Marathon Writing and the Abhorrent Void


Nature abhors a vacuum. Perhaps that explains why I would sign up for NaNoWriMo. Until I had read the entry life seemed to be in its usual rut of non-writing. But the thought of spending the next month trying to write a 50,000 word novel, was compelling. Perhaps it would be a way to correct the writing imbalance plaguing my blog? Perhaps it would be a way to finally get the story of the Hapless Photographer out of my head!

Is that what drives people to write? The voices in their head? “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?”. Maybe by giving those voices a conduit, a way to escape that inner world and infect others. So if you want to see how I’m doing, check out Coleaus. In case you’re wondering about the username, I mis-spelled Colaeus, who was an ancient Greek explorer. Coleaus, as far as I can tell, was never Greek, or an explorer. He does fit well into the NaNoWriMo mold though of type type type and revise in December!

Maybe the excessive writing exercise will even spill over onto the blog. It couldn’t hurt!



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The storm took away the mast, sails, punctured the hull and filled her with water. The hapless photographer stuck with his craft until the end, then launched the life raft. Now the only land for hundreds of miles (and not shown on his charts, of course) is just visible in the setting sun. The currents are taking him away from it, where else can he go? Time to paddle!

Details: Well, the basic background was generated on the computer. Sea, islands and gloomy sky. On that I layered a seascape I took off of Prospect, Nova Scotia and modified its perspective to match the computer generated one. I played with the opacity and used “multiply” to join them. The sky I took from here in Debert and joined that layer to the computer generated one using “burn”.
I had a lot of fun when I was creating this series on epz. For that matter it’s never actually ended, since I started with the last shot and am still working my way towards it. There is a certain freedom knowing how it ends. The fun really is in the journey there!

Storm Tonight

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Storm Tonight

Jumping ahead a few days, our Hapless Photographer just heard the forecast on the shortwave. Big storm tonight. He’s not worried though, he’s got a sturdy boat and he’s an experienced sailor…. Moo ha ha ha ha!

Details: This shot is a combination of a computer generated seascape with stormy skies from about 3 of my images. The seagull was brought all the way from Indian Brook beach in Florida. I suppose to be “realistic” I should have made the seagull more of a silhouette, but part of the fun is having these little jarring notes in the image to make you think something isn’t quite right…

I used a wonky gradient filter to give the patchy coloured look to the sky, then used my graphics tablet to handwrite the caption.

Stormy Weather!

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start of vacationHe’s being lulled into a false sense of confidence. His solo sail on the ocean has started off well. He isn’t even clear of land and he’s seeing whales off his starboard bow! Little does he know what awaits him…. dum dum dum daaaaa….

The details: There are 3 photo’s combined here, the sky and sea are separate (the original sea didn’t have a stormy sky, the original sky didn’t have a sea…), and the orca I parachuted in from a shot I took at Seaworld. I desaturated the final shot in keeping with the somewhat monotone feel of the series.

The Hapless Photographer

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A couple of posts ago I promised to put up my "Hapless Photographer" series here. I got caught up in other things, but always it was there in the back of my mind (the back of my mind is a very large place, and seems to hold an awful lot of stuff!).

This all started because of the photo above. Ok, it's not going to make the cover of "National Geographic". but there was something about it I liked. So I thought about why I liked it. I realised it wasn't so much the photograph, it was the story it implied!
Picture a photographer, lost, trapped on a deserted island. This is the last picture he takes before his final breath, the gulls circling and the tropical sun beating down on him.

Sounded like a great idea for a series! How do you make such a thing even believable? There aren't any photo printers or drugstores on deserted islands… Ok, what if he had a Polaroid camera? And a marker to write a caption? At this point I had a series in my mind and a "look" for it. So the shot became this:

I also realised that it wouldn't be much of a series if this was it. So the first shot became the last shot. I had my ending, now I just needed a beginning and a middle.