Watching you watching me

Surveillance

So it’s not really a novel observation that there are security cameras everywhere in England. But really, having great big honking cameras everywhere drags the tone of the place down a bit. Reminds you that the gritty side of the country is never very far away. I’m not sure whether I’d prefer them if they were better hidden: it would be less of an eye-sore, but somehow even more Orwellian.

I’m tempted to go and make a series of photographs of CCTV cameras around London, but I suspect it would be pretty boring to look at.

In other news, it’s cold and wet, and only to get colder and wetter. I hope everybody back home is enjoying spring!

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Perth to Yurt photo book has arrived

Perth to Yurt has arrived!

The first copy of our Mongol Rally photo book arrived yesterday, hot off the blurb.com printing press. I was a bit nervous about how it would turn out, considering that I’d never designed a photo book before, and never seen a book printed by Blurb before so didn’t really know what to expect. But I’m pretty happy with the result.

If I was doing it again, I’d allow a bit more room in the inner page margins – you can’t open a book completely flat and the margin guides in Blurb’s templates are a bit too minimal. The pictures were nowhere near as detailed as you’d get from a similar sized photo print, but that’s to be expected from a book. Colour reproduction was decent. I opted for the “premium matte” paper, which feels quite nice – probably about the minimum I’d want for a photo book.

After correcting a few typos, we should be ready to order a larger batch for friends and family.

[cross-posted from perthtoyurt.com]

Scenes From the Cold North(ern Hemisphere)

FYI: the Mongol Rally photobook is now finished, and the PDF is up on Perth to Yurt blog.

A wise man once said that the internet was a series of tubes. This may be true, but what is more true is that London is a series of tubes. Sometimes the tubes get clogged and you end up crammed into a train with nowhere near enough room to swing a cat. Other times, it’s a bit more civilised. But for all its problems, this is still a pretty good way to get around the city.

This past week I’ve been making an attempt to learn to “see” in black and white. Mostly my experience has been that the photos I take look pretty disappointing when converted to B&W after the fact, and the few rolls of B&W film that I’ve shot have also been, well, rubbish. But one nice thing about digital cameras is that you can set the LCD screen (or electronic viewfinder) to display in B&W, which at least lets you find out quickly whether the shot you visualised will work without colour or not. I’m hoping that making a concerted effort to take colourless pictures for a month or two will mean that I’ll start to be able to visualise the world in black and white without having to look at the camera screen. [Inspired somewhat by the recent articles on TOP about digital black and white.]

On Saturday I went to check out the Tate Modern. On the way back home, I wandered past this cafe. From the name, I think it would belong better in Amsterdam.

On Sunday I wandered around Regent’s Park with my flatmate Kent and his friend Suzanne. We went paddle boating on the lake, terrorising the local wildlife. Lots of photo opportunities there, too.

Perth to Yurt

Things have been a bit quiet here lately because I’ve been finishing off the photo book for our Mongol Rally adventure, Perth to Yurt. It’s almost done now – 120 pages of it, including lots of photos, all of the text from the blog and a few extras. All that’s left to do is the page layout for the photos from the last few days in Mongolia and final proof-reading. It may or may not end being available in PDF form on the web. There definitely will be a bunch of copies printed as a hard-back book (via blurb.com) for friends and family.

I’ve also taken a bunch of photos in the past week but haven’t got around to downloading them from the camera and having a look at them yet, so there should be a few photo posts once the book is out of the way.

Rambling Man

This weekend I went bushwalking – or, as they call it in this country, rambling – in a nearby part of Kent. Against all expectations, it didn’t rain and wasn’t as bitingly cold as I was worried it might be. And, of course, the English countryside is beautiful this time of year.

As I was going along, I noticed that there was a certain theme to a lot of the photos I was taking: specifically, pointing the camera either directly down or directly up.

When I got back to the computer and had a chance to sort through the photos, it turned out that there were quite a few other “themed” selections, too.

And a few more pictures, non-themed: