Archive for Photography

Easter Holiday

Easter came early this year, more so in fact than in the 90 odd years easter that preceded it. Still it was the end of term and for that a short break was called for.

At the start of the vacation period I spent a few days in Middlesbrough with Heather where we spent time chilling out, going on day visits to local areas, practicing our cooking skills in the evening and solving a murder mystery puzzle (its amazing how engrossing they can be once you get started!). It was nice to really chill out for once and also properly enjoy days out and relaxed evenings which although we very much enjoy we hadn’t been able to do for quite a while due to work commitments.

Another thing that occupied some of our time while away was Heather’s Victorian dolls house that she is building from scratch. I spent a few hours with her helping to get the painting right, fix some of the hinges and ensure the house all fitted together. This is a really special project as it isn’t just a normal dolls house but one of considerable size. It has 10 rooms with an attic, basement and traditional frontage. It’s going to be fantastic when its finished. I don’t have a picture of it but I found one on the web to give you an idea of the kind of thing I’m talking about.

During the holiday I also got a chance to get my camera out and take a few shots of the places we visited. Most of these involved boats of some description but there were a few others, in particular some spectacular shots of stormy weather at Whitby. We climbed a lighthouse to get a better view and were nearly blown off. It was one of our best days out for a while.

After my break with Heather I spent some time with my family over the Easter weekend. I got to see my sister which, now she is at university, is a rare occurrence. We all went out for a meal together on Easter day which was a very nice affair. During the rest of my stay with my family I spent time fixing things around the house, relaxing, having the odd drink, and meeting up with James to catch up. When I wasn’t doing all that I chilled out on the computer throwing radiators at people.

Sadly all good things must come to an end and I had to return to Leeds to continue work on my project which is pretty much all I have been doing since. Still as I keep reassuring myself it will all be over soon and hopefully the standard will be good enough to clinch the mark I want.

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Rime in Leeds

On Tuesday morning I awoke early in the morning to find the ground, trees and cars ouside totally covered with rime. Given that this is not a common weather phenomenon and created a beautiful spectacle I decided to take some pictures. Some of them came out quite nicely. I carried my camera with me to campus later in the day and took a few more pictures.

If you are wondering what “Rime” is then I found a Wikipedia page offering a good explanation with some pictures bearing a resemblance to my own!

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Family Christmas

So I’m back on the blog again, coinciding with my return to Leeds after spending Christmas with my family. It was a pleasant break which was very relaxing given how busy the tail end of last term had been. I did get some work covered but I kept it light so I could rest up for the exams and tumultuous term that lie ahead. It was fun to see everyone and I still can’t believe how much food I got through over the festive period. I still feel full from Christmas dinner!

For those looking for the photos I took of all the various family gatherings, you can view them in my gallery

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Bonfire Night

BonfireOn 5th November I headed out to the Hyde Park public bonfire and firework display with Heather. It was a really enjoyable evening and the heat from the fire made it almost feel like it was a summer day – I certainly didn’t need my full winter coat! It seems amazing that over a year has gone by since I was last at the display, but its still as good as I remember.

The smell of bonfires and the thick air that comes with firework smoke always remind me of growing up in St. Albans and the huge firework display laid on in Verulamium park every year. Its amazing how vivid a memory such smells can conjure up.

I decided to take my camera along and setting the ISO up high I tried to take some night time shots of the bonfire and the fireworks afterwards. I was rather impressed with the results considering I wasn’t taking all that much care with my photography (I was too busy watching things with the naked eye!) and have thusly shared them with the world in my gallery.

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Back on the blog

Well, this is a turn out for the books. I’m blogging again! I never thought I’d be away from the blog for this long since I first started it, but somehow I got side-tracked on so many other things that I just didn’t realise how long it was since I’d posted something, then when I did realise I wasn’t really in the blogging frame of mind. Still, I’m here now and I intend to get back to proper regular posting as that’s what goes down the best.

So what have I been doing to keep me from my blog? Quite a lot actually so I’ll give a quick run down.

  • X-Lab LogoLarge amounts of work at X-Lab

    My lack of blogging started with a lot of pressure at work to get the first version of the X-Lab lab to lab messaging system finished and presented to a group of people who could help us to take the project forward and get interfaces with existing lab systems written for it.

    To cut a long story short, 12 hour days, numerous late nights and a lot of coffee and pizza deliveries saw us through and we got the system completed on time and suitably impressed those at the demo to allow us to take the project forward and (hopefully) get it deployed in labs when we have finished version 2

    This, for me, feels like such a great achievement as I’ve never worked with Microsoft technologies quite so much as this before and to get a success like this felt really great. I hope that I will be able to see the project fully succeed in the future as its one of those things that has the potential to positively impact thousands of people.

    Watch this space!

  • Heather & Kieran in WalesHoliday with Heather

    At the end of July I went on a long weekend break with Heather. We stayed in North Wales and did a little sight-seeing and plenty of relaxing on the beach in the surprisingly abundant sunshine which bathed the region. It was our first chance to have a holiday away together and we both really enjoyed it, not to mention the fact that it was some good quality “together time” before Heather headed off to Middlesborough to stay with her family for the rest of the university vacation. Feel free to check out some of our holiday photos in my gallery.

  • Kieran in JerseyHoliday in Jersey

    Last year I went to stay with Michelle in Jersey and this year I went back to stay with her again. Its a great place to go away on holiday and its always nice to go and stay with friends.

