ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Monday, 25 August 2014

PEOPLE. (25/08/14)

I had a most enjoyable evening yesterday. Lots of really nice folk about.blog6 The film crew and Warwick Davis and family.

blog1    Two German girls cooking Italian.

blog2    These two will break a few hearts when they get older.

blog3     Lyn, Donald and the Davis family.

I don’t usually enjoy taking pictures of people but it went pretty well. The hit rate is not very high as getting several people to all have a nice expression at the same time is more luck than skill.

The weather is superb and looks as if it will be for a day or so. I was going up the gorge today but have a few jobs to do so will see how I get on.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

MISREPRESENTATION. (24/08/14)

Today is a cool but sunny Sunday. I’ve been taking video and tomorrow I hope to get up the gorge to get enough footage for a four minute film.

I have a busy day today as I’m shooting stills of Warwick Davis this evening. I have got to get the macro gear cleaned up. Warwick Davis today and Uma Thurman tomorrow. We celebrity snappers have to start out with the smaller jobs.

I have been feeling guilty for some time as my Avatar is five years old and looking at the new one the last five years have not been kind to me. Not to worry I’m still alive.

Here is the real me.

_MG_3430       I have been aware of what I looked like for sixty years but have only just realised how asymmetrical my head is. I have had a crooked nose since I was in my early twenties as some rotten devil from Wath broke it as I was minding his business during a game of rugby. Blow me if I didn’t get it broken again the following week and by a member of my own side. That put me in hospital for the night whilst they straightened it and checked for brain damage. They must have been drunk when they did the nose and probably gave up looking for a brain. Can you believe the cruel sods stuck big Biro tubes up my nose. Surgery was in it’s early years back then. I remember that it wasn’t the fear of injury but the fear of hospitals that kept me alive.

It is what it is and I am what I am. I am no longer guilty of Blogging under false Avatars or Favicons as they seem to call them now.

Have a great week.

PS. I think I could go on breakfast TV. They post similar images when they are discussing stroke victims…..Another string to my bow.

Friday, 22 August 2014

APOLOGY. (22/08/14)

Sorry, I meant Sori which I assume must be the plural of Sor. I bet you think that I’ve finally flipped and will shortly be taken away by a couple of big people in a white van, clothed in a canvas jacket with back to front sleeves. Don’t panic.

I have been reading all about Bracken. The spores are the very devil to photograph. As soon as I remove the bit of fern they wander about all over. I did try wetting the paper and popping a book on the fern. The paper went all crinkly and cast more shadows than the errant spores.  I’ll try taping wet paper out on a board and stretching it first. I suspect all ferns do this so I will look for some different ones……bet you can’t wait.

_V0G4529         Sori. these are Sori they are the brown bits on the underside of the fern leaves. I read one learned paper on the internet that suggested that Bracken mainly spreads from it’s bottom or rhizomes, as I will say, to keep life simple, it’s roots. This chap thinks that they only produce Sori every ten years. Either I am very lucky or he knows F’All about Bracken. About half of them have them here. Some of the young leaves just have a lighter green raised stripe around the edges of each of the individual bits of frond I read that these are the male bits. I’m not explaining this very well. I’ll leave the leaves for a week and read some more and come back with proper terms. I don’t expect the ferns could care less. They are as old as the hills and have sorted reproduction to their own satisfaction.

_V0G4528            This is todays exposure of spores from the sori. This one is about three hours. I’ll try another overnight one. Mushrooms do it as well and as mushroom season is fast approaching I’d like to perfect this job.

The weather has taken a turn for the better. I am not getting dawn till dusk sunshine but at least it has only rained once today. Sorry twice, it has this minute started again. There is barely a breath of wind and amazingly no midges. There wasn’t much about on our walks. It was fish van day but he had no prawns left and no smoked haddock. I got a couple of kippers and a bit of fresh haddock. I’m trying to think of something other than kedgeree that would make a good tea.

_V0G4526    I tried out the FD 50mm lens and it didn’t disappoint they are beautifully soft when used with the SRB adaptor. It will be fine for video.

I also found the Dipper. I am amazed by these birds. Usually I see them perched on a rock in a stream but they can bob along like a duck. I will keep trying for a picture but they are illusive small blighters.

_MG_3418      The Dipper in appalling light this morning.

I’ll leave you with a sharp shot of the Loch Ness Monster.

