Thursday, 28 June 2012


This morning I added the blog post I wrote yesterday to my photo website and also added the recipe I wrote up yesterday to my cooking website. I did some vacuuming and put the washing out as well.

In the afternoon I read this article about to easily make a Wordpress site mobile friendly: Make Your WordPress Website Mobile-​​Friendly in Minutes. It sounded quite quick and easy, so I thought I'd take a look.

The WordPress Mobile Edition plugin seemed to have quite a few support questions with no answers. So that indicated to me that the plugin wasn't being supported and may not be updated.

The other plugin, wpTouch, looked like it was still being supported, but unfortunately it doesn't play nicely with W3 Total Cache, which is the caching plugin I'm using: WPTouch + W3 Total Cache - must disable browser caching? So it looks like I won't be making my Wordpress sites mobile friendly in minutes at all.

I read an interesting idea on istock feast. Someone placed a camera round the neck of a friend, then took photos using a wireless shutter release. I don't know if they fixed the focus or had it on AF, but quite an innovative idea.

I did some work on my photo website for the rest of the afternoon.

In the evening I watched an episode of The Office (UK) with Mauser and Bo. Then I went out for a walk to test my new Olympus 24mm lens that arrived today and also the Lee Tricolor red filter for IR photography.

There was quite a nice sunset, but unfortunately since I was concerned with testing the red filter primarily, and the 24mm lens secondly, I hadn't packed any longer lenses. The sunset was nice to look at, but was only occupying a small part of the sky, and really needed a longer lens than 24mm for a good photo.

One thing I hadn't considered when buying the Olympus 24mm lens was its filter size. Kind of ironic since I wrote an article only recently that mentioned you should look at the filter size when looking to buy a camera / lens. The lens didn't seem to have the thread diameter printed on it, so I had to look it up online.

The thread diameter is 49mm, which I don't have any step-up rings for. I managed to find a 49-58mm step-up ring and 58-77mm step-up ring on Amazon that were available with expedited delivery. 77mm is the size of my polarising filter, and 58mm is the size my Canon lenses use. Mauser still had his Amazon prime trial, so I asked him to buy those, plus a 16GB Duracell CF card. Hopefully they will be delivered tomorrow.

The Duracell CF card I wanted just in case I decide to shoot much video while we're away in Germany. I was initially looking at a Kingston 'Ultimate' card, but according to the Amazon reviews the write speed was very slow. I did some research and found the Rob Galbraith Card comparison database, which actually let me see the best cards specifically tested on the 5d MkII. The Sandisk cards were obviously the best, but the Duracell Pro Photo 600x card did pretty well. Searching for it on Amazon, it was about £29 compared to something like £21 for the rubbish Kingston and something like £45 for a Sandisk.

I'm still waiting for the raincover for my bag and also an intervalometer for the 5d2 to arrive, so I hope they some tomorrow as well. Going on holiday is very expensive with all these extra things I'm buying to make the most of it!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


This morning I made a cake and started writing an article for my photo tips website.

In the afternoon I finished writing the article, wrote up the recipe for the cake I made, and started writing a blog post for my photo website.

In the evening I watched some Mahabarat, finished writing the blog post for my photo website, and watched the extra time and penalties of the Portugal vs. Spain match. Spain won, and they did seem like the better team (though Portugal were pretty good).

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Article writing

The other day I bought an Oly 24mm lens on ebay for £130. I thought I got a pretty good deal as another one I was watching that finished slightly later went for £186. The more expensive one was a later serial number (220764). But the one I bought was looks to be #216333, so not too much older I should think, and it will be multicoated. So I don't know why the other one went for so much more.

But then, I spotted another one on my watch list that had finished. It was serial #201044, so multicoated. It also included the hood and pouch, not included with the auctions. This had sold for only £132.50, which is a better deal than I got since it includes the hood and pouch.

But the annoying thing is that this auction finished between the lens I won, and the other one that went for a high amount. But at that time, it wasn't showing up in my watch list. (I think I added it to my watch list about a week ago, I don't keep track of all the listings I watch, so didn't realise it had disappeared). Then it reappeared in the watch list after the auction had completed. Why?

Another annoying ebay thing happened when I was watching a rain cover to go with my LowePro Fastpack 350 (as it doesn't come with an all weather cover). It was about £1, then I went away to do some cooking. I came back a bit before the auction should have ended to check it, but it had disappeared! There weren't any other cheap ones on ebay, and since I need the cover for next week, I had to buy a much more expensive one for about £8. Grrr!

I guess the lesson could be to make sure you put a snipe bid on goofbay as soon you find an auction you want to win. But I think that could quite easily to lead to a problem where you forget you've put a snipe bid on goofbay and end up buying the same thing more than once.

