brian's soapbox
JANUARY 2017

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EXPERT OPINION - LETTERS

 

As always, the opinions expressed in these pages are purely and personally those of myself, Brian; they are not the official views of Queen, or of any other organisation or individual.

Reference:
- Lame Claims
- Stereo and Freeview Notes
- Help with Stereo Viewing (LSC)
*NEW*
- Brian May's IG Stereo Template - zip

  Click link above to Download (may open PhotoShop)
  or Ctrl_Click and choose Download Linked File As...
- Brian May's IG Stereo Template - pdf
  Click link above and choose Save Link As... then open in PhotoShop

COPYRIGHT NOTE:
Please DON'T reproduce stuff from these pages WITHOUT PERMISSION. And if you do, please give us credit (brianmay.com)!! and a LIVE link. `
Cheers ! Bri
- Also applies to FOREIGN LANGUAGE sites,
'NOT' for FACEBOOK or SOCIAL MEDIA


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**Sun 22 Jan 17**
WHO WHO ARE THE CHAMPIONS ?!!
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Someone sent me this. Made me chuckle !!!

Who who are the Champions ?!!

Tee hee !

Bri

Who are the Champions

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**Thu 19 Jan 17**
THE MOON AND JUPITER TONIGHT
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Moon and Jupiter

The Moon and Jupiter tonight through a veil of clouds. In 3-D - parallel stereo. Please free view it, preferably on a lap top -. or use an OWL ! Alternatively screen capture this and then you can turn it on its side on your phone and zoom in.

This is a better attempt at a Moon stereo than I've ever previously achieved on my iPhone 7 plus. Why ? I discovered that you can lock the exposure and focus by keeping your finger on the screen for a few seconds until the square box which appears on screen implodes on itself a few times. Try it ! Where's the instruction manual ???

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Glorious morning in Devon. I've missed too many sunrises.

Missed too many sunrises

Bri

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**Wed 18 Jan 17**
OFF TO THE WEST COUNTRY
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Morning thing

What IS this 'Morning' thing ?

Off to the West Country.

Nice 'Last Quarter' Moon up there. Well, that's what astronomers call it. Can't help thinking the layman got it right calling this a 'Half Moon'. Because when the Moon's 'full' we're seeing twice the illuminated area, right ? And two halves make a whole. What do two Quarters make ? See what I mean ? I think I'll write to the International Astronomical Union to complain. No - maybe I won't bother.

Half Moon, anyone ?

 

Hazel Coppice

Hazel coppice somewhere in .. Dorset.

Lovely English landscape. And sunshine - hurrah !

 

Somerset sunset

Sunset in Somerset.

On a forestry mission today. Badgers all beautifully healthy here. Of course ! - no cattle nearby.

Somerset sunset - stereo

Somerset Sunset tonite - in stereo.

Skies ablaze

The skies were ablaze tonight. Inspiring.

Bri

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**Wed 18 Jan 17**
QUEEN IN 3-D - TRAILER
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Finally ! After 3 years of building, our very first LSC book of 21st century photography is almost ready to be sent off to the printers.

And the photographer is me, and the pictures are of a rock group that began to work on making a vision come true around 1970.

Queen in 3-D ! Off stage, on stage - on tour, off tour - in the studio, in the snow, in the sunshine, in the rain - in the pink and in the blue.

But always in depth ! Stereoscopic memories, and my own personal recollections that go with them.

This should reach a bookstore near you around the end of May. It will have an OWL viewer included of course … in a special secret exclusive new colour !

The gnomes are on it !

Cheers all

Bri

See also LSC


Queen in 3-D rotating slipcase and sound - https://youtu.be/c-wBLRpCpyo

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**Tue 17 Jan 17**
QUEEN IN 3-D [GETTING CLOSE !]
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That 3-D book !

At last !

We’re getting close !

Just tying up the loose ends of QUEEN in 3-D today.

3 years in the making !!!

Packed with images nobody’s ever seen before !

In splendid 3-D !

With complimentary OWL !

Cheers !

Bri


Queen in 3-D rotating trailer - https://youtu.be/qiVSjSCimQs

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**Sun 15 Jan 17**
SEVEN MINUTE WORKOUT UPDATE

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Alert for old Rock Stars and retired Superheroes ! (including anyone who was ‘sporty' in their youth ! )

If you have dodgy knees DO NOT DO THIS !

Hi Folks

In my New Year message I spoke about the 7 Minute Workout app, which I have found very helpful.

