At the same time, I've gotten rid of what was beginning to seem like a genuine fire hazard, so I'm relieved to have it out of the house. And hey, since I never used most of the styrofoam sheeting in almost six years of residence at the current Stollen Central, there seemed little point in saving the stuff any longer. Packratia isn't pretty. It's that embarrassing and hush-hush social disease from which many wargamers suffer in silence. Packratia is no laughing matter and needs greater public attention if we are ever to eradicate it. Packratia can come from anywhere and strike at anytime. So, you must keep up your guard against Packratia at all times.
That attractive female neighbor across the street, who calls on the telephone one evening and coyly asks if you want to drop by to pick up a box full of rubberized horsehair leftover from when she restored her antique fainting couch? She could be carrying. . . Packratia! Your best friend around the corner, who seems like an upstanding guy and says he's got a bag full of extra styrofoam peanuts for packing those fragile items you hope to ship to a family member in another state? He too could give you. . . Packratia. Even your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, or significant other could have. . . Packratia. Don't let your guard down for a minute.
No one is immune to Packratia although wargamers are more prone to it than most. Packratia is insidious and can infect your marriage or committed relationship before you realize what has happened. Before you know what hit you, Packratia can turn your cozy home into a veritable hell-on-earth within a few short weeks. Recognize the symptoms of. . . Packratia. Disorganized stacks of old hobby magazines, small odd bags crammed full of balsawood offcuts, piles of old plastic bottle caps to use as temporary painting bases, and that certain familiar burning sensation whenever you use the last sheet of a writing pad and try to envision to what particular use you might put that remaining heavy cardboard backing. Oh, yes! You too might just have a bad case of. . . Packratia.
Packratia is dangerous, and Packratia is highly contagious. Packratia leads to sorrow, heartache, and, in its worst forms, madness. Don't risk transmitting it to your loved ones. Visit your doctor and get checked for the Packratia virus today! Most cases can be cured in just a few minutes with a simple vaccination in the privacy of your doctor's office or outpatient clinic. Now, don't you owe it to your family to get screened for. . . Packratia? Do it as soon as possible! This concludes today's public service announcement brought to you by People Against Packratia, the Presidential Commission to Fight the Spread of Packratia, and the American Red Cross.
Now, what about those vignettes? Here they are. Still not perfect, but it's getting better all the time (didn't some band or other from the 60s sing that?). For the more techincally minded among you, here are the details:
* The distance between Sony Cyber-shot TX20 camera and subjects was between 5"-7" (approximately 12.75-17.75 cm).
* The camera flipped itself automatically into the macro setting.
* A small tripod was used.
* Self-timer set for 10 seconds.
* No flash. Indirect, diffused lighting came from three different lamps each with 100watt "daylight" corkscrew bulb. One aimed at the top of the lightbox, and two aimed at either side of the light box. I moved the two side lamps around to cast the most indirect light possible onto the figures.
* Five slightly different pictures were taken of each vignette. The three shared here were the best as far as focus, crispness, and lighting go.
* The best three of the original photographs were next sharpened and then cropped using Photoshop Elements 9. Additional automatic adjustments blitzed the fleshtones of the figures for some reason and made everything else too bright, so no additional manipulation of these images occurred.