The Web 2.0 Conference Cork

Tom Raftery welcomes everyone to the Web 2.0 Conference in the Radisson SAS Hotel in Little Island yesterday.
I’ll post a few more shots later tonight and update this post.
From left to right: Shel, Walter, Rob, Fergus (behind Rob), and Tom speaking.
Salim was seated to the right of Shel just outside this photo.
Tom has posted his own thoughts on the Conference and Conor has extensive coverage of each speaker, including a few nice words about me. Thanks!

Web 2.0 pre-conference dinner

A group of about 20 bloggers, techs, and generally smart and nice people gathered in Probys Bistro last night before the Web 2.0 Conference today.
Pictured, in no particular order, and only if I figured out, or know your blog:

Not pictured are Fergus Burns or Walter Higgins who were sitting on either side of me at dinner. They gave great talks too, Fergus concentrated on the Irish perspective of starting a company while Walter gave a more technical talk on the technology behind AJAX and Rich Internet Apps.
Bref, Conor and Sabrina – where are your blogs?

Thanks again to Damien Mulley for organising the dinner. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the participants and characters at conference in an informal setting.

Later.. here’s a pic of me at the dinner taken by Joe Drumgoole:

Sigma 10-20: going wide

I splashed out on Monday afternoon on a Sigma 10-20mm F4.0-5.6 EX DC HSM in O’Leary’s Camera World. Prices are good at around 499 Euro, comparing well with those I found at Pixmania and elsewhere online. Sigma are based in Bandon, Co. Cork and I guess that helps to keep distribution costs down.
First impressions? It’s wide! It’s also distorted but that’s to be expected. Chromatic aberration is kept to a minimum although I haven’t looked too closely for it. It produces nice crisp images and saturated colours!
While walking around town I found that 10mm is almost too wide. I can be almost on top of my subject before shooting which can be a little nerve wrecking considering the loud click of the 20D! I have captured some great street shots with it already, some of which I’ll post over the next few days.

I couldn’t find many reviews but a number of print magazines have reviewed it and given it glowing recommendations. This thread by Jamison Wexler points to a gallery of example images. This picture reminds me that it’s great for taking self portraits when you really don’t want to ask someone to take the photo!
Now, if only my Sigma 18-200mm was a real 18-200..

While on holiday in Lanzarote I found a shop that sold this lens for 389 Euro. The shop is Visanta and is listed as the main Sigma dealer in the Canarys. You can’t trust all the small electronic shops selling fakes, but Visanta are ok. There are dodgy looking guys hanging about outside the tourist traps but Visanta staff were very helpful and professional.
Unfortunately they didn’t have the lens in stock. Of course, if you buy over there, you should declare it when you get home. The islands are a duty free zone but you’re only allowed to bring home goods below a certain value without paying that duty AFAIR.

Scapa Flo, Blackpool Shopping Center

Scapa Flo played for free in aid of the Belarussian Orphanage Project. Pictured here are 3 of the band members.