Wednesday, 25 August 2010

I need a Date

With the onset of autumn this week (yes, I know it seems early but it certainly feels, smells, and looks like we're heading into that season given the recent weather) I've been feeling a little tired and thoughtful - this is of course partially down to having to cycle through the aforementioned weather and also having lots to do at work and at home. So I've been thinking about what can get me out of this slightly lower patch.

Life at the moment is quite busy; lots to do at work, plenty of things to occupy me at the weekend, friends to chat to, trips away to plan. Rachel and I seem to be getting on fine as friends and house-mates so no awkwardness there. In short, there isn't much that should be holding me back.

We just received the e-mail about our works Christmas party which of course has now got me thinking about who I would take along. Also I'm heading to Manchester Pride this weekend and, while I'm meeting up with Lucy on Saturday (which is fantastic, so need to catch up) I've no-one to wander round with on Friday. I know it sounds terribly practical and unromantic but it's just these kind of occasions when having a partner just makes life that little be easier and more fun.

It's nice to have someone to look forward to seeing aswell, someone who makes you happy when you think about them and who's there for a cuddle when that's just what you need to make the problems of life disappear for a few brief moments. And it's nice to be that for someone else as well, to be the person they really want to be with.

I guess this is one of those times when you realise what you had only when it's gone. I waited a long time to start a new relationship and it actually happened when I least expected it. It really did give so much more confidence in myself at the time, and while that hasn't all just vanished, being alone again has had an impact.

I hope I'm not behaving as whiney as the above sounds, I really do think I'm lucky and I've got alot to be very, very, very thankful for, I just need a big kick to get be back to feeling as confident and happy as I should be!

It's all about Image(s)

You'd think the web and the numerous sites I'm on would be perfect for showcasing the pictures I take, and you might also consider that this is a pretty easy thing to achieve, e.g. upload picture, point people at it. Well, apparently it's not that simple because alot of the pictures I produced just didn't look right at all which was rather annoying and upsetting - particularly as I spent all that time calibrating my monitor and painstakingly tweaking the settings on the images to get something that looked right in Bibble.

After MUCH Googling and reading about similar problems it seems that I've run into the same issue that alot of photographers hit; we're the only ones with calibrated monitors and colour management enabled properly! That isn't the specific issue that is affecting me viewing my own pictures on the web but it's as a result of it; FireFox doesn't correctly render colours in image files by default, and even with this setting on it still needs to know the correct monitor profile to render to.

[ Note: this is based on my experience on Ubuntu Linux, I'm not sure if FireFox on Windows will hook into the default system monitor profile or not. I would be inclined to believe that browsers on Mac's would do all this automatically but it does assume that a correct profile is present ]

Anyway, there is a partial solution to this problem, I installed the Colour Management add-on for FireFox which meant I could easily change the relevant settings (they can be found using about:config I believe) and load the profiles I'd generated for my desktop and laptop machines.

Now, when I view my pictures on the web, the colours match those I set while processing them so at least I know that they are correct. The only problem is that I have no idea at all what they look like on anyone else's monitor so it might be that I'm the only one who gets to enjoy them properly! That is a little irksome when you're hoping people will say nice or constructive things about your images and, in actual fact they just look terrible to them!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

In Court

That was horrible.

This was the initial hearing regarding the divorce so the bit in front of the judge, just in an office btw, was probably all of 3mins at most. Not pleasant waiting for it, very nerve-wracking but I don't know why! I've never ever been in a court before so I should have been overwhelmed by curiosity, not fear.

The worst part, and by for one of the most uncomfortable and horrible experiences in my life was seeing my ex there and not feeling that I could chat or say hello or even acknowledge her presence. We can chat okay on the phone, mainly about our son, and we'll even exchange some friendly words face-to-face (though obviously she prefers not to see me). But to feel that I can't even say hello is horrid. It was just such a de-humanising experience :(

If people really knew how horrible this is, for both 'sides', I don't think anyone would ever risk getting married. As I've said before, the only people to win in a divorce are the lawyers. And I can also now understand why people have divorce parties (I will most definitely not be) it's not to celebrate it's to drink so much that they forgot all the pain, even for just a few hours.

I'm going to head home, probably stopping at the Trafford Centre on the way to avoid the insane M62 and to just take my mind off all of this. So upset.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Models of Diversity

After my very energetic few days of cycling it was time to get down to the serious business of packing for a few days away in London which included the night out for the Models Of Diversity event that I'd been so looking forward to!

I could go on and on about everything that happened over the weekend but I'll try and keep it brief so no-one gets bored (a little bit more detail about the night after this summary):
  • Night was fantastic, amazing, wonderful, so much fun!
  • Didn't want the night to end so carried on going when we got back to the hotel
  • Met a lovely girl from Texas who was lovely to chat to
  • More drinking
  • Crashed out at the hotel, woke up to early, did not feel well, needed TLC from Rachel and Deborah to help me back to normal!
  • Picked up prints of my son from The Print Space - fantastic results, looked exactly like on the monitor (with soft-proofing)
  • Photoshoot on Saturday with four fantastic models - very hectic, but good fun.
  • Back home to normality with some wonderful memories, photos, and a burning desire to do it all again!

Really, having had a few days to think about it and remember how much fun it was, I so want to move down to London and be involved in those kind of events all of the time. It's hectic, high-pressure, but just such an enjoyable challenge (from a photographic point of view) and it's unbelievably amazing to meet so many fabulous people who are just so nice and interesting!

The night involved, apart from the drinking and socialising, several catwalk shows that allowed the models to show just why we need more diversity in the industry and how fantastic they can look. There was of course alot of photography on the night as well, I think I now have significantly more developed arm muscles (not something I wanted lol) having carried around my camera all night!

Just to be a little geeky for a second, the kit I had consisted of the following: 480EX II Flash (which is a little slow to cycle I discovered, I can see now why the pros spend alot more to get the 580EX, Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens (very heavy), Canon 5D Mk II camera. It all adds up to a fair amount of weight, mainly due to the large amount of glass in the lens (you need alot when it can go to f2.8), so not exactly something I could put in my purse. I hope the pictures I got make the effort worth it, you can see them on my website and I will upload full resolution versions to my deviantART page over the coming week - shrinking pictures and putting them on FaceBook etc doesn't really show them at their best.

As a final note I should just say a big thank you to Models Of Diversity for organising such a fantastic event and for all of the models, friends and guests that made for such an enjoyable and memorable evening. Thanks all xxx