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

Sunday, 29 May 2016

WHAT A FUSS. (29/05/16)

Today has been glorious after the early fog burnt off. It was cool first thing. After breakfast I continued my teaching job. I got him to make a simple circuit using a couple of resistors, two LEDs, the Arduino and a breadboard. He wanted to use all the holes, I told him that was Ph.D. level breadboarding. He got the lights to occult. Off for two seconds on for one second.  Not bad for an hour in the morning and half an hour after lunch. He then went away to St Andrews, I don’t know what for but they aren’t back yet and I could do with a glass of wine.
I’ve spent quite a lot of the day trying to get macro video of insects. I shoot at 1080 but will produce the video at 720 as I will need the room to stabilise it. I can’t say it was an unadulterated success, it was extremely frustrating as it only takes the slightest of zephyrs to make things look chaotic. I appear to have got about 20 seconds of useable/salvageable video for a couple of hours effort. I am going to set a bit of flora baited with honey on a light stand and see If I can get more control over the job. The weather looks set fair for the week so I may succeed.
Around five an ambulance arrived at my gate so I wandered down thinking they were lost. They asked what was wrong. I said I was fine and as I’m the only person here you probably ought to be somewhere else. The driveress said are you sure, I had a think and told her my corn was giving me gyp and I could do with a glass of wine. I was saved further enquiries as to my wellbeing by a chap running from the wood saying his son had fallen out of a tree. I told the paramedics I’d open the gate into the forest and they could drive closer. They said an air ambulance was on it’s way so, it being a nice day, they would have a wander up the hill.
The Ambulance.
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I was really excited as I love helicopters despite my half trashed body being all a helicopters fault. I changed lenses on the camera and sat down to wait for it’s arrival.
Here it comes. Doesn't it look smart, fit for a king or a prince but they don't let our prince loose on his own. 
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They loaded him up and away it went.
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I thought it was an EC145 but looking at the tail rotor it is an H145. Virtually the same thing but with bigger engines and a fenestron rotor.  Very posh and a great end to Sunday. According to the ambulance crew the lad was fine. Little wonder the NHS is broke if they call out a helicopter every time a little boy falls out of a tree, children are always doing it. It has given me an idea. Next time I tip the quad bike over I’ll get Peter to phone up instead of standing about laughing at my discomfort. I’ll get a ride in a helicopter.
Have a good week.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

HUMBLE PIE. (28/05/16)

Teaching is very hard……bet you never thought you’d hear me say that.

Yesterday afternoon a yummy mummy arrived for a long weekend. She likes watching what Blender can do or in my case can’t do. She is not only gorgeous but interesting, she is the silver lining the clouds are her children. One of them is doing computer science at school but is struggling with binary numbers. I said not to worry but if she felt inclined to provide a glass of wine I’d give the wee mite the benefit of my ignorance. It’s not easy teaching when the pupil is being distracted by two Westies. He couldn’t convert decimal numbers to binary. He said he had to find the highest place number 2n would go into. I didn’t even understand the question. I got out my interactive white board and started doodling away.

The Interactive  White Board.

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I showed him this method. Dead simple and he did five different numbers correctly after thirty minutes or so. I could do with a blackboard rubber. I do make a mess. He was thrilled to bits and I hope his teacher accepts this method but it matters little, as I said to him nobody has to write code in binary. There are translators that will convert any script you write; writing the script is the difficult bit and breaking the instructions down into their component parts is a skill all on it’s own. Learning a programming language is the hard bit, knowing what Codecs to use for what is important. Remembering to pop the < > signs in the right place is good for ones temper. He also knows that obelus is not a rude word. He loved the sound of that one. Teaching is hard. I was exhausted after an hour and had to have the rest of the evening off. If it rains while he is here I’ll get him to programme the Arduino to flash or toot for him. If he can do that in a normal working day I’ll show him the Python script in Blender to make a ball bounce.

I was out this morning, it’s not too bad today.

Solitary Bee’s Bum.