And I mentioned that if you have knee problems you should seek advice. Well, this is exactly what I’ve just done, in detail today [Sat 14 Jan], and I wanted to share what I learned with you all … especially if you are prone to any kind of knee problems that result from wear and tear. This is fairly serious stuff – you only get one set of knees in your life.

I consulted with my wonderful knee surgeon Professor Fares Haddad – who operated to give me a replacement knee a couple of years ago (very successful)

His advice was clear. The following exercises in the 7-Minute workout are NOT advised for anyone with knee problems.

 

Number 1 – Jumping Jacks …. NOT advised.

Number 5 – Chair Step-ups …. NOT advised.

Number 6 – Squats …. OK, but do not bend further than a 90 degree angle (a right angle) of the knees.

Number 9 – High knees running in place … NOT advised.

Number 10 – Lunges …. NOT advised

(Numbers 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 11 and 12 are all OK)

 

So of the 12 exercises, 4 of them should not be part of your regime if you have knee problems, and number 6 should be performed with careful attention to how much you bend the knees. Now, to my mind, this does not mean we have to quit the program of 7 Minute Workout exercises (although I did stop for a couple of weeks pending getting this detailed advice, because I started to feel some pain). My plan is substitute different exercises for the ones which are harmful to my knees.

I’m considering talking to the people behind the workout to see if they are interested in offering a different set of exercises for ancient athletic people like us !

But meanwhile, I’m going to experiment. Prof Haddad says that, for the knees, exercise biking is infinitely preferable to running. So instead of the Jumping Jacks, and High Knees running in place, I’m going to do biking - they’re both cardiovascular in intent. For Chair Step-Ups I’m going to do the kind of bicycling you can do lying on your back and elevating the whole body to vertical above the shoulders. I don’t know what you call that. But it’s non-impactful on the knees. I call it Air Bicycling. For Squats I’m going to be careful And for Lunges I’m going to do stretches to straighten the knees and an ‘arching' exercise to strengthen the glutes. I’ll let you know how I get on.

 

So my substitute Senior Rock Star 7 Minute Workout in plan looks like this:

 

1 – (instead of Jumping Jacks) Exercise Bike

2 – Wall Sit

3 – Push-ups

4 – Abdominal Crunch

5 – (instead of Chair Step-ups) Air Bicycle

6 – Squats …. only to 90 degree angle

7 – Chair Triceps Dips

8 – Plank

9 – (instead of High Knees Running) Exercise Bike

10 – (instead of Lunges) Stretches and Arching

11 – Push-ups with rotation

12 – Side Planks

 

Cheers all – and please let me hear your comments.

Bri

7-minute_workout image

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**Fri 13 Jan 17**
RIP LORD SNOWDON
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Sad to hear of the passing of Lord Snowdon. I can’t say I was his friend, though perhaps I would like to have been. We did spend a couple of days together as Queen (the rock group) and portrait photographer, and it was very memorable. I knew of Lord Snowdon from when I was quite small. As Anthony Armstrong Jones he had married the very glamorous Princess Margaret, in Westminster Abbey, in top level splendour, televised in colour (!) and celebrated throughout the land. Somehow it caught my imagination, gave me a thrill, to the point where I pasted a picture of the handsome couple in my personal photo album. It was a fairy-tale. Shy handsome commoner weds beautiful royal princess. Much later I realised that Tony Armstrong Jones, now Lord Snowdon, was a dedicated artist, a gentleman photographer in true Victorian style, and that his world had stayed quite separate from the Royal Family he had married into. I believe he had a Victorian sensibility in more than one way. A Gentleman, certainly, and a man of independent means, he did not need to take photographs to earn a living. It was his art. And in the details of his practice, too, he adhered to early traditions of photography. He believed that the essence of a sitter for a portrait was to be revealed only in natural light.

Well, this is what he told us, when the four of us found ourselves at his house, our mission being to find the elusive ‘Group Shot’ - a four-fold portrait of a Rock Band, for the cover of an album. Now this was around 1981, about 35 years ago. So the portrait of this session in my mind is a little faded. But Snowdon was a delightful, thoughtful, modest and gentle man, given to pausing to ponder, in his walking around the room, with a slight limp, a relic from a childhood illness, as he looked at us, planning his shoot.

I’m sure Roger has better recollections than I, but I seem to remember us sitting around a little awkwardly, sipping coffee, discussing what we were trying to achieve. I don’t believe we had any preconceptions at all … the four of us hadn’t had the chance to confer beforehand, and I think on this occasion we didn’t have a plan. We assumed that this accomplished photographer would bring a fresh approach. We’d done a lot of this kind of session, of course, over the years, notably with George Hurrell, iconic Hollywood portraitist, and Mick Rock, who had pulled off a very memorable diamond format four-shot on a black background, which not only graced the cover of our early album Queen II, but, brought to life, became the shot that everyone remembers from the Bohemian Rhapsody video some years later.

