I’ve been a bit quiet on here as of late. I was pretty distracted as I waited for various new and exciting things to arrive that I’d been waiting for for over a month, and it was all making me a bit restless and unable to sit down for long enough to write the posts I’ve been meaning to write.
Fortunately, everything I’ve been waiting for with baited breath (well, everything related to this blog, at least) has arrived…
The big one, of course, is my new iMac, something I’ve spent the best part of the last year saving for and more than a month waiting for (they’re in high demand, these things, and Apple are selling them faster than they can make them).
I went for the 27″ model which allowed me to trick it out with 3 TB of onboard storage and upgrade the RAM myself to a whopping 32 GB (at a cost far cheaper than buying RAM direct from Apple) to allow me to browse my 19,000-image strong library with little slowdown. It should also allow me to get pretty up close and personal when editing my images.
Despite being 27″, this thing is unbelievably thin. I’d consider it thin for a monitor, so it is incredible to me that there is a whole computer inside this thing.
It’s only when you look at it from the side that you see any depth at all.
I’ve also invested in a graphics tablet. I’d been playing about with one at work and decided to buy a cheap one to experiment in doodling, and indeed to use it as a brush interface for processing photos.
Combined with my keyboard, trackpad and mouse, I have no shortage of human interface devices to choose from.
The MacBook Air I bought last summer will remain, as I always intended, to be a portable photo editing and storage device; somewhere to keep a couple of hundred gigabytes of images if I’m shooting away from home for any length of time, whilst editing on the go. The two connect via Thunderbolt to ingest images from the Air to the iMac in a ridiculously short time.
The second major thing I’ve bought is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and seriously intending to do since early December after my trip to Covent Garden and my time spent photographing a play: business cards.
After umming and ahing for a little while, I decided to get a variety of images on the cards, the theory being I could give out particular ones in more specific situations.
The plain white ‘Creative Splurges’ card is, in fact, the back of all of the cards.
The selection of images was chosen to show the range of images I take: wildlife, bands, plays, products, sport.
I went for rounded corners to make them stand out a little against the standard, square cards.
I have roughly five of each design to give away. I have no idea yet how long they’ll last. The theory is, I’ll give the theatre-related ones to Catherine to advertise my services for groups using her theatre, stick the band one in caps if I’ve shot a band on, say, the South Bank, give the product ones to stallholders I photograph, and so on.
You can also see in the background of some of these shots the new desk; part of the motivation behind these improvements was to make better use of our spare room, which although we called it a ‘study’ had become a dumping ground with a desk in it. The overall study isn’t quite finished yet, so those images are going to have to wait for another time.
The final little thing I bought was a lens hood for my work-a-day 18-135mm lens. It’s not much to shout about, although it should stop me from attempting to shield the lens with my hand when shooting in bright light in future, but it is worth mentioning that I bought it for a paltry £1.63 with free postage from eBay. Bargain!
Now that everything is finally (mostly) sorted, all of my images are now in a single library that isn’t on a machine that runs about as fast as a tortoise doing a quadratic equation, and I’m able to work in the study in what is being developed as a decent working environment, I’m intending to get back into posting at a decent level. The last couple of months have been a bit too barren, as far as I’m concerned.
The next step for the study is getting some images printed for the walls. I’m open to any suggestions that you think might make a good print, so let me know in the comments, or via Facebook or Twitter.