Friday, February 27, 2009

He's got a ticket to ride...

I'll pretend that blog posts aren't an opportunity for me to dissemble for thirty seconds before whoring off my latest favorite picture.

Yesterday was fun - drove out to Quesnel after work and spoke at the Exodus 4:10 (Toastmasters) speaking club. The speech was kind of bunk. Basically I'm working through an advanced manual on specialty speeches. Things like eulogies, toasts to the queen, oddball stuff like that. Random and wonderful. Anyways, there's a project in there called "impromptu speech" which is meant to mimic the real life situation where as an expert you're called on to speak on something you're not prepared for. i.e. talk show, speaking in from of city council or similar. So I picked out my five areas of expertise and gave them to my evaluator.

Usually the evaluator will pick an area at random and then ask a question as you walk up to the front. You speak 5-7 minutes and it needs to have the normal aspects of a speech - i.e. introduction that sets the stage and gets attention, generally three points that you make, and a conclusion that reinforces and wraps it up. Vocal variety, gestures, etc. are all as per advanced manual standards so generally is fairly challenging. In the past I've spoken on "Please explain how filtration works and why it's essential in a fish tank" for example, so I walked people through trying to mimic a natural environment, water hardness/alkalinity, water depth and pressure, the inverse relationship between oxygen retention and temperature, etc.

Last nights was weird in that they just gave me back my area of expertise and asked me to speak on "digital photography". So I did a persuasive speech on the need to purchase a digital camera. I'm not terribly impressed with it but I'll wait to see the video that Mike captured for me. In the end though, just for random perks, I had two people come up to me and tell me that they are going to go to staples tomorrow and buy a camera based on my presentation. Kind of amusing.

Anyways, I think I can introduce my new favorite. It's a composite panoramic made up of about 20 6.1 megapixel shots taken from two different site locations about 15' apart. Infinite focus on the camera so the parallax effect is minimalized. I did full exposure blending, HDR and then post-processing on the final copy to bring the temperature of the shot down into the cold range. I'd be lying if I said I'm not feeling like a cat with a canary in his mouth...

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