Category is: Photography

Dripping electrics

Dear diary Photography

Last week I went to the kitchen just before bed to find myself unexpectedly paddling. It was disorienting getting dripped on in the dark in your own flat, but I flipped the fuses, Scott laid out towels and pans and Lewis went upstairs to shout at the idiot neighbour with the leaking bath.

It wasn’t so bad in the morning once it had all dried up, though the rips in the bathroom wallpaper were a lot bigger and the light switch had a funky but unwanted new “strobe” setting. Also I got a couple of interesting snaps of water in places you don’t normally want water to be.

Moving out in a month. Tweet me if you’ve got an amazing, cheap 3-man flat going spare somewhere from Dalston to Old Street! :-D

There’s been a blatant democratisation of photography over the past decade (digitisation of media, advances in consumer electronics etc) that’s let rank amateurs like me accidentally amble into the field. Though this aggravates purists and has lead to a deluge of instagrammed lunches, it’s also how I got into web mongering so overall I’m in favour.

Similarly the interwebs have lowered the barrier to distribution not only online but with physical publications on sites like Lulu, Snapfish or Blurb, even bloody Tesco does them now!

As I wasn’t going to Edinburgh this Christmas I thought making a photobook would be a fitting gift for the family I wasn’t seeing, so I spent a few evenings learning the tools in Blurb and put together some pictures I’d taken while visiting them over the past couple of years.

It was a relatively rushed job as I raced to meet the postage deadline for Christmas but it still turned out OK. Making it was pretty fun: the ability to tell mini stories and relate pictures to each other added a pleasing dimension to it, and it seemed to go down pretty well too! (Apart from the title which totally threw all of them.)

I didn’t realise it at the time but the photobook of I bought for Dom last year of Sharon Needles et al partying in Pittsburgh was self published through the same site, so it’s totally not just me.

I think I’ll do another one sometime, maybe of year one of Danpaps? Maybe of the Gaychristmas just past, or those Winter Sun pics I’ve been taking for about 8 years. People could even buy them if they wanted, though I can’t imagine why.

Awesome plan? No way man? Tweet Dan.

Yesterday I had an apple for lunch and popcorn for dinner. Apparently eating very little for two days a week is a thing, so I thought I’d give it a shot for a month or two.

Normally I’d just eat less daily but that’s tricky when Dom cooks ridiculously tasty (not to mention healthy) food so often. Like this quinoa fritter thingy from Sunday! It was one of eight and they were all delicious.

New year’s eve is usually a houseparty night, but this year the people behind Songs of Praise decided to put on a clubnight, as did the folk behind Push the Button, and the chaps behind Douche Bag! Three awesome bunches of friends putting on three amazing nights… Clash alert!

There was a period of consternation while I agonised over which to plump for, but in the end it had to be Douche Bag. With the laid back venue, mixed crowd, joyful vibe and relentless tunes my reservations about a club-based NYE melted away and I was sad to run out of steam early (at four). Happily I hear the other nights were packed with party times too, so there was no wrong choice: Plenty of love to go around on NYE.

To top it all off they had me stand in last minute to do the pics! It’s always nice to end the night with more money than you started.

Love it? Hate it? Accent like Gambit? Tweet it.

Looking back on 2012

Photography

2012 was kindof a big year, what with the damp jubilee boat thingy, a ‘lympic or two, a pregnant princess and a few more failocalypses… But as for me, in roughly chronological order, I…

  • Got a Kindle and my reading rate rocketed: got through about thirty this year!
  • Moved from a massive 8-person flatshare to a smaller 3-man place closer to central.
  • Set up a photography Facebook page, took thousands of snaps for a handful of clubnights and randomly had pics in QX and the gaytimes blog.
  • Designed, built and endlessly tweaked this site.
  • Went to Edinburgh, to Malaga and Amsterdam with family and/or Dom.
  • Upgraded from my Blackberrylol to an actual Android type HTC One S. Such a difference.
  • Finally quit my job and got another, dealing with a dozen languages and CMSs I’ve never used before.
  • Got well into Azalea Banks and saw her. Got into TEED and saw him.
  • Had my first London Christmas.
  • Made my 10,000th tweet.
  • Also I discovered take away food and ate too much. Oops.

My blog was offline this time last year so there’s no New Year’s Resolution to score myself against, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s been a bloody good one.

