Year of the Cumberbatch

Twelve months ago I had only vaguely heard of Benedict Cumberbatch. Slightly weird looking fellow. A name absolutely made for the stage. I hadn’t watched a thing he’d ever been in. What a difference a year makes. This is largely down to Mrs P, who became a fan. Female Cumberbatch fans like to label themselves by…well, they swap the ‘a’ for an ‘i’. Mrs P prefers to be known as a Cumberbabe. It’s more dignified.

We binge watched all three series of Sherlock. I hadn’t previously been that interested. Sherlock? Old hat. Figuritively and literally speaking. And besides, Sherlock Holmes in the 21st century? It just didn’t seem right. It turned out to be brilliant. Breaking Bad brilliant. But without the crystal meth. I can’t recommend it highly enough. The cast. The videography. The scripts. Ten out of ten for the lot.

There’s also Starter for Ten, an old movie we found on Netflix. It’s a movie of its time, but perfectly enjoyable. But he wasn’t finished yet. Another older production, Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein, was given a limited release at the cinema this summer/autumn. It’s a theatre production, expertly filmed and a thoroughly brilliant modern production of a classic. We watched it at the Odeon in Bournemouth, which is the best place to go and see it. Not because of the luxurious seating, or the audio quality. At Bournemouth you can go and meet the author straight after the show. Mary Shelley is buried in a cemetery just behind the cinema.

Ten days or so ago we went to the Museum of London, which is currently hosting a Sherlock Holmes exhibition. Photography was not allowed unfortunately. It cost £12 per person to wander around the history of London’s most famous detective. This mostly consists of paintings, snippets of film, movie posters, costumes and bits and pieces about the author and his inspirations. Was it worth £12? Probably not. But given the value for money we get from London’s museums, what with most of them being free, it seem a little bit much to complain.

This week we went to see his latest film, the Imitation Game. Based on the true story of Alan Turing, one of the world’s true geniuses. The ‘father’ of this electronic device that I am currently using to tell you about the film. It is, needless to say, quite brilliant. I’ve used the brilliant a few times now, I am aware of that. Yet I feel I have under utilised the word rather than overused it.

You may know the story of Alan Turing. If so, you will undoubtedly enjoy this movie. On the other hand, you may not know his story. I won’t spoil it for you. But suffice it to say that it’s a very human story set on global stage. Had Turing not been such a secret, Mr Churchill might well have opined that never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to that one chap over there. A statistic is produced at the end of the movie. It’s eye opening. Given the ultimate tragedy of the story, it’s eye watering. And you too will undoubtedly enjoy this movie.

You may even find yourself telling others that you are a Cumberbabe. Or, if you share my gender, a Cumberbloke.

Basildon Park

I must start watching Downton Abbey. Everyone says it’s a fine show. But…I don’t know. It just seems all a bit meh. Especially when I can be in Downton Abbey. If only for a few hours. We recently visited Basildon Park, a National Trust property, and scene of one of the recent episodes of the television series. They are mighty proud of that fact, judging by the number of banners and leaflets telling us so. They’ve even made a video.

It’s a grand old Georgian house with some very green and pleasant lands. Mrs P and I both love visiting National Trust homes and gardens. It’s a form of escapism. But you don’t simply leave behind the noise of town, the stress of work and the familiarity of home. You leave behind the whole of the 21st and 20th centuries. Sometimes more.

It was our last National Trust visit of the season. The houses all closed down at the beginning of November for a well deserved winter break. We’ve had our moneys worth this year though. We’ve been right across southern England, through Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire, Berkshire, West Sussex, Wiltshire and Kent. We’ll probably renew our memberships next year. Or soon after. If you’d like just a little photographic tour of Basildon Park, click here and be whisked away to Flickr.

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Timelapse Photography

Who doesn’t like a well done timelapse video? They add a surreal touch to the everyday world. I have three to share with you that I think are absolutely fantastic. The first is a visual representation of the invisible architecture above our heads that ensures aircraft don’t (often) fall down on our heads. The second is more of a tutorial, but it starts off with a cinematic timelapse of the milky way. I’d like to do some astrophotography. Maybe soon. And finally, with Mr K particularly in mind, is a very creative layered timelapse of Boston. All three videos are really well worth a few minutes of your busy day.