I spent most of today writing an article for my photo tips website, and then writing one for my web dev website.

Here are some photos I took the other day with my old Panasonix FZ5 and the Raynox DCR-250 diopter lens:

Monday, 25 June 2012

Writing and walking

This morning I wrote an article for my photo tips website. In the afternoon I took a few photos in the garden, then went out on a walk.

I took my new Lowepro fastpack 350 backpack and also the new small shoulder bag on the walk with me. I did get quite a sweaty back from the backpack unfortunately, so it's back cooling system doesn't work too well. It is quite big really.

The strap of the shoulder bag also dug into my neck a bit due to the way I carry it (with the strap over over shoulder and the bag on the opposite side of the body). I think that probably I might use the shoulder bag only for daytime city photoing, and the backpack for mountain walking. Of course, mountain walking is what will be sweatier, but also you generally want to carry more stuff on a countryside walk.

Here are some photos that I took on today's walk:

In the evening today I watched an episode each of Mahabarat and The Office (UK) with Mauser and Bo.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Super glue

This morning I wrote another article for my photo tips website.

Most of the afternoon and part of the evening I was comparing how well different programs can remove CA from my fisheye lens photos. I also watched an episode of The Office (UK) and the 2nd half of the Spain vs. France match. It wasn't a particularly great match, but I didn't think it was too bad really. Spain went on a few good runs, and France tried to. But Spain were a lot better than France.

I uploaded a video from a week or so ago to youtube as well:

Friday, 22 June 2012


This morning I wrote an article for my photo tips website.

In the afternoon I read a bit of the 5D mk2 manual. I found out how to use AE lock - press the * button within 4s of half-pressing the shutter button. The AE lock times out in 4s unless you take a photo. To keep it locked for longer than 4s, hold down the * button.

I was mainly focusing on the bit about shooting video though. Annoyingly, there is no way to set exposure compensation when in manual mode and using auto ISO: Exposure compensation in Manual mode? Possibly Magic Lantern firmware might enable this.

I found my Datawrite CF card is too slow for recording video. It only records about 4s, then the camera buffer is full so it stops.

After that I metadatared and processed a few photos. Here are some off-casts where the image is a bit blurry / focus off when viewed at 100%, but look okay at normal screen size:

In the evening I was making a list of keywords for researching how easy they would be to rank for / how much traffic they get. I also watched quite a bit of the Deutschland vs. Hellas match, and we finished watching the full version of Das Boot.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


I received another email offering SEO services for one of my websites, again very similar to what I have received before: [1] [2] [3]. Their website is a flashy looking two page affair with no real content, and one of the pages being the contact form.

From: Rachel Grey <>
Subject: let's work with one another

I'll take this opportunity to introduce myself, my name is Rachel Grey,
very nice to meet you. I work as a SEO manager for Optimized SEO.

I'm making a research for one of my partners and while doing so
I noticed and I have few interesting suggestions for you
and I would like to tell you more about them.

If you are interested I will be happy to send the additional information
and all the SEO details needed.

Thanks alot,

Rachel Grey

Visit my linkedin page

Most of today I spent writing an article for my photo tips website, and taking photos to illustrate the article. I was trying to get photos of the gypsy horses for a while. It was rather difficult as they would either move away from you when you get close, or come right up to you and start sniffing you.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Article writing

Most of today I was working on another article for my photo tips website.

In the afternoon I went out to take some photos, but forgot to check whether the camera had a memory card in it (it didn't), and didn't bring any spare memory cards either. So I just had a short walk instead.

In the evening I went out, remembering to put a memory card in the camera. Unfortunately the sun set behind a bank of cloud before I could finish my test (taking photos into the sun with different filters to see differences in flare). So I will probably need to go out again tomorrow or later this week to finish the test. I could just test shooting into a light at home, but I think doing real-life tests is better.

Also in the evening I watched part of the Ukraine vs. England match. England are certainly playing better now than they have previously, but they're still not particularly good. They went on a few good runs, but often seemed to loose the ball.

And I played on Beautiful Katamari with Billy and Mauser as well.

Oh, and I ordered some new camera bags - the Lowepro Fastpack 350 for a backpack from Amazon, and a smaller shoulder bag from eBay. I checked the Lowepro bag would be okay for a carry-on with Ryanair, and apparently a few other people have used it okay on Ryanair: Lowepro Fastpack 350 on Ryanair Cabin Baggage.

Strangely the Lowepro Fastpack 350 I was watching on eBay sold for £52, while it sells on Amazon for £49. I think the Amazon one is probably black, while the eBay one is red and black. Personally I prefer the black colour one.

