Life Xmas

O Xmas Tree

We had the Xmas tree delivered yesterday. Yeah, delivered. We don’t own a car, so we figured it would be just as easy to get one brought to our door as it would be to hire a car and go get one, making a mess of a ZipCar in the process.

To be honest, it’s worked out really rather well; whoever picked out our tree did a better job than we would have done.

We subscribe to the ‘throw baubles and tinsel at it until there’s only a bit of green left’ method of decorating Xmas trees. The only problem currently is that some of the chocolate I put on there keeps falling off.

We usually put some of the little Green & Blacks bars onto the tree – a tradition shamelessly stolen from my parents. As this is not really the intended use for this chocolate, I have to add some string to them to hang them on the tree. This, apparently, I did not do that well this year, as the string keeps coming off and the chocolates fall – but they’re not falling out of the bottom, so I guess the tree is eating them.

Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is I hope your Xmas is on track. Two weeks to go!

Apple Fail Technology

Facial Recognition

The software I use for dealing with my photography over at Creative Splurges is a nifty piece of software called Aperture. I chose it over Photoshop because it has an iPhoto-like library element to it meaning I can easily keep my photos in one place where I can find them easily, whilst still offering fantastic RAW processing and image adjustments (and I chose it over Lightroom because 1. Aperture came first, and 2. Aperture integrates with my old iPhoto library). But this isn’t really of interest here, this is talk for ‘Splurges.

One of the amazing features of the latest version of Aperture is facial recognition technology. It will scan your photo library and pick out all of the faces, and tell them apart. All you have to do is put a name to the faces, and then you can easily see every photo with that person in it. It does have a learning curve, so it will ask you “is this Steve?” or “is this Susan?” as it learns to differentiate between people.

Sometimes, however, the technology does get a bit confused. When I first tried it out in iPhoto, it presented us with an image that contained a screwdriver and said, “Who’s this?”. It also does tend to pick out faces such as ones in painting and on statues.

It also, from time to time, can pick out faces in other places:

Of course, that one is almost to be expected.

When you are viewing images which contain a particular person, Aperture will also present you with faces that it thinks are that person. Sometimes it’s flattering, sometimes it compares girls to old men, and sometimes it’s downright confusing – take, for instance, this selection of faces that it thinks are me:

The- er, wait, what?

Life Travel

Flash photography

No flash photography.

Only boring, mundane photography allowed.

Life London


As you may have heard, London is currently on fire a bit.

As it happens, the fire is just over the road from where I work, so I’ve been able to point my iPhone in the general direction and get some images. Apologies for the quality of some of them, the only vantage point unfortunately had wired glass.








Current reports are that the fire is now out although disruption is still ongoing.


Some Favourite Photos

photos(cross-posted from Creative Splurges – apologies if you’re the one person who reads both)

One other project that has kept me busy over the last week or so has been going through all of my photographs – yes, all 5,000 of them – to pick out my absolute favourites. 116 have made the original cut, some dating back to when I was taking photos with a shoddy little point-and-shoot camera that took manual zoom to its ultimate extreme – in order to zoom in, you actually had to move closer to the object you were trying to photograph.

I’m very proud of these photos, which represent not so much photos of memories, but photos which should need no explanation. There still is explanation, of course, because I like doing that bit.

The photos are all located at, or simply click the ‘photos’ button at the very top of this site. Eagle-eyed viewers might note a few sneak advance photographs of my honeymoon from last September, which haven’t actually been published anywhere else yet (nor have the wedding photos, for that matter, but they are coming soon, honest).

This selection is one I intend to add to if (it would be more optimistic to say when) I take any more that I think are good enough for the honour roll.

I would also love to know your thoughts on them. I’m needy like that.