Place for the Paps: 2013

Bloggery Interwebs Photography

Well, assuming the Mayans are wrong…

When it comes to putting my pics online I use Facebook for the most part and Flickr for special cases. but they’re both looking a little bit rubbish at the moment:

On Facebook the larger photoview is nice but it keeps linking to the out-of-date tiny view. Also traffic to Pages has ostensibly seen an 80% drop-off as they throttle it to flog the “promotion” posts, the tagging system on Pages seems to be a couple of iterations behind everywhere else and I recently realised (yeah, LTTP) you can’t see the page at all unless you’re logged in. Contentious objects can’t play my reindeer games.

I’ve had a Flickr Pro account since about 2006 and it doesn’t seem to have changed much since. It serves up different sizes of picture so I can use them on my site for various things which is cool, but for a paid service they seem super slow to update with new features, and in a world of dropboxes and google drives I’m beginning to wonder what I’m paying for.

I briefly tried out into 500px which looks spectacular as it promotes the best photos really well, and it even lets people buy prints or hi-res copies of the image for a few quid, but it seems it only ever shows/serves the same compressed size of image so it’s not the panacea I’m looking for.

Oddly Google+ is looking pretty good now, it’s a bit of ghost town but it’s also very visible in terms of SEO, it serves larger pictures, it’s got a nice album view, and it ties into Picasa (for better or worse). It doesn’t put a mask over images like 500px and Flickr do which is a shame…

I should just host the things myself and make a pretty gallery to display them here on my own website, but even then I’d need a gallery/wordpress plugin to organise them all, and there’s more of those than there are photo sites!

Any ideas of favorite photo websites or wordpress plugins? Tweetme.

There’s something about basking in the talent of friends: Watching a gig by Gabi & The Whoremoans (best version of Love Shack I’ve ever heard), seeing what Harry and Cola have put together for Push The Button, laughing at Cribble’s latest animation or just being stunned by Ego’s drawings. It’s humbling, inspiring, even enviable, but more than that it makes awesomeness much more tangible when you know the people involved.

It right gives me the itch: Must! Make! STUFF! As talented as these people are the difference between a practised expert and a hopeless neophyte is almost small, next to the gap between people who put in the work and those who have nice ideas but never bother.

Photos are still pretty cool I guess—this one came from Tom’s 40th party. I’ll probably take the camera to Push and make an appearance at NYE Douche. I’ve still got tons of room for improvement (next to people like Sharp Shock I’m totes rubbish) but compared to the leaps and bounds of a year ago it feels like a plateau. Meh.

The new job is certainly challenging; I seem to be learning JSP and CQ5 which is unexpected. Broadening developer horizons is good and that’s interesting for now, so I can overlook the fact they’re probably being broadened in the wrong direction.

I need a new project. Maybe I’ll make a photo book with Blurb or a wee site with Bootstrap.

(I don’t have comments on the site, so any abuse, just tweetme.)

The last lot of Halloween pics are finally up on Danpaps, which is nice. It’s not so nice that the reordering functionality on Facebook seems to be completely borked and the more I try to fix it the more it breaks: The glamorous boozy journey is splintered and the narrative lost. Add the fact that Facebook now throttles traffic to pages like mine by 80% unless you pay to promote it, and G+ is looking quite attractive once again. Not attractive enough, mind. Not yet.

Birthdays evrywhur

Dear diary Photography

Saturday was the 1st birthday of Songs of Praise at Eastbloc which was amazing. I lamed out and left at near 3 but it was still in full flow. Pics up on Danpaps!

Speaking of birthdays, it’s my 31st today. It’s been a crazy productive year: starting doing photography for clubs and such, two(!!!) holidays abroad, this shiny new website and even quit my job: my last day was yesterday and I start the new one on Monday!

So there’s lot to celebrate. Last year that involved watching these fireworks on a roof, a couple of dozen friends armed with disposable cameras (that I’ve still not developed) and a trip to Eastbloc. This year I’m keeping it simple: SHAKE YER DIX is having its 2nd birthday at the Star Of Bethnal Green on Saturday and at least two friends are having their birthday shindigs there too. Imma go and make it 4 birthdays in 1. Bargainous. How can you say no?

Happy Halloween!

Photography

I took about a thousand pictures this weekend: Halloween-themed club nights at the spooked-up RVT and Star of Bethnal Green, on that one weekend of the year where it’s acceptable (if not mandatory) for everyone to goth up like bored Camden teens. I’m taking even more snaps at a charity work do thingy tonight, which is ostensibly the reason I’m wearing a Where’s Wally costume at my desk now.

Douchebag was epic funtimes as always; they always manage to play my favorite tunes of the moment without ever having to ask. Psychic DJs. Pics are up on Facebook here: it’s public so you can look at them even if you’re not on Facebook. But if you are, you should really “Like” the Shake Yer Dix page. Imma go there for my birthday next week.