Das Dampfboot

steamboat exploded
I took this shot of the steamboat at dinner last night, which was to celebrate dad-in-law's birthday. They must've thought I was mad, waving the camera around clockwise with the shutter going full-auto like a machine gun.

Nothing quite beats a steamboat for communal eating. Only family or friends can eat like this - and if you're not family or friends before, you are after.

20 shots were used for this, taken unfortunately at full-size, which meant I had to lower the resolution (photoshop already complains that my start-up disk has not enough space: since when is 2 GBs not enough space?!) before attempting to import all of them into PS for editing. I had originally thought to produce a composite like the previous one, irregular in shape, but it looked better regular. I fixed the focus on the steamboat and switched off autofocus before I panned the camera (if you can call swingly wildly in a circle panning) so that when the composite was finished, the middle would be sharp, and the edges blurred, wanting to draw attention to the boiling pot. I should've done colour correction for each shot before I melded them, but it was too much trouble. It would've been interesting, for example, to have desaturated the shots on the fringes, and drawn the colour into the middle, but I'll leave that for another photo.

Still on boats: I finished watching the director's cut of Das Boot after dinner. I should add "finally" to that previous sentence. Das Boot was a great movie the first time I saw it on TV many years ago, but it was so, so depressing. You spent two hours staring at the claustrophobic confines of a submarine, and then the ending hits you like a ton of bricks. The director's cut is worse: now you spend almost four hours doing the same, knowing full well what awaits you at the end. Brilliant movie, no doubt the best submarine movie, and possibly one of the best anti-war movies ever made, but horribly depressing, in the way only the Germans could make it.


tscd said…
very cool picture - it makes it all look so communal.

I miss steamboat.
wahj said…
yup: that's why I love steamboats. I think of them as a metaphor for family: everybody puts something different in the pot, and in the end, the soup that results is a blend of everybody's choices. Whether you like it or not. = )

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