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As forecast, the weather is horrible today, so I’ve been trying to clear some of the backlogged piles of admin paperwork off my desk – properly, rather than by simply filing them vertically in the handy receptacle that lives next to my printer. I know I’ve achieved quite a bit, because I have emails and appointments attesting to my industry, but I still can’t see my desk surface. Perhaps I should try not to let it get to this state in future… but where would be the fun in that?

Anyhoo, I took what should have been ten minutes out of the admin to photograph a flower from my second, girlier Christmas cactus, and because I haven’t done one for a while I went with a high-key lightpad image. Originally I had the flower turned on its other side, and the Business Bits* sagged down onto the lightpad, causing them to go out of focus. I could simply have focus-stacked it (and probably should have done anyway), but I was still trying to save time and had the bright idea of propping the Business Bits up on the translucent case of an SD card, to bring them back into the plane of focus, and then cloning out the case in Photoshop.

I’m not going to tell you just how long I spent fartnarkling in Photoshop, but it was considerably more time than it would have taken me to focus-stack half a dozen images. And in the end I didn’t like the result anyway. Then I had the brighter idea of seeing what would happen if I turned the flower over; this time the BBs didn’t sag, and thirty seconds later I had my shot.Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to the admin – just because I’m having so much fun. I need to crack on though: because I really do know how to live, this evening I’m going out to hear Prof. Michael Dougan talking about Brexit.

*technical term