Category Archives: Photography

Roundup of events…

Haven’t updates here for ages, getting a very bad habit!

Life:

Not much going on at all to be honest. Trying to save money, though I do have a little holiday booked in the next few weeks. Works been a bit depressing lately, had two rounds of redundancies cost cutting measures which has killed morale. Plus the woman who came to work in IT with me and boss six months ago has had a better/more secure offer and left us last week, I think she’d been a pretty positive influence on us both so it’s a real shame that she’s left. House prices are going up again, so the house hunt continues to be something of a long running unfunny joke.

Winter setting in now, temperatures dropping and we are still holding out on putting the heating on, got a hoody I now wear at home with the hood up, but haven’t had to resort to the two pairs of socks… yet!

Photography:

GiraffesNot had much chance to take pictures, camera bag has been sitting in the corner of my room looking dusty and unloved. Did manage to go out to Whipsnade zoo a few weeks ago, haven’t been to a zoo in years so was pretty interesting, went during the week so very few people around which was even better! Took about 140 photos and whittled them down to about 20 which I tweaked a little. Photos are here, as well as Picasa and Flickr (I’ve not decided which service I prefer yet!), still not entirely happy with all my shots, really need to practice more and pay attention to the settings when taking the photos.

Films:

Harry Potter and the Half Blood PriceAfter seeing Star Trek at the IMAX earlier in the year, I went back again with my dad to see it. Since then I’ve returned to the IMAX to see Transformers 2 and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

Transformers 2; wasn’t as good as the first, impressive effects, but I wasn’t a fan of the in-the-action camera work, even on the IMAX screen!

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, probably the best Harry Potter film so far, the opening 10 minutes were in 3D so we all sat with stupid glasses on. I was surprised how good the 3D looked but was disappointed it only lasted the first 10mins. Wished they had shown Dumbledores funeral but beyond that was impressed and look forward to seeing The Deathly Hallows part 1 next year!

Now waiting for all of the above to come out on BluRay.

Other films I’ve seen in the last few months: Terminator Salvation = meh, nothing special at all. How to Lose Friends & Alienate people = It has Simon Pegg and Megan Fox in it, what could go wrong?! Very funny, loved it. Knowing = really enjoyed this to, bit weird but good mystery film. Seven Pounds = didn’t like it, thought the ‘twist’ was pretty obvious from the very beginning. The International = enjoyable action/thriller. X-Men origins: Wolverine = meh, same as Terminator Salvation, no surprise Star Trek beat both of these at the box office.

Gaming:

It’s been a very quiet summer for gaming this year. I got Killzone 2 for the PS3, hated that, really should have cancelled my pre-order when I didn’t like the demo. Played Prototype for the PC, was enjoyable enough but pretty much a throwaway once it’s done. Played through the DLC for Fallout 3, that was fun but I’d agree with the developers that the DLC has reached it’s natural conclusion. Looking forward to Fallout 4 whenever that turns up. Ghostbusters, great game really sticks to the films spirit (pardon the pun). Also ran through Half Life 2, and Episode 1 & 2 again, as good as always. Even played through Call of Duty 4 again.

Needed the distraction this weekend so plonked down £39 for Uncharted 2 for the PS3, a truly excellent game which shows other PS3 developers programming on the PS3 can be done properly. No 15 minute game cache installation, no load times between levels. Beautiful graphics and level architecture, excellent 5.1 sound, an awesome soundtrack, and great story & voice acting. I think I’d definitely put it up there in my top 10 single player experiences.

uncharted2a1

Games to look forward to in the next few months. Got Left4Dead 2 for PC pre-ordered, Modern Warfare 2 for PC. Assassins Creed 2 and Mass Effect 2 coming along later. Will probably wait for the reviews of BioShock 2 as it’s not being made entirely by the same team. Jury is still out on Max Payne 3, could go either way at the moment.

Not much else to report really, feeling miserable at the moment so hope that hasn’t reflected in my writing, that and the fact I typed it all up at 2:30am of a Monday morning!

Recent updates

I’ve been absent from my blog for quite a while now, mostly down to Twitter where I can moan in short bursts. I therefore thought it might be a good idea to do an update with all the things I have (or haven’t) done since the last update.

Star Trek @ IMAX

On Thursday 7th May I travelled in to London to go to the BFI IMAX to see a film I’d been waiting years to go and see – Star Trek! I’d reserved my tickets back at the beginning of April and it was lucky I did, the showing at 3pm I attended was sold out, even the rubbish seats in the front corners were sold.

