Monday, 30 June 2008
Sunday, 29 June 2008
Saturday, 28 June 2008
Monday, 23 June 2008
Left panel: Lava lamp mushroom-devils
Right panel: Tryptamine dreams
Another in the natrual diptych series, suspiciously following 'Shroom world' ;-) The style is actually a variant on the 'Flipped disc', created by treating the two offset transforms differently and applying a polar FX.
Frame in PhotoFiltre, dividing line added in Paint.NET.
Undersea exploration (diptych)
Sunday, 22 June 2008
For my 200th fractal submission to dA, I thought I'd offer something... appropriate ;) I dearly love mushrooms, whether organic chestnuts on toast for breakfast, stuffed fields, dried porcini in a risotto... the world is one's oyster :D
These, perhaps, resemble the shaggy parasol, and yet that hint of blue colouring may suggest something different... ;)
Saturday, 21 June 2008
It was now completely dark, but the light from the gibbous moon was just sufficient to complete the climb without recourse to artificial light. We'd be camped now, had it not been for Hendrick's sprained ankle... or my own insistence that we reach the plateau. Still, no use dwelling on what-ifs. The guides were confident that our object was somewhere off this next plateau, in this curious region of sharply-ridged peaks, tinged with blue-veined granite and deeply scored by passes and watercourses. We were here illegally, of course, knowing that the Chinese Government would never sanction such an expedition without full disclosure of its aims. And we must make the discovery without being hampered by any form of censorship. The trans-Himalayan trek had been amazing, but we were, as a group, beginning to tire, hence Hendrick's ankle.
Before we crested the ridge I stopped... and I knew: "We're here", I said, simply. And so we were. Instead of the great sweep of plateau expected, we emerged onto a kind of sub-level. To the left, nestled between natural peaks and the plateau proper, was a structure worn, but most definitely not fashioned, by Nature: the Temple of the Ancients, whose existence was merely a rumour among Westerners with an occult leaning, scorned by those of strictly scientific bent who argued that no traces of any civilisation preceding Egypt had ever been found in these parts. Well, now we would show them. I asked Temple, the synchronously-named research assistant, to unpack the Klieg and spend a little precious battery-power in celebrating this moment.
The satisfyingly resonant 'click' of the spot transformed the scene: the configuration of the temple complex now became apparent, a large central pyramid flanked by two subsidiaries enclosing a kind of ceremonial drive to the principal. In this wind-whipped and rarefied air, the markings seem to stand out preternaturally, great tablets of carved stone, badly weathered but still showing their form. The entire party thrilled with awe. Although we turned off the light and began setting up camp so as to get some rest before the next day's work, I knew that sleep wouldn't come this night...
Friday, 20 June 2008
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
Sunday, 8 June 2008
Saturday, 7 June 2008
WARNING! Do not read on if easily disturbed by the gory side of horror fiction!
As soon as I passed through the gateway, standing slightly ajar as though slyly daring entrance, I felt something turn deep within my gut. Three years on the force cautioned against ignoring these feelings, yet there was something else competing, something more atavistic, that impelled the forward motion above the call for backup. I didn't have time to analyse this feeling, but a retrospective suggests that some abysmal kernel of my soul recognised a unique opportunity to confront its nemesis, in the flesh as it were, rather than through a safety-partition of numbers, and restraints, and the sterility of protocol.
The farmhouse yielded no response to enquiry. Around the back, it gave onto a traditional quadrangle of farmyard. Yet this was no picture postcard, despite the high summer weather: there was an air of desolation, of something beyond mere neglect, a kind of depravity of the old stones. Still no answer to my vocal enquiries. Not even a dog, most unusual for such an isolated location. Was I mad to go on? The question was meaningless: Fate was now at the helm. I moved towards a low brick outbuilding, once a stables, and peered through the open top half of the door: a couple of large chest freezers, purring away, plus some assorted and unidentifiable junk. This wasn't it. I left and tried the next outbuilding, an old stone barn structure more recently augmented with brick to shore up time's erosion. This was it: the light admitted from sliding open the door illuminated something suspended from a beam, a something I initially took to be the butchered carcass of some unfortunate ruminant. Two steps in disclosed a different tale: this had once been human, the arms amputated at the shoulder and most of the head missing. Worst of all was the fact of the skinning, the exposed tissue now a magnet for flies and in parts already seething with maggots. Shock had cancelled out the stench, but that now began to impinge. As I turned to exit that charnel chamber (oh, how easily that old word from childhood horror fiction returned!), I became aware of the faint sound of a fan. The freezers next door? I had no doubts now concerning their contents. Had I ever? No, on a large wooden bench to the right, perched, in utter incongruity, a large monitor screen. Also on the bench was a stills camera and a video camera. In the semi-darkness, I clumsily nudged into the bench and the formerly quiescent monitor burst into light. The files visible were all .jpgs - I opened one and began to scroll through the folder, seeing a progressive record of post mortem activity. Exiting the image software, I noticed a large .mpeg file at the bottom of the list. Automatically, I opened it... to observe what was most likely a perfectly ordinary-looking man at any other time, now distorted into a hideous daemon of bloodlust and something beyond, nameless, dragging the trussed and frantically struggling form of a boy, probably IC2, into this building, and beginning his work. I watched until the skinning commenced then closed down the viewing software. I wouldn't have lasted so long with sound - the boy was still alive at this point.
Sick inside, shaking, head full of flashing lights and high-piched whining, I finally stepped outside and vomited relentlessly. I became aware of another noise, external, mechanical. A colossal shadow stole steadily across the yard, and I passed almost thankfully into unconsciousness.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Technical - inspired by these Sunflowers, I set out to create "something with popcorn2". This is the result, made entirely from the eponymous variation. The ability to tweak parameters is what gives this version the advantage over the original. Rendered at medium-high quality with large filter radius, it just wasn't quite 'painterly' enough for requirements so in common with its inspiration, I enlisted the GIMP: a second render at ultra-low quality and small filter radius was layered in at 20% to provide the desired 'distressed' look of well-worked oil paint.
My entry for the June contest 'Fractal stories'.
Posted by UltraGnosis at 11:24
Friday, 6 June 2008
Thursday, 5 June 2008
"April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers."
- from 'The Waste Land' by T.S. Eliot