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Water Droplets.

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St Mark’s Fly.

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I love these little flies I find them comical with their peculiar flying technique and their furry heads and eyes. Great they are.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS. (26/05/16)

I got really excited when the EU referendum was announced. I foolishly thought it would reduce the number of sponging, troughing, autocrats, bureaucrats and other overpaid useless busybodies. It’s not going to happen. I think people are just too frightened of the dire consequences. The UK drifting helplessly out into mid Atlantic with no food and nothing to drink but Jaffa Juice produced in Palestine. The MEPs coming back here, The Royal family going back there. Terrorists garbed in explosives sharing a glass of orange in the pubs, Dithery Dave and Lizard Eyed Osborne telling the truth. The Northern Irish having to chisel off the six counties so they can follow us. They won’t have EU money to keep them in drink so will start blowing everybody up and shouting “Feck” again. Nostalgia is wonderful, bring back the old days.
The good news is that very soon we smokers will have really interesting tobacco packets. I’ve seen a few samples. There’s a man with green teeth, someone else with funny eyes (I think that is George Osborne), a lady with only four and a bit toes, a bloke with wrinkly hands, a few damaged sperm, a baby with three eyes and five arms. Sounds great, it will be like the old days ……I’ll swap you two green toothed ones for a dead sperm and a wrinkly forehead. I think when you have the set you can send Jeremy Hunt a fiver and he will post you an album to pop them in. Government can’t work out the simplest of things. The NHS is billions in the red and the tax on tobacco pays for most of it. Tesco know if they want to sell more stuff they have to reduce the price. It’s a win win. Folk die earlier and don’t clutter up hospitals, hence hospitals can be smaller and cost less to run, where is the problem?
If we manage to leave the EU we could have our own offshore banks  so that our MPs don’t have to keep flying to the Caribbean to use an ATM. Good for them, good for the environment.
There isn’t much about to snap, it’s dry but cold. Not insect weather.
RED CAMPION.
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COLTSFOOT

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LILAC.
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APPLE BLOSSOM.
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THE NEW CATTLE.
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I think most of them are there, some are round the corner out of sight and had they got into the Barley then I’m pretty sure someone would have been here moaning. Scots are really good at moaning, nothing they like more.
Have fun.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

WEEKEND. (24/05/16)

On Friday afternoon I arrived for horse, dog, hen and sheep sitting duties. The place was a hive of industry with horses being washed, brushed, scrubbed, scraped and plaited. I was exhausted just watching so went for a sit down. Saturday morning it was much the same but with a bit of hoof polishing adding to the mayhem. It was then time to start loading the horses for their weekend jaunt. Horses fall into two broad categories, Those that can’t wait to get into the truck and those that once in do their best to get out again. The majority here like a change of scene so are of the former persuasion. Out of the loose box through the stable and up the ramp with a hapless groom semi airborne bouncing in their wake.
I was feeling the effect of all this activity so after taking the dogs for a wander, collecting the eggs and checking the sheep was more than ready for an early siesta. I made a Spanish Omelette for tea and switched the telly on; I can’t work televisions ..I have been told before to just press the red button on the thin black whatsit and watch what is on. Football was on, better than idiots opening red boxes or EastEnders but not by much. I managed about ten minutes of it then switched it off and started the crossword. I couldn’t finish it so seeking further amusement decided to go for a shower. I had noticed that the football men had rather interesting and adventurous haircuts so spent a while popping my hair this way and that but I just looked a bit daft, come to think about it so did they. I got dried and dressed and switched the TV back on but it was still football, better football as there were lots of people on the grassy pitch bit along with a dozen or so horses and lots of folk in Hi-Viz jackets. I think the latter must have been members of parliament. Our politicians are for ever standing around in goggles and hi-viz clothes. I don’t know why, I suspect they think it makes them look capable of work. It doesn't, it makes them look like something out of a safety clothing catalogue but fatter and thicker. I turned the box off and read a book.
Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny. There was only one horse left at home. After a coffee, a good cough and a couple of roll-ups I felt strong enough to feed him and muck out his loose box. Oh what fun, seventeen hands of horse, two dogs, a wheelbarrow , a muck fork and shovel all doing their best to garner the maximum entertainment from the my incompetent loose box ministrations. To cap it all my clean fleece got covered in Rambo dribble.
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This is Rambo all ready to go out for a bit of exercise. He does look smart; we got there in the end.
I fed the dogs, my two, Rosa and Mia, collected the eggs from the hens, got pecked by one that had turned broody and objected to being turfed off her clutch then was ready for another sit down…..still couldn’t finish the crossword. I did notice that some TV station I’d never heard of was showing British Super Bike racing in the afternoon. I decided it was time to master the telly controls, took me ages and a couple of dummy runs but it was well worth it, It came from Brands Hatch, brilliant it was. These lads and lasses really do try hard. Shane Byrne won the race I saw and Jenny Tinmouth ended up on her arse in the gravel. It’s a nice bum and she really ought to treat it better. When all this excitement was over I wandered into the kitchen for a cup of tea and found a couple of sparrows flying around. Grabbed them and popped them back outside, found a lamb escapee wandering the garden, after considerable effort I caught it, returned it to it's mum, got a butt on the thigh for my trouble and needed another rest.
I did manage a few minutes with the camera but there were no insects about.
I think these are Spanish White Bluebells.
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This looks like a small Welsh Poppy.
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I’m back in the glen now and today it’s mowing and the hen run needs scything but first I’ll post this, have breakfast and then take the dogs for a walk.
Enjoy the rest of the week.






