Thursday, 31 March 2011

Article writing

Today I wrote a couple of short articles for my photo tips website, then spent most of the afternoon and part of the evening finishing off the longer article I was working on yesterday.

In the afternoon I also went in the garden for a bit to try and take some insect photos, but it was quite difficult due to the strong wind.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Article writing

This morning I processed a few more Korea photos, then most of the day I was working on an article for my photo tips website.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Photo processing

This morning I processed some photos, then was thinking of going out as the weather was quite nice. I wanted to transfer the points of local interest I'd marked in Google Earth to my GPS, and found instructions on how to do that here: Google Earth Placemarks To Garmin 60CSX.

But by the time I'd downloaded and installed the software, the sun had disappeared. Still helpful though, as I've now got the points in my GPS for next time I want to go out.

In the evening I did some I love egg painting and watched an episode of Trek with Mause and Bo.

Monday, 28 March 2011


Today I processed some more Korea photos and did some more North Korean I love Eggs. In the evening I also watched another episode of ST TNG with Mauser and Bo.

I am also thinking about buying a Canon 5D MkII and some manual focus prime lenses. I am unsure how live view will work with manual aperture lenses. Since liveview shows what the final exposure will be like at the current settings, would you need to adjust exposure with the lens open (since you can't focus if the image is grossly overexposed), focus, stop the lens down, adjust exposure again and then shoot?

Since I already have an OM mount lens and my 450D has live view, I decided to buy an OM to EF mount adapter, which was £23. Then I can see how it live view will work with a manual aperture lens.

I decided to go for a more expensive adapter so it should be useful if I do get a 5D MkII and MF lenses. It lets you program both the focal length and aperture of the lens into the adapter, so it will be recorded in the EXIF. So long as I did this with all adapters for MF lenses I bought, it would mean I could go out for an afternoon, shoot with various lenses, and then when viewing the photos on the PC, easily see which lens it was I used for each photo.

Sunday, 27 March 2011


Today I updated my pog website, went to Church, processed a pano, and did some more North Korean I love eggs.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Article writing

Today I wrote an article for my photo tips website, then submitted it to ezine articles and articles base. I went in the garden a few times throughout the day because it was nice weather and I didn't get out much yesterday.

In the morning there were loads of flies in the garden, mostly sunbathing. In the afternoon I didn't see so many, but I did see a bee fly and a couple of bees.

In the evening I watched an episode of Life on Earth with Mauser and Bo. My PC Bluescreened and said that an important file had been attempted to be changed. So I updated MS Security Essentials and ran a full scan, but it didn't find anything.

Thursday, 24 March 2011


Today I did some more work on blog posts for my photography tips website, and also did a couple of Korea photo blog posts for my photo website.

In the evening I watched an episode of 'Life on Earth' with Masuer and L, then I watched a Bogey (Humphrey Bogart) film with Mauser. The start was quite weird because the start of the film is done mostly from the first-person perspective of Bogey. I thought it was really good. Not much action, but quite a bit of mystery.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


This morning I was finishing off the blog post for my photography tips website that I was working on yesterday.

In the afternoon I was trying to find out how to exclude files in wp-admin from awstats reports. After googling for the answer, I found I was already doing what was suggested (except for the sites on my hostgator account), but it wasn't working. I think the problem was that in my site config files it would exclude wp-admin, then it would import the main settings file which had
SkipFiles = ""
in it. So presumably this setting was then overwriting the previous setting.

So I commented out the SkipFiles directive from the main config file, and hopefully that will fix it. I modified my HostGator awstats config files as well to exclude wp-admin.

Also in the afternoon I did some vacuuming and took some photos in the garden. I found a bumblebee in the pond, so I helped it out on a stick. I put some honey on a leaf for it, but it didn't seem to want any and then flew off shortly after. So it seems its spell in the pond didn't affect it very badly.

In the evening I worked on making a full size egg with the newplast plasticine that arrived today. It's not as easy to work with as sculpey, but quite a lot better than L's plasticine that I tried using before. And it's about 10x cheaper than sculpey / fimo.