    I was fortunate enough to be able to get out on Michelle’s Dad’s boat and take some pictures from off the coast of Jersey and my trip also coincided with the annual battle of flowers parade which was as spectacular as it had been the year before and with a whole new set of wonderfully decorated floats to enjoy.

    One of the highlights of the trip was going to Jersey Zoo, founded by Gerard Durrell and having read Durrell’s books on animal collecting it was fascinating to see what his trips and writings from around the world had created.

    The weather throughout the week was excellent and when I wasn’t socialising or on sight-seeing excursions I spent most of my time walking along beaches or lying in the sun reading books. It was a well needed rest and lots of fun to boot. Michelle has some great friends and it was really nice to see them again. Thanks to Michelle for letting me stay!

  • Catch up on work and student society planning

    Since return from my various holidays I have been playing catch-up trying to get a mountain of work done. There is not much to report here except that I hate paperwork and I never realised that agreeing to do so many student run websites was going to cause this much work to be thrust upon me in August. Ok, thats a bit of lie, I did know but took them on anyway as I know I can do a good job and it will be nice to have my name on a load more student sites and to see them used and enjoyed by new students and committee members alike. Getting these things done will also get more things on my portfolio which is always good for business.

    One of the really good things which has come out of this surge of work is the opportunity to work with Christina Fowler, a recent graduate and expect in graphic design, she is assisting me by completing the design work for the new Leeds RAG website. Its nice to be able to spread work in this way and also share ideas. If all goes well I look forward to working more with Christina in the future, her work is certainly very impressive.

  • Claire's Otley Run random pictureSocialising

    Seeing as its the summer holidays I have been taking every available opportunity to attend parties and go out for meals and drinks with friends. Drunken arrivals back home have been one of my main reasons for not keeping this site as up to date as it otherwise might be! There are some great pictures floating around facebook of some of these evenings and there are also some really good ones of Claire’s birthday Otley run in my gallery.

As you can see I’ve all round been pretty darn busy. Still I’m not going to avoid blogging for that length of time again, in fact I hope to go back to writing here on a regular basis along with other blogs and forums that I have been neglecting lately.

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Much photography

I’ve really been playing about with my camera a lot recently, as such I’ve got lots of various pictures to share in my photo gallery and have linked to them below

I also took a load of pictures when I went out with friends to Tropical World in Leeds, so feel free to check these out as well. If you have any comments about the pictures, particularly if you are into photography yourself then please post up. I’m still trying to get to grips with working out the correct f-stop and shutter time settings without resorting to the auto features of my camera and I’ve already noticed that some pictures have turned out slightly under or over exposed so I’m hoping to improve on that. If you have tips about this aspect or any other of my pictures then feel free to share!

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Tropical World

On the outskirts of Leeds, in Roundhay, there is great place to spend a day out – Tropical World! For Chris’ birthday we headed out there as a group and spent the afternoon looking at all the amazing creatures they have there. A fair few photos were taken by us all too, you can catch my contribution in my photo gallery.

After our visit we grabbed a pub lunch and then as most of the group got things ready for snacks and drinks at Chris’ place, myself and Norm went to the pub with Chris and sunk a few ales. It was nice to chat to Chris and Norm over a few drinks as its not something we’ve really done before outside of a group setting.

After we’d got ourselves nicely tipsey at the pub we went over to Chris’ house and had a nice evening chatting with everyone, and for me, catching up with what had been going on while I had been away down south. It just proved to me how great a group of friends I have here and how much fun our gatherings and days out really are. Oh and if you haven’t yet heard, Sarann got really rather drunk ;)

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New camera

On Sunday I finally did it – I bought myself an amazing digital SLR camera, the Cannon EOS 400D to be precise. You can read a review here. Put simply it is amazing. The freedom it gives compared to a conventional digital camera (or at least my old one anyway) is akin to releasing a caged animal into an area the size of which cannot physically be covered by the creature.

While I haven’t been able to explore all the features and indeed I’m still not entirely sure what some of them do, I have been able to practice with the different settings by taking pictures in and around the house and noting the flexibility and versatility of the options available. I can definitely see myself being able to take some superb pictures with this piece of kit.

The ability to change the ISO settings and manually focus are just two functions which make me excitied. While a film camera will allow you to focus to your hearts content its not something available on conventional digital cameras and changing the ISO with a normal SLR was reserved for film change time, and then you had to take a whole 24 or 36 shots at that ISO. Now I can chop and change at will and its fantastic – great for those low light level shots. I have high hopes for my sunset pictures in the future.

I hope to get out and about with the camera this weekend and if I get any good shots I will be sure to post them up here for all to see.

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Family Photos

Christmas TreeOn Christmas day I went a little mad with the camera so there are a fair few photos from this years family Christmas knocking about on my computer. I’ve picked a few of them and popped them into the Family Christmas 2006 gallery for you all to look at. It was a very enjoyable day and nice to be with the nearest and dearest. There is another family gathering tomorrow so there will probably be some shots of the wider family going up into the gallery when I get home afterwards.

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Foggy Photos

Foggy TreeGiven all the foggy weather we have been getting in the south of England lately I decided to try my hand at taking foggy photographs. I headed out into Verulamium park, St. Albans and took a few shots. The thumbnail on the left and the photo album are the results, please check them out and leave me your comments. I know some are better than others!

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