Spathotron.com: it’s the new Spatho.com

Spatho.com?  That’s soooooo last year.

Well actually it’s so last month. My previous host didn’t renew my www.spatho.com domain, and it lapsed. He hasn’t been responding to emails, which is why Spatho.com went down.

Needless to say, I have changed to a more reliable (albeit more expensive) host, and bring you this shiny new domain.

Shiny new domain… same old rubbish
Yeah, well. This place will still look like Spatho.com for a bit; I haven’t even changed the headers yet. Who knows, maybe one day it’ll be reborn and become a place where those who are young, fit and hoopy come to escape.

Or maybe it’ll just be somewhere I post some photos and occasionally mention something else I find interesting. Ho-hum.

Assorted news, moans and observations

Here are a few things I’ve been thinking about recently.

Geek stuff
I have passed my final exams :) I am now a qualified ACA: this is a good thing.

This is me
I posted about XKCD once before. Like the comic strip I pulled out then, I feel I can relate to the one from Monday this week: Tones.

Geek stuff again
Over the past couple of weeks I have been playing Super Mario Galaxy again. Having completed it several months ago playing as Mario, I repeated what was basically the exact same (and still damn fine) game, but this time controlling his slightly taller, thinner brother, as is the option available to those who have obtained all 120 stars. Let me just say this: Luigi is a git. He may run slightly faster, jump slightly higher and have a more awesome vacuum cleaner than his more famous elder brother, but he ain’t half got a traction problem: I lost count of the number of times I fell from a platform having slipped around backwards and forwards and teetered on the edge, failing to stop in time. You don’t get that with Mario. It was a joy to control the Red One again, albeit briefly, right at the end of the game.

And another thing
When will people learn to use their headlights properly? I’m talking about those driving conditions when it’s wet, or just on the turning point between light and dark. Particularly during rain, the number of drivers without any lights on at all astonishes me: some, I would be prepared to concede have simply not realised their omission, having let the rain slip in unnoticed; but there are too many no-lights drivers for that. A fair number must believe they don’t need to switch their lights on, the fools. Worse still are the sidelight drivers, those who seem to think that sidelights are appropriate for driving with. I say: either use headlights or no lights at all. So there.

Photo-a-Day Round Up: Which were your favourites?

[Past Posts: Photo-a-Day 2008; Week 1; Week 2; Week 3; Week 4]

Photo-a-Day 2008 Mosaic

Having completed this year’s challenge, I have a varied selection of photos; some of which I’m pretty pleased with. But I’d like to know what other people think.

So if you’ve got a few minutes, please take a look through my Photo-a-Day July 2008 set and tell me which you think are best by posting a comment here. Also, have I done better than last year?

See past the break for my favourites…
Continue reading ‘Photo-a-Day Round Up: Which were your favourites?’

Photo-a-Day: Week 4

[Past Posts: Photo-a-Day 2008; Week 1; Week 2; Week 3]

Well I’m a bit late in posting this, but here’s a round-up of my photos from the last ten days of this year’s challenge.

Still in exam mode on 22 July, I had to grab a quick shot in the house. I had been using these sweets as part revision sustenance, part nostalgia trip (fondly remembering the old adverts with grandpa and grandson). The following day, with the final exam over, I was out celebrating with my friends and used my phone camera to photograph the Mojito ingredients before I’d drunk too many to hold a camera steady…

July 22nd 2008 - Golden Treasure    July 23rd 2008 - Mojito!

Photo number 24 was taken in Jess’ garden, enjoying my new-found freedom. I rather like these silhouettes against the blue sky.

July 24th 2008

The following day I went to meet my brother in London. Jess joined us in Green Park, and here are her feet next to mine. A very simple picture, but one of my favourites so far.

July 25th 2008 - Feet

Read on for days 26-31, the exciting conclusion to 2008’s project…
Continue reading ‘Photo-a-Day: Week 4′

‘Jerk-ass’

I just received an email telling me someone has commented on the one video I’ve ever posted to YouTube (being the conclusive cake-cutting in the Scissors vs Pizza Wheel experiments).

This guy calls me a ‘jerk-ass’ for not using a knife. I think he’s missed the point.

Plus, what stupid insult. The jerk-ass.

[See here for the video in question.]

Photo-a-Day: Week 3

[Past Posts: Photo-a-Day 2008; Week 1; Week 2]

This past week I have been struggling a bit for inspiration. On 15 July I had a go at another reversed-lens macro shot, which allowed me to get the following shot of my monitor, showing individual pixels. The front lens (I was using two, with the frontmost one being held reversed ahead of the main one attached to the camera) was just a few millimetres from the screen, and what you see below has not been cropped. Larger versions come with a health warning: may cause fuzziness.

