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I am torn.

I still haven’t settled on a topic for SoFoBoMo. I have thought of a couple of topics, but nothing that really appeals to me yet. At this rate, I think it’s going to be more towards July before I get going.

Here’s a quick round-up of my ideas so far:

Churches and Graveyards
As an old Irish city, Galway is endowed with houses of worship and places of rest. I was thinking of making a photo essay about a couple of these old sites.

Portraits
This one appeals to me most, in a way. Portraits are something I’ve not yet done, and I’d like to get some practice in.
Pros: Would force me to take directed photographs of people, would force me to get some real practice with off-camera flash.
Cons: Would need a specific theme or group, would require me to do a LOT of portraits in the space of a month, and — crucially — would require willing volunteers.

500 yards (or similar)
Take a stretch of path/road/field/beach, and document it thoroughly, from wide-angle shots to macros, and possibly in different weather conditions or different times.

I’ve a couple of other half-formed ideas bouncing around in my head, but nothing solid enough to even describe here now. If anyone has any comments or suggestions, all is welcome!

In other news, my grasp of personal finance — which could normally be described as ‘taut’ — seems to be slipping. I’ve got a couple of big weekends ahead of me and am not really sure how I’m going to pay for them. I did briefly consider pulling a King James and running a fake lottery over the course of 10 years and never actually paying out, but the organization involved is far outside the boundaries of my laziness.

It’s also very possible that King James was not the person I’m thinking of. At any rate, I specifically recall mention of a lottery organised to finance some national scheme, which the ruler/government never really got around to paying out on. It was in this book, if you’re so inclined.

Better days (if you were a king)…

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SoFoBoMo

or, Prometheus Unbound

I’m not really sure why the subtitle for Frankenstein occurred to me just there; it just seemed like the title needed some explanation. It’s not like that actually explains it, though.

Anyway. SoFoBoMo (not to be confused with NaNoWriMo), stands for Solo Photo Book Month. The basic idea is 31 days, 35 photos, 1 PDF.

One of the problems with digital photography is that you end up not printing pictures. SoFoBoMo challenges you to work against this by taking enough shots to print a photobook (at least 35), processing them, writing any accompanying text, and laying out the book in .pdf format — all within the space of 31 days. Obviously, you should carry on and order a print of the finished book, but this is considered outside the scope of the project.

The start/end times are flexible, to accommodate different schedules, but the project window runs from the 1st June until the 31st July, 2010. Start when you want, as long as you’re done by the end of July.

I’ve been thinking about it and have decided to sign-up for this year. At the moment, I’m not sure what theme I’ll deal with, but I’ve got some time yet to decide. I have to say, I’m looking forward to this.

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Scrap

Scrap-1

Yeeeeahh photography!

I’ve been really lazy lately, and haven’t bothered going out with the camera. With a reasonable Saturday afternoon ahead of me, one which was pleasant enough but not quite warm enough for the beach, I decided to go out and shoot something which I’ve been meaning to, but hadn’t actually done yet.

Background: every couple of weeks, a huge pile of scrap metal is dumped on the Galway docks before being loaded onto a ship and — presumably — sent off to China for recycling or reusing.

I wandered around the scrap for half hour or so, doing my best to get some interesting photos. I have to say, it was a great lesson in capturing ‘flat’ subjects: taking any kind of wide-angle shot presented me with a solid wall of metal, so I mostly used mid-range apertures (from f/8 to f/11) and tried to capture the textures of the metal. Every once in a while, some individual piece would stick out, so I’d open up the aperture and tried to get nice shallow single-subject detail shots.

I think I succeeded more with the wide-angles than the close-ups, but I still enjoyed taking them all.

The pic above is probably my favourite shot from the lot. If you’re interested, the full set is available here.

As a side note, many many congratulations to haido on his engagement! All the best to the two of you 🙂

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Cash Rules Everything Around Me

Graff
[Graffiti on the Quincentennial Bridge, Galway 24-01-10]

The most important thing I’m reading about at the moment is the Nialler9 vs IMRO debacle (link).

Realistically, I can understand the legal principles behind the argument, but if the law leads to a blogger being charged for providing MP3s that were explicitly given to him by the artists, something’s wrong with the law. At the very least, it’s an argument that the fucking record companies (that faceless ‘THEY’) need to be cut out of the music industry. The 10-per-centers, as Bill Hicks called them, really aren’t proactive in trying to get the music industry out of the rut it’s in. Suing some teenager (or his mother) for their entire net worth will not bring back your lost profits, and it certainly won’t endear you to the customers you’re trying to win back.

In other news, Riverfest in Limerick this weekend. I’d link you, but there doesn’t actually seem to be a website. Strange. Anyway, the weekend will mostly consist of booze and rugby, but I’m toying with the idea of bringing down my camera to try get a few shots. If all goes well — if the sun shines, and if I actually get to see anything bar the inside of a pub — I’ll try and stick something up next week.

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Cruel and Unusual

Starlings
[Starlings on the banks of the Corrib, 20.04.10]

So, I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. First, my internet died. It’s amazing, the effect this has on a twenty-something who’s grown to rely on it implicitly.

Want to know what time the new Gerard Butler romcom is showing at? Ask the internet.

Want to know what’s happening in Thailand? Ask the internet.

Want to know what a stupendously fat person playing badminton looks like? You know it!

It’s my first and last resource; consequently, losing it really messed with my life. Fortunately, it was only out for three days.

‘No hassle,’ you say, ‘Surely you could manage three days without the internet?’ Of course I could. There was no problem. It was sunny — I went cycling, swimming, and generally took the air. Besides, in emergency cases I always had internet access in work. (Emergencies such as being tagged in a photo the day after you’ve been stupidly drunk. Tangent: Is there any worse paranoia than seeing that little red notification icon, ‘X has tagged you in a photo’?)

On Friday afternoon, the UPC guy arrived. He informed me that someone had disconnected us from the main switchboard in the basement, and set us back up again. Sorted.

On Saturday night, I popped open my PC and installed a new 2TB hard drive. My computer promptly failed to restart.

Well, fuck.

After an hour of swearing at it, I gave up. I ignored it until last night, when I realised the stupidly-obvious solution to my problem. I still haven’t managed to install the new HDD, but I do have a functioning computer, and more importantly — access to the internet.

[In other news, I purchased a new phone last week… the oh-so-shiny HTC Desire. It’s my first foray into smartphones, and so far I’m very impressed with it. As a way of celebrating, I decided to sign-up for Twitter. It always struck me as something that should be done from a phone, and now I have eternal internet access to do it with!]

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Be the Death of Me

This shows up fairly regularly as a search that led people here. I think I should change either the title or the subject matter, but I’m not sure which…

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Nipped in the Bud

IMG_0448

I know, I know… I’m really, terribly sorry about the awful pun in the title. Unfortunately, it’s very apt.

This evening, not an hour ago, I arrived home from work early. I was determined to take advantage of the blue skies and bright light — despite the beginnings of a headcold — and even spotted a picture that I really wanted to take as I walked home. Unfortunately, about a minute after I stepped back outside, camera in hand, it started raining, and then started hailstoning. Is hailstoning even the correct word?

Anyway, I managed to get a few quick, boring snaps of the various flowers and bushes outside my apartment building before I had to retreat. And naturally, as I sit here typing this post, the rain has gone. Vehemently so — it’s currently evaporating in twists of steam from the balcony outside my window.

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