It’s a bit like being permanently drunk: different perspectives

Ford Prefect: “It’s unpleasantly like being drunk”
Arthur Dent: “What is so unpleasant about that?”
Ford: “Ask a glass of water”

That conversation has come to mind many times since Saturday afternoon, and no, I haven’t been on a four-day bender. I took delivery (finally!) of my new glasses. Because I am now so old and decrepit I have to wear varifocals. Not your normal long-and-short distance sort but long-middle-and-short all rolled into one (ok, two) lens(es). The effect is quite disconcerting, previously I have only ever worn glasses with a single, distance prescription. At the opticians I had a lesson on how to use the glasses “point your nose at what you want to look at”. Apparently the trick is not to move your eyes, but your head, except when reading something held in your hands, and it can take several weeks to adapt. In the meantime, the world keeps swimming around me, and I feel off-balance a lot of the time. When trying to read a broadsheet newspaper (no other kind is worth reading) I see a circle of print in focus which dissolves outwards. If I move my head to scan across or up the page the lines of print move with a wave-like motion. Most odd. Before anyone suggests it, contacts or laser surgery are both OOTQ.

So it was on this optical theme running as a sub-routine in my brain, that I sat down to watch the Formula One race from Bahrain on Sunday afternoon. After about six laps I got rather bored and for some reason ended up on a rather interesting website which provides a whole screed of helpful hints, including how to convert a digital camera to a highly sensitive Infra-Red device. So, after some thirty minutes work with an old Creative PC-CAM 880 webcam/digital still camera, bingo! I now possess a camera which is useless for most applications but which takes some interesting pictures.

And I didn’t have to take my glasses off once to see the small screws and tiny springs that held the lens together. Not my first foray into IR photography, as I have a digital SLR that is sensitive to IR and with an appropriate Hoya R72 filter (and a bit of post processing) produces some nice images. Foliage really glows in the near infra-red, so soon the trees will be in full leaf, which should provide some great photo-opportunities.

~ by @mmonyte on April 9, 2008.

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