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Russian Roulette Sunday: The Images

Posted on January 30, 2011 in Russian Roulette Sunday | 0 comments

Hello!  Happy Sunday! (or Friday, if you’re one of the 7 Reasons team editing this post before scheduling it for Sunday)

Images are very important to us here at 7 Reasons and we always try to put them together in-house because, though what we post usually isn’t about an image, there’s always at least one picture attached to what we’ve  written.  We wanted to communicate the significance that we place on arresting and original visuals to you, so we decided that today we would chose three each of our favourite images from previous posts (plus one we’d used from Google Images by way of contrast) and hold an earnest and thoughtful contemplation of the importance of imagery in our posts and the technical and aesthetic merits of the selected illustrations as pieces of artwork.  Obviously we failed, so here’s Marc Fearns and Jonathan Lee bickering about pictures instead.

Hitler’s Hand

Originally used in 7 Reasons That Size is Important.

MF.  This is probably my favourite of the images I’ve put together for 7 Reasons.  It’s not technically brilliant (in fact, it’s quite flawed), but boring stuff aside, it ticks all of my boxes: It’s black and white; It has Hitler in it; it has some sort of Photoshop-induced oddity (the big hand), and it has a random, bizarre element to it (the triangle apparently embedded in Himmler’s head).  If it weren’t for Jon’s civilising influence, 7 Reasons would probably look a lot more like World War II than it does already.

JL. I have a serious problem with this image. It seems to suggest the Nazis were very handy. The Nazis were not very handy. They weren’t even quite handy. The Nazis were rather irritating and quite frankly caused more harm than good. I also have a problem with Himmler. Unlike Marc I am not struck by the triangle in his head, but his the binoculars. Why did Himmler need binoculars? Was he a part time ornithologist? Was he a pervert? Why are they pointing at his trousers? This picture provides more questions than answers. And that I find rather frustrating.

7 Reasons Playing With A Cuddly Toy 2010 Was Not A Let Down
Lamb & Jon Photoshoot

Originally used in 7 Reasons Playing With A Cuddly Toy 2010 Was Not A Let Down.

JL. I like this picture because I look like an idiot. And in this life there just aren’t enough people prepared to be idiots. Sure, there are idiotic people, but that’s by accident. It takes a very special kind of person to deliberately make themselves look like an idiot and I am very proud to say I am very special. It also reminds me of that great day last September with Lamb. Oh, what fun was had. Rock on.

MF.  I’m less keen on this picture than Jon.  While it does feature a pair of Aviators, which is always a good thing, it’s lacking something quite fundamental.  Hitler.  Or the war generally.  Also, outside of the framing, there barely a straight line in it.  And what’s with the archway?  What sort of oddball has an archway in their house?  And he’s wearing a hat indoors which, as any grandparent would be very keen to point out, is a #manfail.  The only thing that makes this image good is the albino monkey.

The Anglo-French Flag

Originally used in 7 Reasons The Anglo-Franco Defence Agreement is a Good Idea

MF.  This Anglo-French flag is something that I’m rather proud of. I constructed it from a picture of a British flag, a picture of a French flag and a picture of a silk sheet (which is how I got the creased fluttering effect). It wasn’t even in the post itself, it was the featured image, which means that it appears next to the post on menus as a thumbnail and it was in the Latest Posts window at the top of our home page for five days. You might wonder why I’d go to such an effort to create an image that would be barely seen but, to me anyway, that sort of detail is important, and I like to think that 7 Reasons is all the better for having high standards. That the image of the intertwined British and French flags brought Jon to near-apoplexy is purely coincidence.

JL. As Marc indicates, this picture absolutely disgusts me. I don’t mind the United Kingdom and France joining forces if we are beating up some bad guys, but to merge the Union Jack with the Drapeau Tricolore is nothing less than treason. I have had to ask myself many searching questions since Marc posted this. Should I turn him in? Can I continue to work with him? How the hell did he get that creased fluttering effect? In the end I have allowed Marc to remain living his life in York. The prospect of writing 7 Reasons on a daily basis was just too much to deal with. Rest-assured though, he’s had a warning. A severe one. And, as he’s posted it again, I shall be poking him on facebook too.

7 Reasons You Should Never Get Cary Grant & Carrie Grant Mixed Up
Beauty & The Beast

Originally used in 7 Reasons You Should Never Get Cary Grant & Carrie Grant Mixed Up.

