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    • Landscape

      Photographing a sunset.

      I took a walk over the field after the children were in bed to get some shots of the sun setting. I’d never shot a sunset before and  wasn’t sure how much exposure compensation if any to apply. Basically I found a place along the path where I could get a shot of the sun settling over the horizon and set the camera up on a tripod. I set  +/- 2 EV bracketing on the camera and tried a few...
    • Landscape

      Sun through the branches of a tree

      When I woke this morning and had a look out of the window I saw that the sky was completely clear and I decided to try to get some landscape photographs from the field between Stevenage and Knebworth. So at about 6:00 am I pulled on some clothes and headed across the road to the track which goes under the railway line and leads to the path to Knebworth. The good thing about taking pictures this early is that you...
    • Landscape

      The crooked tree

      This tree is in a field between Stevenage and Knebworth in Hertfordshire. It looks as if it’s been struck by lightening at some point and it certainly looks pretty rotten on the right hand side. On the day I took this picture I went out early and the sun was quite low in the sky and to the right in this picture. I set an exposure of 1/640 at F9 and I’m quite pleased with the result – I think...
    • Landscape

      Three trees

      Took a very early walk over the field between Stevenage and Knebworth. It’s a great time to take pictures before the sun is too harsh. This shot is a landscape composition of a tree which is about halfway along the path which goes round the field. It’s actually three trees in a short line, and the Path runs past it.
    • Photography

      A visit to Beautiful Cromer Windmill

      We took a trip to Cromer Windmill, which is at a small village just outside Stevenage, but found that it is in the middle of having the boarding replaced and so is draped with scaffolding which made my efforts to take photographs of this beautiful windmill a bit meaningless. Cromer Windmill The mill is a post mill, which means it is constructed with a vast timber post which runs to the second floor of the mill. The mill was initially...
    • Macro

      Bee on flower

      Took a walk along the road from Stevenage to Knebworth and took some photos of the flowers and bees with my new Tamron 70 – 300mm macro tele zoom. Although this one is slightly out of focus, I still like it because the bee is so coloutful
    • Macro

      Cinnabar moth caterpillar

      I’ve just bought a new Tamron 70 – 300 mm Macro Zoom from Camera World and I’ve been trying out the macro facility. Jan found these caterpillars in the Garden and they were an ideal subject to try the lens on. I’m pretty impressed with it – it’s not the best lens in the world, but at £80 from Camera World it’s a cheap entry into close up photography.
    • Photography

      Mrs & Mr Bear

      These ornaments have sat in our garden for many years being weathered and I wanted something to take a picture of. With a nice wide open lens (well F5.6 which is widest my 200mm zoom will go) I managed to blur the background quite well.
    • Landscape

      Inspiring St Nicholas Church in Stevenage

      James and I took a trip to St Nicholas church in Stevenage to take some photographs earlier today. James took his Samsung point-n-shoot, took lots of photographs and tried to wander over the church grounds. I had to explain that we don’t walk over graves. I found it difficult to get a good viewpoint of the church and couldn’t capture the full church with the spire from the front, road-side view even at  the widest setting of 16 mm. The shot...
    • Landscape

      St Mary’s church Aston

      I took a drive out to a village which is quite close to Stevenage a couple of days ago called Aston to take some pictures of the Church there, which is called St Mary’s Church. I took several pictures from a variety of different angles, but I think this is the best of the ones I took – although it would be improved with some post-processing to remove the telephone line which cuts across the top of the picture.
    • Family

      Beach Huts at Wells next the sea

      This is a picture of beach huts at the sea front in Wells-next-the-sea, Norfolk taken in mid summer. Apparently my Dad told me he could have bought one of these for £200 about 50 years ago. I wonder what they would be worth now ?
    • Photography

      Howzat !!

      I saw this character at Knebworth house, carved from a tree stump. As a cricket fan this looked exactly like an umpire responding to a cry of ‘Howzat !!’ His finger is raised and he’s wearing a reversed cap as if he’s been given it by the last bowler.
    • Family

      Beach View

      The family took a trip to Wells-next-the-sea while we were staying with my sister in Fakenham. We went in the late afternoon to avoid the crowds so we arrived there at about 4:00pm when I took this picture which I’ve called ‘Beach View’. I was interested in taking a variety of picture – family shots, beach scenes nature shots etc. James had brought his cricket set and Emma had a bucket and spade so after a quick game of cricket...
    • Family

      A visit to Knebworth House

      This post describes a visit to Knebworth house which we took as a family visit Sunday 27th June 2010. We choose that day because it was the day that England were playing Germany in the 2010 world cup, so we knew that there was a chance that there would be fewer people about. I also took the opportunity to take some photographs. Our visit to Knebworth House Sunday 27th was a very hot day, and we set out at about 11:15. James...
    • Development

      Using Zend Framework ACL and Auth to control access

      I’ve recently started using the Zend framework components to produce a site I’m working on and thought I’d document how I’ve tied the Acl and Auth components together to control access.The site I’m building consists of several services which all have access through a common user account login, but with different classes of user. This seemed an ideal candidate for using Access control lists so I’ve set them up in the following way. Each service is being written as a...
    • Reviews

      Panasonic HDC-HS9 EB HD Camcorder user review.

      This post describes my impressions of the Panasonic HDC-HS9 digital camcorder which we bought after we lost a valuable recording on our old DV Tape camcorder. We use a camcorder in the same way that most families use a camcorder – basically for making movies of the children, family events and holidays. We first bought a digital camcorder when our first child James was born in 2002 and haven’t had any need to change it until I had a disaster...
    • Blogging

      Dealing with unwanted Credit card offers

      We aren’t so plagued as we used to be, which is probably a sign of the global downturn, but we used to get about 5 credit card offers every week and even now we still get the occasional one.  I find these unsolicited spam letters a real pain, so I’ve devised a plan to deal with them. I open the letter and tear off any identifying sections with my name and address on. Then, I get the prepaid envelope which...
    • Reviews

      User review of Pioneer DCS-575 DVD home cinema system

      We bought a pioneer DCS-575 Home cinema system to go with the Samsung LE40A656 40 inch LCD Television which we bought in July 2008. We choose the Pioneer because it is a 5.1 system but allows the speakers to be arranged in a variety of different combinations and therefore they don’t have to be arranged around the room. Obviously the ‘surround’ effect won’t be as effective, but with two small children running around the room I felt this would give...
    • Linux

      Compaq/HP 8710W Laptop running Ubuntu Linux

      This short post is to answer a question potential Compaq/HP 8710W owners may be asking. Just in case it’s useful to anyone who may be wondering if they can run Ubuntu on a Compaq/HP 8710W laptop, I can tell them that you can. I’m running the Intrepid 8.10 release on one of these and I have all the hardware I use running ‘out of the box’. The only thing I can think of which doesn’t work is the Finger Print...
    • Reviews

      Samsung LE40A656 LCD TV

      This short post describes my experiences of the Samsung LE40A656 LCD TV. We bought a Samsung LE40A656 40″ LCD TVs about 7 months ago and I have to say that it’s stunning. It’s a full HD, 1080P set with 4 HDMI inputs as well as component and a couple of scart sockets. We run it from a Virgin media V+ box set and the picture quality in HD is exceptional. The only problem we had was to do with the...

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