The REAL Issues Affecting REAL Space Princesses: Part 2

So in today’s episode, The REAL Issues Affecting REAL Space Princesses Part 2, Princess Leia expresses her dissatisfaction with the fact that Akbar got her line:
It’s a trap!

Just a little something to brighten your Monday morning, it IS safe for work. ūüôā

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Time

Last year's cherry blossom (aka May blossom), taken with last year's camera. It has been long gone for 10 months now, after these petals tumbled to the floor in a blushing snowdrift. How differently will the blossom be that grows this year?
Last year’s cherry blossom (aka May blossom), taken with last year’s camera. It has been long gone for 10 months now, after these petals tumbled to the floor in a blushing snowdrift. How differently will the blossom be that grows this year?
Last year's cherry blossom, taken with last year's camera. How differently will the blossom be that grows this year?
More pink, less focus. ¬†Hmm…

This is my first weekly photo challenge from here, the theme was time.

I am still a bit new to all this photography stuff so feedback would be appreciated!

Astrophotography and 3 days 3 quotes (interrupted) challenge

I thought I’d share some of my exciting lunar photography from last night’s nothing-special-moon (it’s the one that comes shortly after the full moon – it’s that not-quite-full moon that everybody doesn’t care about and which is never the subject of flowery poems or beautiful artwork). ¬†If you’re after my quote for today, it’s at the end of this post.

If this moon shape needs a nickname (which it does) it’s the Underdog Moon. ¬†It’s technically a waning gibbous moon (in the same vein that the crescent moon is really the waning or waxing crescent moon depending which side of the New Moon it is). ¬†I’m very excited because I managed to get some pictures of stars too. ¬†Better than the last ones, although I could have got better pictures if there hadn’t been a streetlight outside my window where I was taking the pictures. ¬†Grr.

The Underdog Moon, taken by me last night out of the bathroom window.
The Underdog Moon, taken by me last night out of the bathroom window.

I am particularly impressed with my handiwork in capturing the above picture, it took about 20 attempts to get the camera settings right: The first photo of the moon that I took last night came out like this:

The moon when I first photographed it.  I played around reducing the ISO and increasing the shutter speed for ages until I got the picture I showed you first.
The moon when I first photographed it. I played around reducing the ISO and increasing and decreasing the shutter speed for ages until I got the picture I showed you first.

Even MORE exciting than that phenomenal moon photo, was this picture of stars. ¬†STARS! ¬†I’ve never had a camera that could photograph stars before and it was such a clear night last night that I know that if we didn’t live in a city I would have been able to get some stunning star photos with this new camera lens because it has the zoom for it! ¬†This is the second time I’ve photographed stars, the first time I’ve tried with the new (second hand but new to me) lens I bought at the start of September, and this stars pic¬†came out a LOT better than the last one:

Stars!!!!  Click to enlarge, I'm not sure whether its remotely exciting to anyone else but I'm so excited by how this pic came out!
Stars!!!! Click to enlarge to see them all (there’s about 10), I’m not sure whether its remotely exciting to anyone else but I’m so excited by how this pic came out!

And for the end of my 3 days 3 quotes (interrupted) challenge, I give you The Galaxy Song from Monty Python:

Here’s the lyrics:

Whenever life gets you down, Mrs.Brown
And things seem hard or tough
And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft
And you feel that you’ve had quite enough

Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour
That’s orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it’s reckoned
A sun that is the source of all our power

The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour
Of the galaxy we call the ‘milky way’

Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars
It’s a hundred thousand light years side to side
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick
But out by us, it’s just three thousand light years wide

We’re thirty thousand light years from galactic central point
We go ’round every two hundred million years
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, the speed of light, you know
Twelve million miles a minute and that’s the fastest speed there is

So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure
How amazingly unlikely is your birth
And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space
‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth

In Pictures: Urban Industrial Decay by the Sea in Aberdeen

How long has it been since I last did a travel/pure delight article??  It feels like forever!

While I was in Aberdeen I saw some awesome decaying industrial objects which reminded me of Natalia Goncharova and Futurism here’s some inspiration pictures:

Giacomo Balla's Velocity of Cars and Light, 1913.
Giacomo Balla’s Velocity of Cars and Light, 1913.
Natalia Goncharova: A Factory (1912).
Natalia Goncharova: A Factory (1912).

I’m sure people much more accomplished at Art have commented on these pictures to death. ¬†To me, they remind me of the opening minute of the song “Breathe” by Pink Floyd on The Dark Side of The Moon album. ¬†It all links together. ¬†In that vein, of industrialization and movement and life borne of machines and future provided for by machines, there’s little room for the question of the inevitable death of those machines.

When I came across this bounty of stimuli just abandoned on various plots of land in Aberdeen, I was reminded of the inevitable omega – the end of all things. ¬†So I took lots of pictures of these industrial objects because their death masks were so beautiful, and I included the surroundings in some of them because their burial sites were often in direct contrast with their tortured metallic endings. ¬†Such an unnatural and contrived resting place for what was once some chemical elements separated from base rock by a blast furnace. ¬†Abandoned because their ferrous surfaces have combined with too much oxygen. ¬†One question which I cannot answer is: “How sustainable are these burial sites where we lay out our expired machinery?” ¬†There was a LOT of stuff like this in Aberdeen.

I felt sad that such amazing and titanic objects had been abandoned. ¬†There were far more pics than this but I decided to just share this set of 11 in this article, paying particular attention to texture (especially rust) and unusual focus length. ¬†I’ve written my own criticism by them in places so you can see what I thought of how my¬†pictures came out. ¬†I’m a crap photographer but I’m trying to learn, so any feedback would be appreciated, positive or negative. ¬†This was before I bought my amazing new lenses for my DSLR, and I’d had the camera maybe 4 days by this point, so all pics here taken with my 18-55 kit lens on 100% manual camera settings with no autofocus (c’mon, autofocus is for wimps). ¬†Click any image to enlarge.

A laburnum growing up a fence on a backdrop of rust.  The astigmatism and slight vignetting bugs me.
A laburnum growing up a fence on a backdrop of rust. The astigmatism and slight vignetting bugs me.
I really liked the texture.
I really liked the texture.
Some containers looking very tall and thin.
Some containers looking very tall and thin.
A metal thingy.  The sea is behind this wall.
A metal thingy. The sea is behind this wall.  I like the contrasting texture of the lichen, the wall and the metal thingy.
Is this a bunch of Johnny 5 lookalikes at an audition???
Is this a bunch of Johnny 5 lookalikes at an audition??? ¬†Apparently they’re lifeboat launches? ¬†ISO too high.
More delightful texture.
More delightful texture.  Not level (argh).
Rusty giant chain.  Each individual link of this chain was bigger than my torso!  I wonder what it was used for...
Rusty giant chain. Each individual link of this chain was bigger than my torso! I wonder what it was used for…
The rusty textured giant 30 foot maw of an enormous digger, with laburnum growing near it.
The rusty textured giant 30 foot maw of an enormous digger, with laburnum growing near it.
barbed wire
Barbed wire and concrete textures contrasting with roof tiles.  Horizontals not straight.
Crane and sky.  I know my angles are awful I was playing around with my settings to try and get the clouds visible and the crane non-silhouetted.
Crane and sky. I know my angles are awful I was playing around with my settings to try and get the texture of the clouds visible and the crane non-silhouetted both at the same time and forgot to level it out.
Texture tyres.  I know the commonly accepted way of doing this image would have been to blur the tyres and focus on the background, but I wanted to show the texture of the tyres as I thought it was a really nice texture (I love the kitemark, bottom right).  I did one the other way around but thought this was the more interesting shot as it forces the viewer to notice the gargantuan tyres (tractor tyres??  What has tyres this big??)
Texture tyres. I know the commonly accepted way of doing this image would have been to blur the tyres and focus on the background, but I wanted to show the delicious texture of the tyres as I thought it was a really beautiful surface (I love the kitemark, near bottom right). I did one the other way around but thought this was the more interesting shot as it forces the viewer to notice the gargantuan tyres (tractor tyres?? What has tyres this big??)

I don’t know what to say to sum this post up, so I’m going to let you do it instead. ¬†Feedback please!

8 Pictures of Pretty Flowers

So I thought the world needed more pictures of things, and decided to post these pictures of flowers to inspire and delight you all (and me, I like looking at pretty things too).

Dandelion clocks, on the verge of telling the time.
Dandelion clocks, on the verge of telling the time.
A dandelion clock.
A dandelion clock.
Another dandelion clock.  I love this moment in time, when such a delicate natural process is taking place.
Another dandelion clock. I love this moment in time, when such a delicate natural process is taking place.
Bluebells in a forest.  I was amazed at how the depth came out in this picture.
Bluebells in a forest. I was amazed at how the depth came out in this picture.
This is another moment in time that I really love - that brief time of year when the bluebells come out.
This is another moment in time that I really love – that brief time of year when the bluebells come out.
Bluebells in the forest from a different angle.
Bluebells in the forest from a different angle.
They're prickly to touch but beautiful to look at.  Although, unlike Eeyore, I don't think I'd want to eat thistles!
They’re prickly to touch but beautiful to look at. Although, unlike Eeyore, I don’t think I’d want to eat thistles!
Another set of thistles.  The pink is so striking against the green that I had to get a picture.
Another set of thistles. The pink is so striking against the green that I had to get a picture.

Like with the pictures of clouds and sunsets, feel free to use them although if you can link back to me in some way it would be appreciated. ¬†I don’t modify or retouch or colour-up any of my photos, this is just how they looked in real life.

Twelve Inspiring Sunsets

To follow up yesterday’s post, I thought I’d post some sunsets today. ¬†I wanted to write about Newgrange but the hundred or so photos I’d taken have all mysteriously disappeared. ¬†And I’m probably not going back any time in the near future as I have a LOT of other places on my 30 list (a list I wrote when I was 18, of all the things I want to do before I¬†turn 30) to go to. ¬†So, instead, here are lots of pictures of sunsets I’ve collected from England and Scotland (the last one’s from St Paul’s Cathedral, Vatican City, photographed from Rome). ¬†Enjoy.

sunset2

sunset07

sunset1

sunset08sunset3

sunset09sunset4

sunset71sunset5

Sunset behind Ben Nevis (obscured by clouds), Scotland.
Sunset behind Ben Nevis (obscured by clouds), Scotland.
My mum used to call this colour "sky blue pink."  It was her favourite colour.
My mum used to call this colour “sky blue pink.” It was her favourite colour.
Sunset behind St Paul's Cathedral, the Vatican, Rome.
Sunset behind St Paul’s Cathedral, the Vatican, Rome.

All these photos are my own, and you can use them for whatever you like (please consider acknowledging that¬†you found them on Invoke Delight). ¬†I did stamp the Vatican one because I’ve used it a few times before; it’s one of my favourite travel¬†photos.

10 Pictures of Pretty Clouds

Today I wanted to share some pictures of clouds, all taken in York, UK, where I live. ¬†I feel Invoke Delight has been a sombre place of late and I want to make sure it stays a place to inspire delight in the world around me, which was its original remit (inspire delight was already taken when I registered the URL, so I went with invoke, instead). ¬†Click to enlarge, I haven’t watermarked the pictures so you can do what you want with them if you want to use them for things:

clouds1

clouds2

clouds3

clouds4 clouds5 clouds06 clouds07 clouds08 clouds09 clouds10

I hope these pictures of the sky on an English summer’s day will brighten your day. ¬†I will continue to talk about serious stuff on my second blog.