Self Portrait

I took this a few weeks back using my MacBook Pro iSight.
Me in my Burghaus jerkin.


Crete Arty Shots

A sheep's skull (?)

, ,

Wing Yip

The best Chinese online shop you're likely to find this side of Russia. You can order up to 25kg of stuff (equipment, tools, bottles, bowls, rice etc.) and get it delivered for £4.50 within 4 days - splendid.

You might be thinking, phaw, four pounds fifty is a lot of money for postage, but not when a truly massive box appears at your door a few days later.

I'd reccoment purchasing their round chopping board (yes, it is a slice of tree) as it will kick your wooden block chopping boards to splinters and cost a third of the price. Nice.

, , ,

SUHC - Stonehenge Daywalk

Here are some of the shots I took on the Stonehenge daywalk on Saturday. I'll add a few more when it's not 1:25 am on a Monday morning.

Glorious autumn colours lit by some simply superb autumn sunlight

a close up of those leaves, slightly amended for use as a desktop background

Hill walkers heading for lunch

Stonehenge at set

, , ,

Dear Society

Please can everyone stop getting fat. Shops are now not stocking clothes in small anymore because everyone buying things are over weight. Fat is not good. Eat less high calorie and high fat foods, eat more vegetables and fruit and stop this onslaught against us small people.

SUHC Trip to Yorkshire

Another couple of photos from the SUHC trip to Yorkshire. This time some people shots. I don't tend to shoot people as I'm not very good at it and find that sometime they seem to ruin landscape shots, but in the end they are the most important of all photographs as landscape and weather will always outlast people.

Close in on our walking party with German Martin leading the pack after having been given a brief introduction to navigation.

Walking the horizon - I like the way the group seems to bleed into the bright sky as they walk along the edge of the limestone pavement.


, , ,

SCM Bonfire Night 2006

What a Wednesday evening this was. The biggest I've ever built, lovely company and completely no injuries or major calamities. Here is a brief pictorial overview of the evening. If you missed out then make sure you're here next year for another bonfire. I'd also like to add a brief apology to those with whom I didn't get to chat with (including my housemates), I'm afraid I tend to stick with the fire to prevent any problems arising making me less sociable.

The beggining. A big bonfire (including two tree stumps and a large number of pallets) built to withstang me jumping on top of it repeatedly - four years of engineering did pay off then.

The SCM gathering looking expectantly during the slightly problematic initial stages.

Finally lit and begging tp take off.

As the flames worked through the linearly designed construction the place hotted up big time.

We continued to keep the shed and fence well watered to prevent any unwanted combustion. (James is not trying to put out the fire in this shot)

I inadvertently got sprayed which helped cool off my nipples which got surprisingly hot as I tended the blaze

The braced construction collapsed in upon itslef beautifully within the hour I expected it to take.

As the flames grew the SCMers retreated across the garden, then closed back in as it died down.

A close in shot of the burning pallets

More tending. I've probably had about 18 years doing this.

The customary religeous sacrafice.

In our case a greater than lifesize Mel Gibson.

Finally, with the people gone and the embers piled, the fire is left to finish off in safety
(though it will be hot for at least two days).


A bolder on top of the limestone pavement up on the Yorkshire Dales

Windswept Tree in the Yorkshire Dales

This was a rather fine tree that we walk passed during Sunday's walk on the SUHC weekend away. I'm not sure I really got the most striking image I could have done so any comments are appreciated. I've added a soft bluring and desaturated the image slightly to give a more eerie feel.

Yorkshire, , , ,

iPhoto is Crap, Long Live Picasa

One of the reasons behind getting my Mac was for my digital photos. I was told that iPhoto was the way to organise and view my photos and that Google's Picasa had been based on iPhoto, meaning it must be good.

Sadly Picasa trumps iPhoto on pretty much every count, bar the touch-up feature and sharpen slider that Picasa doesn't have. But frankly these sacrafices are little compared to the anoyances faced with iPhoto.

It simply doesn't handle the job anyway near as well as Picasa. For a start when you order your photos chronologically, the last photo of each folder is presented first. Which means you scroll backwards from the end of the shoot to the beggining (or elsewise you have to have the most recent photo set at the bottom of the window). 

But most anoying is the fact that any tweak you make actually alters the file rather than a layer like in Picasa. A backup of the original is made which means a doubling of the disk space used, great.

So dear Google, can you please give us a mac version of Picasa, we need it.

desprinisity - the level of someones desperateness.
Monty Python - French Sketch

I live with a couple of native French speakers, so this one's for you ;)

Firework Displays

It's getting towards which means that there are shows on aplenty. This year I'm going to watch the University display that I've always missed before. And as ever I'll be taking along my camera to capture some, hopefully, great shots. The question is how to take them.

Bournemouth 04
Two years ago I went down to Bournemouth and caught some great shots from a , experimenting with leaving the shutter open and repeatedly uncovering the lenses. That worked well and generated some lovely trailing shots.

Tripod shot 1

Tripod shot 2

Winchester 05
Last year I went to the after a hillwalking daywalk from Shawford to Winchester. Having been walking meant I didn't have my tripod, but the following are a couple of samples from the evening. I was actually very pleased with what I got and rather like the freeze frame approach to fireworks.

Hand held shot 1

Hand held shot 2

But what about this year? Well sadly my tripod broke this summer so the decision is partly made for me, but the question is how to get a new take on these standard shots. It will depend on the style of the fireworks themselves - the big bang ones really require a longer exposure caught from a tripod to capture the expanding trail. Whereas displays with more frequent smaller intricate fireworks (my preference, though technically less 'impressive') probably work better with short speed shots.

I'll post up some of the best over the weekend.

SUHC Trip to Yorkshire

Last weekend the Soton Uni Hillwalking Club took a trip to the Yorkshire Dales, to a little place called Chapel-le-Dale for a weekend walking in the dales. Sadly Saturday was washed out completely, and while my group managed the assent of Ingleborough, the cold and rain defeated us forcing us to descend back to camp.

Sunday, meanwhile, made up for it entirely (to be honest I quite enjoyed the difficulty of Saturday's extreme weather walk). The weather was simply glorious, with a warm sun beating down on us making my groups trek from Chapel-le-Dale to Ingleton over the southern flanks of Whernside an utter delight. Not only did the walk make the whole trip worthwhile, but afforded me a wealth of photographic opportunities. Here are some of my finest fruits pretty much straight out of the camera.

My hillwalking group on the horizon

Boulders probably left by glaciation make magnificent monuments

with some grand waterfalls thanks to the limestone rock layers

Some rather interesting patterns in the foam on the creak