Digital Photography

Since getting the 350D (and for a quite a while before) I’ve been trying to read as much as I can about how best to take photos, what all the settings do and how they complement each other, and how accessories can be used to give effect to a photo.

There are, naturally, plenty of tutorials on the Internet, but one that stands out is Neil Turner’s. I happened to come across his site via the excellent DPReview website, which also carries a series of tutorials.

Great stuff for getting into photography.

It must be Christmas

*sigh* Saw the first Christmas advert on TV last night. WH Smith, what is wrong with you? It’s bloody October.

Now that the ads are going out, it’s time to guess when the first Christmas decorations will appear. This is actually usually quite a treat – there seems to be some competition amongst neighbours in one particular road, so the decorations get more impressive year after year.

The road has about 300 houses on it, and I reckon the first decorations will be up November 10. You are welcome to make your own predictions, and the closest guess will win my eternal respect (cash value 0.0000001p).


Well, I finally bit the bullet and got the Canon EOS 350D. Gotta say it’s a brilliant camera. For those who don’t know it’s an eight megapixel digital SLR, which refers to the mechanism by which photos are taken.

Canon EOS 350D

In practical terms, it means you don’t get an LCD viewfinder, and you don’t get videos. However, you do get an accurate viewfinder, remarkable battery life and the quality of photos are simply superb. The EOS 350D also allows you to mess about with all the usual parameters of cameras (aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc) very quickly. The auto focus is incredibly fast, the power-up and capture times are almost instantaneous and all round the results are great.

I also bought a Sigma 70-300mm lens – had great fun with it already, and I’m expecting to buy more as I can afford them

Among the purchases was a heavily protected backpack. In just over two weeks I’m off to America and I’m planning to take loads of photos (I’m also planning to get a bunch of 1 and 2Gb CompactFlash cards – RAW images are huge!). At the end of the month I’m also off to Cork, Ireland for three days, and the camera will be in hand there too. In the meantime, you can see my flirtations with the new camera already on Flickr.

Gosport and Portsmouth

Gosport and Portsmouth have gone hi-res in Google Earth. The satellite images look fairly recent – the Tricorn Centre has gone and the Spinnaker Tower looks largely complete. You can also make out the naval base in a lot more detail (!) and follow the old railway line from Fareham to Gosport.

The maps haven’t been updated in Google Maps (the web version) but it’s only a matter of time…



After whetting my appetite last year with my first trip abroad, I’m now looking for more excuses to travel. The real biggie comes in November, when I will be travelling with a friend to New York, Philadelphia and Chicago over 11 days. After that, I’m hoping to go to Cork for three days between November and December, and will hopefully be hopping over to France or Belgium to get some Christmas-y goodies.

And why not, eh? Life’s too short to work all the time and after six years of pretty-much non-stop working I deserve some kind of holiday.

Canon EOS 350D

I’m particularly keen to get more into photography. The Canon A80 has served me well, but it’s time to move onto something a bit more ‘professional’. Little things that I would’ve been blissfully unaware of in my ignorance are now starting to bother me. Slow auto-focus. Sensitivity to noise. Limiting aperture and shutter speed are all bothering me as I test the camera in more adventurous ways. So, I’m now looking to upgrade. The Canon EOS 350D is prime candidate, and I’m already pretty much sold on it.. I’ve found a nice local supplier (would prefer this to buying online), and next week I’ll check it out. Hopefully I can finally make good use of that Flickr account that lays fairly dormant at the moment.

In the meantime, I’m preparing for America. Tickets are booked and passports at the ready. It should be a good month.

Movie roundup

Been to see a few movies lately – here’s a two minute summary (scores are out of 100)

Revolver – Guy Ritchie’s latest movie. A potentially interesting storyline pissed all over in the last half hour. 65

A Very Long Engagement – French movie from director Jean Pierre Jeunet, a follow-on from Amélie (one of my all-time favourite movies). It’s not a sequel, but Audrey Tautou and other familiar faces reappear in this flick. Not as good as Amélie, but still well worth watching. I enjoyed it. 75

Pride & Prejudice – I’ve read the book, but didn’t see the Colin Firth BBC series. Well enough played by the actors, but the camerawork is a bit distracting at times. If you’re a bloke, take a girl with you. This is basically a chick flick (although i want to see the TV series now) 80

Dukes of Hazzard – I was expecting this to be silly and rubbish. It turned out to be silly and rather good. Thoroughly enjoyed it, and the casting was perfect… 85

Still to see,
Serenity – TV series was ace
A Scanner Darkly – strange enough to be interesting