The large one at the front is the plasticine one, the rest are sculpey.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Writing and being ill

Today I was mostly working on a new article for my photography tips website.

I was quite ill with my cold so went to bed for quite a bit of the afternoon, and went to bed early as well.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Being ill

I spent most of this morning still trying to convert the parish regions shapefile to KML. There were two problems I had - the Shape2Earth plugin would only convert one shape to KML, rather than all selected shapes. The second was that the KML produced by Shape2Earth was offset (you can see that the parish boundaries should line up with edges of fields, rivers etc. but they weren't).

The first problem could probably be fixed by purchasing a full license for Shape2Earth, but I don't really want to pay for it when the second problem exists. So I spent quite a while trying to modify the projection of the shapefile in the hope that this would fix it when converted to KML, but I didn't have much luck.

In the end I just converted the one parish region I thought I needed using Shape2Earth, and will put up with the region being offset from where it should be.

For the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon I finished adding metadata to my Pitsford Reservoir photos from Saturday, then uploaded them to my photo website. In the afternoon I also took some photos in the garden and posted an article to my photography tips website. I had already written the article before, but it needed some photos adding.

I went to bed for a bit as I have a bad cold at the moment.

After tea I made some sculpey I love eggs with Berry and Mauser. I was hoping that I could use scrunched up paper, then cover this with original white sculpey to form the egg shape. Then I could use the more expensive coloured sculpeys on top of the white base layer to finish off the egg's design.

But unfortunately the sculpey would just move around rather than smoothing when it was wrapped round the paper. So in the end we just made eggs without any paper filler for the centres. I had originally intended that the eggs be real life egg size, but due to the large amount of sculpey needed for making solid eggs, we made them quite small instead.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Photo processing and metadataring

This morning I updated my pog website, then went to Church.

After dinner I watched an episode of Life on Earth with Mauser and Bo. For most of the rest of the afternoon I processed the photos I took yesterday.

In the evening I started adding descriptions for the photos, then tried (without success) to convert a parish regions shape file to KML so I could tell what area the photos were taken in.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Feeling ill

This morning I processed a couple of Korea panos.

In the afternoon we went out on a walk at Pitsford Reservoir. When we got back home I geo-coded the photos we took and checked dpreview, Luminous Landscape, Canon Rumors, and Nikon Rumors websites.

In the evening I watched some more of the extras from the last DVD of ST TNG. Weirdly the writers seemed to think they had done a good job on the season.

After that I was feeling really sleepy as I woke up with a cold this morning. I prepared some pog images for updating my pog website.

Mauser also showed me this video of an amazing song:

It has really great lyrics, and the girl can really sing, no hint of autotune at all. Also, check out the awkward expressions of the girls in the car with her when they're driving at night. That shot must have been quite hard to get as well, as it doesn't look green screened.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Photo processing

Today I was just processing some more Korea photos. In the evening I also watched an episode of Magi Rangers with L.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Buying sculpey

This morning and part of the afternoon I was mainly looking at the different types of Sculpey available. After finding plasticine very hard to work with yesterday, I thought I should try getting some coloured Sculpey, since I know that Super Sculpey is easy to work with. The problem is that there is Sculpey III, Primo! Sculpey, Studio by Sculpey, and also Fimo. So I wasn't sure which type would be best for model making.

I couldn't really find much useful info other than a few peoples opinions, which seemed to conflict with each other. So I bought different colours of Primo! Sculpey, Studio Sculpey, and Fimo from ebay.

When L came home he said I should buy some Sculpey III as well, so I did. Then I found that you can buy 500g blocks of the plasticine that Aardman Animations use for quite cheap (very cheap compared to Sculpey). So I bought a few blocks of that as well.

So I spent quite a lot on polymer clay / plasticine today!

I also processed some more Korea photos, and in the evening watched 'Dog Day Afternoon' with Mauser.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Korea related stuff

This morning I watched Pulgasari (불가사리) with english subtitles, which was on Youtube. It is a North Korean monster film, and was surprisingly good.

