scansion, scansion, scansion.
  3. Enter as often as you like. The more often you enter, the better your chances of winning. But read the other rules first.
  4. Violation of any of the following rules may hurt your chances, so please read them carefully.
  5. Also please note that any of the following rules are subject to change without notice, at the whim of the contest organizers and judge(s). This is a feature, not a bug. By entering you accept this fact, and all of the rules, and even proactively accept future rules the current rules may change to at any time.
  6. Entries must be limericks. (This rule never changes, promise.)
  7. Entries should be artful and delight the reader’s artistic sensibilities.
  8. Being limericks, entries may of course be humorous, bawdy, shocking, obscene, etc., but this is not required. All that is required is that the entry be a limerick (A-A-B-B-A rhyme scheme, etc, look it up). The wikipedia article on limericks, for example, is here.
  9. Points are subtracted for violation of any of these rules.
  10. Points are also subtracted arbitrarily in accordance with the application of the algorithm of unfairness.
  11. Bonus points are awarded for incorporation of one or more bonus themes, listed below.
  12. Bonus themes: failed utopias, gender issues, historical political movements, non-Western musical instruments, dipsomania, food poisoning (especially the bacteria that cause it), capitalism, Ayn Rand, sex dolls, historical articles of clothing, parasites that influence the behavior of the host, especially (but not only) in humans, the history of the tuxedo, B-movie tropes, television detective dramas, supernatural despair especially as portrayed in the fiction of Robert W. Chambers, the various proteins on the surface of the influenza virus, historic epidemics, the economics of monopolies.
  13. Bonus themes are subject to change during the contest, possibly rendering entries previously eligible for bonus points suddenly ineligible.
  14. *NEW*: HARDSHIP POINTS Extra hardship points will be awarded to limericks written without the letter “E”.
  15. But don’t worry, it’s all good.
  16. Entries should be submitted in the comments to this post.
  17. Deadline is 14 February, winners will be announced 14 February.
  18. Judging and other procedures in the conduct of this contest pretend to be crooked, but they are actually pretty fair, but there is never any guarantee this will be the case this time. Just assume the contest is crooked and unfair and you won’t be disappointed.
  19. Complaints will be deleted.
  20. There is no right to, nor avenue of, appeal.
  21. You may enter as often as you like. So check back often to read all the new entries and see if the rules have changed, or the bonus themes.
  22. By entering the contest, you grant metamorphosism.com permission to publish your entry (here in the comments where you enter it, and possibly on facebook or twitter, to publicize the contest) but you retain all rights to your entries.
  23. Feel free to email me at metamorphosist@gmail.com if you have any questions or find one particular limerick especially great or whatever.
  24. Please have fun.
  25. Last, but not least: my deep thanks to my talented friend Bran Fox for designing the logo for this year’s contest, as in so many years past.