The flying pips, shattered shells and wet shrapnel still haunt farmer Liu Mingsuo after an effort to chemically boost his fruit crop went spectacularly wrong.
Fields of watermelons exploded when he and other agricultural workers in eastern China mistakenly applied forchlorfenuron, a growth accelerator.
The report said the farmers sprayed the fruit too late in the season and during wet conditions, which caused the melons to explode like "landmines". After losing eight acres, Liu said he was unable to sleep because he could not shake the image of the fruit bursting. "On 7 May, I came out and counted 80 [burst watermelons] but by the afternoon it was 100," he said. "Two days later I didn't bother to count any more." About 20 farmers and 45 hectares around Danyang were affected. The fruit could not be sold and was instead fed to fish and pigs.
A company has developed a prototype of a device that can scan fingerprints from up to two meters away. The device, called AIRprint, detects fingerprints by shining polarized light onto a person's hand and analyzing the reflection using two cameras configured to detect different polarizations.
The prototype device, which scans a print in 0.1 seconds and processes it in about four seconds, can handle only one finger at a time. Also, the scanned finger must remain at a fixed distance from the device. But by April, Burcham expects to have made significant improvements. By then, he says, the device should be able to scan five fingers at once even if a person is moving toward or away from the cameras, and the processing time ought to have dropped to less than a second.
I'm not the world's greatest photographer, but I take a lot of photos in nightclubs, and I spend a lot more time than that sifting through other people's photos.
This means I see a lot of crappy photos, and I see a lot of different people making the same mistakes over and over again. So here's some advice for those of you shooting inside a nightclub that I believe will dramatically increase the quality of your photos.
Most of this is aimed at people using SLRs with real lenses, but some of it will apply to smaller cameras too.
(Let's see if this gets me as much hate mail as the bike thing did...)
Stop using your flash.
Stop using a zoom lens.
You don't need it. If you mostly take portraits, you're standing from 3' to 5' away from your subject. Zoom by taking one step forward or back. With f1.4, available light will almost always be sufficient to get a shot at 1/80 and ISO 1600. If it's not, move.
(Edit: I got the DoF math wrong. Nevermind.)
Yeah, it'll be a little grainy, but it will look better than the photo you'll get with a flash, because you don't know how to use your flash properly anyway. (It's harder than you think, and you're doing it wrong.)
Stop standing at the back of the room.
But, stop standing right at the front of the stage.
Stop standing still.
Also, keep your elbows tucked in. You don't have to hold your camera like you're impersonating a windmill. The less space you take up, the fewer people you will piss off.
Look around first.
Stop checking the back of the camera after every shot.
Stop posting every damned photo.
The exception is live shows, where if there are 3 or 4 bands, and they're all really photogenic, I might do up to 20 shots per band. I think of those as separate "sets", even if they happen to be on the same page.
If you think you have 300 great photos, you're wrong.
Your first shot was the best shot.
Then (because they usually post all three photos!) I get to see how that turned out, and I can tell you that most of the time the first shot is the best. The reason for this is that by the second shot, the subjects have lost their spontaneity. Often the first picture will have a genuine smile, the second will have a forced smile, and in the third they just look kind of confused. Standing around waiting for the photographer makes people uncomfortable, and you can see that in their faces.
Don't post almost-identical photos.
Don't post the photo you almost got.
Well, you missed it, and that's a shame, but move on.
Post big photos, not just oversized thumbnails.
Don't post photos where people look like crap.
Lose the giant watermark.
In my experience, the size of the watermark is inversely proportional to the quality of the photo.
Personally, I never watermark any of my photos, because it's not like anyone's going to go and get rich off of some candid shot I took of them in a club. I know other people are much more hung up on getting credit about such things, but try to be a little understated about it so that your desire for credit doesn't take a big steaming dump on the composition of the photograph itself!
And finally, some simple admonitions for the subjects of photos. I know some people are uncomfortable having their picture taken, and don't know what to do with themselves, but please, don't do these things. These are so common and awful that I delete all photos in which they occur:
Stop making "duck face". Seriously, stop it. You look like an idiot.
"Look at my beer!" Yes, yes, you have a beer. Your beer is not photogenic, whereas you are a unique and beautiful snowflake. Stop holding your beer up to the camera.
Don't flip off the camera. What are you, eight? Because that stopped being clever or transgressive when you were eight.