I did some website work, upgrading wordpress on my photo website. In the afternoon I processed some more Korea photos.

In the evening I tried to make a plasticine I love Egg Kim Jong-il

I blended 3 pieces of green plasticine to give me a larger amount of green plasticine. I used paper for the main part of the egg, but still didn't really have enough green plasticine. I also found the plasticine was very hard to work with. It didn't smooth well, and would split / break when trying to work with small pieces.

In the evening I also tried drawing an egg in Flash, but found it very difficult compared to Illustrator.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Sunday, 13 March 2011


Today I updated my pog website, which was quick due to doing most of the work on Friday and Saturday. I went to Church, watched an episode of Star Trek TNG with Mauser and Bo, and did some more gardening, removing the buddleias from behind the greenhouse.

I spent most of the evening working on a logo for my cakes and cookies website.

Saturday, 12 March 2011


Today I made some Melonpan with L, did some gardening, and finished cutting out some pogs in Photoshop, which I started yesterday. I also looked at tonemapping / processing one of my photos a bit more, trying to get a good image out of it.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Article writing

Today I was writing / find photos to illustrate some more articles for my photo tips website. One photo that I looked at on flickr was CC licensed, but they had put in the description that it was for personal use only as per the CC-NC license, or something similar to that.

So that got me wondering what the actual definition of 'Non-Commercial' in the terms of creative commons licences meant. I always thought that it meant you couldn't use the image in something you were selling, but it would be okay to include in, say, a newsletter, or website. I tried to find the strict definition, but it seems that there isn't one, and it is open to interpretation: Creative Commons - Defining Noncommercial report published. (Despite the title of that post, it doesn't define what noncommercial means).

I think I will carry on using CC-NC licensed photos for my photo tips website. Although the site does have quite a few ads / affiliate links on it, I'm not selling anything that contains the images. If anyone's unhappy with me using their image, they can always contact me and ask for the image to be removed.

Sunday, 6 March 2011


This morning I updated my pog website after preparing the pog images yesterday evening. After that I went to Church.

After dinner I watched an episode of TNG with Mauser and Bo. In the afternoon I wrote a couple of Korea photos blog posts for my photo website.

It looked like there was going to be a nice sunset so I went out for a walk. I did take a few photos, but actually the sunset wasn't that great.

In the evening I had a haircut and finished off another Korea photos blog post.

Saturday, 5 March 2011


This morning I added the Korea panos I processed in the last couple of weeks to my pano website.

In the afternoon I was writing a Korea photos blog post for my photo website. I updated my gravatar profile and tried to get access to the latest version of FPP. This involved:
  • Finding out how to get the latest version
  • Trying to find a copy of the invoice / how to get the invoice
  • Trying to log into the company that deals with the transactions' website
  • Having to use an old reset password link I had on an email to log in to their website as the login form on the main page of their website doesn't work
  • Downloading the invoice
  • Trying to find my FPP forums password
  • Failing, so having to reset my forum password
  • Finally, emailing the administrator to allow me access to the private files area of the forum
Generally I think I'm quite organised, but obviously wasn't in this situation. Anyway, now I've saved the invoice and made a note of my forum password, so shouldn't have this problem again in the future.

In the evening I watched an episode of Star Trek TNG with Mauser and Bo.

Friday, 4 March 2011


This morning I was trying to record a video tutorial for my website, the same one I was trying to record a week or so ago. Using the same program as I tried last time, Wondershare Demo Creator, I found that when I recorded a video of me using Photoshop or Windows Explorer, the cursor recorded as an hourglass. But when I recorded me using Google Chrome, the cursor recorded okay.

I tried Photoshop 32 bit version (normally I use the 64 bit version), and found the cursor recorded okay in that as well. So I guess there is a weird bug with Wondershare Demo Creator where it records the cursor as an hourglass for 64 bit programs.

I didn't record any audio with the video, so I had to do this after the fact, which took me quite a long time.