_MG_3420      It was massive I couldn’t fit it all in at 100mm. I have always doubted it’s existence but having donated four pounds sixty seven pence to Parkinson or somebody I am a converted. I must admit that not only was I perturbed to find she is a giant pedallo; I was shocked to find I had four pounds sixty seven pence in change. I didn’t get a sticky badge. I didn’t even get the fit lass in a wet suit, I got the Rubenesque one with a bucket. Not to worry givers can’t be choosers when it comes to beggars.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

NOT ANOTHER ONE. (21/08/14)

It really rained in Ullapool last night and right through up to about eight o’clock when it reverted back to showers. The A835 from Ullapool to Inverness is a grand bit of road and it seems to take no time at all as for the vast majority of it I can maintain a steady fifty five or sixty miles per hour. I have got unused to travelling at such immense velocities. I had to divert through Muir of Ord to get dog food. I found the place with no trouble and then noted that the quickest way to Inverness was through Beauly. I got through Beauly with no trouble but then realised I was not a hundred yards from Ffordes the camera dealers. I steeled myself and drove past the turn to Balblair where they are. Over the bridge I went and I hadn’t gone a mile when I turned round and went back. It is a wonderful shop, they have a vast stock of used and new gear. The downside to it is that they don’t encourage browsing and are to a man a miserable load of sods. They always keep me waiting whilst they gaze into their computer monitors making little effort to finish the game of solitaire or battleships they are engrossed in. I’m used to Harrison Cameras, they are always up for a chat and have a vast wealth of knowledge to impart. I don’t help myself as I can’t resist winding them up.  This time I asked if he thought old Canon FD lenses mounted on the 1Ds would reduce exposure flicker on Time lapse videos. He knew and said.

“Yes.”

I was impressed, it could speak!

I got him to find me a 50mm FD lens. Ten minutes later he wandered back with a handful and popped them on the counter. I took my time perusing them whilst he hopped from one leg to the other. I said I’m in no real rush, if you would like to make yourself comfortable then feel free, we don’t want an accident do we. I took my time and eventually settled on this old but mint 50mm f1.8. It will make a good set with the 28mm I have had for most of the summer. It was £49.00p I did point out it was a good ten pounds too expensive. After much gazing at the ceiling he reduced the price by two pounds. I paid him, he gave me a receipt in case it was faulty and scuttled back to his computer and Teen Nubiles or whatever was occupying him before I rudely wandered into his space.

I met another old man in the shop who had obviously been listening. He also does time lapse and has the flickering problem. He said how do you get FD lenses to fit on EOS cameras. I told him that SRB do reasonable adapters for forty pounds then in a louder voice I said I use a monkey wrench and a small hammer. Not a twitch from the Neanderthal behind the screen.

We got chatting in the foyer. He has virtually solved flicker  by duplicating the frames and running them on a different video layer but staggered by 0.1s. I’ll give that a go. A frame on video at 25fps is 0.4s. I have heard of folk staggering by a full frame but never thought to reduce the time bit. I have the chaps e-mail and he has mine. Between us we may be able to get them silky smooth.

_V0G4518     Here it is, welcome to the new member of the family. I’ll give it a whirl if the rain stops for an hour.

On we wandered, the light between the showers was wonderful as I looked north over the Beauly Firth. I eventually found a layby and pulled in. It was raining again._V0G4513   Beauly Firth and the Kessock Bridge. Summer is over, the harvest is in and the Hogweed are dead. It will soon be my favourite time of year. I love autumn, winter is interesting and spring is exciting. I don’t get many thrills out of summer. One thrill I did get was from Phil at CABINET OF CURIOSITIES.

  I arrived at Foyers having stopped for Adrian food and camp site shop food in Inverness.

I took the dogs a walk by Loch Ness. I remembered a post of Phil's. He popped a bit of bracken or fern on a sheet of paper and took it’s picture. I thought that looks a smart idea I'll do that myself sometime. It’s not that easy. You have to find ferns that are producing spores and half the devils I looked at weren’t. Then when you have the fern on a bit of paper you mustn't open the door to chat to Lyn as the dogs jump about and cause a hell of a draft and the spoors blow away. I have had two goes today…..

_V0G4519       A bit of fern.

_V0G4520        Fern Spoors……not very exciting.

_V0G4521        That’s because most of it’s reproductive bits have gone rusty brown looking. I went out again in the drizzle and got two more bits that looked blacker underneath.

_V0G4522      This is the pattern I wanted. I’ll pop it in a box for a crystal clear print tomorrow. Thanks Phil I never new they did this. The dogs aren’t the slightest bit interested. I’ll never look at ferns in the same way again.

