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Friday Slide Show: The Wisdom of Fortune Cookies Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

28 September 2018

There are, we've been told, about three million fortune cookies baked each year. And while (almost) each of them will contain a printed fortune, there are not three million unique fortunes.

So every time we order broccoli beef, we keep hoping we'll get one of those uplifting ones that always seem to be distributed to the other side of the dining table.

Instead, we get the most ridiculous fortunes ever to slip out of a cookie. Here's just one example:

Eat something you never tried before.

Which, we can see, improves the fortunes of the restaurant from which we ordered the broccoli beef. But we don't see how that does anything for us.

This run of bad luck comes, of course, at the worst time.

Take this morning, for example, as we set up to shoot a few more encouraging words.

We should probably write our own fortunes.

We locked the Nikon D300 into our Velbon MAXi tripod with a Lensbaby Composer Pro set at f5.6 with a +4 macro attachment on it. We found a blue microfiber cloth to serve as a cool background. And we personally curated a selection of uplifting fortunes other people had discovered in their cookies.

But we left the camera on Aperture Priority and as we shot the collection, piling one fortune on top of another, our shutter speed changed from 1/30 to 1/60 second, darkening the background.

No, no, no. We should have been shooting in Manual mode so each shot was uniform. Why? Because as the white fortunes expand their real estate in the middle of the screen, the scene brightens. That persuades the camera to fire the shutter faster when you really want to keep the exposure of the background constant.

But disaster is our fate with fortune cookies.

We should probably write our own fortunes. We have a few extra words laying around here. Let's see, what would it say?

As a rule, disregard previous fortune.

That's one we could chew on a while.

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