A Lighthearted Demonstration - RPLOG
A soft murr leaves Flora's muzzle, the feline moving along the streets, guiding Sveta towards her loft-apartment rather excitedly, grinning like a madwoman. Not that that's anything unusual for the... Excentric feline.
Sveta follows the excited Flora through the streets, the goshawk's wings held close to her body as they push through the mid-morning crowd in Saint's Square. Flora's demeanour is quite infectious - at least, to her, but she keeps her face straight as she follows Flora onwards and...well, through. "I'm a bit surprised you asked me to come over," she says. "I take it this is related to your...um, latest project?"
A grin on Flora's snout, a few quick nods, and the feline points at the projection on the wall, noting the few papers hung up to capture the light. "Flora is making three pictures each day. For testing, yes. Flora is working hard on stabilizing the image, too!" she murrs with a big smirk, before gesturing at the chemical baths. "And Flora had friend Selena make her some lenses to test! Flora is jotting things down and making observations. Flora thinks... Maybe by the end of the week, if Flora is lucky and not distracted. Maybe, yes," she mumbles. "Though Flora still needs to find a cheaper method. The process Flora uses is expensive and complicated."
Sveta looks back and forth, from the papers hung up to dry, then to the image, and finally to the chemical baths. She looks adequately impressed for several moments, then her expression grows comtemplative, especially at the mention of Selena's name. "I think I'm beginning to understand what's going on here," she says. "Correct me if I'm wrong...the lenses capture light and bring it to the paper, much as a telescope does. The light changes the chemicals, causes them to darken. And after the excess is washed away, you get a picture. No doubt I'm immensely simplifying your process, that is the gist, isn't it?"
Flora nods a moment, before pointing at the sheet of of leather. "No lenses... Yet. Flora wants to understand them before she uses them, yes yes," she mumbles softly, silently looking over the room a moment and grinning lightly. "Flora's making good progress, yes... Flora thinks the last time, developing went wrong because there were impurities. Or maybe there was too much light, but Flora tried to shield everything, yes."
"Well, it looks like you're making good progress. Mind if I have a seat?" Sveta looks over at Flora a moment expectantly. "Well, what do you hope to do with your invention when you're finally done with it? That's the main problem that's looming - have you talked to Fenris about it? I don't think artists will be going out of work or fashion because of your invention, but I can imagine some folk being glad they won't have to come for multiple sittings just to have their likeness captured on canvas."
"Flora... Isn't sure yet. Have a seat, yes. Flora doesn't have a lot of places to sit. No touching anything without asking, though. No taking anything," she mumbles, looking out over the room again, tail twitching lightly. "Flora... Flora met this riddlefox yesterday... Flora made a riddle for him, yes. Will ask him and get a picture out of it, yes."
Sveta flaps a bit and finds a suitable place to sit amidst the slightly cluttered confines of Flora's place. "I see. Most of your things look fairly fragile - unlike Angus, I'm not in the habit of touching things just because they're unfamiliar. We're not the Academy in that regard, but most apprentices who go around poking and prodding usually end up with burns, or worse." She coughs. "Anyway, I did hear what happened in the city yesterday - it was impossible not to, to be honest. Although...you have a riddle for him? I suppose..." she looks back and forth between Flora and her setup. "How do you intend to get him to stay still for long enough for a picture to be taken? I believe you told me it takes a while, and he's not the kind to stand still as far as I know. Unless the riddle has something to do with it?"
"Flora will ask it as a prize for giving him a riddle he can't solve, yes. Flora has the best question to ask," she mumbles with a large grin on her snout, her tail twitching lightly as she moves over the optical setup she's jury-rigged together. "Flora is using this to figure the lenses out... Flora thinks... Maybe Flora should use a mirror so Flora can see what she's taking a picture off, then move it away to take the picture... Doesn't have to be fast... Picture takes hours right now... Flora hopes to make that less with the lenses, yes."
"By concentrating the light such that the silver salts react faster. I see. And being able to see what you're going to take a picture of beforeahnd...does that mean all the pictures you have were taken without -" her words pause a moment. She was definitely going to have to talk to Fenris about this. Unless properly presented, it was likely a whole line of me-toos would descend upon this marvellous invention and snap it up. "It seems all so simple after you've explained it, and yet it's surprising how no one has thought of it - until now, that is. But so is a magician's trick."