And all three videos are well beyond my budget and skill level. Still, I have my iPhone 6. I have the new-ish Hyperlapse app, And I recently had a front seat on the top of a double decker bus in London. I quite like the results. I’d like to do something a little more complicated. Maybe I will. Until then, here is the (rather short) effort I produced. Will anyone name that street without peeking a look at the video’s title? Alas, the video will start in low quality. You’ll need to click on the settings cog and select HD. Does anyone know a trick to embed YouTube with an HD default?

11.11.11

The last century has seen a number of dates immortalised and seared into the public consciousness. The most recent pair would be 9/11 and 7/7. Dates that symbolise graves events that changed the world. But neither of them, nor any others, can quite match the importance of 11.11.11. I mean, it’s so important, the digits list not just the date and month, but the hour too.

Remembrance Day. Armistice Day. Veterans Day. Call it what you will, it is the day that nations stop and remember their fallen servicemen. This year has greater import than normal. It’s a hundred years since World War I began. The war to end all wars. Except, it didn’t turn out that way, did it.

I often think that the day might be more productively spent remembering the likes of Asquith, Lloyd George, Clemenceau, Tsar Nicholas II, Franz Joseph and the Kaiser. And all the other political and military leaders that have since sent troops to their unnecessary and untimely deaths in battle. The foot soldiers themselves are memorable only for their unfortunate habit of running into bullets and blasts. Moments that they themselves would probably rather forget. Well, I guess they did just that, fairly instantly…

Perhaps we never learn from history, because we spend too much time looking at the wrong stories. I don’t wish to take anything away from the undoubted bravery of Britain’s fighting men, but there’s a part of me that can’t help but feel that any man or woman who has signed up to join the army, navy or air force in the last few decades has done so in the full knowledge that they are more likely to be sent to fight an immoral war in someone else’s country than to defend the motherland.

And yet, for all that, we do need a military force. Someone has to sign up. We have to trust in our governments decisions when it comes to armed conflict, and cross our fingers each time that this will be one of the more justifiable sorties.  I guess there are 364 other days of the year to point fingers at the warmongers .

We went to the Tower of London this year, to see the vast swathe of ceramic poppies filling the moat. The display is now complete. More than 800,000 red dots, each signifying a British life lost. It’s an impressive sight, if impressive is the right word. Does it do justice to the scale of the conflict? I’m not sure. Previously, the losses seemed unfathomable. Hard to grasp. Unthinkable.  Now we have a visual display that perhaps, somehow, makes the concept of 800,000 dead people a more manageable concept.

There were hymns being played. Militaristic hymns. Tunes that have been played down the decades and centuries. The state egging on the soldiers to war, assuring them that there’s a god on their side. That there is a moral justification for killing the enemy infidels. That’s an aspect of our culture that seems to be either missed or glossed over. Of course, when it’s a religiously brain washed foreigner charging to the chant of another god, we notice.

It’s kinda funny. Humans are far more similar than they are different. Even in their ability to perceive or create differences and their desire to snuff out those on the other side. Even now there are objections to any German joining in with a Remembrance Day service. Ignorant of the fact that war and division don’t end wars. Peace and unity ends war. Such is life.

Click here to see the full set of photos on Flickr.

Prague 1973

While working for British Airways (or one of its previous incarnations) my grandfather struck up what was to be a lifelong friendship with a pilot of a Czechoslovakian airline. This was back in the days when most Czechs were held tight behind the iron curtain. Not so the international flying pilots, of course.

My grandfather went to Prague to visit him a few times. One of those trips was in 1973. He took plenty of photographs, all carefully transferred to slides and stored in secure cases. I dare say they haven’t been seen by a single soul in decades. Today they can be seen by everyone and anyone with a web browser and an internet connection.

Again, I could have done more work on the photos. But I’m really after quick and easy. But nonetheless, I was pretty happy with the results. So, without any further ado, I present to you a slideshow of Prague in the midst of the Cold War. You can see the full set on Flickr by clicking here.

42

The number 42, or μβ to my Greek friends, is a funny old number. Aside from being a pronic, abundant and sphenic number it is also the third primary pseudoperfect number. It is also the perfect score on the US Math Olympiad and the maximum number of points one can obtain in an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

The fastest way to cross the planet? Drill a hole through the earth, suck all the air from the tube you’ve created and allow gravity to do its thing. The journey time? It will take you precisely 42 minutes. It’s an unlucky number in Japan, because it sounds too much like ‘unto death’. Which is exactly what might occur if you did decide to do that free fall journey through the earth.