Friday, 20 May 2016

LUCKY. (20/05/16)

I almost took three hundred shots this morning, all in focus and perfect but unfortunately they were all of Bees bums. I was lucky to get this shot, in reality there wasn’t much about as it is cool.

I have to go into Perth now to get a big roll of land drainage pipe and then I’m away to look after some horses for a couple of days. The excitement is almost too much to handle. What an thrilling life I lead.

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Most of a Mining Bee and mostly in focus.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

WHAT A PUZZLE. (19/05/16)

Untitled-1
I took this a couple of days ago as the new leaves were looking quite exciting. I then thought the image could do with a bit of a lift so had a go and made a mess. Not to worry, I’ve posted worse.
Last night, the previous evening and the afternoon before I’ve been trying to figure out how to get my animated video titles to cast a shadow on the video running behind them. I thought it would be a simple compositing job but it is proving far more complex. I now have half a result by popping a plane behind the animated text and making it pure white to catch the shadows. It does that in fine style but when I convert it to Multiply blend it leaves a grey cast on the video. I looked for a ‘How To Do It’ on the internet but it seems that Blender struggles with this job. There is a tutorial in German but I’ll have to see what he does as I understand about one word in a hundred*. If it rains today I’ll have another go. Tomorrow is forecast to be sunny so I’ll go insecting first thing then I have to go mowing. It’s all go.
 *  One word in a hundred doesn't sound so bad but Germans can make a sentence into a word. Little wonder they are often misunderstood.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

BLUE AGAIN. (18/05/16)

I have been out of sorts this last few days. Until yesterday I avoided watching Brexit the Movie as I knew it would anger me, I have been avoiding the news as Dithery is either a loony or so patronising that he needs a good kicking. I heard him on the radio saying that Putin and Isis would like us to leave the EU. I guess the inference I’m supposed to draw is that they are on my side. Nice company he has the temerity to suggest I keep. The queen is little better as I saw her photographed at her party sitting next to king Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa what lovely company she keeps, I also noticed they had sat him with the gurning granddaughters. Serves him right, unless he has a fetish for bug-eyed fat women and requested their company. It did remind me to get the macro gear out, the insects are starting to appear here as well.
DOG VIOLET.
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BLUE BELL.
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FORGET-ME-NOT.
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As you can see it’s a bit damp here but the Barley needs the rain. I just hope it rains at night and is sunny during the day. Is there a European Commissioner in charge of weather? If there is perhaps it could help facilitate night rain and justify the enormous salary and expenses.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