Flora nods a tad, tail twitching lightly as she looks up at Sveta. "All previous pictures were taken on the wall, yes. Flora could see the image. But if Flora's going to take images of faster things, Flora needs to look via the... Via the box. Flora has a box to show. Does the same as the window. With a mirror. For drawing," she murrs, pulling up a simple camera obscura and offering it to Sveta. "Won't work well here. Works better in the light, but if Flora makes the mirror mobile..."
Sveta gingerly takes the box in hand, full aware of the value of what she's holding. "If it's light you need, I think any apprentice mage would find it easy to conjure one up. First things first, though...how do I use this thing? I'll admit, I'm hesitant to go about fiddling with it lest I break something. Could you guide me?"
Flora nods again, ears flicking. "Light goes in the hole at the front. Point it at the thing to see. The light moves to the mirror, moves to the glass. Can put paper over the glass to draw on... Or a paper with lightpaint-coating, yes."
Sveta turns the box over in her hands and clicks her beak. "I see. So we just put appropriate paper over the glass, point the box at whatever it is, and open the hole?" She looks about her, both at the chemical baths and at the pictures on the walls. "I take it we should go somewhere else for this? Enough light to make a good picture would probably ruin whatever you have going on here."
"Pictures take three hours with the room... Longer with the box, yes. Smaller hole, shorter distance to the screen, less light can go through the hole ,takes longer," she explains softly, silently looking at the images for a moment. "Flora needs to test more to make it faster. It's just impractical now, yes. But Flora can show the process, if friend Sveta wants. Can show how it works without actually doing it, yes."
"I would be glad to see how it works," Sveta replies with a tilt of her head. "A practical demonstration is oftentimes much better than trying to explain with words. Three hours is quite some time, but it still isn't longer than waiting for someone to finish working with paint and canvas. And if you can make it faster...why, everyone could be an artist without having to resort to a soul gem. Even common folk!"
Flora grins broadly and sways her tail from side to side, her ears twitching a tad again. "Flora needs a good spot, yes... A hill. Lots of light. A landmark. Something to take a picture of, yes. And the cloth! Flora will need the cloth, she mumbles, pointing at a large cloth, before taking it down. "Does Sveta know a good thing to take a picture of?" the cat asks, already gathering up some pieces of paper. "Flora thinks we need some food too... Has enough paper for... Six pictures. Will take three boxes, yes. Could be done in five or six hours, yes.
Sveta thinks a moment, holding out her hands to lend aid in any task Flora might need. "Well, it's noon out there, so there's as much light as there's going to be today. If we're talking about hills, I don't think we're going to be leaving Firmament, and the lay of the land is rather flat. That leaves the tallest points in the city - we won't be getting into Castle Good, the Academy would prompt inconvenient questions, but the lighthouse is open to the public and we probably won't go about drawing attention so long as we keep away from the lantern room. How does that sound to you? Would that work for your invention - a picture of the city from above, or perhaps going out to sea?"
"Flora... Flora thinks that could work. Three images, one part of the city for two, the sea for the other, yes," she rumbles with a grin, a flick of her tail. "Flora suggests friend Sveta carries those two," she mumbles, pulling up another two sheeths of cloth, a set of straps, and a few clamps. "Flora needs someting to secure the boxes."
Sveta allows herself a small smile and accepts the burden, making to follow after Flora. "I'll admit, I've always been partial to high places - maybe it's in my blood. So, I won't deny that the choice of location has been impartial. But I'm glad you like it, too."
A rumble, a flick of Flora's tail, and she's wanders into the lighthouse, tail swaying behind her. She's offloaded two of her three camera-obscuras to Fenris after he decided to stick around, the femme simply carrying her photographic paper within the protective cloth she's taken with her.
Fenris staggers into the lighthouse behind Flora, carrying three large wooden boxes. "Where do you want these, Flora?" he asks, peering around the stack.
