California, San Francisco CA

California, a street in San Francisco near where we were staying last August.
This was taken after a great lunch in a nearby restaurant with some of the WordPress guys in a Burmese restaurant – Mark Jaquith, Markr (the support guy formally known as Podz), Andy and of course Matt. Excellent food and company.

I like this: Aaah! les galettes… – almost a painting. Great art.

Nice – in Couple Dancing, Cory Parris does a great job on a first dance shot.

A sunlit river

The sun blazes over Cork City and the River Lee on a fresh October afternoon.

This was taken on Patrick’s Bridge looking out over the River Lee on a wonderfully bright October day. This bridge was opened on December 12th 1861 by the then Mayor, Sir John Arnott. I read a story that the first vehicle across the bridge was a man driving a horse and cart who rushed in front of the Mayor and the crowd. Does anyone know more about this?

Is the Canon 30D noisier than the 20D?

Is it possible that the noise levels in the Canon 30D are worse than that of the ageing Canon 20D? According to this story it’s true! I find it hard to believe because the cameras are so similar – same sensor, same digital processor and more. I wonder how the 20D compares to the new Canon 400D?

Even if you don’t have any Canon equipment, the article takes a look at the RAW vs Jpeg debate too which might be less sensational but makes for a good read. (via)

Luminous Links

I wish Luminoous Landscape had an RSS feed. I’d subscribe to it in a flash. It doesn’t so I’m only now discovering some of these great articles –

  • Of cameras and art is the final in a series of four articles discussing the artistic merits of photography. A subject close to my heart.
  • Digital Focusing and part 2 look at problems with making ever bigger prints from small sensors and other digital issues.
  • Leica M8 review – this is the first digital Leica, a brand much loved by some photographers. I’ve never used a Leica so I don’t get what the fuss is about. This review promises to solve that. We’ll see!
  • Finally, the Canon Rebel XTi EOS 400D is reviewed. I excitedly mentioned this camera when it came out and my brother Donal bought one of these and I’ve played with it briefly. It’s impressively light, the screen is great, and the mirror flip-up is quieter than my Canon 20D. I can definitely recommend buying one if you’re looking for a DSLR!

Golden Gate Tower

One of the suspension towers of the Golden Gate Bridge looms over traffic on a beautiful August afternoon.

Driving across the bridge was wonderful because the bridge is such an iconic part of the San Francisco and it’s simply enormous! Maybe next time I’ll walk across it’s 1.7 mile length. If you’re interested in finding out more, the Wikipedia page is a mine of information!

PS. Congrats Mel, Sharon and Alex on the new member of your family!

Run Photoshop in Linux

It may be possible to get Photoshop to run in Linux but would you want to? As a research project in the interest of informing the dear readers of this blog I attempted the install.

  • First of all I had to search out an illegal copy of Photoshop because frankly I don’t have Photoshop and can’t afford it given the revenue I get from my photography. Bittorrent helpd here but, boy was it a pain. There’s a version of Photoshop floating around called “Portable Photoshop”. It’s a self contained install. Unfortunately I got hopelessly low download rates for the several torrents of this application I tried. Adobe, you have nothing to worry about!
  • While that was downloading I installed wine with a simple apt-get install wine. No surprises there. Apt did it’s job and installed everything properly.
  • Finally, the necessary bits downloaded and I unzipped it into a directory then ran wine Photoshop.exe.

How well does it run? After running Wine, up popped the Adobe loading screen and for what seemed like an age it looked for plugins and other assorted stuff. Finally, after a significant wait the Photoshop user interface appeared and I marvelled at how far Wine has gone since I last tried to run Half Life 2. First thing to do was load an image so I clicked File-Open, selected a file and clicked OK. Then, poof! An out of memory error popped up and Photoshop died!

After closing Firefox and Thunderbird I tried again. This time the image loaded but as soon as I tried any operation on it the same error popped up. After briefly searching for an answer and looking through the winerc, I didn’t bother trying a third time. Even if I didn’t have these memory problems I wouldn’t find myself using it. It doesn’t match the rest of the desktop. It’s dog-ugly actually. Windows apps usually are when they’re running in Wine. Bye bye Photoshop! It’s now deleted off my drive.

Linux users – Ubuntu, Debian, Gentoo, Slackware, Red Hat, whatever you use, just use the GIMP. It’s a great piece of software that’s simply different to Photoshop. That doesn’t make it necessarily worse. If you are really hankering after the Photoshop UI then go play with Gimpshop. You’ll feel right at home in no time and you’ll save the 833 Euro that Adobe charges for their cash-cow. Ouch! How can any non-professional afford that?

Oh, Sven is working on colour management for the GIMP to keep all you printing folk happy!

Another alternative, Krita has come a long way since I looked at it last. I installed it this morning using Edgy’s Apt repository and it looks good. From a photographer’s perspective it’s missing a few necessary tools, although a levels tool is in the works. It does have support for CMYK but I’ve never had a use for that and as Cyrille says, all home and business printers use RGB. Some high end printers use CMYK but your local lab will print from Jpeg files so don’t lose sleep over it! I must post a comparision between the GIMP and Krita when I’ve used it before.

Little Communion Girl

A girl dressed in a communion dress and veil walks with her mother through the crowds on St. Patrick’s Street Cork on Saturday. Dressed as she is, she looks almost lost but the crowd parted way for her and her parents.

I don’t know why she was dressed like that. First Communion ceremonies aren’t until next year. Is it a communion dress? Could she be a bridesmaid or flower girl at a wedding?

Two of my photos may be entered into the Irish Photographic Federation’s National Shield as part of the Mallow Camera Club entry. They need fairly large prints which is a bit of a problem but of they’re suitable I’ll link to them in a few days. The competition will be held in Portlaoise on the 12th of November so I’ll be eagerly waiting for the results! I’m not the only blogger entering. Jonathan Hill is entering too!

Currykippane Cemetery

It’s Halloween, that time of year that the souls of the dead rise up, goblins and monsters are abroad and witches fly about. I’ve already had my barm brack and even got the ring, but tonight is when kids go “trick or treating” looking for treats and avoiding tricks!

I made this image a few weeks ago early one morning in Currykippane Cemetery near Kerrypike. It was the first time I was in the area and I couldn’t resist shooting a few images. In the background is the beautiful Lee Valley. There are a few other nice vantage points up on those hills so I’ll have to go up there some other morning.

November is known as Samhain in Irish, but in Celtic tradition it’s also the end of the Summer and is accompanied by a festival. In modern times this is continued by the tradition of Halloween and All Souls’ Day. This and a lot more are covered on the Wikipedia page on Samhain.

It’s a spooky time of the year!

Hehe. What The Duck today is brilliant, although you may not get the joke in the last frame if you haven’t got a Canon DSLR. 😉

We had an interesting night – no kids called to the house but we went for a walk with Oscar down the road and bumped into several neighbours and spent almost an hour out in the cold talking to different people!