Homework

High School is no party, hey?

Today, I’ve been helping the boy with his homework.

I have learned about Teutonic family relationships with specific reference to the inter-generational understanding of the Holocaust, I have assisted with the conjugation of several (or more) French verbs, and aided him with describing the differences between natural and synthetic structures, including the specific roles of frames, solids and shells.
We did some stuff on levers as well. Types 1, 2 and 3.

And it’s not even lunchtime yet.

Oh – and then we both worked out how to apply an unsharp mask in Adobe Photoshop to make a photo of the beagle look like this*:

Because yes. If you’re doing a High School photography extra-mural, you get homework for that, too.

 

* A bit overdone for my liking, if I’m honest, but that was the brief. 

No photos

“Why?” the call went up.
“Why are there no photos from your Sun City trip?”

Well, to put it bluntly, because the vast majority of them were really rather rubbish.

I’ve had a long look through the shots I took, and I’m of the mind that the blame for their disappointing standard can be laid fairly equally between the camera, the photographer and the lack of any decent, meaningful relationship between the camera and the photographer.

Simplifying for x, it’s basically down to me and the camera.

I’m not motivating for new bit of kit here, because I’ve looked at the potential options for new bits of kit and they’re just foolishly expensive.

Would I have got better photos if I had a better camera?
Almost certainly.
Would the camera have got better photos if it had a better photographer?
Yes. Yes, it would.

I did get a nice wildebees though.

Although, looking again now, did I?

[/self doubt]

It does look better on black here. And yes, the idea was to get it to hide away in the bush, because even though it was right there, just 15 metres from us, the camouflage was impressive.

I’m going to have another look through the photos from that weekend, not because I think they’re going to magically get any better, but more to try to work out what went wrong, and how I can prevent the same thing happening again.

One lives, one learns.
Onward, upward.
Citius, Altius, Fortius and all that jazz.

Still smiling

This won’t be the best photo you’ll ever see.

Far from it.

Many (if not all) of the photos that I post on here won’t be the best photo you’ll ever see, but that doesn’t really matter to me. I’ve been trying to take a shot of some lightning for ages. Yesterday evening, it finally happened and I’m still smiling.

Look, this isn’t my life’s mission; it’s not like I go around hunting storms in order to take photos, and I’m not going to immediately retire from my non-existent photography career just because I took it [audience groans].
But after 236 attempts last night alone, I finally got lucky and got this:

Treat yourself to it bigger on black for the full effect.

Having given up round the back of the house (because this), I was actually just about ready to give up around the front as well as the storm moved off to the south. But I persisted, lying under a convenient shrub to avoid the worst of the rain. And when I realised that one of the closer bolts of lightning had (for once) coincided with one of my exposures and actually in the right direction, I was over the moon.

There are better photos of lightning. Maybe even better photos of lightning taken last night. But I didn’t take them.

I took this one though, and I’m still smiling.

Swell

Not much from me here today.

I’m definitely hoping to get back to work in the lab tomorrow, but my knee is still a bit of a mess. The bandages came off today (as instructed by the surgeon), but what’s underneath isn’t very pretty. My whole leg is quite swollen and rather sore, so I’ve been really taking it easy. I’ve been dozing, watching the Winter Olympics, and trying to find the image that Thomas Heaton took at 4:52 in this video so that I can share it here.

I failed on that one, but at least the Olympics and the dozing went well.

Once again, I’m left wondering how much of taking such amazing photos is down to skill (lots), how much is down to patience and hard work (lots), and how much is down to having the time and money to do it and the best equipment at hand (probably lots as well).

And so once again, I feel equally motivated and overwhelmed.

Anyway, back to reality and it seems likely that with a very busy week ahead, I’m not going to have the luxury of being able to drive a car, so Uber must step up.

In my bag

Well, not actually my bag, but that of Canadian photographer, vlogger and all-round nice guy Peter McKinnon. Last night, he released a video just ahead of a(nother) trip abroad showing us exactly what equipment he was taking with him:

I have to say that I’m a bit jealous. He has a lot of lovely kit. But then, he is a professional photographer. I’m not. I’m a professional microbiologist and yes, I have some great lab equipment. But there are times (many of them) when I’d much rather be travelling all over the world with my drone and some very, very expensive cameras and lenses than poking TB in the laboratory.

And, while we’re on this envy trip, can I just point out Peter’s irritatingly amazing abilities in photo and video editing? “Hashtag goals”.

I was busy writing this post when suddenly, as if to complete the trifecta of covetousness, he casually dropped this tweet this morning:

[6000 mutters several (or more) swear words under his breath]

Given his talent and that place, we’re likely to get some very special images in the near future. Something I’m really looking forward to.

It’s still sickening though.