Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Another Birthday

April the 24th came and suddenly I was 58 years old, I don't feel it most of the time. I do have some aches and pains and a bit of water retention in my lower legs but hopefully that should be on the mend. Life, generally isn't bad at the moment and after quite a few crap years everything seems to be coming into place. When I say crap years, a lot of good stuff happened, but things could have been better. But looking at the whole picture, I've had 58 years when to be honest, I've done and accomplished very little. Looking ahead I hope I can remain fairly healthy and getting to 70 would be nice, but that's only 12 years away. That's 12 summers to cram all sorts of things into, it's not much time. They say life is wasted on the young, it's wrong. It's just that in general, the young waste life as they think it goes on forever.

So this year things need to start happening again and they already have, I've made it to Caldey Island, it's only just off the coast and there's been no reason why I couldn't have gone there before except that it was one of those places I was going to when I had some spare time.

In June, we'll be in Barcelona looking at a cathedral, the main reason for going is a track from an Alan Parsons project album, but it's a good enough reason. October will see us in Corfu for about 11 days, we'll be celebrating our wedding anniversary out there. July will see us planning the Camino with some other members of the family, totally different type of holiday but it will be an experience and you need loads of those.

We've got a bucket list, trouble is we need a bigger bucket.

So here's a tip for all you out there that are reading the ramblings of this old bugger, life is for living and as a certain Andrew Latimer said. "Never give a day away, always live, for today.

So get out there and stop existing, take part in life, lift your head up out of your phone and look around you, there's a load of world to experience and you don't have much time.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Camera Magazines

When I started out with a camera many years ago I loved camera magazines, ideas for different types of shots, tips on processing the negatives and so on. I used to buy several different magazines, Amateur photographer was my favourite.

These days, I'm finding hard to justify buying the magazine let alone taking out a subscription to any. Most of the magazines are dominated by Nikon/Canon, I use a Sony A55 and have no intention of jumping to another brand, thankfully Amateur Photographer does have articles about other brands. But the main bugbear is that the majority of articles then go on to tell you how to process the pictures in Lightroom and Photoshop. This to me is a complete waste of time and puts me off buying the magazine. I understand that magazines have to play to the masses but there are a growing number of people like me that don't use a Mac or a Windows based machine.

I've been running Linux since the late 90s, I generally move the RAW pictures onto my desktop, check them all with an application called Geeqie and then process the RAW images using Darktable. The final JPEG images are then catalogued with Shotwell and uploaded to Google+ should I want to. The total cost of this software is nothing, you can donate money to the developers if you want and you should.

Darktable is a really good piece of software, it's available for Linux and Mac but not Windows, has all the tools you need and you can even import GPS files from your mobile phone it will match the timestamp with your images so you can tag the location.

I'm no expert in Darktable but it would be nice to have a small section of a magazine dedicated to applications such as this.