Photographs by date

I've extended my photography section of my site a little more to include a couple of ways of getting at the photographs by date. The first is a simple calendar approach — click on a date and you get the thumbnails of all the images taken on that date.

The second addition is timeline of my photographs:

This is done with the Timeline library.

Photography challenge: Exit

After a reasonable result with my first DPC entry I decided that I'd have another go. This time around I decided that I'd enter either the Entrance or Exit challenges.

Problem was, I was stuck for something to shoot for either challenge. Anything I could think of either seemed horribly obvious. But, during a walk around the village I live in, I remembered a sign on (what appears to be nothing more than) a fence that had always amused me. It looks like nothing more than a corrugated iron fence but it has the words "Please Keep Gate Clear" painted on it and the area around it is overgrown (suggesting that it probably was used as a gate at some point).

I had my camera with me so I shot it. I rushed it though. The light wasn't that good so I ended up using a pretty slow shutter speed and, given that I was just hand-holding the camera (while shivering in the cold), the whole thing ended up coming out a little too soft.

I ended up with a score of 5.0095/10, placing me 92 out of 138. Worse than my last entry but, as far as I'm concerned, better placed than I expected (or deserved).


My first photography challenge

A couple of weeks ago, on a whim, I decided to enter a challenge over at DPChallenge. The challenge was to pick a song title from this list and create a photograph based on it (note, on the title, not the meaning or the lyrics of the song).

While looking through the list I saw the title Do Not Forget About Us and this image came to mind. I'd photographed that a few days earlier. The rules of a challenge are that you have to shoot the image between 2 specific dates so I waited for the right conditions and went back and shot it.

Voting has now finished for the challenge and my final score was 5.5599 (out of 10). That put me 102nd out of 215. I'm pretty happy with that. Okay, it's "middle of the road", it's "average photograph", but at least it isn't down near the bottom, at least it doesn't say "you're awful".

I can see this getting to be quite addictive.

Tags and previews

During the last couple of evenings I've done a little more work on the photography section of my site.

The first thing I added was a simple tag cloud for all the photographs. I've filtered out some obvious tags (things like "England" and county names) because they dominated the cloud.

At some point in the future I'll probably do some more work on the tagging system, probably adding the ability to combine tags.

The other thing I've added, which is more of an experiment than anything else, is a simple JavaScript album preview facility using some balloon tooltip code. Now, when viewing the list of available albums, you can hover the mouse cursor over the album link and see a preview of one of the images it contains.


Google Earth

Not to be outdone by Tim, I've added a Google Earth feed for my photographs.

Same issues apply here as apply to Tim's feed: it's still "in development" so anything could change at any time.


Irish Blood, English Heart, Euro Vision

Okay, okay, I know, the Eurovision song contest is crummy, I can't remember the last time I even watched it. However, Rich Daley (who is obviously a raving Eurovision fan <g>) just alerted me to this article on the BBC website.

Morrissey? Doing Eurovision? That would get me watching!

Fear the Pears! Save the Children!

I know it's not nice to laugh at typos, we all make them from time to time (sod's law says I'll make one in this post), but I couldn't help having a giggle at this one:

This puts undue pressure on children to follow pears
found in this petition over at petitions.pm.gov.uk.



Yesterday evening Tim Haynes pointed me in the direction of Panoramio. It's a site that lets you host photographs (nothing new there), tag them (nothing new there either), link them to locations on Earth (again, nothing new there) and view them via a Google Map or via Google Earth (that might not be new but it's a new one on me).

I've never been that interested in the various photograph-hosting sites that are available but there was something about Panoramio that caught my attention. While it does appear to have the odd quirk or two (not to mention the odd bug or two from what I can see, not that any of them are serious issues) the whole thing seems to work really well.

So, while it won't be a replacement to my photograph gallery, I've created an account and have uploaded and located a random selection of images.


The smell of snow

I was born in, and grew up in, York. Somewhere north(ish) of where I lived in York is the British Sugar factory which processes sugar beet. Because of this I always associate the smell of beet being processed with the coming of snow. Even now, even though I don't live in York any more, when it "feels" like it's going to snow I'm certain I can smell beet being processed.

Today, while having a look around DPChallenge, I stumbled on this fantastic long exposure image of the beet factory.

Right now I can smell beet being processed, which makes me feel like it's going to snow.


A New Toy

Christmas brought me a new toy, a Canon EOS 400D. Which is kind of a problem...

I've always enjoyed photography. When I was in my teens I got myself a Zenith SLR and had great fun with it (even if most of the images I took were pretty awful). I also used it for a fair bit of astrophotography (although, annoyingly, between various house moves over the years I seem to have lost all of those slides). A few years back I also acquired a Canon A-1, which has had a fair bit of use, although mostly for family photography.

The thing that tended to put me off doing much beyond taking snapshots is the lack of immediacy and also the lack of a good scanner (thus allowing the posting of images to a website).

Last year I purchased an Olympus FE-115 compact digital camera. The main reason was to have a digital camera for a short holiday in Whitby and Teesdale. I found the immediacy of the format very addictive and started trying to take photographs other than the usual family snapshots. Soon enough I was hooked on the idea of photography again and found myself wishing I had a dSLR.

So, what's the problem? Up until now I've been able to blame the equipment for any problems in any of the photographs I've tried to take, it's easy to say "oh well, it's a compact digital, it's never going to give good results". Now that I've got a dSLR I can't really get away with that excuse...

Still, it's going to be fun, learning photography all over again, getting used to a new way of doing things.