Monday, 20 April 2009

I'm Loving these Fractals :)

Another fractal but this time all my own work. Admittedly following the tutorial guidelines but I'm learning more as each day passes. It's probably just as well that I'm not working at the moment - I think I'd be champing at the bit to get home to carry on fractalling (!!)

Friday, 17 April 2009

Another Type of Fractal

I've been trying out some tutorials for Apophysis and this one by Claire Jones on DeviantArt is not only a superbly written and well documented tutorial - it produces the most amazing fractals I've seen yet!

How about this for a first attempt? Apart from the colour scheme, it's exactly per the tutorial but if you'd seen some of my results from other tutorials, you'd understand why I'm showing off this one! LOL

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Woo Hoo 1st Fractal Accepted

I submitted some of my fractals to Shutterstock in the hope of them being saleable - turns out one of them was :) Given that the current job market is so rubbish, I'm hoping that I can up my output on microstock to compensate a little so although I've still got a lot to learn about fractals, it's nice to know that even at this early stage, some will be acceptable.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

I can feel a new addiction coming on!

Exploring forums and blogs as I do, I came across mention of a fractal program called Apophysis so I went and downloaded it (it's freeware, yay!). I had a fractal program on my very first computer, many years ago now - an Amiga 1200 and had hours of fun, creating weird & wonderful Mandelbrot designs. I even turned one or two into cross stitch pictures (very simplified of course). So I just couldn't resist having a look at the new (to me) program. Oh wow! I never realised how many different types of fractals there are or how beautiful they could be.

Here are a few of my very first attempts :)

So if you don't hear from me for a while, you'll know why! :)

Thursday, 9 April 2009

HandM@de Craft fair - Cambridge

Had a lovely day and the sun came out too :) Lots of chatting to lots of lovely Etsy peeps, quick wander round the normal Saturday market then back to the fair to man the team stall. I also had a quick dash round taking some photos so here they are. Click the photo to go to their online shops - lovely ladies all :)

Friday, 3 April 2009

Handm@de Craft fair - Cambridge, UK - tomorrow

Four of the lovely ladies that I've met through Etsy have organised a craft fair in Cambridge and it's all happening tomorrow. I bottled out of having my own table but the Etsy UK Street Team is having a team stall so I'm popping along to give support and man the stall for a little while. Judging by some of the posts on Twitter and Flickr, there is a fair amount of last minute panicking going on which is one thing I'm not missing after all the stress I gave myself for my initial venture into the world of craft fairs! LOL

I'm just going to enjoy myself - talking, eating and taking sneaky candid shots of all the lovely stalls and stallholders. The doors open at 11am at The Guildhall in central Cambridge, postcode is CB2 3QJ if you want to google map it. If you'd like a preview of some of the sellers, have a peek at their blog here.

Friday, 13 March 2009

More Squirrel Action!

This little fella made me jump out of my skin today! I'd just entered the park and stopped by a litter bin to scan the area for squirrels (it's very close to the duck pond) when he popped out of the bin. I wasn't quite quick enough to get a shot of him half in/half out of the bin but I crouched down and talked to him a little and he came almost within arms' reach before dashing off to the picnic table.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Another lunch break in the park

Such a lovely early Spring day today so out came the pocket camera and off to the park I went :) I spotted some early blossoms so it was time to try out the macro and super macro modes (always my first love) and I have to say, considering they are handheld and there was a hint of breeze, I'm actually quite pleased with these two.
I also spotted these willow shoots dangling in the river - I can't tell where the tree meets the reflection and I was there - love this in an abstract way!
And, of course, the cheeky squirrels were out in full force! I think I saw about 6 at various points along the path and another 3 or 4 down by the duck pond where some small children were feeding the ducks. They are mighty brave these little fellas but oh so cute too.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Grey Day, Camera at Play :)

So today was one of those grey days where you don't go out without a raincoat or an umbrella but even so, it was quite bright so out came my new little pocket camera and off to the weir I went.

Although the weir was running pretty fast, the river itself was almost mirror-like - reflecting the dark grey clouds looming over us.

I flipped this one over but I think it's quite difficult to tell that it is 100% reflection!

So how many people do you think are standing at the rail? Actually, it was just me. Used the colourise function in photoshop to give it a hint of blue tone - I was getting fed up with all the grey.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

My Latest Addiction!

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a news snippet talking about a new website being launched. I noted it down to have a look-see as it is the sort of thing I am curious about and I thought my nephew might like it too. Last Sunday, I finally got around to having a look and was instantly hooked! What is this amazing website, I hear you thinking. It's called GalaxyZoo2 and it's basically an online database of thousands of images of the galaxies out there in our night skies. They are asking for people to help them classify the galaxies as it seems the human eye is a better judge of the subtleties than a computer program.
Here are a couple of beauties I've been asked about this week.
Yes, there are a lot of images of blobs but believe it or not, even they need to be classified because as technology improves, it may be possible to get a closer look at them. The site is huge but interesting. The sign up form has a tick box to say you are over 5 years old (!!) so pretty much anyone can have a go. There was one young man on the newbies forum this week who 'found' this one - how exciting would that be?

Apparently it's a planetary nebula called PN G164.8+31.1 - rather boring name for such a wonderful thing. Anyhoo - go have a look and take your kids with you - it's interesting, educational and pretty much child-safe from what I've seen. Click on the pictures to take you to their info pages - you can zoom in and out and have a look around if you'd like :) Have fun!

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Spring is coming!

I can tell! The trees are beginning to bud, the daffodils are getting going and my mood is lifting. Over the last couple of winters, I have really noticed myself 'switching off' during November-February. Last year I spent the best part of 3 months playing an online game called Toontown rather than do anything with my photography, my online shops or even my stock portfolios. This year, it's been The Dog Whisperer on TV and stupid games on Facebook but we've had 3 days of sun this week and already I'm beginning to feel more awake. Hopefully the longer days and warming temperatures will wake me up a bit more so I can get on with doing stuff.

In the meantime, here's a couple of little cheeky guys who cheer up my lunchbreaks - captured on my new little point & shoot camera which is small enough to keep in my handbag or pocket at all times.
Being a 10mp camera means that not only are the file sizes huge in comparison to my older cameras but I can also crop very hard and still have a good size shot. It only has a 3x zoom so although I was only a few feet away from the squirrels, they were still quite small in the image so 1 hard crop later and it looks like I was much closer :)
Having said that, these little critters are so tame (or brave perhaps) that I'm pretty sure with a bit of patience and some tempting food, I could probably get them to eat out of my hand. That's a project for some warmer, drier days though when I don't have to dash back to the office.