Rummage through this blog

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Thursday, 16 July 2015


Parentmail,, have recently changed their system from emailling associated attachments direct to your inbox to a web system where I get an email, have to click on a link, login, click the school, click on the email link, link on the email I want, download the pdf.

Annoying, slow and downloads junk.

Have repeatedly not had support requests answer either via their email support or facebook support.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Hangleton Manor on fathers' day

What a disaster.

Shockingly slow service, meals not arriving together, food that was not hot and actually only of passable quality.

The waitresses were primarily poorly trained but to have a restaurant that they was not full failing to deliver food in a timely fashion isn't acceptable.

I would suspect that predicting fathers' day as busier than normal would be a no brainer so when several dishes had run out at 12 o'clock it didn't look like a recipe for success.

Location is good, staff remained polite under pressure and to be fair we did get a decent discount (as had others) as a result.

Would I go to Hangleton Manor again? No, I can't see anything attractive to attract me back.

Park cameras imaging festival

Another excellent event, well attended and plenty of staff on hand. Great seminars.

Thoroughly recommended.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Top Gear goes into bottom gear

The BBC gave me good news!

I can reduce the amount of television I watch shortly because Chris Evans is being wheeled in to replace Jeremy Clarkson and that is something I don't need to suffer.

What is more interesting is that comments from others I have overheard are similar and I am left wondering if the BBC process amounted to "we couldn't come up with a good plan so just wheel in someone who was allegedly popular years ago".

Perhaps dropping the show/ moth balling it for a while or any of a number of other options may have been better than a knee jerk?

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Lightroom 6

Eureka, I've figured it out. That failure to load all of my files into photomerge, it's just a means of encouraging us to understand just how good the healing tools are, perhaps.

Adobe customer "care"

....still no care occurring, decided going to bed is going to more effective at solving my lightroom problems than waiting any longer. I am now wondering if I handed over my money a bit early in the product's life cycle.

Adobe Lightroom 6

I've been on a bit of a photography spending spree the last couple of weeks with a new lens, a couple of filters and a monster monitor for editing, culminating today if coughing up the £50.09 for Adobe Lightroom 6.

Download took a while on my connection but we got there and then had to surmount the hurdle that my physical media didn't need a serial number entered on install, so had to rummage in the loft for the original disks.

Run for the first time, I suspect the line between Lightroom 6 and cc is a thin one given this version's installer is 200mb smaller than Lightroom 5's most recent update.

What new toy to try, well the big one for me is Photomerge, this is basic functionality that has worked for a while now just not in lightroom. By good fortune I happen to have some pictures I took of a field to try out my new lens, no artistic awards but I know that photomerge will eat the 13 shots for breakfast. I guess the number is the give away here.

Seconds later I have "unable to merge photos. press cancel". Ok, so my first tried I just grabbed all 13 frames, so 13 jpgs and 13 raws so let's try the raws, no same error. Ok let's try the jpegs, no same problem.

Ok, I've stitched these pictures in another product with no problems and I can put them together by eye.

So take 2 jpgs, merge, cancel, 3 jpgs, merge, cancel. I'm sure you get the picture. The second to last of the 13 pictures fails, I don't know what it doesn't like but my merged picture seems to have a little something missing :

so, for the third time in a week I have tried to contact Adobe support. The community forums seem to fall into a "redirect loop" problem almost at random (yes changing my name worked as suggested on other sites but do I really need to change my name everytime I try to use the site) - still awaiting an escalated contact on that one (perhaps time to visit the spam folder). 2nd attempt was for something I spend so long waiting at the "we are still assisting other customers" I forgot, went to dinner and then got an indignant "well we tried to talk to you message".

Today, well I tried again having discovered that pressing F1 for help in Lightroom 6, as per the menu option, goes to a page that appears to be down (actually Chrome is reporting a failed DNS lookup & I've tried a couple of online DNS lookup services and the name does not resolve) so while typing this I've been sitting at the Adobe chat screen waiting for some contact, that's the site which in my chrome tab says "Adobe Customer Care".

It seems I can going to be testing that "updates" feature a lot.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Monitoring the situation

One lesson learned from my struggles with Light room is that squinting at my monitor for long periods only serves to hurt my eyes and prove that I need a better monitor both in terms of size and quality.

So ordered something newer and bigger, a Benq GW2765ht, 27", 2560x1440.

Inspite of ticking the "deliver on Monday" box it turned up today.

