Tag Archives: photography

A Blank Canvas

A new year (2014) and a blank canvas…

A Blank Canvas

Are we meant to write the new years resolution post yet? (RIP 2013)

I don’t really know too many people who keep to their new years resolutions that well. I know for one when I do I always make it a few days and fail miserably. Get sad about it and then go screw it. So this isn’t a here are my new years resolutions post. It’s my new year plans, dreams and aspirations. Someplace I can come back to and think am I keeping on track at all?

You can skip to the last line of the post here if you’d like.

1: I’d like to blog more. Blogging takes time though. I could say I’d like to do one post a day for the year but what type of quality would they be of? I’ve already been trying to do a daily post with some limited success but we fall back into old habits of ug I’ve not done one for a few days so why bother. In December I took steps towards solving that somewhat. I merged my blogs into one. This one. I used have a work site, a personal site, another personal site a food site and so on… you get the idea. They’ve kinda lain dormant though so having just the one place to post should be good.

2: I’d like to fall in love with work again. I’m rather passionate about what I do (At least I’d like to think I am.) I like having a random idea and putting it into play quickly. I’m not sure why but I’ve suffered to stay in that happy place where I wake up going woo hoo a brand new day what am I going to work on today. Maybe it’s all related to life in general. It’s something I plan on trying to address more.

3: I’m going to cook more. I generally do cook quite a bit as it is. If I’m simply cooking for myself however it’s a case of buy a pizza (ready meal) and bung it in the oven. I think the horse meat scandal earlier in the year was a slight eye opener though. It’s not that I wouldn’t eat a ready made lasagne though it’s more a question of what’s actually in there? What are those funny E numbers and do I really want my daughter eating that? (Don’t worry when cooking for Charlotte I rarely if ever think of a ready made meal baring a complete emergency.)  Maybe I’ll blog the meals recipes more, see point 1 above :P

4: I’m going to improve my French. I’ve already taken steps this year and have started doing a course in the university. You’d think after what 3+? years in France my French would be better wouldn’t you, however working from a home office with Irish people doesn’t really help with that. So I’m going to continue on with the French classes and make attempts to write more in French.

5: Make more friends. You know when you reach a certain point in your life and you’re kinda stuck with the same group of friends and it rarely changes? I’d like to try changing that some more for the better this year. The age old oh you should join a club or do this or that is the common suggestion people make. Add in busy schedules and it’s not always that easy. 2 nights a week gone on French Class. Minding Charlotte another night or two and suddenly there isn’t a lot of time for going making “football” friends!

6: Take better photos. I guess this goes without saying for me. I love taking photos. Sometimes a completely crappy photo will make me happy. I’d like to reduce the crappy photos get more manual and get more used to using flash for photography ( that probably means I need to buy a flash right … *sighs*.

7: Cut out the crap from my diet. It’s a vicious circle in my life. I drink coffee to wake up. I drink coffee to excess. I grab a beer in the evenings to chill out and relax. Repeat. Throw in some nibbles of some sort and hey presto it’s pretty bad for you. While it’s doubtful I’ll be able to cut everything out ( and well why would I want to ) I plan to try improving things.

8: Learn more. I love learning. I’m constantly learning. In the last year I started using illustrator more. Playing with video in the form of After Effects and Premier and a whole pile of other applications. While I’d love to get modeling stuff in 3D I have to realise I just don’t have the time anymore. There are only so many hours in the day.

9: I want to spend less time on the computer. (He says on a holiday at 22:41 at night in his home office) I like a lot of people spend a silly amount of time on the computer. I don’t sit in front of the TV much at all. ( At least I don’t think I do )

10: Work on one programming project for fun. I seem to have excuses / excuses for not working on personal projects. I managed to get a few hours over the holidays and it really rekindled my love for programming. I need to map out time to play with personal programming projects. I suspect I have an all or nothing attitude going on in my head which means I won’t do 20 – 30 minutes on something as I simply say what’s the point. ( Maybe I end up doing a bit too much of that sort of chopping and changing at work … graphics / content writing / programming / marketing / design / talking … maybe it’s reflected in not doing this.)

So to sum up … I’m going to be better this year. Spend more time with my little family. Happy 2014!

Advent Calendar Day 19 Planes

The mind works in mysterious lego ways …

Advent Calendar Day 19 Planes

I ended up picking up the Lego City Advent Calendar this year. Why? cus I wanted to, also it was going rather cheap in SuperU compared to the online prices of various places. I’ve opened them with Charlotte most mornings though with being gone a week back to Ireland we may have opened a few more before I left.

I’ve avoided posting a daily picture of each item. Some have been better than others. Val would have preferred if they were all Christmas themed items. I’m happy they aren’t as there’s more potential for reuse and photo ops.

Today’s present is the above. Wonderfully simple items each made from 5 little bricks and I simply find them so cool. I’m also reminding of the below advert which is extremely clever and puts the 5 bricks to shame opting for 2 to do the same job.

It’s lego – unleash your imagination.Lego unleash your imagination

How Do You Feel

How do you feel?

I took this lego photo a while back and it strikes a cord with me every time I see it. Yes I know it’s just some little minifig but it’s always got that more serious edge to it as well. What face are you going to display to the world today?

How Do You Feel

Personally I’ve been feeling a bit fed up and unmotivated not to mention tired don’t think the grey weather helps. November has been a rough month!  Still it’s December now and I’m trying to get into a more positive place.

