A Facebook post about my new science fiction novel

First, I should explain that I don’t have a new science fiction novel, and I’m not posting about it on Facebook.

But I did get an invitation to try out Microsoft Designer, which is a web-based thingie that uses AI (or AAIIEE as I like to call it) top help generate images and stuff.

I told it:

> Generate a Facebook post for my new science fiction novel

I altered the text and went with this. The future is full of UFOs! Or UAPs. Or perhaps they are the future of mobile lighting.

Share and like if you agree.

A gray pipe on a sunny day

I saw this concrete pipe plunked down on the sand at Iona Beach on Saturday, and decided it was time for another addition to my black and white photo oeuvre1I used the High Contrast Blue Filter LUT in Pixelmator Photo to get the actual B&W effect. One day I’ll dip myself in black and white paint and do a gallery showing. In the meantime, enjoy!

(The full colour bird photos are coming soon™.)

Time for another desperation photo

It’s getting late, and I realized I’d not taken a photo all day. Panic? Yes! But also, as usual, I used this as an opportunity to do something a little different.

I placed one of the drawing figures I have flat on the black mat my keyboard and mouse sit on, then adjusted the light levels for a touch more contrast. He looks like he’s chained to a wall, or maybe just glued to one. The light source is from my desk lamp.

It occurs to me that this is a great way to pose the figure without it toppling over all the time. Hmm.

Advertising for giants

Who is this type of graphic supposed to appeal to?

This is featured in a Dreamhost article on blogs and I assume it comes from a stock library of images, since there’s no attribution. But look at it.

What I see is random gigantism. This woman has absolutely massive arms and hands (her fingers can probably crush that laptop’s keyboard with a firm press), relatively normal legs and a freakishly small but happy-looking head. Is this woman cheerfully looking up cures for gigantism? Maybe methods on how to placate the menacing mint green blobs looming behind her?

I don’t know. But I do remember I’d seen a video on this art style before, and you can learn more about Alegria/Corporate Memphis and more via this excellent struthless documentary on the topic, appropriately titled “The world’s most hated art style”:

Abstract photography or what you do when you run out of time

I have an arbitrary rule that I must take at least one photo a day. It’s just a silly little challenge and most days I usually get a scenery shot or sometimes, if I’m feeling fancy, a bird.

But some days, like today, I either don’t go out, or just plain forget, and that’s when I have to get creative, because I’ll never just take a selfie (ugh) or a shot of whatever is in front of me, I need to at least make something out of it.

An extreme close-up of my Blue Yeti microphone:

And a top-down view of the same microphone:

The other objects seen: USB backup drive, USB connector for a wireless mouse, a yellow model of an AMC Pacer, a toothpick, some keys, and a coaster.

Glass photo art

Most days I get out and aboot1This is, of course, a reference from the South Park movie Bigger, Longer and Uncut, and is how all Canadians say the word “about” and meet my daily photo requirement taking a shot of trees or water or birds or something all nature-like.

But occasionally I stay indoors because the weather is grossbuckets2And while I’m explaining references, this is from the old Bloom County comic strip or I otherwise don’t get out. And to keep uo with the photo-per-day thing requires me to find something indoors to shoot. Since I abhor selfies (I think I look weird in all of them. Not ugly, just weird. I have some goofy features.) I have to improvise with the objects scattered around the condo.

The past two days, that object has been the glass I keep on a coaster next to my keyboard.

In the first shot, I’m aiming the phone camera straight down into the glass, which is partly filled with soda. This one you can identify pretty easily.

In the second shot, I held the phone camera right up against the side of the glass, which was filled with a fizzy berry pomegranate flavour mix. This one, complete with unanticipated window reflection, is more akin to abstract art. It’s completely unlike what I was expecting. I like it!

Using Stable Diffusion to AI up my art

I used this Github one-click installer to get Stable Diffusion, another AI tool that generates images based on text prompts, running on my M1-based Mac.

The initial results have been amusing, interesting, and sometimes just weird.

Using the default parameters, I used this prompt:

Cat wearing a top hat

And got this:

A fancy, if somewhat smudgy, cat

I then used the same prompt, but set the steps from 25 to the max of 50:

I like how the ears almost become part of the hat

This is one dapper feline.

Next, I tried:

Dog on a cow. High detail, photorealistic.

And got:

As the kids say, there is a lot to unpack here.

Undeterred, I adjusted the prompt:

Small dog riding on top of a cow through a grassy field.

The result looks like an alternate version of the album cover of Atom Heart Mother. I like it.

I’m going to keep playing with this, since my invitation to join the DALL-E beta went into a black hole, never to be seen again. More images soon™!