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Fun you can have with a fish tank

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I’m trying to get some use out of my Canon 7D, and I really need to learn more about the different settings and functions on it, and a lot more about light….and everything really.

So, as well as returning to the local photography club (which I intend doing next week), I decided to embark on some photography lessons too.

Last night was spent taking photos like this.

Orange original

And then, this morning I had some fun editing this photo in Photoshop to produce this.

Orange

I like the end result, although it’s a completely different end result from the photo I saw on Facebook to promote the photography lesson.  I can fully appreciate that everyone has different views on something like this.  When I showed Ally this image she didn’t know what it was, so in a way I wonder have I pushed the editing process too far.

All comments and critique welcome as always. :)

Great service from MacSweeny’s Photo Shop Cork!

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MacSweenys Photo Shop

 

I meant to post this ages ago and forgot to.  MacSweeny’s is a camera/photo shop that I’ve been dealing with for a while.  I’ve purchased my 7D and my tripod there, and some other bits and pieces over the last year or so.

Ally’s camera, a Canon EOS Rebel (similar to the pic below), had been giving a bit of trouble before the summer. The shutter release button kept jamming, and the battery would have to be removed and inserted again in order to take another photo.  All very well, I suppose, if the only photographs you take are of still life and you’ve no objection to functioning as a factory robot. Continue reading

A tale of Lions, Tigers, Chariots and Gladiators

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In Puy du Fou there’s a replica of a Roman amphitheatre, where a show called ‘Triumph’s Sign’ takes place, with gladiators, lions and chariot races.

Puy du Fou Colosseum

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Puy du Fou – The Secret of the Lance

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Photographs from another one of the shows (The Secret of the Lance) that we saw at Puy du Fou.  I have some video clips too but I’ll have to wait till a later date to put them up.

As with all the shows I was quite a distance away from the stage/performance area, and had to do my best to chop people’s heads off (when editing….not, obviously, as I was taking the photos).

I need a lot more practise at shooting stuff in motion.  I think I may also need glasses.

Anyway, we really enjoyed it, although I think it was a better show the first year we went to see it.  The jousting appears to have been dropped from the show, and the horses did less ‘dancing’, although I think the dancing horses have now been added to a new show – ‘Richelieu Muskateer’.

The Secret of the Lance

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An eye for the birds.

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These photos were taken at Parc Puy du Fou in France this year – a place definitely worth a visit. It’s a magnificent theme park in The Vendée region of France,  and this was our second time to visit it.  There are fantastic shows on life size stages that demonstrate viking battles, chariot racing and jousting.  The photographs below are from The Phantom Bird Dance show which features huge birds of prey that are let loose over the heads of the audience, culminating in dozens of birds swooping backwards and forwards at the end of the show.

Bird

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The Starlings are back!

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Probably a little bit overexposed, but it was quite difficult to catch this flighty little starling. There are two of them living under the eaves of the shed in our back garden, with their young chicks. They’re fast movers! There are also a couple of Great Tits living in the air vent in the master bedroom, but I haven’t had an opportunity to try and photograph them yet.

The Birdman at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

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When I was in Paris last November I saw this man standing outside the Notre Dame Cathedral feeding the birds.  It was fascinating to watch the birds darting backward and forwards, swiping bits of bread from the man’s outstretched hands.  Everyone who passed by stopped to watch or to take a photo.

Birdman

I came across the photos earlier when I was transferring stuff over to my external drive, so I had to share.  My photos only show a small amount of the birds that were there.  At times there were dozens of them fighting for the few crumbs on offer.

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Dunmore East

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I had a lovely Mother’s day today.

Originally I’d been roped into doing a bit of filming today for Bláthny and her friends.  Unfortunately one of her friends couldn’t make it for the shoot, and the ‘movie’ had to be postponed.

As we’d nothing else planned we decided we’d head to Dunmore East, which has recently become one of my favourite places to while away a few hours.

 

Dunmore East Lighthouse Waterford

 

The harbour is lovely, although it can be quite chilly, even on a warm day.  Today there was enough of a breeze to make me think twice about walking the high wall that runs the length of the pier.

