Monday, September 12, 2005

Photographic Gallery

I'll admit to having been skeptical concerning the newest wave of high-tech photographic equipment. I've bought a lot of new-fangled "electrical" devices whose major selling point seemed to be that they were "new" (add exclamation points to taste.) Well, half of them don't bloody work, and half of them break into bits when you drop them down the stairwell. The instructions are incomprehensible, and it's never very clear what they're supposed to do in the first place.

But this pixellated camera doohickey really is a marvel. One can make a wondrously realistic image of very nearly anything by pressing a button, cranking a lever, checking the steam pressure, and touching off a few tins of flash powder. Some of the images are so detailed that one can capture things never dreamt of before, not even by Matthew Brady. Imagine my delight when I carelessly exposed a plate in our neighbor's hallway. The result seemed for all intents to be an entirely uninteresting picture of a bathroom door. However, a few hours fiddling about with noxious chemicals in the basement darkroom, playing with a process called "enlargement," revealed the above astonishingly detailed scene. A true triumph of scientific enquiry, I think you'll agree.

(Subject is over eighteen years of age.)