That’s all for today.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

FEELS LIKE WINTER. (20/08/14)

I took the dogs out this morning and it was very cool. It is still windy and showery but just before lunchtime it brightened up. So I decided to go and get a postcard shot of Ullapool.

It’s not been a good day. I went to order the dog food from the nice lady in the pet shop and it has closed down. I have found another dog food shop on an industrial estate just north of Inverness so I’ll call there tomorrow. It sounds like a load of hassle when supermarkets sell dog food and bird food but if you buy in quantities of 15kg or over then there is no VAT. It’s classed as animal food and not pet food. It’s a great pity that there is not a similar arrangement for tobacco and beer. Tobacco wouldn’t be a problem as it is compact but I’m sure I could buy 20 litres of beer and just tick it off as I consumed or collected it. That would be an election winner for somebody. It would also create a few jobs keeping track of how many pints folk had left.

Yesterday I had a quick look at mobile phones whilst in Tesco. By hell they are a rare price and they don’t even have buttons. They do have the £10.00p ones but they only last a few months. I am back to using a solid metal and heavy plastic cased Nokia. I stopped using it a couple of years ago as the battery is knackered. It is a grand phone but not really mobile as I have to leave it plugged in and I have to have the gen set running if I can’t plug in to shore power. I did have a charger that worked in the cigarette lighter but Alf chewed the wire up when he was a puppy. I have been on-line and ordered a replacement battery for it. Brilliant is T’internet, I have one arriving for £12.00p; phone annoyance solved. Last time I asked in the T-Mobile shop they wanted £40.00p or thereabouts for a battery. Worse than Canon for battery rip offs they are.

Here is the postcard from Ullapool.

ullapool    I caught it in a rare dry moment and didn’t get wet.

Tomorrow I’m going back to sunny Loch Ness. I haven’t got any fresh prawns for my tea but have got some lambs liver so that’s alright.  I’ll do some egg fried rice with it. I’ll try again for prawns before I leave tomorrow.

Have fun.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

I’VE BEEN THINKING. (19/08/14)

Always dangerous the way my mind works.

Are I-pads waterproof? They ought to be the money they charge for them and do they have USB 2 or 3 ports. I was contemplating using one as a big video monitor. I don’t want it to be submersible I just want it to be able to withstand a heavy shower. I have tried the damn things and I was impressed until I had to fiddle my fingers this way and that. I can get the screen large enough to read but then I’m not reading what I wanted to read. It then goes small while I find what I wanted then I can’t see what it is I wanted. I suspect a small monitor is what I want for the camera. I’ll leave the decision for a while.

_MG_3385     My last view of Sango Sands for this year. I could live here. The folk are spot on but it is a four hour round trip for anything. Tesco are doing a click and collect service twice a week so though not cheap it is better quality and much the same price as the Spar shop. The fresh fish man comes from Scrabster on a Wednesday, he usually has live prawns on. Nasty nipping things but they hit then spot in an omelette.

I did another video in the rain yesterday. I’m sorry for inflicting this on you but I am trying…..Very Trying .

I am wandering south. I have got as far as the metropolis of Ullapool. There is nothing wrong with it, it has a little Tesco, a good pet shop where I can get Skinners working dog food. The lady in the shop did say the working dog food makes them fat if they are not working. She gave them a feel and felt every rib on them so decided working dog food was for them…..Nice shop, better still as she comes after work and drops 40kg of dog food off at the van. A pity she didn’t feel my ribs and give me a lift back down. I think she had sussed that I only get a quarter of the exercise the dogs do. I settle, set up a tripod, set up a filter or two and all the while the dogs are chasing this, that and the other.

_V0G4510      The view west from Ullapool, the little islands are the Summer Isles. It is starting to feel like the beginning of winter here.

Not to worry, it wouldn’t do if every year was predictable.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

RAINBOW WEATHER. (17/08/14)

I am stopping here until Tuesday as the forecast is for strong winds and there is little joy to be had driving the van in a gale if I don’t need to. It is very showery and the showers are vicious. It’s full waterproof and welly weather.

Yesterday evening there was a superb rainbow. By the time I found my trainers and sorted the camera I was too late for a panorama so just managed a couple of shots before it disappeared._MG_3378

_MG_3379 Squall and Rainbow.

This morning whilst looking for something else I came across a quick tutorial for making a half animated GIFF image. I think they are called Cinemagraphs.                                                                                  knapweed3                                                                                                           Knapweed very annoying Knapweed.