Sveta quickly follows after Flora towards the maritime district and the lighthouse, beginning to loom in an appropriately magnificent fashion on the headland it's situated on. Several stories tall, the lighthouse is the tallest point in Firmament - as per its purpose, of course. Sveta herself doesn't seem weighted down too badly by the stuff she'd been given back in Flora's apartment, and steps in after both Fenris and Flora.
Another smile, another murr. "Put one here. Hold it so Flora can strap it in, yes," she mumbles, pointing at a spot on the railing, before pointing at two others. "One there, and one there, yes," she adds, grabbing the clamps, metal bars and rope she took along with her to secure the cameras in place properly.
Following Flora's instructions, Fenris carefully places the boxes and helps to secure them. "What exactly are we trying to do here?" the tiger asks, looking over the unusual setup, "You didn't say." Whatever is going on, it is certainly interesting.
Sveta tilts her head at Fenris. "We're going to use Flora's invention to take a couple of pictures of the cityscape, and the ocean. She needed a hill or high place where plenty of the noonday sun would come, but there aren't any such hills in Firmament itself. The lighthouse was a close second...and besides, don't you think such pictures would be the best way to display what Flora's invention is capable of? A whole cityscape in a few hours?"
"Making pictures, yes," the cat murrs with a grin, tail twitching behind her. "Fenris does have food, yes? Flora and Fenris and Friend Sveta will be here for a few hours, yes yes," she adds with a nod, carefully adjusting the boxes to get a near-perfect view of the city and ocean, before strapping them in tightly. "Flora will need to make a thing for them to stand on, too. Makes it easier than holding them for... However short Flora can make it, yes."
Fenris dusts himself off after securing the last box and looks out over the proposed views. It was certainly a good day for this. "I think it is a wonderful idea!" the tiger says. He unslings his guitar from his back and starts to play quietly. "I can certainly entertain myself for a few hours, Flora," he smiles, "And I will not get in the way."
"But the food?" Sveta sayd, perhaps a little teasingly, perhaps not. It's hard to tell. "Flora practically dragged me out of bed, so I didn't have much time to eat. And as for a stand for these things...hmm. You'd want them to be as lightweight as possible while having as big a base as possible to prevent them from toppling over. Maybe a tripod?"
Flora nods softly, tail swaying behind her. "Flora was thinking the same, yes," she mumbles, inspecting each camera and making sure the image through them is clear, before taking a cloth to each of them, tying it down over the top. "Flora has placed the paper, yes. Now we wait, yes yes," she mumbles, pulling her sketch- and note-book, flipping through the pages and finding a half-free one to make some design-sketches.
Fenris laughs at Sveta's concern over food. "Check my bag," he says with a grin, "I picked up a few hot pasties on my way through the market this morning." He picks at his guitar softly, plucking out a fast, light melody while enjoying the breeze off the ocean. "A tripod?" he asks, "Like an artist's easel, right? That would work. It is easy to carry and pretty stable."
Sveta nods and picks through Fenris' pack. She looks a little less at ease than either feline is - maybe it's just in her nature to be fidgety, or just that she's unused to waiting. "Hopefully these will turn out well," she muses after some contemplation.
"Flora saw the image they will make, yes. Will be sharp enough, yes... But Flora still needs to test the developing-process again," she adds with a soft rumble, a smirk on her snout as she looks out over the city. "And Flora has a riddle for mister riddle-fox, yes," she adds with that same smirk.
Fenris perks his ears? "Riddle fox?" he asks, "What riddle fox?" The tiger had spent most of his time over the past few days helping Asher decorate his new shop, and was not up on the most recent news of the odd.
Sveta shrugs. "Mostly to do with a strange spirit who showed up offering riddles to everyone in town for amounts of money and treasure. Something which we should all be familiar with by now." She settles into her seat and folds her arms. "For some reason, Flroa believes she can beat him at his own game."
"Flora knows she can beat mister riddlefox, yes," she murrs with a grin, tail twitching lightly behind her. "And Flora has a good reason... But Flora will show that later, yes! First, Flora needs to make this all work," she rumbles, tail twitching lightly behind her. "Flora had... An idea. Light makes the thing react... Flora will try to wash off that part... Means Flora would have an image in reverse, yes. It will make shadows where the light was, if Flora shines light at it, yes... Does that make sense?" she mumbles, flipping through her pages.