The girls were about to attempt it but when I told them I wasn’t jumping in after them if they blew off, they thought better of it.  They posed for some photos instead.

 

Dunmore East Lifebuoy

 

Dunmore East Lifebuoy

 

I made my first attempt at using the bracketing on the Canon 7D to try out HDR…..without a tripod.

It’s a bit blurry and it doesn’t really look HDRish.  But at least I know how to do it now so I’ll practice a bit more with it and bring my tripod with me in future.

Dunmore East HDR

 

It wasn’t long before we were all feeling the cold and we made our way up to the Spinnaker for dinner.  I love the Spinnaker, and so do Ally and Bláthny, ever since we tried it for the first time last summer.

The Spinnaker Dunmore East

 

It was packed today though and when we arrived we were told that we’d be waiting for an hour and a half for a table.  So we made a booking and then went down to the little beach nearby while we were waiting.

 

This dog kept us amused for a while.  He was absolutely adorable.  All he wanted was for people to throw stones for him.

 

Dunmore East Dog

 

Bláthny and her friend had a great time.  They’ve been best friends since they were in Junior Infants in Primary School, and when we moved house seven years ago they lost touch with each other.  They recently got in touch again through Facebook and have basically picked up where they left off.

Dunmore East

 

 

Dunmore East

 

After about an hour of clowning around we were all starving and made our way back up to The Spinnaker again where there was a table ready for us right beside the fire.

The food was delicious, as always.

 

Fishcakes (iPhone Photo)

Fishcakes

 

 

Goats Cheese Tartlet with Roasted Veg (iPhone Photo)

Goats cheese Tartlet with roasted veg

 

On the way home we passed through Waterford and there was a funfair on the quays.  I’d love to have stopped and taken some photos but we were all feeling tired so I made an attempt to get some snaps as we drove past.

Waterford Funfair

 

The colours of the sky in the background were absolutely amazing.  I’m planning on rising early tomorrow morning to make the most of what I think is going to be a fantastic, sunny day!

 

Watermark your Work!

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I’ve been asking myself for ages whether or not I should be watermarking images when putting them online.  Opinions seem to vary on the idea:

“Professional photographers watermark their images.  You’re not a professional photographer”

“Watermarking? Why would you want to do that? It destroys the look of the photograph.”

“If you’re going to do it put something discreet on it.”

And so I’ve varied between using tiny, inconspicuous print at the bottom of my photos in order not to appear pretentious and in order not to give the impression that I might even *think* I’m a Pro,  to using glaringly obvious fonts stretched across the width of the photos on my ‘I couldn’t give two hoots what you think’ days.

And then there were some photos that I never watermarked at all….like the one below…which is a photo of our dog that was taken by Ally about two years ago (and which is now watermarked with something that isn’t a watermark but big f*ck off print!).

German Shepherd

Image Tracking

After reading a post on thesnappysnapper.blogspot.com on the Unauthorised use of Photography and Copyright abuse, I thought I’d try out a couple of the links that the author, Stephen Power (Limerick Photographer), mentioned in the post, to see if any of my own images were being used anywhere.

Google Analytics showed me that several photos on my website had been downloaded at some stage or another. I took the URL of those images and typed them into TinEye where several images showed up a few times in other people’s blogs.  I wasn’t too concerned about them really, until I typed in the URL of Ally’s photo of our dog.

Cole Legal Group (www.texasinjurylaw.net)

Texasinjurylaw.net was the first website that showed up under my image search for the ‘Alsation Photo’.  At first I couldn’t see the photo on the website, but as I flicked through the site the image appeared in the flash banner.

copyright infringement

Imagine a law firm using an image in their banner without the consent of the copyright holder?  I note that they don’t mention on the site if they specialise in copyright infringement.  Yes, I’m fairly sure that a web designer somewhere is at fault here, but still….the irony of it…

I tried to contact the law company through the form on their website on Monday night but I’ve had no reply from them yet, and I’ve made another attempt to contact them through the form this evening.  Both times I was told that my form submission was successful.

They’re hosted with GoDaddy.com who state that they ‘support the protection of intellectual property’.  GoDaddy.com also explain how to make a copyright claim, so I guess that might be my next step.