I’ll try and find a better subject for such nonsense. I don’t know where the black frames have come from I’ll have a further play. I’ve played again and they have gone.

Stay safe and have a good week.

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

NEW HEAD. (16/08/14)

A better title might have been “NERDY AGAIN” but I’m not nerdy. Nerds know what they are doing and I keep getting all muddled up.

I’m still struggling to produce my opening video animation. I want a globe hovering in a ring made up of the letters that spell Adrian’s Images. Optimistically I’m halfway there; pessimistically about 30% from the bottom. Animations tend to go belly up right at the end. It’s possible that Blender would auto save but I do it every now and again. I write on a bit of paper where I have got to.

image     This is a Blender 3D screen grab whilst it is rendering. It does the animation one frame at a time and the black squares are the bits it was processing at the moment of the screen grab. It takes 100 samples in this case which is about the minimum. What the minimum of and what it does with them I’m not sure; in fact I have not got a clue. If I wanted sparkling quality then I would sample at 300. It would take all night to do 300 frames. It’s okay though because once it starts I can go for a walk, read a book, cook a meal. It’s like doing laundry in a washing machine. You don’t have to sit and watch it.

Someone, a misguided fool, asked what the video editor looks like. I used CS6 for todays video. Blender also has a video and audio editor. I sometimes use Lightworks which is a free version of PS After Effects or Video Pro. Lightworks I must start using more often but it makes my head spin.image This is a screen grab of two screens. I load everything on to separate layers. The time line is on my laptop screen and the video is on the monitor to the right. Also bottom right you will see a big list of other things. The only thing missing from this is the last audio track. They are the green bits. I have to render the video. Then turn off the sound and record commentary whilst watching the rendered video. There must be an easier way.image  This is what the time line looks like when I have trimmed clips popped fades on almost perfectly. I missed a fade on the title. I’m not a nerd; I’m a Muppet. I did hit the four minute target length though. If there is sod all going on then four minutes is more than enough. Photoshop make life easy. They make audio green, video blue and if you modify the video they convert it to a purple smart object. I am getting to grips with this job.

All audio on the following video was recorded on the Zoom H1. It is brilliant for the money but unfortunately doesn’t make me sound like a thespian.

The gales are here so I will delay my departure to Ullapool by a couple of days. I only stop at Ullapool for the supermarket and it breaks the journey to Inverness where they have another supermarket for what I forgot the day before.

Have fun.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

MIDGE. (14/08/14)

I have had a good and a bad day today. The good is that my parcel arrived within an hour of DPD’s estimated time. I don’t have it delivered direct to me as I’m of ‘No Fixed Abode.’ I have it delivered to a mate up the road and if he isn’t in then they leave it with someone else. Durine is such a tiny hamlet that no-one would take what isn’t theirs. I get an e-mail from DPD saying delivered to Keith, I wander a few hundred yards up the road to James’s house to get my parcel. His surname is Keith which can be confusing. I love DPD as a delivery company. When I was at Foyers the driver arrived when the site office was shut but drove around the site shouting Adrian. Not only a good set of drivers but a brilliant infrastructure to back them up.

In the parcel was the muck away.

_MG_3374     I have got rid of the midge and two or three other obstinate bits of crap. This is a great system for cleaning shit but even I had doubts it would remove a baked on insect. No spot removal at all. Sparkling bright it is.

_MG_3372     This is what I used. It does what it says on the tin. You have to remember that these are packed for folk that know what they are doing. You have to lock shutter open and mirror up. Make sure your battery has enough charge in it for a ten minute job; I fully charge mine, if the power fails you will end up with the wee stick jammed in a ribbon shutter and stuck behind the mirror. You will be going to your local shop for a new camera.

Then use very few strokes from edges of the sensor to the middle, you can press but don’t scrub. I look through a magnifying glass and hold the camera between my knees. The tiny insect needed a bit of attention. Don’t sweep outwards; ever. Try and collect the crap in the middle. Then all you do is open the second sachet with the dry sweeper up in and again work from the edges then turn it over and it will grab all the muck from the middle. It says not to use them twice but I give the view finder and LCD screen a clean with them before consigning them to the ashtray and thereafter the bin. The observant will notice that these are for less than full frame sensors. Mine are full frame it makes no difference but don’t rely on me, a new sensor would be the best part of camera price.

