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Glowing ball - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
Glowing ball
Glowing ball by Helen in Wales
Glowing ball, a photo by Helen in Wales on Flickr.

18/52 for the group 52 of 2012

This week's theme was: Lights

Also 18/52 for the group T189ers weekly alphabet challenge.

I normally try to take two separate shots. In fact the different themes usually mean that I have to anyway, however, I don't have much time this week, so I'm pleased to say that this shot fits perfectly for both because the T189ers weekly challenge is "I is for image manipulation".

I took the shot using manual settings because the camera kept over-exposing the ball. I also used the timer so I could photograph my own hands. :) The shot was in RAW, so I processed two versions, one with the white balance correct for the hands and sweater and the other a slightly brighter version with the white balance set to make the lemon yellow of the ball into a more golden glow. Both images were then combined in PhotoShop Elements.

This wasn't actually my first idea, but while I was playing around with the toy balls that flicker with light if you bounce them, I realised that I could achieve something like the Magelight so well described in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland.

"Magelight or Magefire is so common among MAGIC USERS that it is probably what an APPRENTICE WIZARD learns to do on his first day. The operator simply think, and a small ball of bluish or white light appears either on the hand or hovering in the air. [...] Magelight has two uses: it gives light in dark places, and it shows that the maker can do MAGIC. When a more powerful Magic User overwhelms the one making the light, the Magelight normally flickers and dims away. Thus it is also a sort of Magic meter. It is otherwise not good for anything much, but it would be nice to be able to do it."

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8 comments or Leave a comment
karinfromnosund From: karinfromnosund Date: May 3rd, 2012 11:17 am (UTC) (Link)
It is otherwise not good for anything much

I take it that Fantasyland has flashlights growing on trees?

That said, it's a lovely picture. Both the colours and the light.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: May 3rd, 2012 12:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. It was one of those shots that just seemed to come out right, considering the makeshift way I did it. The black background is our television screen!

I do think that Diana Wynne Jones was being a little harsh on the Magelight. Being able to call up light whenever you want is a very useful thing to be able to do. :)
steepholm From: steepholm Date: May 3rd, 2012 12:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, especially when you're trying to find your keys in the dark, or read without disturbing your partner. But mostly, yes, it would just be nice to be able to do it.
khiemtran From: khiemtran Date: May 3rd, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I use my phone for that...

That's a great picture. Was the yellow glow on your palm just from the ball, or did you have to add it in too?
From: cmcmck Date: May 3rd, 2012 11:39 am (UTC) (Link)
That jumper was the perfect choice- I have an Orkney made one with similar colours.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: May 3rd, 2012 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. Mine is a cheap and cheerful acrylic sweater that I spotted in a local shop and bought to cheer me up in the dismal dark days just before Christmas. It was also total coincidence that I was wearing it when I tried to set up an entirely different shot. :)
muuranker From: muuranker Date: May 3rd, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is a splendid image - I am tempted to say 'magic'.
footlingagain From: footlingagain Date: May 7th, 2012 10:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Helen, that's lovely. Very tender, too - like you're cupping someone's life in your hands.
8 comments or Leave a comment