kat's blog

Tripod Talks

There seems to be something about setting up a camera and a tripod near a road that encourages people to talk to you. Yesterday, after attending a coleagues retirement lunch, I headed over to one of the local viewpoints in the area. The view looks put towards the two Severn Bridges but rather than take pictures of the bridges I figured I'd try and take some panoramic shots to practice getting them to stitch together without visible seams. The light was bad and the sky was grey with a haze settled over the bridges so I knew that the pictures I got wouldn't be good enough to show anyone. About 2 minutes after setting up, sure enough, an older gentleman stopped to chat and asked me what I was doing. Apparently his wife was into photography and I gave him some tips of cheap camera related items such as filters that he could buy as presents. I didn't bother hanging around for the sun to start to go down as it was cold and I don't think the weather would have given a good picture. Nevertheless, I managed to capture these artificial flowers below.

Flower Memorial: Some artificial flowers tied to a fence; protecting the public from a steep gully.Flower Memorial: Some artificial flowers tied to a fence; protecting the public from a steep gully.

Is it just me or does everyone end up chatting to random people as soon as you erect a tripod?

Site Upgrade

I've just upgraded the software that this site runs under. As always, if you spot something broken please leave a comment or email me through feedback. Cheers!

Super Noodles

Note to self: Batchelors Super Noodles 'To Go' have a plasticy aftertaste; which is odd as they come in a cardboard carton. Don't buy them again.

The normal noodles that come in a bag are nice though.


As I mentioned before, this week I seem to have spent a long time in my car driving. Fully a third of the miles that my car has done ever in it's life have been spent moving my brother into his new place in Reading. I know my brother pretty well by now so I wasn't really surprised that when I got back to my parents there wasn't a bed made for me or when I got up in the morning that there wasn't anything I could eat for breakfast. I did tease him about it a lot though!


Next week I'm going to spend a couple of days moving my brother up to Reading from my parent's house and it got me into an introspective mood about my roots. I come from a place called Canvey Island which is a small island in the mouth of the Thames. I moved out of my parent's house when I was 18 and left the (Canvey) Island life behind. After spending so long living not more than about a half hours walk from the sea in any direction it seems slightly odd to be so far away from all the things that go hand in hand with being by the sea such as ships, sea air, sand, candy floss and the like.


I usually buy a couple of different photography magazines every so often but the one that I normally buy every issue of is Digital Photo. It's not the most technical of magazines for photography but its articles normally spark some ideas off in my head for other things I could try or have a go at with my camera and pictures. October's magazine had 54 free border effects included on the CD and while there were some that I would never think of using, it did inspire me to take a look through the pictures on my hard drive to see if any images caught my attention for some loving. I took the 'Evergreen' picture in the summer of 2004 while I was working in London. It's a sculpture tucked behind City Hall (very near Tower Bridge). I tried looking on the internet for who the original artist is but couldn't see it. If you know, leave a comment, because I'd be interested. The green frame just seemed the right thing to set the image off.


Bundled Up Against the Cold

I decided to take my camera out again last night being as it was a reasonably clear evening in Bristol although there appeared to be a slight mist in the air when you looked closely. As it was a clear night it was also cold so I didn't leave the house until I had two T-shirts, a fleece and a big coat (also with a fleece zipped into it) and a cap. I must of looked pretty comical all bundled up like that but after standing around for a bit you still started to feel cold.

Moon Shot

I've been itching to take some night sky photos for a while now but the weather in Bristol hasn't been co-operating lately. If there has been a clear night it has always been on a weekday and my sensible side tells me that getting no sleep the night before a day at work is a bad thing. Yesterday, however, was a relatively clear night and now that the clocks have gone back to GMT it's getting dark very early. I therefore set out at around 1900 last night with the intention of probably trying to get some starfields if possible and had picked a possibly dark enough area to try around one of the local golf courses. I set out on my bike, which hasn't been ridden in at least a year, with a warm coat and gloves, a full pack of camera gear and a spare battery. I did get to the golf course but to be honest it was so out of the way and I was on my own that I didn't really want to venture further in where I might get less light pollution from the city. I resigned myself to the fact that I was chickening out and decided instead to take a ride around the local area and photograph anything that looked interesting.

British Citizen Test

Saturday mornings usually find me browsing the BBC's magazine pages while eating breakfast and drinking a cup of tea. I decided to have a go at the Citizenship Test that the BBC has put up based on the book 'Life in the UK' from which the actual test questions are taken.


I heard about ProjectOpus through the Drupal Showcase Forum at Drupal.org recently but I only just decided to check it out. The site is still in beta currently but there are already some quality albums and singles available. The site allows you to purchase music but also lets you listen to all the music through a nifty little streaming player. Everything I've listened to so far has been very good quality and I've even been tempted to branch out into other music styles that I'm not normally interested in such as Pop and Jazz. This site looks like it can only get better as more and more artists register. I strongly recommend that you check it out!

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