REFRACTION. (15/05/16)

I'm sorry I meant retraction. Yesterday I cast aspersions on the honesty of Returning Officers. Returning Officers can be found, finded even fined five thousand pounds if caught fiddling the vote count. Some MPs fiddle that a month and the Returning Officer must surely insure against such a loss when dealing with such immoral folk. It's a win win take the money and insure against getting caught. I'm sure, as you must be, Returning Officers never do it but I'd be tempted.  I will stand corrected and post a retraction; I'll post it in the time honoured way on page eight at the bottom in tiny writing under a picture of Uma Thurman with her kit off. Hang on. I don't have a page eight not even a page two nor do I have a snap of Uma in her birthday suite.
 This will have to do.

To all Returning Officers past and present that do their best to ensure a fair result whilst blindfold and accepting billfold in the UK, Outer Hebrides, Stornoway and other unpronounceable/unspellable places. I here retract my slur or any inference thereof and apologise for any distress caused. 

Yesterday I broke the rules and shot a couple of hours of time lapse with the Canon 5D II on auto aperture and manual focus. I have always been told to set everything to manual. This way works fine, wish I'd ignored the experts years ago. I did it to try Panolapse again but panoed in Blender eventually as Panolapse wouldn't work with 64bit Windows. I went to their website and got..Not known at this address..I downloaded a new version from a web site. One of those that gives you a browser and search engine you don't want and have never heard of. Took me a good half hour to sort that malarkey out of the system I have to seek out the down load date and delete all the crap. I must look and see if I can organise Downloads in time order.  Little tinkers they are. Then when I'd isolated Panolapse it wanted Adobe Air, fair enough I thought but hang on; I have Air. I updated it and popped it on the same drive I pop all non essentials on. Panolapse wouldn't work. Bless my soul, that's me to the end of my Grandma's alley. Words to that effect. 
I really don't like cross fades so at the end of this short clip I used a blur out. I must watch some pro work and try and see what they do. The music is by Strauss, its's the opening bars to Blue Danube and available free from YouTube here. FREE MUSIC.
Have a good week. 

Saturday, 14 May 2016

CORRUPTION. (14/05/16)

There isn’t much to report from a sunny Scotland. We had a frost last night, the news has been quite exciting for a change. 
The queen has insulted the Chinese which struck me as either very brave or plain stupid when they are building a nuclear power station in England. Shows what centuries of inbreeding can do.
 Dithery Dave is hosting a seminar on corruption, I can think of few folk better qualified. He is also threatening us with WW III if we vote to leave the EU. That is a silly remark, as he should know referendum and elections have little to do with the voters but everything to do with the folk that count the votes and where the boxes have been between the polling booths and the counting house. I am led to believe the electoral commission are girding their collective loins to demand some clarification from him and his puppet Feldman on this matter.
 I have come to the conclusion that Dithery Dave was conceived at the weekend as the minister of health tells us that is when most mistakes occur and Jeremy should know. 
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On a local level the barley is growing and the rabbits are getting fat.
To finish today's missive here are a couple of corrupted images.
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Trenching Bucket.
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Steering Ram.
That’s all, have fun.
PS. I think referendum is the plural of referendum, like sheep and sheep or as Dithery prefers piglae and piglae. I have seen referenda used, I can remember very little Latin and my English is far from perfect. I’ll leave it with you.


Thursday, 12 May 2016

BUZZY THE MOVIE. (12/05/16)

 I was going to post this on Friday but as it seems to take Blogger over half a day to get my posts to show on the reading list I'll post it now and hope it appears tomorrow. I am beginning to wonder if Google are trying to tell me something.
I am half pleased with this but will keep doing them as I can only improve. 
This is 1080 so if you have the bandwidth it is worth going the whole hog for the bigger Bee.
Have a good weekend.