It’s also a bit of a religious number, is 42. There were 42 Egyptian gods and goddesses, 42 generations in Matthews’ Genealogy of Jesus and according to Revelations the Beast will hold dominion over the earth for 42 days. Not forgetting the Gutenburg Bible, aka the 42 Line Bible. Each page consisted of 42 lines, you see. Will the number 42 get you to heaven? I don’t know. But it can get you to the moon. It’s easy. Just take a piece of paper. Any old piece of paper. Now, fold it in half 42 times. Your piece of paper will reach to our lunar friend. Seriously.

Did you know that the only jersey number retired by all Major League baseball teams is the number 42 shirt? Unless its Jackie Robinson day, April 15, in which case everyone wears a shirt with the number 42 on it. There was once an episode of Doctor Who titled ’42′ that lasted, would you believe, a total of 42 minutes. Lewis Carroll was positively obsessed by the number 42, littering his work with the digits for no apparent reason.

You might well be beginning to think I’ve come down with a bit of 42 fever today too. But there is a point to all this. Today is my birthday. Can you guess how old I am? That’s right, I’m 32. I wish. Obviously, I am in fact 42. It’s not an otherwise important milestone. So I’ve had to justify the number 42 with some pretty tenuous, but entirely genuine, facts and figures.

But perhaps it should be a big day. After all, 21 is something of a biggie. And this is the second time I’ve passed 21 years. I remember my 21st. A night in the pub drinking ciders spiked with vodka. It was a good night, which finished without being arrested, hospitalised or projectile vomiting. To be fair, in the UK, this probably amounts to an unsuccessful 21st birthday celebration.

But most importantly of all, I am sincerely hoping that this will be the year that I will finally understand the question. I know the answer. The answer, of course, is 42. And it makes perfect sense that this will be the year I am enlightened. What is the damned question??

Fotosketcher

Turning photos into artwork is fun. The results can be hit and miss, but when the right filter is applied to the right photo, the final image can be very satisfying. I must do more of this. I’ve created a set on Flickr for my initial efforts – click here. The software I used? There are dozens of programs to choose from. I used Fotosketcher.  Best of all, it’s free.

Oil FotoSketcher

Project Panagor Part 3

Allow me to introduce you to the photographer behind this project, my grandfather. His birth certificate says William. Everyone knew him as Bill. Except me and the other grand kids, to whom he was known simply as grandad. He served in World War 2, getting through it without a scratch to speak of, although there was an unfortunate incident when he was caught milking a cow. Such antics were frowned upon in those days, what with rationing and all.

I remember him as being ridiculously well presented. Shoes that shine like mirrors. He’d be dressed in formal gear to do the gardening. And everything was in its place. Including all his photos and slides, carefully labelled and sorted. He later worked for British Airways and its earlier incarnations, for some 30 years I believe. He loved travelling, so the free tickets he got via BA were a boon. Alas, he married a woman who wasn’t as keen on flying as him. He made up for this with his love of technology and photography.

I also remember the holidays in Kent in that caravan you see down below. We’d pitch up in a field and then head off to explore towns and castles or just spend a relaxing day on the farm. I made friends with the farm boy one year and went hunting rabbits with nets and ferrets. I brought some back to the caravan, and we dined on rabbit stew. He’d tell us war stories. He always had a new war story to regale us with. Alas, he passed in 1994, just over 20 years ago,

Also featured is my grandmother. Irene, or simply Nan. Not the extrovert than my grandad was, but the sort that keeps order and discipline. She didn’t technically serve in WW2. I say technically, because the reality was that every man and woman served in WW2 in one capacity or another. All hands on deck sort of a thing. Must keep the Hun at bay.

Unlike grandad, she didn’t escape the war unscathed. Exiting a cinema when the air raid sirens went off, she was caught in a blast. She passed a few years ago with shrapnel from that blast still embedded in her back. It was shrapnel from a British anti-aircraft shell that went wrong. We’d call it friendly fire today. Back then I guess they call it unfortunate. On the plus side, as badly injured as she was, she made it through to tell the tale. As a direct result, I’m also here today, to retell the tale.

She was a careful sort of person. When grandad was gone, his secret stash of receipts for cameras, lenses and other assorted boys toys that he’d secretly acquired were discovered. He lived for the moment. She planned for the future. A bit like me and Mrs P really.