Fenris shrugs, still playing quietly. "Why would you want a reversed image?" he asks, "It would look awfully strange." He nods toward his pack and the paper wrapped pasties. "The ones marked with green are spinache," he says, "I highly recommend them."
"I'm not entirely sure, either. I take it that at some point, she flips them the right way up. It's got to do with the way the light moves, I think. And spinach? Well...I'll pass. Something else, maybe?"
"Well, If Flora can do it once... Flora can do it twice, yes! Flora was thinking... Use the expensive thing first... Flora's been looking at alchemy. This is the fastest one, yes. The whiter it becomes, the slower it reacts," she rumbles, before looking at the boxes again. "Make this part fast, then use slower ones to make as many copies as needed!"
Fenris grins as understanding dawns. "Like an etching!" he says, "You make a plate, then use the plate to make lots of pictures!" He stops his melody for a moment, frowns at his fingering, then starts into something a little different. "And Sveta," he says, "The ones marked in red are pork and apple, it's my favorite!"
Sveta nods and does her best to settle in some more. "That makes sense, Fenris. This...this is going to be significant, you know? I mean, I've said it before, but it bears repeating. Pork and apple..." she mulls a moment, social obligations and propriety warring with each other in the recesses of her mind, then she gives up and reaches out for one.
Another rumble, another flick of Flora's tail, and the feline looks out over the city exictedly. "Like... Like an etching, yes. But with light, yes yes," the cat explains, grinning broadly and making sure the boxes stay firmly in place, before going back to her scribbles, sketches, and designs. "Flora is thinking of how to make things better, yes. Faster. Easier..."
Fenris smiles at Flora's enthusiasm. He has never seen the other tiger so animated about any other project. Even her golem had not left her as giddy as this. "Was Selena able to help you with the chemicals?" he asks, "I'm afraid I dozed off while you two were discussing alchemy." The tiger sets his guitar aside for a moment and snags a still warm pastie from his bag.
"Like an etching, but with light," Sveta says, pressing her beak against the pastry and finally deigning to give it an experimental nibble. "Even if you'd asked me to do something like that, I's probably have ended up...I don't know, etching a picture into a cover and shining light through, or something. The way Flora's done things certainly is very innovative, although she should be the one answering questions about her work. By the by, where did you learn to play that instrument, Fenris?"
Flora giggles lightly as she looks back at Sveta, before turning to Fenris. "The book... Didn't say a lot. But it told Flora there's more than one type of salt that behaves this way... Cheaper ones, too... Flora just needs to figure out how to make them, yes yes."
Fenris smiles warmly and runs a hand lovingly across his old guitar. "I grew up with it," he says, "I was raised in a traveling performing troupe." He takes a healthy bite of his breakfast and enjoys the mixture of flavors. After swallowing, he continues. "Learned a bit of everything there," he reminisces, "Seven instruments, singing, acrobatics, dance, martial arts. . . other things." The tiger shrugs and nibbles at his pastie, "Plus a lifetime of practice, of course," he says around a mouthful of meat and pastry.
"Surely sounds like an interesting way to grow up. Not that there's anything wrong with dull, anyway." Sveta reclines as she waits for the photos to finish their exposure time. "By the by, Flora, have you come up with a name for your invention? A word that when people hear it, they'll remember and say later, 'oh, it's that new thing, that which paints portraits in mere hours?' Something like that?"
"Flora... Flora only came up with lightpainting, no," the cat mumbles momentarily, tail twitching behind her and flicking the appendage just lightly. "Flora... Flora is aware she needs a better name, yes," she mumbles, ears folded back lightly."
Fenris finishes off his breakfast, licking the last bits of juice from his fingers. "Lightpainting sounds pretty exciting to me," he says, "Though you could fancy it up and use some academy speak." The tiger picks up his guitar again and strums softly as he ponders. "Something like, Imago Lux," he offers, "Just Light pictures in old academy talk. Sounds exciting!"
