Monday, July 10, 2023

Turtles all the way down


There is an experiment I have been working on for the last few weeks. It has to do with a piece of science fiction tech shown in the original Blade Runner movie. The main character, Deckard, sees something suggestive in a photograph. And in this future dystopia, picture resolution is so great that Deckard can zoom into a tiny detail of the picture. I'm not actually sure what clue he found there, but something about the process fascinated me and stuck with me.

As the resolution of early digital photography kept increasing it seemed like maybe we were going in this strange direction of a world within a photo, a picture one could endlessly zoom in on. But detail like that is exponential, increasing at fantastic rates, and once we reached clear, high quality photography resolutions, we were satisfied. We didn't venture on to make needlessly detailed photos with massive data files.

But one day recently I realized that with the various AI tools I have at my command, I could simulate a photograph like I saw so long ago in that movie.

But how to show it to you?

On my computer I can pull up this image, which is quite a large file, and zoom into it in a way not normal to any photograph. But this blogging platform won't let me upload such a large image, and how would you zoom into it anyway. That would be leaving a lot up to you!

So my solution is to show you increasingly zoomed in images of my picture. In this way we will travel into the detail of this photo of a scene showing a cat, upstairs at my library. My end goal is to show you that cat. Thus, you are looking for the cat!

Here then is the starting point for my picture of turtles on the march... to a cat. The first two pictures were so large I had to take pictures of the picture to show you them. 


Anyway, can you see the cat?

We zoom in a little, maybe keep an eye on the statue to keep your bearings...

Some more...

Sharp eyed viewers may have spotted a cat on the shelves to the right. But no, not that cat. 

As we zoom in remember to keep your eye on the statue down the middle aisle...

Yes, we keep going in. The first cat is clearly visible on the right, and now we start to see something intriguing on the floor past the rabbit...

But that figure on the floor...

Is just a puppy!

But in the crook of the statue's arm...

Ah, there's the cat!

Although it suddenly, to my dismay, looks like the cat, by strange illusion, is looking left and looks almost like an owl or something, but he is actually looking down and to the right. Do you see?

In case you don't see, I'll zoom in...

And here below, finally, is as far as we can go...

If you scroll back up you might get the full effect of the picture even better...


  1. That was an engrossing exercise, thank you. And happy 13th birthday to the RV library.

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you found it engrossing. And I will certainly relay your good wishes to... the space around me.


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