_MG_3373       This is the star of the show today.  It’s my new fluid head. I have put my biggest lens on it and it again does exactly what Manfrotto said it would do. It is a big lump but seems silky smooth. I looked at several folks reviews and you can too. Just Google MVH 502 series heads. Some of the tossers even unbox them. I had no trouble with unboxing, I just ripped the box open and dragged it out. It is worlds away from the old Manfrotto pan tilt head I was using. Is anyone old enough to have used a 141RC head? They are a great landscape head. It’s feeling a bit put out and usurped but it can come to bed for a cuddle tonight.

Not too much bad. The two Blender 3D jobs went belly up. I do save as I go along so I should be able to salvage them. It’s often better for me to start again as I can remember bits intuitively. We will see.

Have fun. 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

ALLSORTS. (13/08/14)

It seems that everyday has been the same for ages. The weather is showery with varying amounts of wind. It really isn’t very pleasant.

I am only nipping out for quick wanders as it isn’t photography weather and the dogs are not bothered about going far.

I have been working on a few graphics but have yet to produce the one I want. I am after the Earth spinning counter clockwise with Adrian's Images on a ring around the equator revolving clockwise. I am slowly getting there. It is interesting but I find it impossible to recall how I have made a 3D animation do what I want. Last night I solved one problem. I popped a letter X on my sphere so I could see it revolve. No mean task on it’s own. I would have thought key frame the start move the cursor to the end of the timeline and rotate the sphere 360o .Nothing happened; it took me an hour to work out that Blender 3D didn’t think it had moved. I then half solved the problem by setting the cursor halfway along the time line and rotating it 180o Then doing the same again at the end. Great I have a spinning globe. The trouble is it spins slowly then speeds up then goes slowly then speeds up and slows down again. After an hour trawling the internet I found a thing called a Dopesheet. Aptly named, it’s for dopes like me. In amongst all it’s complexities is a graph editor and my graph looked like a sine wave. All I have to do is find away to convert it to a linear graph and I should be in heaven or a ‘Funny Farm’.

I’d be completely crazy if I didn’t have the sea to gaze at. Today there is a healthy swell running. It’s difficult to judge but I estimate two to three meters. It’s bouncing up the rocks in an impressive manner.

_MG_3369

_MG_3368

_MG_3362

_MG_3361      I should not moan it is a wonderful place to be and is stunning when the sun comes out.         

I have also sorted the little bits of gold dust out.

There are lots of tutorials on how to achieve this effect. I decreased the particle size bumped up the number of particles and increased the render sampling from fifty to a hundred samples. That has got rid of the odd flying brick. I quite like this so will redo it a bit longer, adjust the lighting a bit and then I will be able to run music credits and whatnot over it.

If anyone is interested in playing then you can use Blender 3D for free. This is dissolving text and then run backwards. I don’t think you could create it this way round.

Tomorrow the video head is arriving as are the wet sensor swabs so the midges and dust will, with luck, be a thing of the past as will jerky panning and tilting.

._V0G2059      High above the cloud. This is taken in much smaller waves. If it clears up then I'll take some long exposures later from beach level.

See Douglas not that impressive.

Monday, 11 August 2014

MEMORY AND INTUITION. (11/08/14)

It is still beautifully warm here. Last night I was woken at just gone midnight by the gentle patter of rain drops. I fell asleep again but the dogs were shuffling about. I asked them to lie down and go to sleep or words to that effect.

By one the van was swaying gently in a thirty mile an hour breeze…….then ten minutes later the rain drops sounded as big as golf balls. Two inches of rain fell before dawn that’s in about three hours up here.

There was no chance of anymore sleep. How do dogs know there is serious weather about? Horses and cattle do. Why am I so stupid?….I feel thick, surely I must be more intelligent than an animal; even sheep can remember members of a flock they were in two years after they were separated from it as lambs. They run to greet cousins and anyone else they recognise. I’ll not dwell on this as I could turn into a Vogan or summat else strange.

I was speaking to a chap this morning who I borrowed some extension tubes from, that was only a year ago. I couldn’t recall him at all. I could be going demented. I’ll look on the bright side. I can still half learn new tricks and can still finish a Telegraph Cryptic Crossword in under the two hours I allow myself. They aren’t always done completely but it is always a couple of ridiculous four letter words that I am short of. Words that only lexitographfers and English teachers would know.

I only get the Telegraph on a Friday these days as I am sick and tired of them ‘Salmond Bashing.’ Dithery does it a bit but only in fits and starts. He has enthusiasms, they are like the vapours in Victorian ladies… Nowt to worry about as they don’t last long.