VERY BUZZY. (12/05/16)

It’s been a few days since I posted  as I’ve been very busy trying to get macro video of Bees. I did try at 1:1 but it was beyond my ability. The canon 5D does take reasonable frameage, batteryage call it what you will but it has severe disadvantages. I have to shoot in bright light as I stop right down for depth of field but then I can’t see the screen as the sun obliterates it no mater what contrast I set the screen to. I have a bit of folded cardboard but it gets in the way. I will try it tethered to the laptop if the wind drops and I can train a bee to stop in focus and frame. Eventually I gave the macro a miss and used the 400mm lens with about an inch and a half of extension tube. I think I have enough timeage to cause a bit of a buzz.
Here are a few snaps that I took last Saturday and had forgotten about.
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Female Great Spotted Woodpecker. These are hard to find as they don’t tap as loudly as the males.
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I think this is a small Grass spider and a couple of flies on a Daffodil.
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Wood Sorrel. I flashed at this to add a bit of mystery, I ought to have removed the bit of twig but was concentrating on flashing.
Now back to video editing. I am getting a bit sick and tired of looking at out of focus bees, I’ll keep plugging away and hopefully post on either Friday or Saturday.





Tuesday, 10 May 2016

HORSEPOWER. (10/05/16)

The weather is perfect but maybe a little too hot. Sunday there was a thick mist early on but it soon burnt off to be replaced by a heavy rain shower. It didn’t wet me as I was back having breakfast. I have a new project which is macro the movie. The sun is bright enough to stop the lens down and hopefully get enough depth of field to make it worthwhile. The miner bees are out along with a few hoverflies and grass spiders. I’ll have an hour or two playing today and see what I get.

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THICK MIST.

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THINNER MIST.

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PRIMROSES with a few Dog Violets.

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LARCH.

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SORREL.

For the past couple of days I’ve been playing with titles. I now have perfect sparkles whizzing round an immaculate helix but with the lettering and everything else my computer was stalling. There had to be a limit; I spent ages trying to lose vertices and anything else that uses a lot of memory like glass shaders and other esoteric things. I then had a senior moment and thought to render the lettering and lighting as one pass then do the sparkles as another. Stupid me, Rendering is basically converting 3D to 2D so it just popped the sparkles on top of the letters. I have baked the animation and that helped but what I really need is a bigger GPU. More Horsepower is required.

 

Saturday, 7 May 2016

NO LUCK. (07/05/16)

It looks as if the weather here is going to be scorchio for the next week. Yesterday I went out birding but with a lack of success that even I found hard to credit. The dogs enjoyed themselves so it wasn't a total waste of time. The trees are starting to produce some leaves so I can see snapping Tree Creepers and Woodpeckers being totally fruitless.
A leaf bud.
One thats unfolded itself. I am going to say it's a Sycamore but I'm not sure. It has a smooth greyish trunk and there are lots of them......
I spent half an hour watching Squirrels but only managed a couple of shots.
 There were two of them in this tree but they were squabbling over a pine cone and Molly heard them. That was the end of squirrel watching.
I wandered home and made a start on sparkly titles. I got the helix path almost perfect but using the generated one I couldn't modify it as the handles didn't seem to be available.
This problem kept me amused for a couple of hours. I've never had a spark trail emit in blobs before. I was going to pretend it was on purpose........Who'd know? I would. I decided to bake the emission object which is the little icosphere at the bottom of the 'A'. I selected it and baked the animation....no change. I started again and noticed that I could bake every frame or every x number of frames. I tried every three frames and got dashes instead of dots so I upped it to every five frames and all was well. I wish I knew why it did it. The path starts off fine then goes a bit choppy. I tried subdividing it and smoothing it but it didn't make a deal of difference. By this time I wasn't sure I liked sparkles but I do like the glass revolving letters.

The music is free from YouTube. I never knew they had a music archive, some are attributable and others aren't. I'll try and remember where I found them but I've just looked and can't locate a link for you. It's somewhere on YouTube. I have always got music from FMA but I was impressed by the tracks I listened to here.
I'm not sure what to do today. I ought to have another go birding as the leaves will make it near on impossible by the end of the week. 