I really don't understand why people bid so much for things on eBay. I'd rather spend a little more (or a little less in this case) and get the product new with warranty. I suspect returns are easier and cheaper on Amazon as well. On eBay you normally wouldn't get the postage costs refunded.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Article writing and illustrating

I spent most of today writing / taking photos to illustrate an article for my photo tips website.

In the morning I also went down town to get some more bird seed and some new hiking shoes. I had a look at some small shoulder camera bags in Aldi as well, but they didn't seem very good to me. I had a look later on ebay, and it looks like I can probably get a slightly better one for a bit more from there.

I also looked at backpacks a bit more. The Vanguard Up Rise 45 bag I was watching ended up going for nearly £60 including P&P. I liked the look of that bag as it seemed like it has a good system for keeping a good airflow on your back (so you don't get a sweaty back).

I think now that I might get a Lowepro Fastpack 350. It seems like it is essentially the same as my Slingshot bag, except that it has two shoulder straps. The only thing I don't really like about the Slingshot is that the single strap puts too much strain on your shoulder with a heavy bag, so the Fastpack sounds pretty good. I guess I can put up with a sweaty back.

So my main plan is probably the Fastpack 350 carrying camera accessories, drink, and maybe a coat or jumper. I can also use it if I need to store the camera away. Then a smaller shoulder bag for carrying my lenses. That way I can change lenses pretty quickly / easily, but without having everything in the shoulder bag, which would strain my shoulder too much.

The only other things I can remember that I did today are washing all the bird feeders, and watching Das Boot. (And standard stuff like doing the washing up and putting the washing out of course).

Sunday, 17 June 2012


Today I was mostly doing more Ukraine holiday planning, and also looking at camera backpacks again.

On the backpack front, I think I have narrowed it down to the Lowepro Pro Runner 300AW Photo Backpack, Kata DR-467i, Think Tank StreetWalker PRO Backpack, or Vanguard Up Rise 45.

The Vanguard Up Rise is listed at a larger depth (26cm) than the max IATA carry-on size of 55x40x20cm. On Vanguard'd website they say that it is suitable for use as a carry-on, but to check with your airline as restrictions vary. Since the backpack expands, it is annoying that they do not specify the expanded and collapsed sizes. Perhaps it is 20cm collapsed and 26cm expanded? Or maybe it is actually 26cm collapsed and will not meet maximum carry-on sizes of budget airlines. Who knows?

I did bid on both a Lowepro Pro Runner 300AW and an Olympus 24mm/2.8 MC lens (one in the 2xxxxx serial no. range), but was outbid on both by about 10p. It seems some people must put high maximum bids on everything I want to buy on ebay just so I can get outbid by 10p (or whatever the minimum bid increment is).

On the bag front, my other possible choice is a Cabin Max Carry On backpack (£20 from This is a lot larger than most photography backpacks. You could fit a large camera insert in it like those sold here: Padded Case Dividers of Calumet, and still have spare room in the bag. At the moment I am leaning towards a proper photo bag though as they are likely to be better designed for wearing as a backpack all day while walking around.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Processing, Writing, and Researching

All this morning and part of the afternoon I worked on an article for my photo website.

The rest of the afternoon and part of the evening I looked a bit more at backpacks, Hotels for the Ukraine holiday, and also wide-angle lenses.

I read some people saying that the Tokina 11-16mm lens was good for using at 16mm on a full frame camera. But after doing some research, it seems it is mainly preferred by people who use their DSLRs for video. There were quite a few reports saying that there is some vignetting at 16mm and the corners are soft at every aperture.

Reading various forum posts, it seems there is not really a sharp wide angle full frame lens other than the Nikon 14-24mm and the Samyang 14mm. (Oh, and of course Zeiss UWAs).

Because of the issues I had with the last copy of the Samyang 14mm, I would really want to try it out in a shop before buying it, or at least buy it from somewhere that lets you return it for free if it isn't up to spec. Unfortunately Samyang only seem to have one official UK dealer, and they charge £300 for the lens. The price from Amazon is similar.

I also looked at the Olympus 18mm and Tokina 17mm f/3.5. The Olympus looks like it's not too great wide open, but reasonably good at f/8-11. The Tokina I didn't see any test crops, but some people said it was really sharp, others said it wasn't that good. The general consensus seemed to be that it was a decent deal for $100-150. Unfortunately (as always seems to be the case) it normally sells for much more than that on ebay.

I did try to find out if there was any difference between the ATX and the RMC version, but couldn't find any info. The cheap price and good reports I read were for the older RMC version. So I will add that to my ebay watchlist.

