Monday, November 23, 2009

problem solving

I am trying to make a kinetic photo for a contest, and it looks like I won't make the deadline.

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[Correction: It's not a contest, it's an assignment.]

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The camera must be moving for a kinetic photograph. I did not want to copy someone else's idea. Like when someone flips a compact camera in the air for a random exposure and try to catch it, lest it break. Or where the camera is attached to a moving car. My idea was to go for the effect of a space ship moving through a star field.

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I made a contraption that would hold the toy one cubit from the camera. Then, aiming at white Christmas tree lights, I pan the camera for a blurred background, hoping to keep the ship in focus.

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Instead of white streaks, I got colored dot patterns. I am not sure why. And what about that color?! Maybe the bluish led (fixed on the ship) offset the white balance.

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I'm not sure how I want to solve this problem, but sometimes you have to think outside the box:

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Here is a story about problem solving I found at Arcamax Publishing.

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Many hundreds of years ago in a small Italian town, a merchant had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant's beautiful daughter so he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the merchant' debt if he could marry the merchant's daughter. Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. The cunning money lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter.

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The moneylender told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would then have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become the moneylender's wife and her father's debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

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They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the merchant's garden. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick her pebble from the bag.

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Now, imagine you were standing in the merchant's garden. What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her? Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

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  1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
  2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the moneylender as a cheat.
  3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

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Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking. The girl's dilemma cannot be solved with traditional logical thinking.

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Think of the consequences if she chooses the logical answers.

What would you recommend the girl do?

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The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

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"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."

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Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.

10 comments:

lime said...

quite bright. although my meme repsonses might indicate otherwise i am afraid i am far too straightforward in problem solving. i'd have exposed the guy as a cheat. but the solution was pbviously better.

and i like your photo it's kind of like star trek meets pac man. :)

Gaelyn said...

Well, she was much better at problem solving than me. I would have choosen #2. Good one Craver.
I see you are a trekie fan. Don't remember seeing the Enterprise amongst these lateral light patterns before. What do you suppose they are Spock?
It's a fun affect. Not kinetic enough?

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I like the effect you have there Craver. Where were you yesterday with my MM? You are in a LOT of trouble. LOL!!

Craver Vii said...

I'm not as bright as our maiden in the fable either, but it's fun to read that kind of stuff, Lime. I used to read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and found that to be equally as amusing.

Still, if you had been in that situation Lime, I would not be surprised if you came up with yet another option.


Gaelyn, I got the result I was looking for once before, but I wanted to go SOOC (straight out of the camera) this time. The other time, I got the result I wanted by superimposing one image on top of another.

Aww nuts! I missed your Mystery Monday!! Sorry Joan, I got a slow start this week. Hey, they say it might snow this Thursday (Thanksgiving). What kind of weather are you seeing in South Africa these days?

imac said...

10 out of 10 for trying Craver.
I like the capture tho.

Beam me up Scottie.hehe.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Craver: What a neat story and the logic was so simple. Good luck with that photos idea.

nAncY said...

you are always up to something interesting with you camera!

i really liked the pebble story.

Craver Vii said...

You're too generous, Imac! Can I pour you another Foster's?

Fishing Guy, that was one of the things I liked about Star Trek. Whether the original series (TOS) or The Next Generation, they were always finding solutions. They manage to find a way, where there seems to be no way.

It would be tragic if I somehow lost that camera, nAncY. Right now I can not afford to replace it. I'm working on a plan though...

mommanator said...

I am too brain dead today to comprehend, later!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Ha! Excellent solution! My husband would have probably thought of that...but me? My brain would have been frozen with fright.