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Posted on 21st May, 2012

Amazon Marketplace, Guardian Camera Club,

National Autistic Society photo competition, Digital Photo mag.


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Friendship at St Patricks Day, Trafalgar Square, London.Well I'm still 'grounded' as a result of my wife breaking her leg, and that will remain the case until 12 June at least, when she next sees the consultant. So, the amount of photography I've been able to do is virtually nil. In fact, the only 3 shots I've managed recently are for a 12-month project I'm doing for my wife's allotment. My aim is to do a few pics every month for a year, with the intention of then raising a few pennies for the allotment by creating a 2013 calendar for sale to the plot-holders themselves. I've managed 2 photo-visits a month from last September, with the exception of February when I was in India, so I can't allow that plan to lapse now. (My wife covered February for me I'm pleased to say).


I do intend to try to get an entry into the Guardian Camera Club assignment for May, but even that's a bit 'iffy' at the moment. One reason for that is the subject of the comp, which is 'conceptual photography', whatever that's supposed to mean. I've looked at some entries so far, but even they don't really make it too clear for me. In fact, the whole assignment seems a bit arty / farty and hairy / fairy at the moment. Even so, I've an idea what to do, but it's now a case of overcoming the main hurdle of trying to get the shots whilst I'm 'in confinement'.


The other thing I was hoping to get back into was my Twitter account, as I've managed just one posting since the new year. Even that posting was nothing to do with photography mind you, and I know I shouldn't allow myself to get worked up by such things. But, what really makes me angry is the arrogance, conceit and lying that emanates from the town of Milton Keynes, and I have to put my penny-worth in. This particular example related to an East-of-England BBC news reporter, who perpetuated one of the lies that comes out of Milton Keynes, to the effect that the Amazon warehouse is located there. In fact, the Amazon warehouse is in Bedfordshire, and absolutely nothing to do with the town of Milton Keynes. I know it's illogical that such a thing should bother me, but arrogance from any source really makes me sick.


Actually, I've been quite busy in my dealings with Amazon Marketplace recently. Firstly, it was to buy a NATPC M009S 7" Google Android tablet for my wife's birthday, from Wendy Lou. It's so versatile and convenient, much less hassle than switching on the desktop PC, that I considered buying a second one for myself. In fact, if I hadn't bought a second-hand Dell Inspiron Mini 1011v netbook from Ebay, to use on my February trip to India, I would have done just that. Next purchase via Amazon was a couple of SDHC to CompactFlash adapters, from GoMemory. These allow relatively-cheap SDHC cards to be used in the CompactFlash slot of cameras, so saving money compared with the equivalent-capacity CF cards themselves. Well, they work perfectly on my Canon 400D, but not on my Canon 40D. As such, I decided not to use them, and luckily, a friend with a Canon 50D (which they do work on) was happy to buy them off me. My third buy was a pair of Integral 16Gb SDHC class 10 cards. Strange that I would buy them you might say, considering that I disposed of the SDHC - CompactFlash adapters, but no, these are for my wife's superb Canon G12 compact camera, and, for the aforementioned Dell Inspiron Mini 1011v. I should emphasise that these Integral SDHC cards do in fact work perfectly with the Dell netbook, unlike the rubbish (and more-expensive!) Duracell equivalents I took to India with me. My final purchase via Amazon was a Neewer battery grip for the 400D (equivalent to Canon BG-E3). Another strange buy you might think, considering the age of the 400D, and the fact therefore that most people have probably pensioned off the model. But my 400D is still going strong (touch wood), my recent CEWE Photoworld enlargements prove it's creating top-notch pics (when I get things right), and apart from that, I already have a battery grip for the 40D (although I havn't used it yet). The intensive use I gave the cameras in India really brought home how difficult it was, in portrait orientation, to hold the camera steady against (eg) a doorframe, whilst pressing the shutter release. Therefore, I hope that using the battery grips is the answer.


Talking about India, a friend has just returned from a 2-week photo trip to the Mount Abu area, which is really giving me India withdrawal symptoms, even though I had a bad trip in February. Equally, it's rubbing it in that I can't get out to do any pics at the moment almost. So it was probably to fill the photographic void that I recently responded to a speculative email from Bauer Consumer Media, to accept a trial subscription to Digital Photo magazine. Actually, it was a choice between that magazine and Practical Photography, so not much of a contest really. The only problem is, that the first copy of the trial hasn't arrived yet, even though it was due on 16 May. I just hope that if / when it does, it will provide a solid and basic grounding in Photoshop, and not be full of techniques of just esoteric value.


The only other photographic activity I've engaged in recently is to make a very late and frustrating entry to the National Autistic Society 'Friendship' photo competition, controlled by The contest ended at 23.59 GMT on 17 May, and because I heard of it at very short notice, I only got my entry in a few hours before that. The frustration resulted from the fact that entries are moderated before being displayed on the NAS website, but they don't tell you that in the entrance instructions. Therefore, even though I received a website message saying that my pic was accepted, it wasn't visible. I thus became worried that it hadn't really got through, and also that there was no time to sort things out before the deadline. So even though NAS won't enter into any correspondence relating to the comp, off went an email to them to complain. And of course, sods law dictated that immediately I sent the email, one appeared from them telling me about the moderation procedure. Oh well, I suppose all friendships have their rocky moments?


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