No matter which way the vote goes it will still mean that Scotland is linked to England and by default the pound. They already have funny looking promissory notes so I couldn’t care less. If Dithery says they have to have their own currency which they already have then the money markets will decide on a rate so what the hell, bugger all Dithery can do about it. He is one of the most stupid men I have never met.

I spent thirty years travelling the northern Hemisphere. US Dollars I tended to avoid as they are easily copied and also a bit daft as they are all the same size. Euros, pounds were fine as were Francs and Pesetas before them. I just used to divide by ten for most of them. That’s what I couldn’t understand about the Euro. It seemed linked to the US Dollar which surely couldn’t be right. It has proved to be a bit of a fiasco.

I waited till the rain had stopped then took the dogs a walk. It was a self imposed halfway mark. I got soaking on the way back but only on my legs. I did take a good jacket. The jeans needed a wash and it was only a twenty minute walk back. By hell did it piss down again.

The waves were not that impressive so I was idle and just took a few from the cliff top._MG_3346_7_8_tonemapped

_MG_3355_6_7_tonemapped

_MG_3358_59_60_tonemapped  Waves at Durness. They were loud but not serious. I’ll have to come back here in the late autumn or winter for serious waves.

I must thank MARIA who lives in the tropics and is into plants and lizards for giving me so many links to video heads. It passed the small hours on. But I have just purchased a Manfrotto MVH 502.summat. It was under £150.00p by a long chalk as it’s been used on demo. I can chop it in for a ball based one but will have to pay £70.00p to get a bowl for the Gitzo and another seventy pounds for the ball on the head. This is bottom to middling end video gear why is it so expensive? The ball cup is half the price of the video head. For Christ sake get real you folk.

It doesn’t cost pennies more to make a good one or a bad one. I like Benro, I love Gitzo but I do tend to trash Manfrotto. All sound like coffees or ice creams. I’ll confuse the baristas in Starbucks when I insist on a Manfrotto or a Gitzo. I’ll try it next time I go to a big city. Last time they mis-spelled Adrian when they wrote it on the carton I got another one free. They are rip off merchants….. Costa Coffee are worse nine pounds for what is a thin and long cheese toastie…makes camera gear look cheap.

Have fun.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

WALK BEFORE YOU….. (10/08/14)

I wish I had a friend who wanted to go through this monster learning curve.

I have had the devil of a job today. I first got into Blender 3D and tried to get an all black background to the ADRIAN’S IMAGES bit at the end. I couldn’t but did manage almost white. That is okay as if I pop it on a separate video layer and set blend to multiply it almost works. I have realised why the simplest bit of professional looking video takes a team of at least four and the same again in editing.

I went out on our first walk and just recorded sound. On our second walk I recorded the video. It didn’t occur to me till later that I have no means of syncing the two. I thought sod it, my readers will never notice and if they do they are tolerant. Syncing is the least of my problems. I did my best to chop and shuffle the sound tracks but then PS crashed… my fault for working too fast. I bet PS After effects has a little spinning wheel to stop you going too quickly. PS CS6 Extended doesn’t. Mean bastards, they charge enough for it but that has always been Adobe’s way. One gets the best and then they have better up their sleeve. They do give me updates but I must admit I’ve not checked for a year….I’ll do it now.

I have found it is much better to create an empty Audio layer; load into it and then drag stuff out of it if it’s to be in sequence into the original audio layer. Most video layers have to be on a separate channel if you want them to float over each other to blend and don’t just want a simple fade or cross fade. I am getting there. If you use functions for enhancement then collapse them. If you use adjustment layers do likewise. I suspect that is what caused the crash. The programme is just trying to read them at every key stroke. If you want to open them up it is only a mouse click away.

I then popped all my audio files through a free programme called Acoustica. I found the play button and that is about as far as I’ve got, I watched for peaking….. it was but still sounded okay just as well I didn’t understand the words when I opened the menu to correct matters. I converted all the posh WAV. files to MP3. I did have a little play; I added some echo on the second bit of waterfall. I was hoping that Acoustica could save files as AACs. It can’t. Not to worry I’ll find an audio editor that can. It matters little as YouTube use AAC compression and it is not stereo.

I know it looks crap but give me marks for effort, interpretation and skill.

The panning is better slower. Thanks Anvil Cloud. I will still look into a fluid head tomorrow.

When I've sorted all the editing malarkey, I’ll try and start working to a storyline…..Don’t hold your breath.