JL. Let me clarify one thing, I don’t have a ‘Cary Grant dressed as a woman’ fantasy. I think it’s important to remind you of this now as I can see why you may be thinking such a thing. It’s a disturbing sight. I don’t think there is any getting away from that. So why do I love it? Well that comes down to the photoshopping. Do you know how difficult it is finding a picture of Cary Grant and a picture of Carrie Grant that will go together seemlessly? No, of course you don’t. The consequences of your actions rarely lead you to such an investigation. The consequences of starting 7 Reasons very much do. So, yes, I was delighted that I found two pictures that would work together. It’s not perfect. If I had my time again I would do a bit of work on their skin tones, but for the purpose of the post it did the job. And in 7 Reasons circles that means victory.

MF. For once, I agree with absolutely everything that Jon said about this image.  In his third sentence.  I do, however, have some observations of my own.  Firstly, bloody Twilight: When you’re a vampire and you’re not even the scariest person in the background of a picture, you’re doing it wrong and you should just bloody stop.  Secondly, there’s a terrifying bald man wearing an ill-fitting white suit and eyeliner with someone’s severed arm tucked under his own arm.  I haven’t slept properly since I saw this.  Thirdly, I find Jon’s Cary/Carrie Grant hybrid creature more attractive than the actual Carrie Grant.  Or Cary Grant.  This is troubling.  And Jon never responds to my emails begging him to photoshop more of them.

Lungs, Heart, Asparagus.

Originally used in 7 Reasons That We Should Grow Vegetables in our Lungs.

MF. I put this one together to complement the title of the piece. It’s an original x-ray with the heart and lungs highlighted which I found online and added asparagus to. I’ve chosen this image not just because I’m pleased with the way it turned out, though I am rather. I’ve chosen it because of the almost boundless amusement it gives me every time someone discovers it searching Google Images for x-rays of lungs. I just like knowing that at any given moment someone, somewhere in the world is looking at it thinking, “Blimey! (or perhaps a colloquial equivalent) That looks nasty. I’m going to treat asparagus with more respect now”. I feel certain that one day, this picture will turn up in a medical journal, or on a GP’s surgery wall.

JL. Who eats asparagus whole? Is that even possible? This is just one of the 7 Reasons images that has inspired readers all over the road. A bit like that man in Norwich who – having been so inspired by a post last June – tried to break the world record for number of Jaffa Cakes eaten in one minute and was subsequently sick all over the biscuit aisle. Now, I am not for a minute encouraging you to see how much whole asparagus you can eat at once – that would be highly irresponsible of us – but if you manage more than five I would love to know.

7 Reasons To Kiss Properly
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Originally used in 7 Reasons You Should Always Kiss Properly.

JL. I know what you are thinking, ‘Typical Jon. Two of his three image choices feature him.” Yep, I can’t argue with maths. But let’s look at this photo. At least for as long a you feel comfortable doing so. It is an animated GIF! How bloody exciting! But more than that it is a reminder. A reminder of how far my kissing technique has advanced since last March and – if you’ve been using the above as some kind of guide – how far backwards yours has gone. Lovely stuff.

MF.  “AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!” was my initial reaction to this image when I first saw it eleven months ago.  And now that I am older, wiser and more mature, on reviewing this image I would say that my reaction is now AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!”.  Note that Jon has attempted to baffle us with maths to distract from the inherent narcissism of his selections, but let’s consider it carefully.  This, as Jon points out, is an animated GIF, so it’s not one picture of him, it’s three pictures of him.  This means that four out of Jon’s five image choices are of himself.  That’s 80%.  Anyway, that aside, I like this picture.  On the first occasion I viewed it I remembered that I was supposed to unblock the kitchen sink, and the repeat viewing has caused me to agree with my wife that I spend too long on the internet and I’ve now closed my laptop, sellotaped it shut and placed it under a sofa.  With an anvil on top.

Raw Sausages

Originally used in 7 Reasons That December 24th Should be Known as the Day of the Sausage.

MF.  Aha!  I remember this piece.  Sadly, I also remember this picture.  It makes me feel sick.  It’s not just that the raw former-animal bits are shiny and greasy looking and some of them appear to be inside used condoms, it’s that I don’t even remember which of us added this to the (co-written) piece.  I realise what must have been going through the mind of the person that uploaded it.  “Sausages!  Sausages!  We’ve written a piece about sausages and now I need an image of sausages – any image of sausages – right now, to go with the piece about sausages!” And, in the grip of a deadline-panic, that person will have just grabbed the first image of sausages that they saw and attached it to the post.  Truly horrible.

JL. This is a perfect example of what one calls, ‘shooting oneself in the foot’. Not that I shot myself, Marc shot me. And himself. And our argument. Using this image kind of reminds me of that day I sent my CV out to dozens of prospective employers and realised a week later that it didn’t contain my contact details. That section about my ‘outstanding attention to detail’ lost all credibility after that. Now, I’m not saying that the idea of the Day of the Sausage lost credibility with the inclusion of this image, just that – if such a day ever was created – Marc and I would not be part of the marketing team. And that’s sad.

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