Another relaunch!

usa97-09-12I have a bad habit – I tinker with my websites. I’ve been tinkering with this one for a while now and it’s time to relaunch.

So, here it is. A new blog, and a new way of laying out the galleries. I wasn’t planning to relaunch until it was “done” but I’ve decided there’s no such thing when it comes to my websites. I still need to tidy up a bit of the content, and add some stuff to the galleries.

As for the galleries, you’ll see that the homepage lists the recently updated ones. At the moment that just represents the order in which I built them, but as I add content it’ll be reflected in that list. Although there are some nudes on this site, they should all be in the “reasonably safe for work” category. My other site has the stuff that isn’t quite so safe.

The image above is a random old one, and is an example of the work still to do – going through old slides and adding them to the galleries. I want to concentrate on new stuff as well, though, and hopefully having a shiny new site will prompt me to get myself in gear to shoot stuff to show on it!

 

Neil Armstrong

160I hate to repeat myself and post an image that I only aired on the blog back in April, but it seems fitting for a short off topic post to commemorate the achievements of Neil Armstrong, who died yesterday.

The first moon landing happened before I was born, the last when I was just over a year old, and this December will be the 40th anniversary of the last manned landing. The are any number of reasons – the landings were born out of the cold war, unmanned probes are more cost effective and can travel further, there are arguably better things to spend the money on and perhaps the appetite for risk has changed over the last forty years.

Whatever the reasons, I think it’s a fitting time to celebrate an amazing achievement, and to raise a toast to a man who was, by all accounts, a science geek rather than your typical test pilot. And I mean that very much as a compliment!

Olympics

157An offtopic post today, as the Olympics gradually winds to a close.

I didn’t get to any of the events, but then I generally prefer to watch sport on TV anyway – you get the best view that way. I must admit to being less than enthusiastic about the Olympics in the buildup. Over the last week or two, some of my cynicism has evaporated and not just because of the British successes.

A large part of that cynicism stemmed from the reports of draconian restrictions brought in to protect the sponsors. I understand that sponsors spending millions will expect exclusivity, but this seems to have been taken to rather silly extremes. Read More…

Not an Olympian effort

155The Olympic torch came through yesterday. As it virtually passed my door, I felt the least I could do was wander down and take a look.

Initially I was tempted to take my SLR and try to get some proper pictures, but in the end opted for the little compact zoom. Hardly an effort worthy of a serious photographer, and I probably should have made more of an effort.

The shutter lag and delay between shots meant that the compact was absolutely not the right tool for this particular job and I only got one picture showing the actual torch. By the time the camera was ready to take another shot it was too late.

It was probably the right decision in the end, as the weather decided not to cooperate and I’d have ended up with a very soggy SLR. It was spitting with rain when I went out, and as the torch approached the heavens opened and it lashed down. Almost as soon as the torch had passed it cleared up and the sun came out. At least it gave me an excuse, after the event, for not bothering with the big camera kit!

Those nice bright colours…

109110Sorry, Mr Simon, but Mama took our Kodachrome away a couple of years ago and it now looks as though the company that made it might be going the same way.

I could hardly write a blog about photography without mentioning Kodak, who have just filed for bankruptcy protection. Although that doesn’t mean the end of the company, it certainly isn’t looking good.

I was never a major user of Kodak’s products. By the time I started shooting on slide, Fuji Velvia seemed to be the film of choice for landscape photographers. I mainly used it, along with other Fuji films such as Provia, with only the occasional excursion into Kodachrome. Read More…

Good luck Mr Gursky…

78If you’ve been keeping up with the news in the art world, you might have seen that a print of a photograph by Andreas Gursky has set the record for the most expensive ever sold at auction. His image, entitled Rhein II, sold for $4.3 million at a Christie’s auction. Read More…

Archives: Ben Nevis

65The recent story of the man who drove up Snowdon put me in mind of my own efforts to tackle the highest mountain in the country. I ticked Snowdon off of the list back before I realised you were supposed to prepare for that kind of thing – I think we strolled up in jeans and trainers. By the time I came to tackle Ben Nevis, in the summer of 1999, I was a little better prepared. Read More…

Stormy Weather

64The news from New York prompted me to dig out this shot taken many years ago on slide film. It’s my only reasonably successful image of lightning. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the original to attempt a new scan and this copy was a bit of a mess.

Shooting lightning is, of course, completely hit and miss. The technique is to leave the shutter open for several seconds at a time and hope that one or more bolts of lightning strike during that time. That should also allow a certain amount of ambient light to register in the foreground, although this shot was taken in the middle of the night – you don’t get to control when the storm hits. Obviously being outside in a thunderstorm with a camera on a tripod isn’t the cleverest idea in the world, and this one was taken through my bedroom window!