Have a great week. I think the bad weather is just arriving here.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

TESTING TIMES. (09/08/14)

I have been playing with the Zoom H1 recorder but although I got sound from it and can play the WAV files I can’t get them to load into Photoshop. I did it once but I don’t know how. I’ll have to work on it.

The 3D title worked quite well eventually but it did give me a headache. I think I’ll have to do it again and put it on a matt black background and then I can use blending modes to lose the background completely.

_MG_3333_4_5_fused     The weather is very quiet this morning. I could have done with a load of wind to really give the new stereo recorder a test.

Here is the test video.

Criticism and any help with handling audio files will be gratefully received.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

UNDECIDED. (07/08/14)

The Zoom stereo microphone and recorder arrived this morning. It cost the thick end of seventy pounds sterling. It does the job but I was amazed how plasticky it felt. It uses a micro SD card that holds 2GB. I eventually popped it into it’s slot, it blew away when I sneezed, smaller than a postage stamp it is and not much thicker. It can stop where it is in it’s slot and I’ll use the USB port to pull the sound from it.

It is palm of the hand size but very ticky tacky plastic. It would be worth a bit more were it built inside a rubberised case. It would feel better if nothing else but feeling microphones is a no-no. A Cardinal sin , as a few of the many feely Cardinals would tell you. I am still waiting for twenty pounds worth of accessories to arrive. I get a hard case to keep it in, a USB cable that I don’t need, a handle for holding it and an external power supply. I have also ordered a rubber mounted hot shoe holder for it.

It can record up to 35hs of MP3 sound and about 2hs of WAV at 48khz and 24bit… that is overkill. It also has auto Low Cut and auto levels and a little light that flashes to show you if it is peaking, it is adjustable for both manually. It’s two channel but will accept a Rode or any other microphone but that drops it back to two channel not three as some reviewers state. The external microphone plug switches off it’s own X/Y axis non adjustable microphones.

_MG_3332      Here it is. The wire was something I have lots of it just runs to a set of JVC ear plugs so I can hear what it is doing. I gave it a whirl and with low cut and even in 20mph of wind it is spot on. I put a foam cover on and it was perfect….no wind roar at all even with the Low Cut turned off. It does hammer AA batteries but so do the strobes. That’s why Maplin sell great batteries at seventeen pounds a hundred.

I can balance both channels but don’t think I can balance them independently. I suspect if I look into it that sound editing software can. Not that I’d know what to balance. I am happy with it but there again I am a numpty, I know little about recording sound last time I did it it was four track and lots of gear which I had trouble lifting and that was forty years ago. This is so light I could forget where I had put it. I remember putting condoms over microphones it cut extraneous noise perfect.

I have not been idle I have resurrected the 3D title I was trying a year ago. I started again. I want a ten to fifteen second title in front of my videos but I would like a pile of dust that slowly rises from summat and makes the letters that go into Adrian’s Images. I then pop them on a little UV mapped image and light them. Blender is bloody hard. It is also awfully memory hungry. I could do with larger monitors. I have over fifty layers and I am no starting to bake yet I have learned to give everything meaningful names. I hope I have. I can see it ending in failure.

Have fun.

 

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

SEASIDE. (06/08/14)

Yesterday was, despite the forecast, dry and sunny, I went out macroing but failed miserably.

Here are a few unrelated photographs of a sunny day.

_MG_3306    This is for Laura M. The right hand Vespa looked quite a large machine. These have come all the way from Germany.

_MG_3323      Brrr!

_MG_3330     A hardy lot round here.

_MG_3311      Molly wet for the third time in a day.

_MG_3320         Alf investigating a sand castle. I knew this was going to prove embarrassing.

_MG_3321          So it did. Can’t take the little devil anywhere.

I’m waiting for parcels today. I may get out later. Have fun.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

ROUGH AND SMOOTH. (05/08/14)

I think I may be turning into an Owl or a Badger, I seem to be wide awake for most of the night and falling asleep around lunchtime.

Yesterday was windy and wet, horrible it was and not a day for enjoying the great outdoors. I have ordered a couple of wet cleaning swabs so the camera sensors should be sparkling bright before the end of the week.

The internal microphone on the 5D MkII is better but it must have got water in it or maybe sand has blown in the little holes. I have been in touch with JOHN for advice on an external recording system. He pointed out that a £40.00p Dictaphone MP3 machine was unlikely to do the job. Thanks again John. After a couple of hours research I have ordered a Zoom H1 along with an accessory kit. I also ordered a pair of Kaavie rubber bushed dual nuts so I can try mounting the sound recorder on the camera hotshoe. I am hoping that I will soon have superb sound on my videos and all for £100.00p. I’ll really try to improve the quality of my commentary……I may even go for electrocution lessons. I have noticed that I sound a bit like William Hague which is not a good idea unless I want to put folk to sleep.

