Annabel and I are off to Egypt for our honeymoon. We’re meandering down towards Gatwick (via parents and aunties) for a Saturday morning flight which takes us to Luxor, Egypt. From there we’ll be cruising down the Nile to Aswan & back over 7 days. Then we’re off to Hurghada, by the Red Sea, for an all-inclusive week of lazing around reading books and swimming around the coral reefs.
OK, so we’re a bit late taking the honeymoon — we were married on 19th December 2005 — but it takes in our first anniversary and our first Christmas without visiting one set of parents or another! Hopefully the weather will be good. It’s looking like the temperature will be in the mid-20s and dry, which certainly beats the rain storm outside our house just now!
It’s exceedingly unlikely I’ll have Internet access over the next couple of weeks, so I’ve prepped my laptop with svk and a few projects, just in case I get bored. Of course, I might take a couple of photographs too.
So I shall wish you all a merry Christmas, thanks for all your support this year, and leave you with this: A contemporary Scottish version of The Snowman
I’ve just recently launched another small web site for a local Edinburgh
artist, John V Gardner. This joins the
existing site I created about 6 months ago for Deborah A
Cameron. I wrote the code far too long ago,
and it’s a little bit ropey, but it appears to work (it’s the same application
serving both those domains, using the aforementioned
inspiration, plus some extra jiggery-pokery) and the two artists in question
are happy with it.
Now that I’ve launched the second site, I am having the temptation to revisit the code, robustify it and actually try to market the site a little. The UI needs reworked (it was done bespoke for Debbie and is exactly what she was looking for, though it doesn’t scale particularly well), and the site could do with being a little more flexible, but the idea is good (and simple!) enough.
So go have a browse, buy some paintings (online purchase will be available in the new year sometime, so just email John & Debbie in the meantime!) and support new local talent. Come to think of it, if you buy some of their paintings, maybe they’ll support me, too.
And if you know an artist who’s looking for a simple to use web presence, I’m still looking for beta testers to help shape the product…
I’ve finally gotten around to uploading a set of the photographs I took at Jon & April’s wedding in September. (Finally, I’m getting the hang of using Aperture and Flickr together, and it’s just clicked for my photo workflow!) You can view the complete set here: Jon & April’s Wedding.
I’d like suggestions for titles, descriptions and/or tags.
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Annabel and I popped along to the Musselburgh Model Railway Exhibition in Musselburgh on Saturday afternoon. And for a change, I not only carried my camera around on my back, but I took some photos too! It’s the first opportunity I’ve had to play around with a new lens I picked up in London in September, a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. It’s an amazing lens — my first ever with image stabilisation — and I’m finding I now get a better ‘hit rate’ with photos that work rather than the focus being a little soft or the cropping not quite right. Perhaps that’s just a bit more practice too.
I’m particularly pleased with this image, panning with the train as it moved to give the illusion of speed, though I suspect I should either not have used fill-in flash, or at least used second-curtain sync, to avoid the weird blurring of the figures in front of the train. And I probably ought to correct the white balance a little.
Click through for the other photos in that stream.
Update Well, I’ve now tweaked the images slightly and re-uploaded them. The colour balance looks a bit nicer, I reckon. Ooh, and presets in Aperture kinda rock. Find one image with a good point for selecting white balance, set that as a preset and then apply the preset to all the rest of the images taken under the same conditions. Nice. I think I’ll have to copy some ‘standard’ white balance presets from Adobe’s Camera Raw importer, since I always felt that was something I missed…
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I just stumbled across an old article on Strobist (for some reason, I have old news feeds on my laptop that NNW didn’t sync to my desktop — strange) about how to light a comet. It tells the story of John Moran building a contraption to counteract the Earth’s rotation, lighting the foreground, and capturing an incredible picture of Hale-Bopp. I’m totally in awe.
The full article is here: On Assignment: How To Light a Comet. Even if you’re not interested in the details of how it was done, I’d encourage you to at least scroll to the bottom of the article and check out the resulting image. Incredible, just incredible. I think I need a print of that on my wall, just to remind me what’s possible with a bit of effort.
Well, that was remarkably painless. I’ve just grabbed a random photo from my collection (aww, aren’t they sweet?) and uploaded it with FlickrExport for Aperture. Sooo easy! It automatically takes my keywords from Aperture, turning them into tags. In fact, it also picks up other IPTC metadata (location, I’ve noticed so far) and sets tags for them too.
I see a license for FlickrExport and a Flickr pro account appearing on my bank statement in the very near future…
update Well, that’s the Flickr Pro account taken care of. At the current exchange rate, it works out at about £1 per month for being able to upload 2GB of new photos every month and ‘unlimited’ storage. Nice.
Apparently I’m having a slightly distracted day. I should be fiddling around with portal catalogues in Plone and I should be creating a simple photograph gallery controller in Rails but instead I’m fiddling with my blog…
If you visit the home page (or any other page, for that matter, just not through your RSS aggregator!), you’ll now be treated to a selection of my photographs that I reckon work reasonably well cropped in about 7×2 format. Keep hitting refresh and you should get a new one each time. OK, if you can’t be bothered hitting refresh, you can see them all here.