July 15th 2008 - 15

Following this I tried an arty arrangement of my iPod Shuffle:

July 16th 2008 - Shuffle

July 17th and 18th both saw me play with light; first shining from the front onto my watch, and then from behind through some beer bottles. Of the two, I am happier with the Light Beer shot (complete with snappy name) - especially given that I’d forgotten to change the date on my watch since the beginning of the month, something that could be a bit of a give-away in a date-specific project like this!

July 17th 2008 - Out of Date    July 18th 2008 - Light Beer

Read on for days 19-21, including my first go at a self-portrait…
Continue reading ‘Photo-a-Day: Week 3′

Photo-a-Day: Week 2

[Past Posts: Photo-a-Day 2008; Week 1]

Nearly half-way through now! It’s getting difficult to think of new ideas, but I’ve had some results I’ve been pleased with this week. Here’s a run-down of photos from the second week:

I think this one, from 7 July, is my favourite so far. Lego + Star Wars = Double-Cool :D
July 7th 2008 - Lego Wars

On the 8th, several other DVDF members also taking part in this challenge had taken photographs of their guitars. Picking up this theme, I decided to use my Guitar Hero controller and took this. I like the colours, and I think the vignetting (added in post-processing) works well.

July 8th 2008 - Colours

I’ve not taken many photos of people, but it’s something I’d like to get better at. I had my lovely girlfriend staying with me so I chose a portrait to be my photo for day 9. I’m quite pleased with the result:

July 9th 2008 - Jessica

Read on for days 10-14…
Continue reading ‘Photo-a-Day: Week 2′

Photo-a-Day: Week 1

Well, I’ve made it to the first weekend. Following on from my last post, I took a couple of photographs indoors for days 2 and 3; first a slightly lazy shot of my laptop and then a more interesting arrangement of video game controllers:

July 2nd 2008 - Red Button    July 3rd 2008 - Game Controllers

Also on the 3rd, I was leaving college in the afternoon and saw this fantastic reflection in the Hyatt, which I had used as the subject for day one. I was a little miffed at not having had such a good reflection to use for my previous shot, especially given the contrast to the dark, moody sky, but I didn’t have my camera on me anyway:

Hyatt Birmingham

On day 4 I took this shot from the canal, facing towards The Mailbox:

July 4th 2008 - Canal, Bath Row

At the weekend, I thought I’d try some different things. So on Saturday I went out and bought a couple of bags of Skittles and spent half an hour dropping them onto a table. I had the camera on a tripod, remote release in one hand and a bowl of Skittles to tip onto the table in the other; and roped in my housemate to hold a lamp providing light from the front. This was the result:

July 5th 2008 - Cascading Skittles

Continuing the different techniques theme, today I had a go at using a reversed lens to create a macro setup. See the description below the photo on flickr (which you can find by clicking on the picture below) for more details on the setup I used.

July 6th 2008 - Reversed Lens Macro

Photo-a-Day for July 2008

July 1st 2008 - Hanging OutHere we go again: it’s time to dust off the camera and take one photo a day for a whole month. There’ll be some panicked moments when inspiration is running low and I can’t find a decent shot, but I hope to end up with some interesting results and aim to up the standard from last year’s project, which produced several photos I was really pleased with.

As before, this is part of a DVD Forums project; for more information refer to this thread. This is also where everyone will be posting their photos as the month goes on - it’ll be well worth the look as there are 30+ people signed up and there are sure to be some stellar results.

My photos will be appearing in this flickr set, and I shall also be discussing them here on Spatho.com every week or so.

Today’s effort (inset, above) was snapped as I walked to college at 8.30 this morning; I saw these window cleaners on the side of the Hyatt hotel on Broad Street - rather them than me!

Finally, for those who missed my photos from last year’s Photo-a-Day for July, you can find them here. They make up the rather lovely mosaic shown below.

Photo-a-Day 2007 Mosaic

Purity

PurityI subscribe to the xkcd comic strip* on RSS and it can be pretty amusing on occasion. Well, amusing for a maths/science/computer geek like me…

Anyway, I enjoyed today’s comic very much. I’ve been saying this all along.

*(it’s the only comic amongst a bunch of intelligent, cultured and generally highbrow media feeding into my Google Reader account, natch)