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Archive for March, 2009

Seriously why?!? Mar 28

I do realize that in comparison to the dot-com generation, I’m no doubt getting a tad long in the tooth, but I do consider myself to be technically savvy and while I may not be the quickest to jump on every technological bandwagon, I do think I’m fairly up to date for my age…

Worryingly, I’ve just found out what the Twitter phenomenon is all about after spending the last several months believing it was going to be another MySpace, Facebook or Blogging type service. I guess I can only blame myself for not bothering to look into what Twitter actually did, but having just followed a Google search onto someone’s Twitter site, I figured “what the heck”, let’s find out what Twitter actually is.

Quoted from Twitter’s own home page:

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

It was at this point that the light bulb came on and I suddenly pieced together all the separate references to Twitter that I’d seen, previously. My instant thought:

Why oh why would anyone actually be interested in a constant feed of inane dribble from complete strangers, yet alone their own friends, family or co-workers? It’s not communication, it’s verbal diarrhoea…

Let’s face it, this ability to update the world in an instance on what you’re doing is only really possible because of mobile Internet found on virtually every up to date mobile phone or PDA type device. If this service was not available from mobile devices and only from in front of a computer, people would probably stick to Facebook or Blog’s.

The Internet is fantastic for giving people like myself the ability to have an audience, where previously this was the exclusive right of the press, broadcasting media or book authors, all of whom would have had their work scrutinized before being released to the masses. Equally, the costs involved are generally prohibitive to those amateurs, who could only aspire to work in those fields professionally.

I can sit here and write my Blog about anything I chose to, knowing that it’s there for someone to find. In reality I do not even need to worry as to whether anyone is bothering to read what I have to say – it hasn’t cost me anything. Not all Blog’s are useful or interesting and with millions of people writing them, covering a hugely diverse range of subjects, it should at least be possible to find a Blog that you’ll consider of interest.

While I can’t deny that at first I found the status feature in Facebook to be novel and a bit of fun, I soon came to the conclusion of who really cares what I’m up to at that moment in time.

While the following may seem a tad extreme, the logical sense in my mind is that should everyone in the world Twitter, then I would foresee the art of conversation dying further as why would people need to find out how the other person is, as they will already have announced it to the world.

In reality this shouldn’t actually happen as I’ve generally found people need social interaction, but considering how much of an impact lazy text speak has had on the English language in the last 10 years or so I can see that there will be plenty more changes to come – I just hope some of them are for the better…

Twitter or Blog? – Suspecting that no one out there actually wants to know: when I’m hungry; when I need a pee; that I’m nervous for that job interview or any of the other countless status updates that people tell the world, for me it’ll always be a foregone conclusion, as my Blog allows me far more room to witter in general…

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Beginning in Photography Mar 25

Whether you’re a casual snapper out capturing memories or you’re the next aspiring Andreas Gursky, David Bailey, or any of a long list of well known photographers, there are a number of basics everyone should follow.

Basic principals to look for in any photograph are:

  • Interest – What does the picture actually convey? Is there a point to it? It doesn’t have to be award winning material, but it should either hold a memory for you and your friends/family or have some sort of “je ne sais quoi” that will mean that someone else will enjoy spending time looking at it.
  • Composition – A badly composed arrangement can ruin even the most photogenic subject. It’s worth spending a few moments looking around your subject area to see if there’s a better angle to take the picture from. You may be surprised by the difference it can make.
  • Lighting – Poor lighting can ruin your well crafted image, unless compensated for with longer exposures or additional lighting.  However, for longer exposures you will need to use a stand such as a tripod or any convenient flat surface to steady the camera, otherwise you will be left with a blurred image. And don’t forget that additional lighting, such as a flash can change your intended shot and make for a harshly lit photograph.
  • Focus – Unless artistically aesthetic, a blurred image is generally useless and while you may be able to use software such as Photoshop to fix a minor blur, there is a limit as to the abilities of such software.

Over the next four blog entries I will go into more detail on the Basic Principals of Good Photography starting with Interest and continuing with Composition, Lighting and Focus.

Afterwards, I will cover other basic concepts such as: styles of photography, types of camera, Compact Digital v Digital-SLR, D-SLR accessories for the beginner, D-SLR camera settings for the beginner, Image Manipulation Software (such as Adobe Photoshop) and anything else that comes to mind.

In the meantime take a look at for a bit of inspiration.

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Don Diego by day, Zorro as a Hero… Mar 11

Zorro“We kindly ask that anyone wishing to eat wrapped sweets during tonight’s performance do so quitely.”

These weren’t the words that I expected to hear prior to the actors taking the stage in the West End theatre production of Zorro. I was expecting the seriousness of Romance, the angst of the belittled residents of early California and Swashbuckling adventure and sword play, but not humour. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least and fitted in perfectly.

Of course I should have remembered that all of these elements could be found in the last two cinematic outings for our hero Zorro. Having enjoyed  Antonio Banderas’ Mask of Zorro and Legend of Zorro, I entered the Garrick theatre with high hopes and great expectations.

I can happily say that I walked out just under three hours later, still humming along to the music of the Gipsy Kings having thoroughly enjoyed the swash-buckling adventure of Diego; the son of the popular local Don of the peublo; a gypsy showman; a mild-mannered gentleman of peace and above all else, the greatest swordsman in California.

With a mixture of songs created for the show as well as a number of popular tracks from the French Gypsy Latino band Gipsy Kings, the music is stirring (Entrada), emotional (Libertad, In one Day), familar (Bamoleo, Baila Me and Djobi Djoba) and fun (One more Beer).

For me I found nothing to fault in the acting, clear singing and sets, but I did feel that the two things that stood out for me the most were the sword play from Matt Rawle’s Don Diego and the Gypsy Inez, played sublimely by Lesli Margherita. If it wasn’t the comical nature of her character, it was the way she purposefully exaggerated her rolling R’s for suitable effect.

In summary I would highly recommend Zorro, especially for anyone who grew up wishing they were rescuing the damsel playing out the roles of such characters as Robin Hood, Sinbad, d’Artagnan and of course Zorro. Of course if on the otherhand you dreamed of being swept off your feet by any of those adventerous heroes, then prehaps you might find yourself wishing that Zorro will carry you out of the theatre to the envy of all your friends…

Please note: For those of you like me, who suffer from a case of “long leg syndrome”, it’s worth being aware that even with my 6′ 4″ frame I had no problem sitting in the stalls and would happily recommend row F seats 9 and 10.

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