Capitol K9 of Montgomery (www.capitolk-9.com)

This dog training website had the image in their ‘Personal Protection K9′ section.  I emailed them in relation to the image and they subsequently took it down and said that they ‘didn’t see the harm in sharing’.

Only they weren’t just ‘sharing’.  They were using the image to promote their business.

capitol-k

Der E-Kreisel (Popoela)

Der E-Kreisel appears to be some sort of rap musician.  Ally’s image has been used, it would appear, as a cover for his MP3 track ‘Popoela’, which has been uploaded to so many places around the internet that it would be impossible for me to report the infringement of copyright to them all.

You can see the image on this page on Facebook.  I contacted Facebook and they have since removed the image.

Popoela Copyright Infringement

However, I then found the image on a band page, which is proving a little more difficult to have the image removed from as it’s part of an app, and Facebook need the actual URL of the image.

Der E Kreisel Band Page

Vimeo removed the image and the track immediately when I emailed them.

Popoela Copyright Infringement

This is just the tip of the iceberg though.  The image has been uploaded to countless websites, including:

Soundcloud

Popoela Soundcloud image Copyright infringement

Amazon

Popoela image copyright infringement

iTunes

popoela iTunes

 

I’ve emailed a few of the website administrators and they look for a letter rather than an email, and, like I said, there are so many of them!

I emailed Der E-Kreisel about the Facebook App and told him I would be seeking advice from my solicitor, and he sent me a reply in which he laid the blame on his ‘agent’.  I would think that I should send Der E-Kreisel and invoice and he can deal with his own agent.  I don’t see why I should be chasing people’s agents, but I’ll seek further advice.

At this stage I am sick of looking at the dog’s flipping picture, but because I think it’s rude, underhanded and unethical to take the image without seeking permission, and particularly because of the fact that the image belongs to my daughter, I am determined to take the matter further.

And from now on, ALL my images will have a disgustingly obvious watermark stretched across them, and people can think what they like!

Watermark your work, and don’t let others profit from what you’ve created!

Procrastination

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I’ve come to realise that I am a procrastinator.  I don’t necessarily put things off because they’re difficult or because I don’t like them.  Sometimes I delay doing things that I enjoy and that I want to do.

For example, I fully intended to start a project today that I’ve been looking forward to.  This is what I did instead:-

I got up late.

I went for a walk.

I took photographs while out walking.

Canon Hill

 

View of Clonmel from Canon Hill

 

I came home, cooked dinner, went to the hospital to fill in for another presenter at the station, came home (again),  and took more photos.

 

Snowflake Christmas decorations

 

It was actually interesting to take these and to experiment with different shutter speeds and lighting methods.

 

Christmas tree ornaments

 

In all of these photographs I used extra light from a torch.  The one below probably got a bit too much torch light. It shows up the plastic leaves on the branches, and I should probably have hid the wires.

 

Christmas tree decorations

 

This is the top of the piano.  ‘Scuse the dust.  I’ll sort it out on the 6th.

Disney lights on piano

 

The Cinderella ornament below is  the topper that we had on our wedding cake.  It sat on one tier, while the horse and carriage pictured beside it (in the previous photo)  sat on another.

Cinderella Caketopper

 

Taking photographs did not contribute towards me getting my project started.

 

I came across a really good article on procrastination this evening.  I’ve always been of the impression that I work best under pressure but this is what the article had to say on the subject (with regard to writing a paper):-

 

Myth #3: “I do my best work under pressure.”

Challenge: There are lots of other ways to create pressure for yourself, besides waiting until the night before the paper is due to start writing it. You can set a time limit for yourself—for example, “I will write this paragraph in ½ hour”—or you can pretend that the paper is a timed essay exam. If you do this a week or two before the paper is due, you’ll have a draft in plenty of time to revise and edit it.

 

If only I’d read this ages ago.  You wouldn’t believe the number of people who’ve told me that they work better under pressure too.  Next time someone tells me this I’m going to point them in the direction of that webpage.

I intend to create a time table in the morning (no, seriously I do), for the project that I’ve been putting off for a while, and I’m going to apply this to future projects that I undertake in the future.

This is a Proper 2012 New Year’s Resolution #1