Archive for September, 2007
Si, of Etiquette fame, leant me his LensBaby a few weeks ago and I’ve been waiting for the right moment to give it a go. Last weekend down at loch lomond I happened upon an old tractor left to rust away which seemed a perfect candidate. It had been taken over by spiders and all sorts, the light was dropping fast but I had a go anyway.
I don’t know the science behind what makes this lens work, but it’s different to any other lens out there. Instead of rotating the lens to focus or zoom, you pull, twist, and shape the lens in any direction to create any number of different effects. They’re funny looking things, and produce even odder photos. See this flickr page for a whole array of lensbaby photos.
Here below is a gallery of my attempts.
Oh, and a few others from the same spot that aren’t lensbaby (except for the last one). A pretty place that Loch Lomond.
I’ve placed the photos from this wonderful evening onto their own little webpage in sequential order, click here to see them: Gallery
The evening was fantastic and involved many a meeting of old friends. I took the sequence of photos below and decided to make it into a little animation. It’s of a friend tapping Nan on the back, and then as she turned around her face went from confused disbelief, to the raised arms and smiling face of yet another surprise greeting.
You should have seen this, it was amazing! My mate Si and some ever so musical friends of his (Si’s musical too) created a table that could see and speak. On the table you placed different packages, each package containing a different sound and ability to alternate its sound. Depending on where you placed the package on the table, the sound would move around the room to match.
After months of preparation, design and creation, ‘Etiquette’ debuted in a white room down at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop in Leith.
Rave reviews were received during the festival, but at the end of August there was nowhere for it to go. Plans were being made to dismantle and discard this wonderful machine! But at last, someone has come to the rescue and Etiquette is now going to be set up in the Edinburgh Central Lending Library on George IV Bridge. I don’t know exactly when, but perhaps if you check back at the Etiquette website you may be able to find out more.
Here are some photos which I took during a talk and hands-on session which Si and his musical pals – also known as FOUND held near the end of the festival.
Oh, and by the way, you can download some wonderful music (yes, proper music) that was created by this machine in the steady hands of FOUND, from this link: Download
I took so many shots this year during August’s HMS that it’s taken me this long just to get through them. I’ve decided only to post up landscape shots as I want to integrate the other ones into a video podcast for Amplifico – if and when I get round to it.
If I learnt one thing from taking these photographs, its that great landscape photography is a lot harder than it looks. It’s not the sort of thing that can be accomplished in the half an hour between putting the tent up and heading up to the pub for a drink. Great landscape photographers might spend days going back to the same place to wait for the right light, and even then might not walk away with the perfect shot that they’d imagined. I think that a lot of it relies upon luck too, being in the right place at the right time.
Out of this bunch, I’m most pleased with the photos I took in Skye of and around the decaying castle atop the hill overlooking the town with the bridge in the distance. The weather wasn’t fabulous, but the view with the low lying cloud was pretty dramatic, whether or not I caught the atmosphere right or not is different question.
I’m going to do a whole series experimenting with this idea, I only took a couple like this because it was getting late… more to come in due course.
Year round, skaters come from all over Edinburgh to do their thang in Bristo square. Some people complain about the disruption, but others (like me) appreciate the active use of public space. It makes for a vibrant outdoor space that would otherwise be like every other paved space, bland, cold, and bare.
During August, however, the entire square is let out by the uni/council to provide space for an enormous inflated upside-down purple cow (the Udderbelly), which holds a performance space and the obligatory overpriced bar.
I imagine that this slightly annoys the skater kids who have the whole month of August to twiddle their thumbs and dream of the long proposed and debated Skate park in the Meadows: link
Yesterday whilst wandering over to the Queens Hall I passed through Bristo Square and was joyed to see it in its full summers evening skater glory – Long may it live.
I’m happy for them.
A few nights ago I was playing about with candles and long exposures in our living room, I was pretty pleased with the results. I’ll post them up later, but last night during soundcheck at an Amplifico gig I fancied a bit of something different so took a few photos like this. I’ll only post the one up because the rest were pretty blurred.