Category Archives: Things

Digitalism

Digitalism

So, Santa — in the form of the girlfriend — was good to me this year, and gifted me a shiny new Kindle 3. Yeah, I threw ‘gifted’ in there because, well, you don’t really see it used as a verb very often.

Anyway: it’s a good present for me. Reading and gadgetry in one slim package? Yep, don’t mind if I do.

Aside from my personal tastes — she reckons I have a fetish for electronics; sometimes I’m not sure I disagree — this also promises to come in useful for college work. The Thesis is starting to loom ever closer and I’ve a nasty feeling that I’ll be doing a lot of reading in the months to come. Being able to throw a load of PDF journal articles onto this device and thus read them without either A) blinding myself through staring at a screen, or B) bankrupting myself through the printing of small rainforests-worth of paper can only be a Good Thing.

As a gadget, it’s very satisfying on a purely aesthetic level. It’s slimmer than my phone, the size of a paperback, and fits quite nicely into the hand. The interface is pretty straightforward (at the end of the day, you’re mostly going to be opening books and pressing Forward or Backward), though it’s hard in this day and age not to paw clumsily at the screen and wonder why it doesn’t respond.

A Clue: not everything is touchscreen in this world.

In terms of its functionality (and how I despise that word): it’s seemingly quite good indeed. The screen refreshes quickly, you can customise the font size, line spacing, and portrait/landscape display.

While a big problem the last time I looked at e-readers was the format war between ePub, Mobi, Amazon, and whatever else is out there, it’s all been made irrelevant by a lovely wee open-source programme called Calibre. Calibre sorts all that mess out for you by quietly converting any format into any other format. This is a big relief, as you don’t have to worry about whether your favourite author is in the Waterstones or Amazon camp.

To start with, however, I’m going to work my way through the classics available for free from the likes of Project Gutenberg: copyright-free works that ought to keep me going for 2011 at least.

And of course, this being the Internet: number one most-downloaded book on Project Gutenberg? This one.

Ah, Internet.

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Filed under Indoor, Other, Things

When the Kids Go Home

Swing

Hmm, where to start with this…

I’m not happy with this photo — it was taken with the theme of ‘urban’ in mind, for a challenge that’s going on in work. It’s one of the first I’ve taken with my new 7D, and while I’m pretty happy with the quality of the shot, the composition leaves a lot to be desired! There was minimal post-processing; just some desaturation, curves, and white balance adjustment.

I think I’ll go back and try to reframe it; I’m undecided as to how to do it though. I’m not sure if getting the swing centered vertically will work or not… I was mostly concerned with getting more of the graffiti and less of the bin in the background! Guess I really should have shot it on the night, just to check.

Another lesson learned (or more accurately, reinforced): shoot first, delete later.

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Filed under Outdoor, Street, Things, Uncategorized

Eyes

I must confess that I have a somewhat sick and twisted appreciation for things sometimes. One of these is an interest in the ugly side of the urban sprawls most of us live in… the alleyways full of bins and the unpainted sides of buildings, the sides that don’t face the street.

In most other countries, you’ll often find sudden bursts of colour and art in these places: graffiti and the like. In Ireland? Well, I think Mr Dan Deacon summarised it brilliantly when I saw him a couple of years back, on his first circuit of Ireland:

“You guys are great, you Irish. I was playing a gig in Cork last night, and while I was in the city, I saw this construction site where they were building the first really tall building in Cork. And I saw this bit of graffiti on the, y’know, the hoardings around the site. It said, ‘Skyscrapers are gay.’ You wouldn’t get that in the US…”

This basically sums up the lofty heights of Irish graffiti. You don’t find the little bursts of originality in our hidden places. At the same time, I still find myself with a fascination for dereliction, rough grey concrete and rusted metal.

I went for a stroll this evening while the rain was away, and had a wander through some alleys and driveways. Swamped in a sea of shitty tags and penis diagrams, was this.

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Ganesh and Ipod



Ganesh and Ipod, originally uploaded by Landigan.

So right, how to explain this one? The photography group in work has a challenge on photographs of reflections this month, and I was looking around the apartment today for something that would reflect. One of the objects I ended up using was my iPod Touch.

This particular photo doesn’t have the reflection in it (in fact, the iPod in general didn’t reflect very well) but I liked it enough to give it a quick processing and upload it.

Voila, Lord Ganesha, Lord of Beginnings and patron saint of arts and sciences, in a black and white photograph (art!) sitting on one of the most modern forms of consumer electronics (science!).

This is actually a very meaningful and deep photo, you see?

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Filed under Black and White, Indoor, Things

Marriage at Cana



Marriage at Cana , originally uploaded by Landigan.

Taken on a Canon G9 .

I took this a few months back as a challenge for the photography group in work. The theme was ‘water’, and I decided to play around with dropping food colouring into a glass of water and shooting the mix.

It turned into a bit of a headache, but I got some nice results out of it eventually. Over the weekend, I finally got around to tidying up a few small problems in photoshop, and am happy enough with the final result.

For the title, if you’re not aware: the Wedding at Cana.

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Filed under Indoor, Things

Old Homes



Old Homes, originally uploaded by Landigan.

So, I haven’t posted in ages. Bit of bad form there… I have excuses, but they’re not particularly good so I won’t make them.

What’s happened since my last post?

The Volvo Ocean Races have left Galway and all’s back to normal, the summer has come (and, most likely, gone), and I’ve moved into a new apartment (currently without internet access… okay, there’s my excuse).

I’ve still been taking photos, not as many as I’d like, but a few. I guess I have to stick to my plan of posting them, even if I’m not particularly happy with them. Expect more posts, more regularly, from now on.

This photo was taken in the burnt-out garage of an abandoned house in Galway city. It’s nothing spectacular, but it does represent my first experiments with the dodge/burn tools in Photoshop. I’ve a lot to learn, but I can see how useful they could be.

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Filed under Indoor, Street, Things

Awaiting Lines

Awaiting Lines, originally uploaded by Landigan.

Those of you who don’t live in Galway might not be aware that the Volvo Ocean Race 2008/2009 is making Galway the starting point of Leg 8 of its ridiculously long itinerary.

From the 23rd May to the 6th June, the city centre will shut down its usual avenues of trade (providing goods and services to booze-riddled hen and stag parties) and replace them with new ones (providing goods and services to the — presumably wealthier — booze-riddled sailing aficionados).

Joking aside, it was a great achievement for Galway to secure the position, and will bring a lot of much-needed cash into the city. The docks area is currently undergoing a makeover to prepare for the event, and as I was passing this evening I was struck by how empty the harbour seems at the moment.

Give it two weeks though…

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Filed under Street, Things