In the afternoon I went out to Little Bowden as the constant overcast sky we've had for the past week started to clear a bit. I took a couple of panos, making sure to take various nadir photos to illustrate an article I've written for my website. I still need a couple more photos for the article, but they require low light rather than midday sun.

In the afternoon and evening I finished off syncing the audio to the video I was working on in the morning, then uploaded it to youtube and updated my blog post the video was for.

I also watched the first episode of Star Trek Enterprise with Masuer and Bo, which I thought was quite good.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Article writing

Today I was just writing a couple of articles for my photo tips website, and I finished uploading the latest lot of Korea photos to my photo website.

In the evening I watched El Dorado, a John Wayne film, with Mauser and Bo.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Metadataring finished for a bit

This morning I finished writing descriptions for my latest batch of Korea photos, then I checked they were geo-coded properly.

Unfortunately Robogeo wouldn't handle my filenames with foreign characters in them, so I tried to see if there was any other software that could geo-code photos using google earth / maps in a similar way to Robogeo. Doing a quick google, I found a suggestion for Google Picasa: Re: alternative to Robogeo... So I downloaded Picasa to give it a try.

Unfortunately, you can't just drag and drop a bunch of files to Picasa like you can with Robogeo, you need to add the base folder to Picasa's library. After doing that I tried searching for JPEG and TIFF files in Picasa, but it seems that Picasa doesn't support advanced searching.

In Windows you can search for both with a query like .jpg OR .tiff. Advanced tips for searching in Windows.

When I tried the geocode and view in Google Earth options in Picasa, both of them did the same - just displayed thumbnails of all the images in Google Earth. What I wanted to do was to step through the images one by one in the order they were taken, checking that each image was correctly geo-coded. But obviously this isn't an option in Picasa.

So I uninstalled Picasa, and just temporarily renamed the filenames/paths with foreign characters in so I could check them with Robogeo. I did find a few that weren't geo-coded correctly, so I corrected these.

Unfortunately Robogeo doesn't support psd or psb files, so for JPEGs that were produced from a photoshop file. So for these files I had to geocode the JPEG using Robogeo. Then I had to export the XMP from the PSD using Adobe Bridge. Then I had to use ExiftoolGUI to copy the GPS data from the JPEG to the PSD. Then I had to re-import the XMP using Bridge.

The XMP exporting and then importing is because using ExiftoolGUI to write metadata to a file will make Bridge think that the XMP isn't UTF-8 encoded any more (this is a bug in Bridge).

When doing this I also found that some files had mysteriously become marked as 'hidden'. I have 'Show hidden and system files' ticked in Windows Explorer, so I could still see them, but they were at a slightly opacity to show they were hidden files. The only thing I can think that might have done this is Picasa.

Anyway, looking for a way to check how to search for hidden files, both Advanced tips for searching in Windows and Windows Search Advanced Query Syntax didn't seem to offer any way to find only hidden files. Reading this thread: Search for hidden files and folders in Windows 7, one of the commenters said that it is possible using the dir command at the command prompt.

After trying it, I couldn't get it to work properly, so I googled and found some examples with the correct syntax to use: Microsoft DOS dir command. So to search for only hidden files within a directory and all sub-directories, you cd to the directory, then run dir /ah /s

In the afternoon I finished checking the photos' metadata, and started uploading them to the website.

It looked like it was going to be a nice sunset, but I decided not to go out until the nice looking sunset actually started. I was glad I did this as actually a large cloud moved in front of the sun, and there was no sunset to be seen.

For the rest of the afternoon and quite a bit of the evening I was uploading photos to my photo website and working on a couple of articles (from for my photography tips website.

In the evening I also watched an episode of Star Trek TNG with Mauser and Diddle Dude.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Today I was still writing descriptions for Korea photos. I only have a few of the current batch left to do now, so hopefully can finish it off tomorrow.

I spent quite a while today just looking at photos of a gate, as I wanted to check that my photo was of this particular gate. Unfortunately all the photos I found were of the front of the gate, and my photo was of a small portion of the back of the gate. Still, I am pretty sure it is the same gate, but seems it was a waste of time searching for and looking through all the others photos of the gate.