Friday, 6 May 2016

I HOPE. (06/05/16)

I hope this post drops into the dashboard much faster than yesterdays. It took well over twelve hours to appear. I have no idea what causes such wobbles but it is a touch annoying. Yesterday you couldn’t see my offering and today you probably won’t want to..
I love sparks and trails of them in titles but have never been able to work Bezier curves and animating a spark emitter would take for ever. I settled down in front of the computer and decided to sort the job out. If Renault invented curves to design car bodywork then the damn things must be controllable. They are. What I had in mind was a spiral of sparks climbing the rotating text in yesterdays video and by using a mask make the sparks appear to reveal the letters.
Many who have tried to use curves in either Photoshop or Blender will no doubt have given up using them for anything other than making text follow a path. I’m not going to go into great detail and this applies to Blender; Adobe call Bezier curves Paths. If you are interested then email me; the link is in the post header. The first problem I have is that the curve loads with a control point at each end both of which have two handles. Moving these adjusts the radius of the curve but they don’t work independently. They do if you select them and press ‘V’. Extruding is another little devil as selecting the end of the curve and pressing ‘E’ pops the new bit in a heap and it is a horrible muddle to sort out. If you move your mouse to where you want the curve to end up and press Ctrl and LMB then that solves that. When you get so you can’t see what is what then SHIFT and ‘B’ then left click draws a box which magnifies the confusing bit of the curve.
Screenshot_1
(A) is a circle that I used to draw the curve round. I then duplicated the nearly circle that I had drawn found and selected the ends and pressed ‘F’  to join them. It is not a spiral but it is a vast improvement on my previous efforts and I’ll get better with practise.
Screenshot_2
I don’t think this is too shabby. I now have to find the command for equalising the distance between all the little chevrons as they determine how fast the particle emitter travels along the curve. I may be able to juggle it by using the Dope sheet. I’ll see, I don’t want too much excitement at my age so I’ll save that bit until I've got the curve spot on.
Have a great weekend and remember if you think this is tedious spare a thought for the children who in this country are having to learn what a past imperfect conjunction is in historic English. They would be better learning a couple of foreign languages imperfectly but what do I know. I’m not a teacher.
PS. After all this I have found a spiral curve generator. I should have looked in Preferences>add-ons> curves. Not to worry I learnt some stuff along the way and feel much happier using Bezier curves.

Screenshot_3

Almost perfect.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

ACHING. (05/05/16)

This is the third go I've had at posting today so I'm not going to waste any more time.
Yesterday we wandered into town but it was dull and dismal.
The brightest thing I saw was this Oil Seed Rape.
Upon our return I spent an hour or two messing about with video titles. I wasn't going to post them but decided that the Highland Ponies were better than I thought they were, they were salvageable.
There were several adjustment layers on this video which made it a whopping 2.22GB. I put it through Handbrake and got it down to 12MB but the first title sequence was showing banding. I ran it again at 169MB and this is what transpired. It looks fine to me.
I've got an aching back so will have an easy day.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

MOSTLY MAMMALS. (O3/05/16)

I have been away for the weekend. The weather was par for a Bank Holiday, wet, cold, a bit dank and dismal but we had a good time.
This morning I went birding, it was a pleasant waste of time.
Whilst eating breakfast I noticed this stag doing likewise and chomping it's way through the willow tree. The dogs soon spotted it and chased it off.
We then went and sat in amongst the fallen trees. I was determined to get some proper Tree Creeper or Woodpecker pictures but we never saw a feather or foot of either.
We did see a couple of red Squirrels and a few Wrens the latter were too quick for me.
Yet another Spot The Bird.....A Blue Tit this time. I suspect these are as close as I'll get to Squirrels and birds with the dogs helping.
Tomorrow I'll have a wander into town if it's not raining. Enjoy the rest of the month.