I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images 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

Thursday 31 March 2016

FREERANGE. (31/03/16)

I was going to post this yesterday but decided to wait until Call me Dithery got back from his holiday.  I know he is busy today sorting out the death throws of the British steel industry but hope he has a couple of minutes to drool over these little beauties.
The pictures are not of the best but I will try and get some more when they are a bit older. I didn’t want to get too close as I was frightened she would get upset and either eat her babies or eat me.

I think these are wonderful. I’ll not be revealing their location as I want Call me Dave to try and govern for once. It is what he’s supposedly paid for and I wouldn’t want to be held responsible for distracting him or inflicting him on wonderful beasts.
This sow decided to farrow in the dead bracken at the side of the road. Not the safest place for inquisitive little pigs but it is a quiet lane.
She shares her field with half a dozen pigs, two flocks of sheep and several Alpacas. It is grand to see them all getting along together.
Now back to video editing. I hate doing the sound bit.

Wednesday 30 March 2016

KNOCK, KNOCK. (30/03/16)

It was another cool start to the day but it’s dry and sunny.
I stopped on our walk by the woodpecker’s tree but it has swapped trees. I found it again and got a few more snaps. This tree is slightly less twiiggy than the previous one and it made it easier to get pictures. With the lens opened right up the bits of branch aren’t too noticeable.
_MG_4050 The first sighting or partial appearance.

Not birder standard but I’m very pleased with them. I think this is a male Great Spotted Woodpecker.
I am helping sort out a seed drill and then I’m going to get stuck into another ploughing video. I have it rough cut and the title is done so just the sound to synchronise now and a final polish and it will be ready to send to YouTube.

Monday 28 March 2016

STILL NIKING. (28/03/16)

It’s not a bad day today. There was a frost last night but it is now middling warm.

A nasty murky shot that I wouldn’t normally take but I wanted to play a bit more._MG_4021
This one has been NIKed. I really like the control point business.
I would have to look through the history to be sure but I think there are around eight control points and the transition between them is almost seamless.
This one is developed with the Adjustment Brush in Adobe Camera RAW. It's like a Post script but stuck in the Post. I added it just after 1700h.
To my eye it did a better job but then I use the Adjustment Brush quite a lot so am better at it.
To finish off today an HDR Zetor.
It’s all good free fun.

Sunday 27 March 2016

PLAYING WITH NIK. (27/03/16)

As I mentioned yesterday the free NIK filters are installed and I’ve had a play. They are much as I remembered them but of course I didn’t recall the work flow. There are some sets which are very extreme, particularly the analogue lookalike ones but then I’m not a Lomo enthusiast and nor have I ever liked cross processing so I suppose I ought to have anticipated that.
Yesterday morning I had a trip to Perth to pick up some bucket teeth._MG_3979_HDRThe view from Finning's. This is okay, it’s pushed quite hard and though there is noise and the trace of a halo it will do. I should have used the noise reduction filter that comes with NIK but forgot it had one.
As you can see it was a bit damp. Again it is just starting to halo.
Not so subtle.
All these are HDR processed from three exposures.
Have a good week.

Saturday 26 March 2016

HAPPY EASTER. (26/03/16)

I haven't many photographs but it is not for want of trying.
Mark very kindly informed me that the NIK filters are now free from Google. I tried these years ago and was very impressed, the price was eye watering so I didn’t continue beyond the trial period. They can be downloaded HERE.  It is a pretty big file at around 450MB and the filters are not, as far as I know, stand alone so will have to be loaded into Adobe or editing software of some sort. They do work in Adobe Elements but not all of them do. What the Hell they are better than an Easter Egg and cheaper. I recall that getting them into Adobe’s filter directory was a bit of a problem but that is probably my incompetence rather than NIK’s or Adobe’s fault.
I’ll let you know how I get on. The weather has been beautiful this week though it is raining hard at the moment, here are a few snaps.
I have spent ages trying to get pictures of Woodpeckers and have managed a few. I have also seen one going in and out of a hole in a tree so perhaps they will nest there.
These are on the tree next door to the one with the hole in as I can’t see it when it enters the tree and apart from a feather or two have missed it coming and going. I’ll keep persevering. Have fun.
PS. NIK filters install themselves, I just clicked a few times and Bingo they dropped right into Photoshop quicksticks.
See, not sure what I did here but they work a treat and the computer didn't require swearing at. Just make sure you select the correct bit depth for your machine. That's obvious but I often forget but that's because I'm a bit dim.

