Category Archives: Photography

Since October 2005 I’ve posted photos to my photoblog, In Photos.org so go there if you want to view my newer images!

Retro Gaming at jQuery UK 2013

Just a few photos that have been sitting in my “upload folder” for the last year or so after attending jQuery UK. Look at all those old 90s consoles! Snes and Megadrive machines? There’s another machine there too but I don’t recognise it. I wasn’t a fan of console gaming back then, but if they’d thrown in a C64 I’d have had fun!

It was an amazing conference and best of all, the talks are online. I remember being blown away by Wait, Chrome DevTools can do THAT? by Ilya Grigorick.

Scenic photos of Oxford will eventually make their way to my photoblog at In Photos dot Org.

Get out and make some memories

It can get pretty crazy at live performances can’t it? I’m 100% guilty of taking photos at concerts and I recorded video of my son’s stage performances at school. I even sneaked a camera into the Irish Bruce Springsteen and Take That concerts.

Meanwhile, this is what Louis CK has to say about posting videos of your kids on Facebook. It’s very NSFW obviously so be warned!

Do you wonder if you’ll ever watch any of those videos again? You need to make it easy for your family to do. Grab Plex, install it on your PC and tell it where your family videos are. It will do the hard work of indexing them. You can browse them from a web interface, on your phone in their app, on PS3 or Xbox 360 even. I’ve rediscovered videos taken when my son was only two years old that make me smile and laugh all over again!

I found the video above on fstoppers where Mike Wilkinson mentions a singer named Mayer Hawthorne who told people to get out their phones and cameras and he and his band posed for photos. Apparently everyone put their cameras away afterwards and enjoyed the show. Good idea. Taking that one step further it’d be great if performers put photos and videos of their shows online for fans to download. Put that URL on the ticket. Could schools do something similar? Most schools must have a reasonably competent (or enthusiastic) photographer and videographer as a parent. Delegate the job perhaps?

Finally, keep making memories and recording them but as I’ve been reminded many times, get your face out from behind the viewfinder too!

Photos of Bruce Springsteen in Cork

Yesterday evening Bruce Springsteen played in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork City. It was a glorious summer evening and with gates due to open at 5pm I headed down there early with my wife. We had to queue along the Marina for more than an hour but we had the shade of the trees and brought along a fold up chair too. Unfortunately when we eventually got to security they told us the chair couldn’t be brought in and we hid it in the bushes hoping it would be there later. Bags were searched too so I’m glad I didn’t bring my DSLR!

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While we waited we heard Bruce singing for a sound check. I’m not that familiar with all his music but they were some beautiful melodic songs I need to try and find and listen to again. We were probably among the first few hundred in so we got to within about 3m of the pit barrier. Beyond that were the early birds who had camped the previous night and VIPS (I presume) who were right up next to the stage. Pretty close eh?

Watch the Hat

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We were really close but right in front of us were 3 tall gentlemen who blocked my view almost entirely. I had to lift the camera in the air or squint in between heads to see the stage at all unfortunately.

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Bruce Springsteen puts so much energy into his performance it’s amazing. He collected placards from the audience, got 2 kids up on stage to sing, went shaking hands with the front row, encouraging everyone to sing along. He knows how to work a crowd!

It was of course really crowded so after 40 minutes we decided to retreat. Apologies to those in our way but thank you for being so kind as to move out of our way. I don’t think I’ve ever said “Excuse me, sorry, excuse me, sorry” so many times. The crowd just went on for ever and ever!

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Near the other end of the pitch there was a lot more room and we met up with some friends there.

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We left early to avoid the crowds and found quite a crowd outside. Local residents and others had gathered on the Marina, in boats and across the river to hear Bruce play! We looked for that fold up chair we left outside earlier but someone had taken it.

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We walked around the Atlantic Pond and up that narrow path/road at the other end. It was so nice to see people sitting or lying on the ground just listening to the sound coming from the stadium. Perfect evening for it.
Shortly after, we got into a taxi in Ballintemple, headed into town where we relaxed for a bit before heading home.

A great night, if he plays in Cork again I’ll go but I’ll want to be more familiar with his back catalogue next time!

Photos are from my Samsung Galaxy S4 and a now ancient Panasonic Lumix FZ5 that was small enough to fit in my pocket, even with a 12x zoom! Please leave a comment if you’d like to use these photos.

Edit: I recorded a 24 second clip of the band playing “Wild Thing” but here’s a longer clip!

Three Days in Dungarvan

I spent the last few days in Dungarvan, staying in the Park Hotel with my family. It’s a really nice town, small enough that you can walk around it in half an hour but plenty of places to eat and drink.

I took my camera of course and almost always shot in b/w mode with my Canon f1.8 50mm lens. I cheated a little as I used RAW+Jpeg mode but I’m happy with the results. RAW lets me recover the colour information while the Jpeg records a useful b/w image I can check against during post processing.

I love that 50mm lens but rarely use it so a whole holiday was a challenge. With such a short depth of field it’s really important getting the focus point right. I usually used the center point or a side point rather than trust the matrix to pick out the right one!

Oh Corel, you’re still around? Hello Bibble!

I’m a big fan of Bibble Pro by Bibble Labs so when I saw an email from them a few days ago announcing their sale to Corel I was a little worried. The last time I had anything to do with Corel software was when they had a Linux distro. That didn’t end so well.

Here’s some blurb from the press release:

Corel bought us for a couple of reasons. First, they were looking for a top-of-the-line technology to complement PaintShop Pro, their flagship photo editing solution. They were blown away by the speed of Bibble’s technology and saw the opportunity to invest even more in development and in bringing our technology to even more users- something that Bibble Labs simply couldn’t afford to do on our own. We’ve been working with the Corel team for the past few months and it’s clear they’re committed. They are excited about our technology and processing power, and the opportunities we see to take the product forward. They recently released PaintShop Pro to very strong user and industry reviews, and are now keen to offer photographers a powerful workflow and management solution. Corel knew there was no better match for them than Bibble.

All of us at Bibble have joined the Corel team. We’re keeping Mac and Linux support and we’re staying in Austin. I’m now running product development for Corel’s new photo workflow solution that is based on the core Bibble technology. What’s even better is that I now have access to dedicated user interface and graphic designers who are helping to improve usability and make the product even better looking. I also now have a full QA team dedicated to product testing, along with documentation and localization teams, marketing and sales teams, and a huge, international distribution system to help get our technology the notice it deserves. We also have access to a customer support team to help provide the personal attention I had always wanted to provide, but couldn’t do on my own. Not only does this mean that many more folks are working on this product than ever have before, but it als o means that all of us at the Labs can focus 100% on the core technology and the product.

Bibble Pro has been transformed into Aftershot Pro. You can download a trial version here. It looks very like Bibble Pro but it’s a lot snappier. It loads very quickly, previews show quickly, applies filters quickly. It also feels lighter on my system.

The upgrade for existing Bibble users is $19.99 (EUR/GBP 14.99 incl. VAT) up to the end of January so I decided to go for it. Hopefully the speed increase isn’t because there isn’t a huge catalogue of imported photos! It would be nice to have some way of importing the Bibble photo catalogue.

Reaction elsewhere has been mixed. Check out these threads: one and two.

Oh yeah, Bibblelabs and Corel. Thanks for supporting Linux!