"well, it depends on who Flora wants to be using her work. I suppose something esoteric and noble sounding might work if she wishes it to be restricted to those with certain knowledge and refinement...well, considering that it's probably at the stage where most common beings wouldn't have the know-how, anyway...I don't know," Sveta finishes lamely. "We're just two folk, there's no telling what other people are going to think of it."
Flora ponders a tad, looking between the two for a moment, shaking her head a little. "Flora... Flora doesn't think that sounds right," she mumbles momentarily, before looking out ver the city again. "Flora isn't sure yet. Lightpainting... Describes it, but... Not the rigth word, no."
Fenris shrugs and starts to pick out a new tune, this one fast and dancing. "Make sure that you appeal to the nobility, though," he warns, "They are the ones who can afford it, first, and second, they are the ones who set the trends." He smiles brightly, "What the nobility wants now is what the commoners want later, after all."
Sveta nods. "That makes sense. Well, there's still time for you to think one up - just don't drag it out for too long, would be my advice. By the by, how are the pictures doing?"
"They need about thirty minutes, yes," Flora mumbles as she looks in the direction of the clocktower. "Then Flora puts in the other paper for a second picture, yes yes." she adds with a bright smile, ducking her head under the cloth a moment. "Images look good, yes."
"I'm excited to see how this turns out!" he says with a grin. "Have you found a way to fix them yet, Flora?" he asks.
"I...assisted Flora somewhat with the effort, if you remember. There were some problems, but there's a way to wash out all the silver salts while leaving the silver stains behind. In any case, it's probably best to think ahead to how this will be unveiled - first impressions, best foot forward and all that."
Flora grins, tail twitching. "Flora already knows. But for now, Flora can't tell, no. Flora has a plan, though," she murrs with a grin, her tail twitching and her ears flicking. "Flora will work it all out... Mostly, Flora will need to make the picture take minutes, instead of hours, yes."
Fenris raises an eyebrow. "I was going to recommend a portrait of one of the promenant figures here in Firmament," he says, "But it sounds like you're a step ahead already, Flora." What could she have in mind? "I imagine that most nobles would be willing to sit still for the time it takes to etch your picture though, why so much faster?" he asks.
"My guess? It's part of the craftsman's ethos, as we call it. If it can be improved, why not? And shortening the duration would make it much more applicable to more situations - not to mention, who wants to sit still for hours on end if they can avoid it? Well, if Flora has a plan, I don't see any problem with it. Just, Fenris...keep an eye on her while she goes through with it, but I'm sure you're already planning on that."
"Flora has a good plan, yes. Flora will make it work. Needs a short time to take the image, though. The thing Flora wants on image doesn't stand still very long, no," she murrs with a grin, moving to each of the cameras to replace the imaging-paper and put the old ones in a dark box. "One more time for the second set, yes."
She mumbles for a moment, before looking to the boxes again. "And friend Sveta is right. Flora's process is complicated and time-consuming. Flora wants to make it easier and faster. Better."
Fenris can only wonder what Flora has up her sleeve this time. Oh well, he will find out soon enough. The tiger smiles and nods to Sveta, still strumming quietly at his guitar, "I will certainly do my best," he says. He watches with interest as Flora changes the paper in the boxes. "May I see the finished ones, Flora?" he asks, "Or is it too bright in here?"
Sveta sighs and leans back. Relaxing is just...hard, especially now. "I'll be counting on you, then." She, too, is waiting for the pictures to be finally done.
"Too light here, yes. A bad idea to look at it, yes yes. Would damage the image," she mumbles softly, looking at the box. "Flora will show after she tries to fix them, yes yes," she rumbles with a grin, before looking out over the city again.
Fenris shrugs and gives a little half smile. "What is a little more waiting?" he asks, leaving off his complex picking and starting to strum a few simple chord progressions and closing his eyes. Nothing to do now but wait.
Sveta nods. "I suppose we'll just have to wait and see what this plan of our good friend's is. Although I get the feeling that we won't have to wait for long..."
"Flora needs... Maybe until the end of the week, yes. Will get the lenses working to make it faster, will make a mechanism for the light, yes... Has a good idea," she mumbles, tail twitching behind her as she continues scribbling at a design for... Well, it seems to be a new lightpicture-box.