Friday, July 31, 2015

Worldwide Greeting Card Survey

I am researching for an article about how people around the world send greeting cards today – who sends them, what do they send.

I have put the questions into a survey - and I’d love people around the world to join in and answer these free-form questions. There are seven questions and a final one asking which country you are from.

I am from the UK so I know who sends cards here. I am interested in getting responses from around the world - any and everywhere.

Here's the Greeting Card Survey on SurveyMonkey.

Fuji X100s in Edinburgh - Highland Piper



The first image is a crop from the full frame. Click the images to see much larger and more detailed versions.

Fuji X100s Sharpness

I have had this camera for more than a year now and I had good results last year shooting comedians for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

But I have also had mixed results, and a few weeks ago I met someone who also shoots a Fuji X100s.

He asked me what I thought of the image sharpness and I said that there was a strange kind of behaviour in some images that I could only describe as almost double imaging that gave shots a plastic look.

He said he found the same, and we shook our heads at how we had managed to buy highly-recommended cameras that sometimes gave so-so results.

Then about a week ago I noticed a strange thing happening when I opened images in Photoshop Camera Raw. The image would look blurry, as though it had not rendered properly. And then it would just 'develop' and turn into lovely, sharp, detailed, rich, rounded, luxurious images.

Did Adobe update Camera Raw to deal with the x-trans sensor in Fuji cameras?

The Piper

I spoke to the piper and in the course of our conversation he explained that the reed is a single reed just like in a clarinet. I mentioned that I had read Larry Adler saying that he would blow out the reed on his harmonicas after just one full evening's performance and had to throw them away.

The piper (I forget his name - apologies to him) said he had had this reed for two years.

Having never seen a piper in Edinburgh wearing a red jacket, he explained that it was a military jacket and had cost him £500.00 and that he used to collect funds for a hospice and the jacket brought in the crowds - that and his playing. He had terrific staying power when he played, with notes and sequences that just went on and on. He said he had been piping for 45 years and was thankful his lungs had held out.

He said he used a soft reed which made it easier to play and that professional contestants and pipers in military bands used a hard reed to get more volume.

Then he pointed to where the reed sits, and I was so surprised. I expected it to be up near his mouth, but it is buried at the far end of the pipe where it meets the bag. Who knew?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Silvrback Blog - Yes, No, Maybe

The answer is always yes, no, and maybe.

The blogging system is Silvrback - 14-day free trial and then $30/year. It's not exactly front-end blogging but it is near it and it is very intuitive to use.

It states
You have full ownership of your data. Your blog has no advertisements. You own your data and can export it at any time. Embrace the zen-like, Silvrback writing experience.

I cannot think why I am attracted to using it. I don't need another blogging platform. I have Pixels ate.. and I have a self-hosted site at NoMorePencils - so what is there beyond the allure of a well-polished product that makes me want to pay $29.99/year for the privilege? It's a mystery.