Monday 21 March 2016

EGGUINOX. (21/03/16)

It’s been a beautiful weekend, a wonderful start to Spring.
Below is an illustration.


Have a good week.

Saturday 19 March 2016

AN ILLUSION. (19/03/16)

Today I am hoping to spend my time taking more ploughing video and try and get the sound synchronised a bit better. I did try the quad bike yesterday to facilitate following the plough but that doesn’t help it jumps around too much. Even if I drop from 1080 to 720 in post production I can’t stabilize it, there just isn’t enough spare room, a mercy as I really dislike stabilising video. It is also dangerous trying to steer a quad and look through the camera. Alf loves chasing quad bikes so at least he was happy.
Yesterday evening we set about burning some gorse off but it was still too wet and if it doesn’t dry in the next day or so then it will be too late as the birds will have started nest building._MG_3947
Gorse burning with a great deal of help from Photoshop. I do use the Adjustment Brush in many images but not usually quite as aggressively as this. As always a little more time spent would not have gone amiss.
What it really looked like, fire is always exciting but these were a bit lacking before I darkened them. Have fun, I will try not to fall off the quad or the tractor.

Friday 18 March 2016

COLOUR. (18/03/16)

I’ve not got very much to show as the weather has been cool and foggy. I’ve had a friend to stay so that brightened up dismal days and evenings.
I love the winter colours and as new growth is starting to show this will be the last of them for this year.
Now brace yourselves for a rare picture of me and Molly taken by Claire.
The old wrinkly.
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday 16 March 2016

ALBERT. (16/03/16)

Depending upon whether you can tolerate my wheezing this audio posting may become a regular Wednesday feature. I have several little rhymes and bits of poetry I've enjoyed over the years. I will practise and try and make my voice more interesting. If you don't like it I will stop as I have a workflow sorted in Audacity and will confine myself to voice overs on video. Not today though as we have to go and put a track back on an excavator and the technical words used in these operations would not be suitable for your ears. 

Monday 14 March 2016

SUMMER. (14/03/16)

It is drop dead gorgeous today, a 3mph breeze and a temperature of 16°C. Better than summer. I was out first thing and after giving the dogs a run we settled down to get a close up of the squirrels. I waited for fifteen minutes and then the mist arrived shortly followed by Cooper and Marley a pair of spaniels. Marley had a pine cone and Cooper a stick and it was bedlam. Any squirrel with an iota of survival instinct had decided that the canopy was the place to be. I gave up and wandered back for breakfast.
I have admired MARTY’s composites for a while and DALIANA’s for longer so decided after cleaning the van…….a bit. To have a go.
For some reason mine aren’t quite as appealing, I think one may have to be an artist to make them work. Never mind they are fun.
I am still absorbed in the intricacies of sound and have picked my material and will learn it and have it ready for Wednesday. It’s a good four minutes long so takes some remembering.
Have a good week.

Sunday 13 March 2016

A QUIET DAY. (13/06/16)

It is peaceful and quiet today, none of yesterdays drizzle and we had a good long walk this morning. The birds are singing and it has the feel of spring.
There are so many squirrels about that even I am managing a few shots but non are as sharp as I would like them to be.
Everywhere I look there are snowdrops.
Birds are singing, this is a Thrush.
Lichens, Old Man's Beard. This is starting to make me think of macro again.
Last night and early this morning I had another play with Audacity. I am pleased how clean this sound is but far less happy with my performance. Whatever, have a good week.

Saturday 12 March 2016

SOUND. (12/03/16)

This is a test post to see if sound works.

This has possibilities, SoundCloud is painless to use I am just sorry the same can't be said of my audio. I apologise for being boring but this winter I decided to attempt to get to grips with all the software I have. I feel I have had a few successes but more failures.
Enjoy your weekend.
PS. As some of you may know I switched to Windows 10 a couple of weeks ago and have had a few minor problems. Whilst editing the sound for this I couldn't get my earpieces, I don't have headphones, to work. I started messing and lost all sound. Turned out they weren't plugged in all the way but could I find the old Windows Control Panel, took me ages. I then thought it must be there somewhere obvious and it is, along with all the other gumph like My computer. Just right click on the start button and all is familiar. I have to watch my SSD drives as they are only 250GB each..I know but they were dirt cheap and the big ones were a fortune. I can find them under settings but it is a long roam around to get there.
I have to use earphones when editing birds tweeting as the ones outside the van also tweet and it muddles me up. Birds don't know the meaning of Shut Up.

