It took a flurry of snow for me return to using the service with any regularity. Since then I’ve gone a little bit crazy, sharing images of snow, trains and all sorts.
Despite the quantity, I’ve been pretty pleased with the quality of the Instagramming I’ve been doing, putting me in a similar position with my Instagram images as I am with all of my other images: backlogsville. So, much like my other images, I’m posting in the order that appeals most, rather than sticky to any sort of chronology.
As always, if you like these images, then you can follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or my Tumblr which contains a selection of my Instagram shots.
I’ve been a bit distracted with the close of 2012 and so this post, my last monthly reflection for 2012, is a little later than I would normally prefer. I’ve already covered December to an extent in my 2012 roundup, but I’d still like to go into a little more detail for the month, as lacking in content as it was. Don’t worry, there’ll be a new content post shortly – and it’s one I’m really proud of.
As much as I hate the fact, December was the month where my working life finally caught up with me. For the last twelve months I’ve constantly fought to keep my ‘profession’ away from my hobby (even as I take gradual steps towards the latter becoming the former) and not let work take away from my time working on shooting, editing or posting for Creative Splurges. Unfortunately, I got moved to another far busier location in September, and the resulting extended hours and resultant physical drain of the move started taking chunks out of me. It started being more obvious in November, when I slipped into posting once a week, only being able to work on things at weekends.
Heading into December, I was also still working trough my oft-mentioned backlog. It’s still there, still containing images from as far back as July. It is somewhat surprising then that the two content posts in December were pretty fresh sets of images.
I’ve somehow manage to clock up almost three weeks since my last post. The day after I published London at Night: Covent Garden, I conducted one of my first ‘commissioned’ photography projects. For that, I ended up taking over 1,100 images, and headed straight into editing them. I’m still editing them. This is the eternal dilemma I face for this blog: do I process the smaller posts and get them out quickly, or spend time concentrating on a bigger set of images and let things go quiet for a while? For the last couple of months I’ve been doing the former, working through my backlog and getting posts out roughly once a week. Doing this, however, has left a few 1,000+ image sets waiting months for processing. Fortunately, I’m on my winter break from work, and I’m hoping to have the time to go through those shots over the next couple of weeks. I’ve completed my first pass of the other week’s shots, and hope to have them published before the new year.
My Xmas break is often the time for little side projects that I wouldn’t always get the time to do when work is being a constant mental and physical burden. This is one such project.
For a while now I’ve been meaning to add images to my Kit page. I gave it a go a few months ago and the results were pretty flat and dull, so I decided against using them. But ever since my brother-in-law expressed an interest in getting me to shoot some of the product for the company he works for, I’ve been meaning to try again. And this time out, I had a flashgun – and I knew how to use it.
When I sat down to compile this, the fourteenth sup at my well of Instagram images, I was surprised to see that not only was my last Instagram post over two months ago, but the images it contained were themselves two months old at the time. As I crawled back to pick up where I left off, my usual technique for compiling an Instagram set, I backtracked past numerous images, going past all of the good stuff that is yet to come. That is in no way to demean the images in this set. Quite the opposite, in fact: when I compile these sets I go through them chronologically, picking out the ones worthy of showing and releasing them in batches of nine. I’m just letting you know, Instagram #15 will be ready to go as soon as I need some shameless post-filling.
This is another great set that I’m proud of. There’s a final shot from during the Olympics, as a woman in London takes a snapshot of the Olympic Rings floating on the Thames. There’s a few shots from around London, there’s an image of me looking like a knob (as usual) and a shot of my wife relaxing on a lazy Sunday afternoon with her iPad.
Shameless plug: if you like this lot, then you can follow me on Instagram by clicking on my shiny new Instagram badge in the “Me, Elsewhere” section of the right sidebar, or clicking this link (which ultimately takes you to the same place), or visit my Tumblr, which contains a nice medley of Creative Splurges, the Daily Photo and my Instagram images all pooled into one page of nothing but images for ease of viewing. I actually really love that Tumblr, and I don’t think it gets the attention it deserves.
I’m in much the same position with my Instagram images as I am with the rest of my photographs: I still have a digital pile of images I want to show you, which seems to be getting bigger rather than smaller as I work to catch up.
Much like with my other photos, this does at least give me the opportunity to mix and match a little and post images in a more interesting order, rather than chronologically.
It is therefore no surprise that this next batch is another mixed bag of images, albeit with a bit of a London theme.
Before I’d even published Instagram #10, I had already built up enough images for another Instagram post. For those of you not familiar with my method of dealing with Instagram images, it’s simple: I can sometimes take quite a lot of pictures with the app, so whenever I build up a batch of nine great images, ones worth sharing, I wrap them up here for all to see.
It doesn’t always work out that way, of course. Instagram #3 contained a bumper set of twenty-seven images because I’d allowed a batch of pictures to build up, and Instagram #9 had six new photos appended to it just before publishing because I’d taken a few extra good ones between the time I collated the nine for the post and the time the post was ready to publish. But I’m now trying to be a little more strict on the whole ‘nine images to a post’ rule.