There’s the photo of him with his organ. He used to spend what seemed like weeks and months building them. It probably was weeks and months. Then he’d upgrade and build a new one. I saw him putting his organs together far more often than I saw him playing them. There’s also a photo of him with a gas fire. I found a number of them, with both taking it in turns to pose with the gas fire.

I am assuming that it was a new feature for the house.  Something we take for granted, which was a luxury ‘back in the day’. I suspect that the arrival of the fire coincided with the arrival of piped gas in their neighbourhood. Fortunately, the arrival of indoor toilets wasn’t given the same photographic treatment.

There’s also a group photo there. It’s in Prague. He made friends with a Czech pilot during the heady days of the Cold War, and they kept in touch till the end. My family remain in touch with them, on and off. I think it’s now on a Christmas card basis. The pilot passed away just recently. Months ago, not years. The photo of the little boy? Not me. My younger brother, Richard. You’ve no idea how delighted I was as a child when I found out that a short version of Richard is Dick.

Can you imagine what my grandfather would have made of it if you’d told him back in the 50s, 60s or 70s that I would one day photograph his slides with a smartphone camera and share them with the entire planet on the internet, organised in virtual folders on the internet, available to view 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? Smartphone? Internet? He’d not have a clue what I was talking about.

But he’d most definitely want to know all about it and to have a go. He’d have had a whale of a time. My nan, most likely, would be grateful they lived in a pre-internet era. Mrs P would probably share that sentiment. I’m supposed to be cooking dinner at the moment…

I also wonder what will happen to my photos. It’s great that they’re on the internet and so readily available. But, 20 years after I’ve passed, and half a century after my earliest snaps, what will have become of them? There will be no boxes of slides for someone to look through and puzzle over how, exactly, they transfer them onto a modern format for viewing.

But perhaps they will still exist. Maybe Flickr will create accounts that you purchase ‘in perpetuity’. Meh. I’m not holding my breath. But I would definitely love to know how we look at photos in half a century from now. How they are created, stored and viewed. Perhaps technology will allow us to walk into photos, reproduced as holographic representations created from the 2D images I’m taking today. How cool would that be?

For now, Flickr will have to do. Click here to see the entire set in all its glory. Hopefully I’ll get to have a look through more boxes of slides in the future and see what else is hiding away, and bring it into the 21st century. Maybe I will even make an updated version of my slide duplicator. A deluxe model, sort of thing.

Project Panagor Part 2

Further to yesterdays post about digitising old slides in the easiest, cheapest way possible. Let’s not kid ourselves. Photographing slides that are 30, 40 or 50 years old with a device made from a Cup-a-Soup carton, packing tape and a smartphone will not produce images of the highest quality possible. Or even close to it. I don’t want to raise expectations beyond what I can deliver!

All I really wanted to do was be able to transfer the images onto my PC, tidy them up with a bit of post processing and have something at the end of that which looks ok-ish on a smartphone, tablet or pc monitor. And, with most of the shots, I have achieved that. It did take a fair bit of post processing though. See below for a before and after example. I’m pretty sure that’s me in this photo…

Before-and-After

What other treasures did I find in those boxes of slides shot by my grandfather? I was intrigued as to what I’d find on the slides labelled Hitler’s Bomb Shelter. Sadly, the answer was ‘not much’. Poorly lit tunnels. That was it. But there’s still the story of the photos to investigate. Which bunkers might these have been? Other photos in that box of slides were labelled Salzburg and Munich. Which is enough information to go on. I entered my hunch into Google Maps…

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…and came up trumps. The bunkers at the Berghof, Adolf Hitler’s happy place. He should have spent more time relaxing there, and less in Berlin poring over maps of Europe. It turns out that the bunkers are still open to the public today. You can read the reviews on TripAdvisor. The photo on the right below is one taken from there. For comparison.

These photos must have been taken in the very late 1950s. Hitler would have been strolling around these parts perhaps 13 to 15 years earlier. World War 2 was then still as recent to him as 9/11 is to me today. A war he participated in. Imagine being a New Yorker, an office worker in one of the twin towers, and going on a holiday and being able to wander around the cave that was bin Laden’s HQ?