Snowdon told us that he didn’t want an overriding theme - he didn’t think we need to ‘try so hard’. He said he wanted us naturally filling the space, and he was absolutely insistent that the lighting would be natural too … only the daylight which pervaded his studio, again, Victorian style - more or less a glass-house. He would not use any artificial light. Now I may be wrong about this, but I seem to remember we talked so much and drank so much coffee, that time passed and the light started to fade. Anthony took some test shots on his large-format camera (no 35mm for him) and wasn’t happy. So he said something like … "I know what to do now, but we missed our slot. I’m not going to use studio lights - I want the quality of daylight in this shot. Can you come back tomorrow?” Strangely enough we could. And then it was all very quick. He took a few solo shots of us singly (I wonder where they are ?) And then went for the cover shot of the four of us. I think he only took a couple of dozen shots, very much like we’d seen Hurrell do. He knew exactly what he wanted, and he knew when it was in the bag - even though he couldn't verify that on the spot. The developing of the negative had to be done, and prints made, before anyone could see the result.

So we said our goodbyes and left - and … that was it. The picture we wanted arrived a couple of days later, and it was perfect for what we needed - nicely balanced in composition, with all of us looking quite decent; understated, a little formal, yet not stiff, and beautifully lit by Nature herself, with a little help from Lord Snowdon.

The album ? It was to become the biggest selling British album in History - Queen’s Greatest Hits.

 

Greatest Hits - original

 

We decided to mount the picture in an unusual way. Inspired by the first Superman Film, we skewed the photograph as if it were mounted flat on a piece of glass spinning through space. So our faces are distorted by perspective. Years later, for the re-issue for Universal Records, we decided to ‘undo’ that distortion, and on this cover you see Snowdon’s picture exactly as it was taken. Pure ! I like that version best. As Snowdon himself might have said … it wasn’t trying too hard.

Greatest Hits - reissue

 

You won’t find this stuff on Wikipedia, of course. In the anarchy of the Internet based information, anybody can contribute stuff as long as they are citing someone who said it previously ! So the entry as I just looked at it is a ripe mixture of fact and inaccuracies - they don’t even mention who took the cover photograph. Who will write history ? Well, certainly not me … with my memory weaving its own spells at this distance. But History was certainly made in those fleeting moments when we were privileged to enjoy the company of that fine gentleman, Snowdon.

RIP

Bri



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**Fri 06 Jan 17**
VENUS - THE EVENING STAR
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Venus - mono

Venus - the Evening Star - two nights ago, 4th January 2017.

The Brave Stars will see you through.

Venue - stereo

If you wanna know why this sequential 3-D pic makes Venus seem to float in mid-air ... well, have a think, and I'll explain in a day or two. Otherwise, well, enjoy!

If anyone wants a copy of my Instagram stereo template, you're very welcome. Drop me a line at Brianmay.com [brianmay.com@clara.co.uk]

I just used my iPhone 7 plus for this - it's quite good on low light levels. But, sadly, it's hopelessly unsuitable for most astro photography because there is NO manual control of exposure, focus, or aperture. In this respect, iPhones are vastly inferior to their big rival, Samsung. Shame.

Cheers

Bri

Venus - stereo

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***Wed 04 Jan 17**
HOW ABOUT A LITTLE RHAPSODY ?
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Hi folks !

How about a little Rhapsody ? New BMG RHAPSODIES Heading out !

Rhapsodies ready


Signing and dispatching ! These are 'Rhapsodies' our new acoustic sister of the Red Special.

I played one on the last Queen and Adam tour - for Crazy Little Thing.

Hope your year is good so far !

Bri

Bri and Rhapsodies - stereo

Bri and Rhapsodies - mono

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**Tue 03 Jan 17**
PLEASE HELP
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Please help these great people save Italy's silent victims.

http://www.animalisti.it/press-room/comunicati-stampa/amatrice-animalisti-italiani-onlus-e-polizia-al-lavoro-per-sollevare-la-tenda-danneggiata-in-arrivo-un-container-al-presidio-fisso.html

Bri

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**Sun 01 Jan 17**
HAPPY NEW YEAR - AND - LAST DAY TO VOTE
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Happy New Year folks !!!

May it bring you all new horizons.

Bri

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I think this is the last day to vote ! http://bit.ly/2i5VsH3

Bri

Bohemian Rhapsody Experience

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