Category is: Photography

Because I do you know, pap I mean. For at least a decade now! By which I mean of course take photos of people (extended friends mostly) out at parties or clubnights or in the park or somesuch. It’s fun to document what’s so easily forgotten, and people are much less self conscious after a couple of drinks.

About a year ago I got into making the hundreds of pics I take a week better, first through working on them in Lightroom, then by swapping my ultra compact pont-and-shoot TX5 for a Lumix G3. A nice prime lens and a big flash followed and BOOM they’re not bad.

It’s nice to suck less but I’ve still got a ways to go. To that end I set up a facebook page: Danpaps, to showcase the club type photography to friends, randoms and clients. I’ve even had my snaps projected on a wall at a club this past Sunday night. Strange times.

I’ve taken 45,000 digital photos.

Photography

I still don’t know how to use my new camera. While I understand the basics, they way they all interact is tricky, the layers of jargon impenetrable and the automatic functions of the camera add more complexity. I’ll get there eventually… Meanwhile I’m mainly using automatic mode and continuing to progress with nifty post-processing. My free copy of Lightroom arrived yesterday so I should be able to advance to taking pictures in RAW which is exciting

I got to thinking about the EXIF meta data embedded in my photos last week, and wondering if there’s anything interesting I could extract from it: with a bit of work and number juggling I put together a graph of how many photos I’ve taken and how many I’ve kept with my various digital cameras, since the start of 2004. It’s pretty nifty, and far too much effort for a single blog post so I’ve also used it the new photography info page I’ve written. (That’s a demo of deeplinking which is also new. Woop!)

Pics taken per month

Oh and the graph’s written with a javascript plug in using html5 so if you’re using IE8 or below, NO GRAPH FOR YOU. Also: you suck.

Realising I’ve taken fourty thousand pictures in the last two and a half years is a bit scary. It also doesn’t count the hundreds I took at uni with my uber-retro film camera, but that’s a story for another time.

In other news, I’m off work for the next 17 days, including 10 days in Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival, which is AMAZING. Longest non-Christmas holiday since uni. Yes.

All Grown Up

Photography

As you might have heard, I bought a shiny camera last week. It’s a lovely CSC, like an SLR but smaller and a bit more techy. Here’s the pictures I took with it this weekend, with Flickr’s awesome slideshow viewer that I don’t use often enough.

It’s my first “real” camera, and with a few tips from photographer friends I’m quickly learning how to work it, but I’m still only scratching the surface. It’s exciting. Maybe I should get a book or go on a course, but I’m totes poor now.

You know what else is exciting?

I BOUGHT IT WITH A CREDIT CARD. AND THEN I INSURED IT. What with the pension I started earlier in the year I feel so very grown up now.

Gadgets + pics of uni peeps

Photography

I’ve never really been one for getting the latest gadget to hit the highstreet. I never had games consoles growing up, I shunned iPods for years before eventually getting one (and I didn’t really like it when I did) and my phone was always been laughable. I don’t know what’s changed but last November I got a top-of-the range (albeit the blackberry range) smartphone, in March I upgraded my computer, and yet already I really want a Kindle (new relases of books only come out in annoying tome-like form) and I’d quite like a chromebook (my very flawed but free from work laptop has gotten me used to the luxury of reading long webpages in bed), but most of all I find myself seriously considering a £600 quid hybrid/SLR camera. It’s not entirely stupid; I think my pics have seen some real improvement lately as I become accustomed to post processing stuff, and it would be really nice to have a choice of which camera to take out.

Feels like I’ve been taking pics forever (though I actually took a two-year break around 2005). Here’s some old collages of uni friends I must have put together in about 2002.

Ciaran

Ciaran

Darren

Darren

Mikey

Mikey

Seldo

Seldo

Will

Will

Matt

Matt

giles

giles

Jamie

Jamie

Carly

Carly

James

James

Alex

Alex

Someday I should take a scanner to my hardcopy collection of oldschool photos. Not that they’re very good, but might be lol.