A friend a few days ago posted a rather raw account of something major that had happened in his life a while back and I just thought wow I never realised this.

What face do you show the world and how do you really feel?

Autumn is here…

I managed to get out at the weekend to take a few shots around the place. Apart from taking one selfie which I actually quite like I ended up taking this shot which I really love. While not shot in RAW I ended up using the photoshop raw filter in post processing and I really do love it.

Autumn Is Here

Sure you get some weird looks as you set your camera up on the ground but I do love the look. I’m guessing there’s about 1 to two weeks of the autumn leaves on the trees left.

I love the cold!

The setting sun in Nantes

Here’s a shot I took last week of the sun setting over Nantes that has proven to be rather popular at least in terms of Likes on FB :) You can make out the Tour de Bretagne in the distance just to the right of the tall pylon.

The Setting Sun on Nantes

Played with the settings a small bit and dropped the ISO to get this shot and I’m rather happy with it. Some day I’ll know exactly what all the manual settings do for now though lots of experimentation.


Get Personal with .me … the USB key

Get Personal With .Me TODAY on when lego men attack

So I’ve been pretty quiet over the last while on the blog. Well I’ve been busy … love / life / lust and the eternal search for the perfect donut as always. Well one of the projects I’ve been working on with Blacknight recently is Get Personal With .Me. It has been a fun project to work on why not head over and see if your name is available? :)

It is about you it is about .me :) Enter your firstname / lastname and hey presto it’ll check if your .Me name is available. I always love working on new projects and this one is obviously my new baby :). I especially love working on this as I think the .Me extension is one that has a genuine chance in the new “TLD”s cus hell it’s about ME!!!. I’ve got forbairt.me where I keep my lifestream obviously not my name I’ve also got jameslarkin.me which I’ll probably use for something though might just stick with my username for now.

Of course one of the cool things I’ve also gotten to work on as a result was getting some USB keys made up. Blacknight asked on their twitter account and on facebook what people thought was a good minimum storage capacity for USB keys .. mixed responses mainly however from 2GBs up. And what arrived today my Get Personal With .ME 4GB USB key :) it’s very cool if I do say so myself. Of course I’m biased but to be honest I generally don’t get to see too much print work (I don’t really work with print that often and could probably count on a few hands the amount of jobs I’ve had professionally printed).

Anyways the USB key arrived today and I passed it over to IT support to get it up and running and this is the result.

Unpacking Get Personal With .ME

Up close and getting personal

Opening up the Get Personal Keyring

Connecting the keyrings

Plugging in the USB keyring

Reading the USB drive

What camera should I buy? (I got the FZ28)

Photography Don't you just love it?

Like a lot of people these days photography, is a hobby of mine. The age of the digital camera lets us snap away to our hearts content. A year and a half ago though I made a jump from a simple point and shoot camera up to a Bridge Camera. It was a slightly late birthday present for myself. I went and picked up the FZ28 … I did the usual research online hummed and hawed over this camera and that camera … over a proper DSLR or just another point and click type camera. I hadn’t actually tried out the Panasonic DMCFZ28 Digital Camera beforehand so when it did arrive it was a bit of a shock at how small it was. I had assumed it’d be of a similar size to normal DSLR’s I quickly got over that as I started to get snap happy with it.

The following was one of the first shots I took with it and it really blew me away

Squishy in front of the mirror
Squishy in front of the mirror

So for me what makes it so special?

FZ28 from Panasonic

  1. The size. It’s small. (Its somewhere between a point and shoot and a proper DSLR)
  2. The lack of all these extras (huge camera bag with 3 extra lenses a tripod and god knows what else). This is really great for travelling. Most people I know with DSLR’s end up bringing another 2 lenses / backpack and so on with them. Thats just not for me.
  3. The battery life on it is amazing I can get 350 – 500 shots on the one battery charge
  4. The Zoom … its got 18X optical zoom which is pure madness. Now when I handle a normal camera its like … oh .. thats nice but I want to be able to zoom on things :D
  5. The inbuilt flash is quite good
  6. 2.7inch Viewscreen
  7. Video Quality is excellent
  8. Image Quality is excellent at 10 MegaPixel camera
  9. The controls are very nice once you get the hang of them

Priced at around the €340 mark if I had to buy one again I probably would. Though I’d more than likely look at the updated model the Irish / UK ModelPanasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38. US ModelPanasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35. 12 MegaPixel and various other updated features as well as being at a lower price range the €300 / $300 mark.

Below you can see a small selection of shots I took with it. Obviously I’m rather biased in thinking they are nice :) but the main thing is that I like them. It is my hobby after all :)

A Leaf in Autumn
A Leaf in Autumn
Piano Cat
Piano Cat
Blackhorse Avenue
Blackhorse Avenue taken from across the road
Damien Mulley
Damien Mulley giving a talk at Dublin City Hall on Social Media
Close up shot of sheepy
Close up shot of sheepy
Shot of a friend in Paris
Shot of a friend in Paris
Ted my nephews trusty steed
Ted my nephews trusty steed

And there I’ll leave you … my experiences with my little bridge camera have been amazing. Its a great little bit of equipment. I picked up a spare battery and I can basically leave the charger at home when I’m on holidays. All in All 10/10 for this camera.

Of course if you’re after a DSLR you probably know a hell of a lot more about photography than I do :D but for me this camera is perfect for now. (I do have camera envy though when I play with friends DSLRs at times)

Irish / UK Model – Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38. US Model – Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35.