This set contains some of my favourite Instagram images – I’m sure I’ve said that on previous posts, but sometimes the best images I take are ones where I’m not distracted by having a full DSLR. My favourites from this set are the last two: a sunrise near the station at Twickenham, and an angled shot of the London Studios at the South Bank.
If you like these, you can follow me on Instagram – @CousinDirk – or follow my Tumblr page, where I post most of my Instagram images.
It has been a long, long time since I last posted an Instagram collection. In fact, sources tell me it was last July.
That was also the month that I bought my current camera, so I must extrapolate that in buying the camera, my desire to muck about with filters and things on an iPhone waned a bit. That isn’t to say I’ve not been shooting a fair amount with my iPhone; I’ve been shooting quite a bit in fact. But for some reason I’ve not been throwing through the Instagramagigger so get interesting results as much.
Still, after seven months, I’ve finally built up enough images for another set – although this is a set of fifteen, instead of the usual nine, as I’ve managed to build up a few more images than I expected. Take a look.
By the way, if you’re an Instagram user and want to follow me, my handle is CousinDirk – same as my Twitter handle, my YouTube handle, and my Flickr handle.
Last week I downloaded a stop motion creator app for my iPhone. In doing so I had aspirations of animating inanimate objects, Lego men or some such thing. I still do, but that will hopefully come later.
The app lets you either make a noise to lock in a frame, or set it to update once every so many seconds. Playing about with the app I soon realised that it could double as a time-lapse capture device by leaving it on its automatic setting for a length of time.
So at the weekend, I set up my GorillaPod with my iPhone on it (finally having a legitimate excuse for the Glif iPhone tripod mount I bought last year), plugged it into the mains, and just before going to bed set it capturing at one frame every 20 seconds.
The next morning I took my phone and outputted the footage at 12 frames a second (annoyingly the highest frame rate the app will produce). I attempted putting it through Motion for an optical flow analysis to smooth out the frames and motion a bit but it didn’t seem to work (this might be to me using the project settings wrongly, however).
The end result takes a little while to get going, and unfortunately you can’t see the sun breaking the horizon from my window, but there is promise there that, given the right subject, I could get some interesting results. The full video is below, if you just want to see the breaking of the dawn and not the night actions of my neighbours, jump forward to about 1:50.
(the weird flashing lights in the sky towards the end of the video, by the way, are planes on the approach to Heathrow)
One of the most depressing things about winter is realising at the end of your lunch break that the sun is already making pretty obvious machinations for the horizon.
The advantage of this however is that during your lunch break you get the chance to take some interesting photographs, even if, as is often the case, your iPhone is the only camera you have on you.
As I noted last week, I’m currently insisting on getting outside for my lunch as weather permits, and yesterday I wandered about in the general direction of Trafalgar Square.
Once again, the iPhone 4 is showing itself to be a versatile camera. I might start getting increasingly jealous of my wife’s iPhone 4S if I keep on going out at lunch and taking photos (although I’m already looking towards the ‘iPhone 5′ or whatever it ends up being called).
As I headed back along Waterloo Bridge (past the scene of a bit of a silly incident), the sun cast some even more impressive rays.
One of the most common issues I find when shooting with the iPhone is that a lot of the images, when shared (especially by email), sometimes come out upside down. I haven’t been able to figure out why but I can only assume it’s some kind of bug with iOS. Hopefully it’s something that will be fixed in the future as it can sometimes cause a headache.
One of the bonuses of using the iPhone is the amazing ease with which you can take a HDR photo. Whilst obviously not always as good as being done ‘properly’ (if you’re one of the photographers that considers HDR to be proper at all), it can get good results quite quickly which out worrying about a tripod. As an experiment I tried taking the same shot as above, but with the HDR setting turned on. In this example I don’t think it improves the image; it brings out the detail in the buildings and loses the effect of the silhouette, but I’ll leave you with the image regardless.
We’re currently involved in industrial action at work. We’re not on strike, but we are conducting that is now referred to as ‘industrial action short of a strike’, which in the old days used to be called working to rule.
For me, it’s actually working out quite well. I’m leaving for home on time, I don’t have to do some of the weird stuff that’s creeped into my job over the last few years (most of which whilst someone else was doing the job, but hey-ho), and also, crucially, I’m getting out of the office for my lunch break.
It’s amazing that, when you are stuck in a small office with no windows for most of the day, that you can forget that you’re in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world.
On Friday for my lunch break, I headed out along the South Bank, aiming to head away from the supermarket I always end up buying food from. It was a cold day, but bright and clear; a typical sunny winter’s day (it’s about time we had one, it is December after all).
Presently I found myself wandering through an Xmas market. I was so distracted by the colours and sounds (and fudge) that before I knew it I was standing in the shadow of the London Eye.
As is typical for most work days, the only camera I had on me was my iPhone 4, so it would have to do. Continue reading »