I’d never been to an IMAX before but I was sure that I didn’t want to see it at the Bedford Cineworld fleapit. Walking in to the IMAX auditorium not only was there no coca-cola sloshed up the screen or popcorn stuck to it, it was bloody huge! The seat I’d booked (K19) was perfect dead centre, the screen occupied my total field of vision. This was the 2nd showing of the film (the previous being at midnight) and the place was packed with Sci-Fi fans discussions about Fringe, Lost, Cloverfield, BSG, DS9, Voyager, TNG, and Babylon 5 were banded about like Britains Got Talent and Big Brother are in the ‘real’ world!

After a few trailers (annoyingly no Transformers 2 trailer) the film started. Amazing film, looked and sounded great, the storyline was good and the new actors bought the old characters back to life, lots of in-jokes for the trek fans but still fresh for everyone else to enjoy. I did have a couple of complaints, I wasn’t fond of the music, mostly down to preferring the cinematic Star Trek theme rather than the TOS wailing theme. Also wasn’t fond of Scottys ‘tube trip’, or the new Engineering. Overall though, I really enjoyed it, so much so I’m paying to go in to London again and see it on June 8th.

I’m also rather in love with the IMAX Experience, and would consider going back to see Transformers 2 and Harry Potter, so long as they don’t fall during School Summer holidays!

Photos

FlowerHaven’t really had chance recently to go through them properly but have been out and about to take a few photos. Still getting mixed results, I really need to ask on a forum what I’m doing wrong! I’ve uploaded the latest sets of photos to my Blog gallery and to Picasa. Also want to get a small portable tripod as lots of my photos are still betting blurred because I can’t hold it still, just don’t want some massive 4kg thing that will be awkward to carry around.

Gaming

It’s been a quiet few months on the gaming scene, nothing new has come out that really caught my interest. Been playing some Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2 again, both have recently had content additions. I was more than a little disappointed that L4D didn’t introduce any new campaigns only one proper new map and a bunch of modified ones for the Survival game mode. Survival does exactly what it says on the tin, you have to survive against unlimited attacks of zombies, and assorted monsters, it is fun for a quick game and you aren’t stuck playing a campaign for two hours. Team Fortress 2 update has been interesting, some new weapons and maps, not sure about the time release weapon upgrades but we will see.

Also been playing a lot of Supreme Commander/Forged Alliance with friends online, a tough challenge with some games lasting three hours! Only issue we’ve had is the rather inconsistant AI, several games the AI seems to simply give up or get stuck. Could do with more decent maps as well.

With E3 just finished I’m definately looking forward to Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Alan Wake, and Supreme Commander 2. I was a little disapointed that there was no mention of Half Life: Episode 3 but I’m still hoping for a release in November this year! Also Unknown Worldshave finally officially announced Natural Selection 2 which I’ve already pre-ordered, loved the original Half Life mod.

Home

After my last entry life has continued much the same, only now I’m getting daily alerts from Rightmove.co.uk about houses I can’t afford or mobile homes I don’t want!

That’s about it for now, hopefully the next blog post won’t be so delayed. Off to play Supreme Commander Forged Alliance now, I’m getting moaned at for delaying the game!

Canon EOS 450D

New Camera, no new pics… yet

So I only bought my bridge camera, a Canon PowerShot S5 IS in October last year but I’ve already just gone and replaced it with a proper dSLR, a Canon EOS 450D.

Reason for replacing it was that I really enjoyed taking pics on holiday in Cornwall back in June but was frustrated as I wanted easier control on the manual settings. Spent the last few months reading reviews and peoples opinions on different cameras and in the end I went with the 450D as it was quite a modern camera had a pretty high spec (for an entry dSLR) and I felt the live view might be useful as I’m used to using the LCD screen on my S5.

Problem is ever since I’ve bought it, it’s pissed down with rain at every opportunity so I’ve had very little chance to take any proper pictures. Hopefully the weather will sort itself out in the window between now and winter.

Kew snow showers!

Having seen the weather forecasts for the last couple of days I was still convinced that there wouldn’t be any snow, I was booked on a trip to Kew Gardens and didn’t much fancy recreating scenes from The Day After Tomorrow as I walked around the place. As it turned out it did snow quite a bit in fact and it took me and others by surprise.

I Decided to go anyway and after a short delay stuck in traffic with people wanting to go to some football match at Wembley we arrived at Kew Gardens. As soon as we stepped off the coach it stopped snowing which was a relief, the snow made the visit more interesting as there was kids everywhere building snowmen and having snowball fights. Obviously it completely changes the landscape something that not everyone sees when they visit. Spent a good 5 hours going around all the conservatories and other points of interest. Took lots of photos (226 in total) despite not being that interested in flowers.

Kew Gardens have had an exhibition of some sculptures by Henry Moore, I don’t really know much about him but some of his sculptures were quite impressive, unfortunately Kews exhibition of his work finished at the end of March so some of the sculptures had already been removed with the rest to follow shortly.

Overall an enjoyable day out, though I’m absolutely knackered now! A selection of the photographs I took are in my Photo Gallery.