Friday 11 March 2016

NOT SO EASY. (11/03/16)

 Today I have made a short video clip and slide show. DOUGLAS asked about the sound on the tractor video and it set me thinking that I'd never done much with sound apart from trim it, fade it and mix a track or two. As you will hear it is perhaps better I leave things much as they are. Audacity is another powerful bit of free software with one minor irritation. It accepts and saves sound in lots of codecs but not MP3 which is the one I guess 90% of folk use. There is a plug-in by Lame that works fine but you will have to install it. I ran this sound on about four stereo tracks with some of the voice over recorded on the computer microphone. It's rubbish the rest was recorded on the ZOOM H1, it isn't much better but the ZOOM is not to blame. 
I did have a dead cat for this or probably a dead kitten. It did cut wind noise dramatically whereas the foam ones do nothing much at all. I was given it and have mislaid it.
This video is a bit of a mess all round as I was playing around in Blender's VSE. It did what I wanted but it did it a bit too fast. You can pause the video should you want a look at the stills, it is full HD. After much messing I did manage to get a bit of middling bird tweeting. Next time I will put Low Cut to on as It must be easier than trying to do it in the equaliser. Birds don't tweet low frequencies......I hope.
Adobe do a sound editor but when I last looked it seemed much the same as Audacity.
Have a good weekend.

Wednesday 9 March 2016


I am starting to enjoy video but I'm still a long way from getting it right. I would have liked the shattered title to cast a shadow but failed. I would have been better pleased if I hadn't had to do it twice as it wasn't until I had it all popped together that I noticed the 'G' and the 'U' were the wrong way round. How the professionals edit so quickly is beyond me, they must be super people; I'll try wearing my pants outside my trousers. There is so much to remember. I record sound separately as it always seems to get out of sync but I have found that the VSE in Blender keeps it synchronised perfectly. The only problem being that if I get a nasty word during the sound recording I have to cut it and then find another bit of sound to put in.
I did see a great title on the Daily Politics Show. It has a Steam Punk theme and I am very impressed. The only problem is it would take me a hundred hours to do it or anything approaching it.
Here is the video, it's as good as I have managed but I'll keep trying.
Have fun.

Sunday 6 March 2016

PLOUGHING. (06/03/16)

The weather is still cold at night but drop dead gorgeous during the day. Yesterday I helped get the plough out. I was amazed that it had been greased up prior to being put away. No sitting in clouds of rust. Nothing required but a bit of hydraulic oil and a grease round.
I was then reminded that a backhoe that had come back into the yard needed some hydraulic oil and the planetry reduction gearbox oils checking. It had an oil change about forty hours ago but the oil came out like sludge. I dragged it with a magnet then and all seemed fine, it sounded fine but better safe than an expensive rebuild.This is not a simple singleton job as there are three holes in the front of the gearboxes. Fill, level and empty. The empty one has to be at the bottom (JCB are smart, they make it the big one.) but you can’t tell from the cab so I spent ages getting it lined up in the Hi-Lux door mirror. Just got sorted when Andrew returned to do the forward a bit, stop, back a bit, stop, forward a bit, fucking hell, go slower, routine. They spin fast do rubber tracks when you have the machine propped up on it’s bucket. Whoops. I meant supported by certified rigid stands placed carefully under the ‘Lift Here’ marks. Safety gone mad. It’s a digger not a Jumbo Jet. I love machines and diggers are as precise in their build as a Formula 1 car. The tolerances spool valves are machined to are unmeasurable, like ball or roller bearings and many gears, they are checked by comparison not by physical measurement. It’s why we bodgers are so careful and make sure to spray benches and the floor with water to avoid dust getting in these beautifully machined components other folk have made for us when we tamper with them. We know things. We aren’t teachers we are doers.
There is something really satisfying about ploughing. I’m crap at it. I’ve been banned. That’s sad but I’ll no doubt be dragged in for a bit of rotavating or rolling. a pound to a penny that won’t be up to standard either. Andrew says you have to watch the last cutter blade and steer the tractor to that. Smart arse he is.
It’s like being in school. At school I found most teachers so boring they made watching rain on the classroom window exciting. I understand that after the war education was thought important, we did not want the fascists and the royal family and their ilk being in charge.  We had mechanics institutes and in such a miner at Eyam mechanics taught me to use a theodolite. Brilliant but then the ruling classes made teaching a profession. That worked fine. No it didn’t, Teachers were targeted as so conservative a class that for the most part they have never had the bottle to shift from pupil to teacher, it was a gradual metatamorphis for them. Chalk monitor, milk monitor, prefect, Boss. Just like society organised but smaller not their fault just how they are made.
  Claire was a teacher but through dint of hard work and disillusion re-trained as a camera lady. She brung me a big Sony camera and a box to pop what I pointed it at in. They are called NG….summats. Lovely bit of kit, te camera. Claire is middling. This oneisned to shoot 4K from the shoulder but does not have IS on it. Claire did bring one with EF mounts. Lovely girl. Here is a still of Buzzards over the ploughed field. Just buzzards really. No field. It is a big lump of kit but I have persevered all day and learnt a fair bit. Always point away from the light you Muppet. I learn after a slap.
I know it’s not birder standard but it is a Buzzard.

