Photo Geekery

Gigapixel Photos

I enjoy a nice photo, have been known to dabble in picture taking and have even sold a few photos too.

But what’s better than a photo that stays the same? One that changes, that’s what!

Check out these SUPER hi-resolution photo projects of various places around the world. Pan from side to side, up and down, and make use of the INSANE hi-resolution goodness and zoom in. And then zoom in some more!

Click here or on London above.

Super Slow Motion

I’ve just returned from the Barbican in London having experienced The Rain Room exhibit and discovered my Canon S100’s ‘super slow motion’ function and become a little obsessed by it.

I hadn’t much time to realise that the setting was on the lowest possible resolution whilst filming and therefore the quality is pretty poor for my effort (video number one), but a little investigating found that the cameras capable of delivering higher resolution similar effects costs £1000s and way out of my reach in terms of affordability. And so, here is a collection of an effect that has become a little bit of an obession and more appreciated by me due to its techincality. Enjoy….



London 2012

I think you’d be hard pushed to find many in London who aren’t enjoying the 2012 Olympics. Now that we’re into the second week of the games and the forecast of travel chaos and congested city streets have proved mostly unfounded, as far as I can tell the vast majority of people in and around London have been won over by the Olympic effect. It also helps enormously that Team GB are having one of their most successful Olympics ever! There have been some amazing highlights so far and it’s not over yet.

It all started off with a spectacular Opening Ceremony orchestrated by filmmaker Danny Boyle. This proved to be jaw-dropping and left me asking myself constantly “How have they managed to do that?”.  It began a little twee with a nice little ditty of stereotypical songs from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland blended nicely into one another accompanied by flyby shots of school choirs singing beside iconic locations across the UK. ‘What was to come next’ I  thought, worrying that Danny Boyle had opted to go down a safe and conservative route for the night. As the action moved into the beautiful (*more on this later) Olympic Stadium, out came Kenneth Branagh looking a tad smug in character top hat and tails, portraying Isambard Kingdom Brunel the audacious and innovative Victorian Engineer. This is where the technical genius kicked off to an epic show highlighting parts of the UK’s generous history and achievements. This included works of children’s literature (with guest spots for J K Rowling and a huge, terrifying Lord Voldemort who is defeated inexplicably by a troupe of Mary Poppins), the NHS, various music scenes and er Mr Bean [feat. Mike Oldfield].

Of course James Bond had to make an appearance, but not many would have believed that Danny Boyle would have been able to convince the Queen herself to take part in a comedic skit alongside Bond himself. Daniel Craig struts his way along some very regal looking corridors entering a room to stand waiting for a chair to turn around to reveal the Queen. At first I thought they’d hired a look-a-like but no they’d got the real deal and she gamefully went along with it sportingly. She leads Bond out of the room, boards a helicopter which whisks them off across London. Hundreds of feet above the Olympic Stadium, we see Bond and HM don parachutes before taking the jump over the Stadium. Of course, it was not really HM (or Daniel Craig for that matter!) but they appeared in stadium as if they had taken the plummet. Good for her for going along with a great bit of British humour. This was something I liked about the opening ceremony, it’s humanity, warmth and flashes of comedy. It is a celebration of what we do well.

There were also some nice touches of remembrance, with a beautiful song by Emeli Sande and a dance movement remembering those who were no longer with us.

The stadium had initially disappointed me in the run up to the Games. After the architecturally brilliant Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing four years previously, our stadium just seemed a bit bland. However it was transformed into something quite beautiful and alive with light and spectacle. Each seat had a ‘pixel’ which was a pad of LEDs which were controlled centrally to make the audience essentially become a giant LED tv. Amazing technology that was incredibly effective.

After the amazing show culminated, it was time for the procession of the represented countries. It was a long procession. Can’t say much more than that, except I feel for the drummers who played through the entirety of the procession. Traditionally, it began with Greece walking out to a cheering 80,000 strong crowd and culminated with Team GB being greeted with deafening cheers in the Olympic Stadium. Each country waved and smiled excitedly and was accompanied by a mysterious copper petal. This would be explained later, as each petal was added to a pipe which would eventually form the Olympic Flame. It was a magnificent Flame and work of art.

Weeks before the games had began, many had spoken about David Beckham’s lack of placing within Team GB’s football team. He had done so much to help bring the games to London in the run up but I think the right choice was made to give his spot to younger, fresher talent. He has after all achieved so much in his career, it’s only fair others could be given the chance to play for their country in the Olympics in London. Still, he did get his own little moment in the spotlight as the countdown began for the Olympic torch to make it’s way into the Olympic Stadium. Cut to a speedboat tearing down the Thames with David steering (done up as Bond) with the torch perched nicely on the front of the boat. On arriving at the stadium, Sir Steve Redgrave relayed the torch into the stadium. The secrecy behind who was going to carry the torch was very tight and when I saw that Steve had taken the torch, I had a tinge of letdown, but he wasn’t to be the one, or the only one in fact. He passed the torch onto a series of young athletes who in unison ignited the Olympic Flame. This sat very nicely with me, as the taglines for these Games were “This Is For Everyone” and “Legacy”, and what better symbol to light the symbolic flame than with future generations with the potential to become great athletes.

The Games were officially declared open by The Queen. Lord Sebastian Coe and the IOC man (don’t know his name) standing amongst the many represented country’s flags on a mock-up of a terribly British-looking green and grassy hill, spoke about what the Games represent and what we must strive for. Amongst thunderous cheers and applause the Games were open and the fireworks lit the night sky. Welcome to London 2012!

If London Were Like Venice

It’s been very dry here in London so far this Spring, but here’s a reminder as to what it’s like most of the time in the capital and what it will be like when the sea levels rise…

I wonder if the canal boat drivers will have road rage and begrudge paying the congestion charge?!

Rule Brittania

Click picture for BBC News pre-wedding article.

Happy Royal Wedding Day.

William and Kate 29th April 2011

An abundance of footage, photos, news coverage and media to follow…

As promised! What a momentous day of pomp and ceremony as William and Kate became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. After watching the footage, I feel very proud to be British on a day that went off without a hitch and had some very nice touches of flair and elegance that showed that these two, despite the titles and privilege, are just the same as us commoners. The beaming smile on Catherine’s face and the uncanny (Princess Diana) modest, humbling look on William’s showed they are just like you and me.

The whole day was wonderful but the highlights for me have to be the initial reaction of the crowd as the couple left Westminster Abbey, the emergence onto the balcony at Buckingham Palace with a couple of kisses, the thunderous fly by of WW2 bombers and the drive-by in the Aston Martin as the couple left Buckingham Palace complete with tailing balloons and William’s helicopter buddies giving a fly over from above. Great to see the country united and celebrating a wonderful day for Britain.

It should've been me!!

Prince Bond in his father's Aston Martin

A country united!

United Kingdom

Posh with a liquorice all sort on her head and Beck's distracted by something shiny!

The Queen joking about the wardrobe clash with the Bishop of London.

Best Royal Family In The World. Proud to be British!

Full story at BBC News

Picturesque Merton Abbey Mills

Lovely view next to the Market of the river Wandle. Makes for a nice day out in south west London.

Brandon Flowers

I’m just in from attending Brandon Flowers gig at Brixton Academy. I feel very lucky that a good friend had a sudden, unexpected, spare ticket going at the last-minute and I managed to tag along for good times. What an amazing gig. I like the Killers, but Brandon Flowers first solo album really caught my ear. Crossfire was brilliant and I was grabbed by the majority of the songs on the album. Hearing him live was something else. What a talent. Clearly not lip-synching he sung each song with such individualistic verve it had me (a non-dancer) dancing enthusiastically and singing along without a care.

We were even treated to a few Killers tracks and a cool rendition of Bette David Eyes. See links below for videos. In the meantime be sure to buy Flamingo the solo album by Brandon Flowers.

Playing With Fire

On The Floor and Crossfire


Only The Young


Whilst setting up my stall a Merton Abbey Mills last Saturday morning, I was chatting away to my neighbouring stall holders when I noticed something I knew was immediately out of the ordinary. I’ve lived in London my whole life and have grown accustomed to planes flying overhead coming into Heathrow and Gatwick. What I saw was so out of the ordinary I stopped and pointed up and said “Oh my God, how low is that plane!” It turns out that plane was flight BA117 from Heathrow to New York which had taken off with a faulty rear door which was suddenly being redirected back to Heathrow following problems. The rear door handle had come loose and flight attendants and passengers had wrestled the latch to safety before landing safely back at Heathrow.

Beeb attachment here.

My New Venture

Recently I have been tending a stall at my local craft fair in an attempt to try to start a small business in Photography ( The area I live in is steeped in history, with William Morris and Admiral Nelson being linked to the area. I remember going to Merton Abbey Mills craft fair as a child and always used to find it a great day out. I vividly remembering learning to walk on stilts (albeit child versions) and looking at all the intricate things that the artists had on display for sale.

Now I’m all grown up, I have my very own stall with a modest starting display of photographic prints for sale. I will be adding gradually to the stock  on offer, hoping to make calendars, cards and larger prints, but also making myself available for commissions, varying from family portraits to special events. More details to follow on this 🙂 For enquiries, click the link to my website above and leave your questions via the ‘contact’ page.

Going back to Merton Abbey, I just want to try to promote the venue as a whole as in these economic times of struggle, the market has seen a decline in footfall. It is such an amazing space, situated on the River Wandle (a tributary to the Thames), it features a working watermill, children’s theatre, lively bandstand and a good variety of stalls to peruse and experience. Don’t be afraid to come and have a chat with the stall holders, we’d be far happier to talk to you than sit quietly while you browse. We won’t bite!

If you know of Merton Abbey Mills, please do tell your friends and family, remind them it’s there and click the link below to find out more about what’s been going on and what’s coming up at London’s best kept secret market (Camden… pfsst!)

My Exotic Mitcham

I had heard that these exotic birds had ben breeding in the UK for a while now, but have only recently spotted them in my area. They’re Ring-necked Parakeets originally found from West Africa to South Asia. Every evening now at around 7pm (consistently) they fly over the houses and grab some dinner from the trees in the gardens. There’s a big ol’ cherry tree at the bottom of our garden which they seem to particulary enjoy. And it’s not just two or three of them, there’s whole flocks of them.

There’s a couple of rumours as to how they came to Britain (they flew?) One was that they escaped from Isleworth Studios in the 50’s during the filming of ‘The African Queen’, but the other more interesting rumour was that Jimmy Hendrix released them in a bid to “bring some psychedelic colour to London’s skyline”. In any case, they’re a long way from home but Hendrix was right.

Photo credit: Rob Smallwood

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