Photos plusplus

Gaming Photography Recaps

My new computer, which I dutifully blogged about almost two months ago, has come with few changes. Surprisingly I’ve not been rushing to buy all the latest shiny games, instead I’ve been getting into current RPGs like Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, Dragon Age:Origins and Dragon Age 2, and despairing at the difficulties of mods and DLC. Gone are the times when you only had to wait a couple of weeks after release before buying a game to give them time to patch it. Now the optimum time to buy is six months or a year later, to get all the DLC and make sure the mods are at least half stable. This realisation has somewhat dampened my otherwise rabid anticipation for the upcoming Skyrim.

A unexpected side effect of a more powerful computer is a renewed interest in photography: having switched to some better software to do all my post-processing and with the new hardware juggling thousands of edits to hundreds pics without raising a sweat, I find that while I still spend the same time, I can do much more with it. I’m trying to raise the bar though; being more picky with which pics I keep. Given I look back at albums from a couple of months ago, deleting some and seeing things I should have done differently with others, I guess it might be working? That would be nice. I’m learning. It’s quite exciting.

Facebook’s image viewer is ropey and small so I’ve been uploading pics to flickr first, which means I can see how many people look at them; it’s nice getting a few thousand hits from people curious to see the damage over the weekend. It must it give them time to get used to them too as there’s been less whining about photo tagging recently, but maybe will pass. In the continued spirit of self aggrandisement I’ve also set up a set of my favourite recent pics to try and see some progress and showcase pics that I like individually and outside of the usual narrative documentary context.

In other news, I’ve also been working on this here website: The portfolio page now has actual content like you might expect of an bona fide web professional, and the layout changes at four different page widths. Change the browser width, go on, you know you want to. Oh, wait, you’re using Internet Explorer? No shiny nift for you; get out.

Paying for flickr

Articles Interwebs Photography

I just shelled out £25 for another two years of Flickr membership. I wasn’t going to bother initially, after all there’s always facebook, but after two years of membership I’ve become accustomed to the perks. The unlimited upload isn’t that useful as I process all my pics before I upload; I could easily get by on with the limited 100 megs a month. However with the free account you can only see the 200 most recent pictures, and even then only at low resolution, so upgrading was a no-brainer. It probably helps that one of my pictures of a recent Portishead gig was used in some random music review. Or so they tell me. It’s in Croatian so it could be anything really. Perhaps it’s a Yahoo! plot to stroke my ego and have me pay them money.

Ideally I’d like to set up my website to display flickrd pictures on the front page, tucking the blog away somewhere else. At the moment not many people actually look at my favourite photos, never mind the larger versions, which is a shame.

Here’s another pic that was used, this time for a travel site. Or something.

hall

Delay

Photography Recaps

Oh hai! I spent last weekend in Paris visiting Mikey. Here’s the pictures, with some commentary attached.

So I’ve been slack with things on here, big shock there. I’ve been meaning to add linklog functionality to this site for ages, and then I was contemplating moving the blog part off to a sub-page and replacing it with an updated random quote generator of old… But none of that is very high priority at the moment to be honest. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, and I need to clear the decks a little I before getting back into the proverbial swing of things this week. Hmm.

Resolutions in progress

Photography

About a month ago I was going to write the usual prosaic end-of-year stuff about what I was going to try and do better in the coming year, but the very thought of it bored me so much that I wanted to chew off my own hands to spare the world and myself such uninspired rubbish. You’ve heard it all before, I’ve said it all before. But I felt this time was a little different, so instead of a generic statement of purpose I thought I’d wait a bit and give a statement of progress. Or several, rather. One for each of the “resolutions”.

I’ll start with a quick one; Photography.

Problem: I found I had stopped taking photos entirely, due to combination of apathy and crapness of camera. I thought this sucked. Solution? Get new camera. Take lots of pics. Huzzah!

Progress: Camera got: Panasonic Lumix. Wide angle for a digicam and small enough to fit in my pocket all the time, even when out at night. It also has the fabled anti-shake thing and can take a string of photos in a row. Me likey. It’s taken a while to get used to having a camera on my person again though, so photos have been a little sporadic, but a few are on flickr now, including what might be my best/favorite picture ever, shown below. (Larger resolutions here.)

Sun in my eye 1

Still to do: RTFM! As good as automatic mode is on this camera I still need to read the manual to work out how to do things… well… manually.

New Years Resolutions

Dear diary Photography