See another. There are lots of them round here and \i could zoom these in but there is nothing worse than a pixalated image

Friday 4 March 2016

WILDLIFE. (04/03/16)

After a very wild night dawn arrived with a weak sun and a gentle breeze. I took a long lens out as I thought I'd get a picture of a squirrel. I did but it isn’t a very good image. I was a little disappointed as there must be dozens of them around or a couple of very hungry ones. Everywhere I walk there are chewed pine cones._MG_3870
Eventually I got close enough to snap a squirrel.
I even managed to find a couple of deer.
Last night I could hear the big cat calling. I have caught glimpses of it and it looks like a Puma. I went out with the torch and saw it’s eyes and then it disappeared. I now have the Wildcamera set up and will see if that gets any pictures.
Have a good weekend.

Thursday 3 March 2016

PAINLESS. (03/03/16)

I now have Windows 10 and I don’t think I did anything. I came back in from our walk and there it was and a nice message from Microsoft saying that they had left all my files where they were. I cannot dispute this as I never know where I’ve put stuff. I can  now ask Cortina or someone. Perhaps he/she will know where things are. I hope so.
It all seems fine and I’ll have a wander around and see what all the fuss is about. I expect things to feel a bit strange at first and Windows 7 was excellent I had no complaints at all. Let us hope 10 is as good and not an XP or Vista experience.
Now to see how much faster it is………..It’s play time.

Wednesday 2 March 2016

INSPIRATION. (02/03/16)

I am lacking inspiration. I have an idea to incorporate some real video footage with some 3D scenes and have got as far as camera tracking the video and then introducing the saved data into the virtual Blender camera. I’ll try and think of an interesting story line. Suggestions are not only welcome but canvassed. It’s been a good winter I can half use compositors, posh video editors, exploit alpha channels and model a bit.
This week I decided to upgrade to Windows 10 but when I tried to clone my ‘C’ drive it said that my external drive was not formatted NTFS. It says it is so I’m stuck. I gave it a slap and told both it and the computer.
“ One of you is lying, so own up now or I will have to punish you both.”
This is the first problem I have had with Transcend drives. They have been everything I have needed and I even managed to partition one to store pictures on. I remember Mark explaining why the drives call themselves different letters but if I partition a ‘K’ drive I don’t expect it to be called drive ‘R’. It is really handy for timelapse to have a drive that can handle data transfer quickly via USB3. I don’t want to install a new operating system without having the old one to fall back on. It all became academic as Microsoft never gave me the download for Windows 10. It just stuck on Starting Download. I’ll have a think about the job. I would prefer a clean install if possible. I just wish I knew what I was doing. A few years ago I did pop a couple of SSD drives and a new GPU into the dieing laptop previous to this one but I can’t recall how I managed the job. It did involve many naughty words and I would like to try and avoid a repetition of them as it upsets the dogs.
I have been trying to ignore our useless politicians and their advice on which way to vote in the coming referendum. I am voting for out as I really dislike politicians and being a member of the EU just means we are paying for more of the useless buggers. Plus financing the high life for bureaucrats who seem incapable of filing accounts. It would be a cause célèbre in any other walk of life. Folk seem to accept politicians are crooks and don't demand they are punished like they would be for far lesser crimes. Perjury is an offence here and that is the least of their misdemeanours.
This morning dawned bright and sunny, we had a sprinkle of snow, it was cold and crisp. A beautiful morning for a wander. It looks as if we are going to have a nest of Buzzard chicks this year as yesterday there were a pair swooping about but by the time I got the camera set up for some video they had swooped off. I’ll never make a birder so don’t know why I bother. Last year I could hear the chicks calling for food but they shut up when I got close and I never identified the nest. I expected to find lots of bird muck and bits of bone under it but despite hours of searching never did.
Almost home and the dogs saying hurry up it’s breakfast time not snapping pictures time.