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The Pequod
Dr Alistair Brown | Associate lecturer in English Literature; researching video games and literature

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Through exploring the psychopathology of Capgras syndrome, in which a patient mistakes a loved one for an imposter, The Echo Maker offers a sustained meditation on the ways in which we project our own problems onto other people. As a reflection on the mysteries of consciousness, the novel offers some interesting if not especially new insights into the fuzzy boundaries between scientific and literary interpretations of the mind. Read more

Introducing Your Award-Winning Photoblogger

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's that time of year again, when the photoblogging community slaps itself on the back and, to a selected few, issues the photoblog awards. Now I'm not in the running for any of these - and neither I should be, with the likes of Chromasia and Diane Varner out there. But I am proud to proclaim today that I am an award-winning photographer.

Yes, the award in question was for our local village show. Yes, I may have been competing against a ten year old's Disneyland snaps and a grandmother's photos of robins in her garden. But still, I am a bit pleased to have won the "Open" category and to have come second in the "Nature" category.

Now my winner in the first was one of my all-time favourite photos, this one of Mrs. Ishmael looking dreamily out of the window. I love the composition. And I'm quite pleased with the way I judged the exposure in the heat of the moment to get the cast of light just right, so that it falls off her face but leaves her back in shadow.

But I am a bit baffled by my nature award. Quite clearly, this shot which got second place was a posed photograph. Certainly, it's nice and sharp, and has a good bokeh (that's blurry foreground and background, to non photo geeks). But the light is falling wrongly across the owl's face, and the consequent shadow is just annoying. There should be a bit of sparkle in his eyes to really make it a worthy winner. In comparison, this other photo which I entered is far superior, technically and - to my mind - as a nature shot, capturing the spirit of the wildlife in action. But then, I guess it all depends on what the judges are looking for, skill or something to hang on the wall. Either way, I now have two rosettes hanging on mine.

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Posted by Alistair at 3:27 pm


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