At the moment the only wide-angle lens I have is my Miranda 24mm lens, which isn't that great (at least at the edges). Unfortunately it looks like I won't have any better lenses in time for the Germany / Austria trip at the start of July.

Thursday, 14 June 2012


This morning I woke up with a headache, so had some paracetamol and then went to bed again for a bit after breakfast.

I couldn't get to sleep again and my headache wasn't getting better or worse, so I went out a bit later in the morning. I wanted to get out while the weather was still nice.

I packed the shoulder bag with camera insert, and on my walk found it was quite a strain having to carry the weight on just one shoulder.

After lunch I still had a headache, so had some more paracetamol (my third lot of the day) and went to bed again. This time I did get a bit of rest and my headache cleared up a bit.

Following the morning's experience with the shoulder bag, most of the evening I tried to find a good backpack. I found one that looked good called the Osprey Atmos 35. It has a space between the bag and your back to avoid your back getting too sweaty. But it is quite big length-ways, and quite expensive. It isn't clear what the internal dimensions of the main section of the bag are either.

Another interesting bag was the Cabin Max Backpack Flight Approved Carry On Bag massive 44 litre travel luggage 55x40x20 cm. It is quite cheap (£25) and fits carry-on size requirements for most airlines. But most (all?) of the reviews seem to just be about using it for going on flights, not as a backpack. There are also several reviews and photos saying that the bag material rips very easily. Not what I want.

In the end, I think I might just get another camera bag. That way I can use the backpack to store some camera gear, but also use the shoulder bag to hold some camera gear as well at the same time.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Not enough time

Today I wrote two articles for my photo tips website and one recipe for my recipe website. I also watched an episode of Kamen Rider and Springwatch with Bo.

I thought that was pretty good going as normally I can only manage to write one article in a day. But yesterday I didn't get any articles for my photo tips website written, just one for my photo website.

I have been trying for the past week or so to take and post at least one photo a day (on this blog), but so far I haven't done any. I just don't have the time. It seems my To do list is just constantly getting longer and longer.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


This morning and the first part of the afternoon I worked on an article for my photo website.

For the rest of the afternoon I watched a film about Wyatt Earp called 'My Darling Clementine'. I thought it was okay, but not that good really. It wasn't really a historical style film, it featured the Earps facing the Clantons and had a shoot-out at the OK Corral, but everything else seemed to be artistic license.

In the evening I watched an episode of Star Trek. It was the one where Spock and Kirk do some dancing. Very funny. After that I watched Spring Watch.

I also processed a few photos from a walk last Saturday (26th May) in the afternoon and in the evening.

Here is a photo of the Danish Pastries that me and Billy made the other day. The recipe was rather strange, and didn't work. They turned out like weird biscuity bread things, but I think they taste alright. Most of them have different fillings. I will probably try and make some again sometime, but next time make them how I think they should be made instead of following a recipe.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Getting more SEO spam emails

Yesterday I received two emails, very similar to what I have received before [1] [2].

From: Brian Baker <>
Subject: let's work together


My name is Brian Baker and I would really love to tell you how
can rank even better in Google.

I'm a SEO expert for the past several years & while doing
a research for some of my colleagues I found your email address and
decided to contact you immediately.

If you are interested I will be happy to send the additional information
and all the details needed to make it happen.


Brian B.


From: Laura Matthews <>
Subject: let us work together


My name is Laura Matthews and I would really love to tell you how
can rank even better in Google.

I'm a SEO expert working at SEO Persona and while doing
a research for some of my colleagues I found your email address and
decided to contact you immediately.

If you are interested I will be happy to send the additional information
and all the details needed to make it happen.

Thanks a lot,


As before, the websites look nicely designed but have no content other than the front page and a contact page. And both have a linkedin profile that they promote in their email. Maybe they think having a linkedin profile makes them seem more like a real person?

Brian Baker's About me on his website is rather strangely worded, and doesn't exactly inspire confidence for someone that claims to live and have been educated in the USA:

My name is Brian Baker and for the past 6 years I'm a SEO expert.
I know a lot of people criticize SEO and complaining about the useless feeling of trying to do SEO.
I'm obviously not agree with this and I think all is a question of being with eyes open, stay tuned with SEO news and changes in the Google algorithms. I can assure results are here, it is just a matter of hard work and professionalism.
I have a large variety of websites and I basically spend my time pushing them in many different ways. I created this short page to allow people to know my work better. I'm most of the time busy with maintaining relationships with other websites and exchanging links as although all the debates, I still thinking reputation, quality content and backlinks are the most important keys to make your website grow. So you're more than welcome to contact me. I'm always happy to meet new sites owners and work with them together.

Most of today I spent working on an article for my photo tips website.