I have also found out how to adjust or delete audio on MOV. files. It is the first job in  the work flow as if you convert the video clips to Smart Objects it is too late. If anyone would like to know about this in CS6 then just e-mail me at adrianwrd@gmail.com . It’s different in Lightworks and After Effects as the video and audio are split automatically by the software.

The sun is just about to rise on what looks as if it’s going to be a wonderful day. I think I’ll go out macroing later.

Here are a few pictures of Sunday’s storm.

_V0G2073

_V0G2078       Rough.

_V0G2062      Smooth.

That’s all for today, sorry for yet another nerdy post.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

WILD. (03/08/14)

At around one o’clock this morning the van started rocking about. It was the wind and not Uma Thurman or Michaela Strachan. Then the rain started so I got up and read some of my book. What a night.

I went out at about nine when the worst of the rain had finished. I still have the midge on the sensor. I’ll get a wet cleaning kit sorted this week. I also seem to have got some water in the microphone. I only just got out and back in time as the wind has dropped but a haar has drifted in and I can’t see anything for fog.

Here is a bit of video I took earlier….couldn’t see that much then.

WILD

I really ought to go out again but I can’t stand the thought of cleaning more salt spray from the cameras, lenses and tripod.

Whatever you are up to this week then have a good time.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

FUN AND GAMES. (02/08/14)

I’ve had a pretty good couple of days. The new Transcend 1TB drive arrived and works like a dream. I have never had anything that uses USB3 before. “EE By Gum”…… It’s fast. I took the old WD hard drive apart and swapped it’s disc for the second the drive in my old laptop, found the WD recovery disc that came with it and was amazed when everything went to plan; took a while and a few “Bless My Souls.” I left it running overnight and in the morning I had 400GB worth of files. I have no idea if that is all of them as I’ll be blowed if I can remember what was on there….Seems about right.

I have a couple of card readers and on one the bit that guides the CompactFlash card onto the pins wouldn’t guide. I took that to bits gave the little plastic guide a stroke with fine emery paper and now that works as well. I looked at it under my magnifying glass and it looked suspiciously like a little dribble of sweet and sour sauce had found it’s way in there and dried. I like CompactFlash cards but am always a little concerned about all those pins in the readers and cameras. They are very fine and it it’s a miracle I’ve not fouled one up before now. I will have a look and see if Lexar do a USB3 reader. I like their stuff but the big 800x card was an eye watering price. Overkill really as the 1Ds’s write to card speed is only about 70MB/s. I suspect it does a little better but not by much.

I didn’t take one picture yesterday. It was wet, then dry and then perked up but by that time I was reading a book and cooking. This morning I took the dogs out at six thirty for a run on the beach. They do the running, I stand a watch. I lugged the tripod and a bag of filters. It's still quite breezy, north easterly a touch chilly.

_V0G2051

_V0G2053   I took five shots and the filter was getting blathered with salt. I don’t like wiping salt off so I gave up until I could wash it off. These look almost sepia so I said to the dogs we’ll have some breakfast, go to the shop for some food, milk and Marlboro, then have another go when the filters are dry. I went for another go. I gave the whole lot a good dose of LensPen. I love the things. Brush off with one end. Give the cap a twist on the other end and then take the cap off and wipe with the little pad thingummy. I do have several micro fibre cloths but am wary of using them, they trap muck and can be mistaken for a hankie, snot on a lens is not conducive to clear crisp pictures.

_V0G2056  This is about twenty seconds and shot from a low promontory at 50mm. I then retreated and changed to 135mm. Focussed up and put all the filters back on including a polariser as the sun had decided to pop it’s hat on and come out to join the fun.

_V0G2060

_V0G2065

_V0G2066    The first is about 30s and the second and third are about a minute or more.

I kept the dogs on their lead. Molly is either daft or fearless and wanders down the cliff, Alf is just a bit daft and follows Moll. The last one is where they could have ended up. There is a one and half to two meter swell breaking and boiling in this little cove.

Heavy rain is on it’s way. I will think about doing a time lapse of a snail on a mirror eating Ragwort tomorrow. There are some wonderful tiny black and white snails here.

Have fun.