Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Retarded Twins

You'll kow that I recently purchased 2 backup drives from LaCie. I chose these particular drives as they are able to be attached to an ethernet network and had their own OS already built in. This seemed like the ideal solution given that we have 2 laptops and didn't want to be tied down to having external drives attached via USB etc.

Well, I've been using these for a while now and have found that running them over an 802.11/g wireless network is simply impossible with the file sizes I am working with. It can take up to 10 minutes to list the directory of my photographs, about 3000 x 12MB files.
I've converted one of them to a local USB drive as a test to see if it's network slowness of a function of the drive. It's Network slowness for sure. Attached locally over USB2 it's a fast disk so I'm going to have to settle for having both of them attached locally. NOT what I wanted. BUGGER!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Vertus Fluid Mask

Fluid Mask for photoshop is very cool.
I saw it a the Mac Expo and bought it.
Excellent product.
Makes VERY accurate cutouts as EASY as clicking your mouse.

Artistic Impressions

Just watched the latest Photoshop TV episode and thought I'd have a go at a technique they featured on there.
Sketch That!


Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Wedding Crashers

Ahh, How Sweet they look!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Ah how sweet is that random shuffle play...

I've just launched iTunes on shuffle play and one of my unknown favourites came on
Elton John
Captain fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
We all Fall in Love Sometimes

It's a bloody Classic!


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Competition Results

Yesterday evening was our 2nd competition evening at the PhotoClub with Barbara Lydiatte as the judge. Well I must have done something to upset her at some point in this or another life. My photo's got a real slating. The set subjects (3 of a kind) were:

The grass is too bright, it's uninteresting. If you'd wanted to take a photo of cricket then something with a bit of action in it like the stumps smashing apart with the ball and thing flying everywhere. The only 3 of a kind I can see are the stumps and I suppose it just fits the subject.

12 out of 20. the lowest score of the night. :(

Next up was
"Future Steaks"
You should have rearranged the cows so that the dark one was at the back. There not enough detail in the dark one and it's ear is partly covering it's eye.
15 out of 20

Then came

A strange arrangement of flowers, were they growing like that or did you arrange them. The background is distracting I cant tell if it's frost or snow. you should have thrown the background out of focus. They're too close to the edge too!

15 out of 20

On to the projected images
"A day at the seaside"
A day at the seaside by Stephen Counsell

Too much beach. The bloke walking is in just the wrong place

Next was
Reflective by Stephen Counsell
She HALF like this one. The top half!
Raved on about how good the clouds and the people were then thought the bottom half was too dark she didn't know what the bolt was so another low mark

Last came
"Windsor in Autumn"

Windsor in Autumn by Stephen Counsell

Well you've chosen to give us a small peice to look at. this would have been better at night with the light onor if the lamp had had frosted glass. She didn't like the modern bulb in the lamp didn't even mention the gate spikes made a passing comment on the blue sky and colour of the tree.

Foolish, Foolish Woman.
When will she learn about ART and start to give some really constructive criticism?


Friday, October 13, 2006

Self Portrait - Not that easy

A few weeks ago it was suggested to me that all of the really great artists practiced the art of self portraiture and that at some point the Photo Club should run a self portrait competition. I've had a go at this and here are some of the results. I shot over 70 images in one session without assistance. Initially I had left the camera on auto focus. This is a mistake as I don't have a remote shutter release and was reliant on the timed shutter release. All of the early shots are of course out of focus. Lighting is from a single Canon Speedlight and for the latter shots the aperture is f8 and shutter speed at 125th of a second

Here they are in sequence. I think you'll see that I have some way to go before my self portrait comes out the way I want it.





IMG_4198 IMG_4206



Life is so coincidental...

I decided to have fried eggs on toast this morning and guess what....

Double Bubble!


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Novice, Intermediate or Advanced?

I wonder how you would rate my level of photography?

As we've no produced the first score sheet at the photo club I was interested to see how everyone else got on in relation to my scores from the first competition. I didn't expect to fair that well in the overall running of things as I've seen some pretty stunning shots at out initial assessment evening and our first competition of the season.

The first thing to note is that competitions entrants are split into three groups. These are Novice for those starting out in photography or that just haven't got the hang of it, Intermediate for those that have attained a reasonable level of skill and or experience and are able to put together a reasonable composition, exposure etc. and Advanced for those that are, well, advanced. Those that get it right most of the time and don't really need any help in knowing what they did wrong and how they might fix the problems and go take the picture again.

I fully expected to be in the Intermediate group (not that it actually makes any difference to the competition scores) but on reviewing the score sheet of all members of the club I find that it has been deemed appropriate to place me in the Advanced group where I am proud to say I rank 5th. (small round of applause... thank you.).

We'll see how I get on through the rest of the season. We have our 2nd competition next week with Prints being a set subject of "Three of a Kind" and I have entered three pints. Print 1 is of the Cricketer leaning on his bat, stumps and the umpire leaning on a crutch (I wonder if the judge will get that one), Print 2 is of Three Cows entitled "Future Steaks" (that should raise a few eyebrows) and the third a rather boring picture of three red tulips which was a grab shot while I was leaving Connie and John Beadman's in Rutland.

For ther projected (OPEN) section I've put in a picture of the beach at Brighton, a close up of an old cars chrome headlight with the sky reflected in it and last of all a picture taken last weekend while in Windsor of one of the Gates with a tree in the backgound entitled "Autumn in Windsor".
I'll post the photo and scores after next weeks competition.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

A little trip to Windsor

We'd had a fairly lazy Saturday morning and had nothing really pressing to do in the afternoon so decided that a trip to Windsor would be a good idea as the alternative was to sit in front of the TV or computer screen. We've not been to Windsor before so off we went. It's only about 35 minutes from here in the car and we thought we should head for the town centre as it was now mid afternoon and the traffic surely couldn't still be too heavy.

As we approached the town we saw lots of car park signs all with FULL signs on so we made a quick turn for the short stay car park by the river. Ouch, £7 for 4 hours parking.

We wandered up the hill towards the Castle, here's a shot of our first sight of it

Windsor_640_01 (1)
Further up the hill it was time for some tourist shots

The open top bus is £7 each. We didn't ask how much the horse drawn carriage cost to ride in neither did we see anyone else ask. I guess that's why the poor old guy looks a bit fed up. I guess he's not happy about open top busses!

and now some more "Arty" shots



All in all Windsor is quite a nice place and we plan to go back some time soon to take a tour of the castle which we understand is very interesting


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Photo Competition Season is here...

I entered a few shots into the Camera Club OPEN competition yesterday evening. Here are my entries:



Mounted in a Clack mount board. This got some good praise from the judge (Les Spitz ARPS). Les liked the arty way I'd taken it on a bit of a slant "the author is trying something different here and I like it...". This could do well in an art shop and could hang on peoples walls at home. A respectable 15 out of 20



This got a few laughs from the gathered audience of photographers. the title is "Old and Young, Having Fun" Comments like well she could be is daughter, neice or she could even be his wife. Who knows, they're certainly having fun though.
A good candid portrait. I think I got 18 out of 20 for this one.


Entitled Austin Powered, once again les liked the slanty nature of this b ut felt it was just a bit too bright in places. I think this got a 17 out of 20.


The performer. Hair across the eyes and the bright area above the back of his head crippled this great shot. 16 out of 20. Les liked it and commented on the nice border.

All the digital Projection shots were bordeered by an action set supplied by Fat Al. Thanks Fat Al.