Bunker

But let’s move on. Let’s go to Salzburg. I’ve never before been. But I guessed from a lot of the photos that there’s a castle in Salzburg. Google came up trumps again, and provided the distinctly more recent photo on the right. But the silhouettes on both photos are identical. Castles do not change too much over the years.

Salzburg-Castle

A visit to Austria isn’t really a visit unless you go up a mountain. It’s definitely the thing to do. Given how mountainous the country is, you’re not left with many options other than either standing still in the one village, or going up and down mountains. Still, there’s always those lifts. The olden day ones look iffy. I’m not sure they’d pass any modern risk assessments.

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There were a few more interesting photos. From Austria and from England. There’s a little gallery below. There’s more to come, of friends and family. That will come another day.

Project Panagor

About a year ago, a suitcase found itself dumped at my home. Inside were a ton of slides. Hundreds of them. All shot by my grandfather decades ago. Some go back to the 1950′s. But what to do with them? They came with a projector. A non functioning projector. So the ‘easy route’ to looking at/digitising any of them was the first method that went out the window.

A slide scanner is another option. Too pricey. So that suitcase sat there, along with other boxes of slide, untouched. As they have been for years and years and years. And then, a couple of months ago I came across a YouTube video. It gave me an idea, which went on the back burner for a while.

But I have a week off this week, so I put my idea into motion. I shall call it Project Panagor. Because this project starts with the one box in the suitcase that wasn’t jammed full of slides. It was a Panagor zoom slide duplicator. It’s a simple bit of equipment. At one end sits a slide holder with a light diffuser. At the other end is an thread to attach a camera lens. Put a slide in, take a shot. Repeat.

The Panagor unit wasn’t the simple solution I had hoped (but not expected) it to be. The camera really needs to be a full frame camera and the lens really needs to be a macro lens. I have neither. But, having unscrewed the slide holder part of the device, I did have a key ingredient of Project Panagor.

I mentioned earlier that I’d seen a video that inspired this idea. It was a simple looking home made device, utilising a piece of black tube, with a pair of slots cut into it. One slot for a slide, the other slot for a smartphone. The end was covered up with some vellum paper as a light diffuser. But yes, this is a method of slide duplication involving nothing more complex that the camera on a smartphone.

My slide holder, cannibalised from the Panagor, had half the job done. Now I just needed a tube or pipe. However, there was a drawback to that plan. Obtaining the tube would involve getting showered, dressed and leaving my house. None of which I had any intention of doing. I have this week off, you see. So I improvised.

What you see in the photo above, sticking out the top of a bedside lamp, is an empty Cup-a-Soup carton with holes cut strategically where there need to be holes, with the whole thing held together with a ton of packing tape. Ok, so this is quite possibly the least professional slide duplicator that you will ever see in your life. But, it did the job.

I have shot through four boxes of slides which are now nestled in Lightroom awaiting processing. With luck, I’ll have them done today and the results displayed here tomorrow. The labels on the boxes are interesting. Prague. Salzberg. Munich. And who doesn’t ant to know what those slides of ‘Hitler’s Bomb Shelter’ contain…

Fuji XC50-230mm Lens

Good to their word, Fuji shipped my new telephoto lens to my doorstep a couple of weeks ago. It’s a freebie, courtesy of a promotion running at the time I bought my Fuji X-M1, with a range of 50mm to 230mm. It’s plastic and one of their budget line of lenses. It’s not a terribly fast lens, opening at f4.0. But it was free, so I really can’t grumble.

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The lens seems to produce some reasonably sharp images in good light from the middle of and towards the end of its telephoto range. Which is a relief, because quite frankly, if it didn’t, then what use would it be? It does struggle in low light though, no two which ways about it. And it’s not the sort of lens that will catch the greatest moon shot. To be fair, it was a hazy night and I was shooting through quite a bit of light pollution.

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Moon shots do always remind me of the value of a decent bridge camera. The lenses that come with the top of the line Panasonic and Sony bridge cameras are really something. Still, those days are behind me now. To see some more samples of what the XC50-230mm lens can do, click here and have a looky see on Flickr.

Petworth House and the iPhone 6

In the middle of the West Sussex countryside lies a grand old stately home, Petworth House, owned and managed by the National Trust. A late 17th century building, with links to Henry VIII would you believe? And it’s all set in 700 glorious acres of rolling green hills and woods that are home to herds of fallow deer.