This is a big screen. It has physical buttons on the side which is a blessed relief after the touch sensitive tat on my LG e2350.

It has taken some work to install,  with the supplied HDMI cable my Sapphire hd5770 vapr x cannot display that resolution but after a few abortive attempts at connecting the display port cable everything is working, including sound.

The built in speakers are excellent, for built in speakers.

Display is stunning and colour reproduction is beautiful.

The monitor rotates to portrait, although on the supplied stand even at the extent of its height adjustment it scrapes the base (so scratched with minutes of opening the box, clearly not tested very well), this does not appear to have any auto-sensing of orientation but it does work, although cable length may be an issue.

Really pleased so far.

Lightroom goes dark.

I have recently spent some hours editing photos and discovering that Adobe Lightroom sometimes does an extremely poor job of loading in raw files from my Olympus e-m10. Indeed the supplied Olympus Viewer 3 software does a notably better job with much improved noise handling and pictures so much closer to the original scene.

A Google search has identified this is a commonly noted problem whilst I have now had to open a support case as to why the adobe community forums are inaccessible to me (on chrome, ie, at work and home on different machines, only my account and the adobe site are common factors, tried again today with no luck and am days beyond when they said a supervisor would contact me to assist) so I cannot find if this has been raised there.

Luckily this level of support is what I would expect from free software, oh wait, I paid good money for something that does half a job, I now need to use ov3 which, although the results are good, the product is like free software, which it I is in this case.

Come on adobe get it sorted.

While we are on the subject, sending me an update for desktop light room that tries to get me to install creative cloud is just not on.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

New camera bag

Finally I have taken the plunge and purchased a decent camera bag.

With an Olympus E-M10 mirrorless camera sizing is not easy because most bags are targeted for DSLRs although that is improving.

I have been using a camera bag insert found on eBay for under £5 and it is a great solution and fits in the bottom of my rucksack nicely. The rucksack is a good solution when carrying other gear but suffers from having a relatively narrow entrance point at the top, which for me means my gear ends up scattered during the day as I carelessly return items to the bag.

So for casual walks and vehicle based photography trips I wanted a bag that is accessed on the long edge and carried messenger bag style. Another criteria was not looking too camera bag like. So the Lowe Messenger 150 for instance looks like a good solution online but in the flesh looking really boxy.

Enter the Tamrac Apache range. I decided that the separate compartment for a tablet would be good because the Olympus' support for its android app seems pretty good. I also didn't want to go too large but preferred large to small, after all how often do I travel without a phone, wallet, keys, coins and assorted other clutter.

That means something that is not a day back (space for snacks is desirable but a day trip worth of food is non critical) but is more than a camera bag is useful.

Hence, I decided that the Apache 2 would probably be too small and the Apache 6 too large and the Apache 4 has been duly purchased (£65, new from eBay).

Tonight is the first loading so no outdoor experience yet so observations so far...
- the bag is actually smaller than expected, it will be fine but the Apache 6 may actually have been closer to what I expected in my mind.
-the clip on the front is tragic, I've fastened it perhaps half a dozen times and had to use a screwdriver twice and brute force once to open it, it's a design that does not positively slide in place and needs concentration to use. Is the Velcro fastenings are likely to be the mainstay.
-the strap holding the clip has no adjustability, adding to the fight with the clip when wearing the bag and meaning there is insufficient leeway to carry a tripod of any size under the flap.

That's all sounding rather negative so for balance :
- build quality appears excellent and the design does appear to have been though out carefully
- looks good
- wide, comfortable shoulder strap.

What did I get in the bag, well I had to take my phone out for this picture but with that and
- only em10 with 14-42 pancake
-45mm f1.7
-1 filter in its oversized box
-4 macro filters and lens adapter
-spare battery
-charger and cable
-box of SD cards
-cleaning pen and blower
- hot shoe mountable flexible led macro lights
-Google Nexus 7
The bag can be declared full.

Clearly I won't be doing a day trip with all of those things so I would say the bag definitely has room for another lens or two (or a flash) and the aforementioned snacks or with careful packing a sarnie.

So looks like a great bag with a lot of flexibility to accommodate a range of different sized cameras and bits but I would not be surprised if I have to replace that clip.


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Top Gear

So Clarkson has gone, what a massive pity but inevitable.

What will come next, a new programme on a different channel or a replacement.

At least if Chris Evans, who is denying being interested so a cert, gets the job it will help me reduce my screen time each week.