Would you like me to tell you all about Petworth? Probably not, and there’s nothing I can add to the National Trusts’s own website and Wikipedia. I will go so far as to say it has one of the grandest interiors of all the Trust properties we’ve visited this year. The carved room is a wood panelled affair that goes well beyond what you normally find in a stately home.The same applies to the art collection, which the Trust rates as the most important that it owns. There are Greek statues and paintings by Turner, Van Dyck and Constable. The grounds are equally wondrous, with the obligatory lake and rotunda.

But, as I mentioned above, I have little to add to the real authorities on this house. Instead, let me show you round the place with my photographs. I took plenty. Here’s a small selection in a gallery, but for the full set, click here and have a look through them on Flickr.

Perhaps you were expecting an additional review of my iPhone 6 today. The title of this post rather suggests that something about the iPhone is coming.  If you were reading yesterday, there was one feature of the iPhone 6 that was a significant improvement on my old HTC One. And there it is above. The camera. Sure, I appreciate that a closer inspection of the photos in Flickr show that the quality is not quite up there with my Fuji. But they really aren’t bad. I have made minimal adjustments to them in Lightroom.

The panorama features works well. As does HDR. Noise isn’t too obtrusive, even in low lighting. Macro performance is pretty good. I even created a half decent Sphere with Google’s app – click here. Overall, I’m pretty delighted with the results. No longer will I despair if I go off for the day with my Fuji, only to discover that I’ve left my memory card in the computer. Although, that actually never happens, because I pack two spare memory cards in my camera bag…

I do, however, have one significant complaint about the iPhone camera. It’s a real bugbear. You still cannot shoot in 16:9 format. Which is, quite frankly, rather backward. Still, you can’t have everything.

iPhone 6 Review

It has arrived. And it is beautiful. I’ve had it in my possession for a whole three days, which is more than long enough to come up with a few observations. Firstly, I guess, is…why an iPhone? I’ve been an Android owner since selling my iPod Touch in Mexico, and buying a Samsung Galaxy S2 upon my return to England.

That was largely down to two issues. The iPhone screen was titchy in comparison to its Android rivals. And it was way overpriced. The iPhone 6 is neither of these. The 4.7″ screen is just right and it’s a similar price to some of the top end Android devices.

I do like, prefer even, Apple’s iOS to Android. The Apple app store is, albeit marginally these days, better. The phone itself is the finest looking device on the market. I love the fingerprint touch ID to unlock the phone and make purchases.  The screen is fantastic. But then, the screens on most top end phones are fantastic.

There are some minor annoyances too. I can download Chrome and use it as my browser. But I cannot set it as my default browser. So, whenever a link in a message or email is pressed, up pops Safari. There’s also a feature which lowers the screen content when you double tap the home button. This makes it easier to press on content or buttons in the top corners of the screen. It works nicely. But not as nicely as a capacitive back button would. Lastly, I have yet to find a backgammon app that is anywhere near as good the one I had on my HTC.

How about Apple’s online services compared to Google’s? iCloud is nifty enough once it’s set up. There is, though, no reason to compare it to Google. I have downloaded almost everything I want from Google-landia in the app store. Google Maps, Drive, Now, Plus. The only thing I wanted but could not find was Google Tracks. But there are alternatives.

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Then there is the beauty factor. One of the things I disliked about Android and Google was how ugly they make some things. Google makes some of the best services going. But so many of them are plain ugly. Offensive to the eye even. That’s not so with Apple, where aesthetics matter. Everything about the iPhone six is beautifully designed and easy on the eye.

Is the iPhone an improvement over the HTC One? Yes, of course. It’s the latest model versus a nearly 2 year old model. It should be better. But it’s not as significant an improvement as the HTC One was compared to the Samsung Galaxy S2. Except in one way. What way? That’s for tomorrow….

Bournemouth Fire Gardens

The Bournemouth Gardens Fire Show seems to be an annual event now. I missed it last year. But I was there this year, armed with my Fuji X-M1 to test its ability to shoot a little video. It’s not the most entertaining video you’ll ever see. I wanted to see how the camera performed in very low light. Fuji doesn’t really shout about the X-M1s video capabilities too much. It’s not its strongest suit. But I think it did ok.

The fire show itself is a rather bizarre event. Surreal even. It comes under the umbrella of the Bournemouth Arts Week something or other. I took a few photos too. You can have a look at those on Flickr by clicking here.

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