Category Archives: Photos

Doodle bugging PC World Guildford + Woking…

So Dooble bombing hasn’t been working for me as a name for a while, I’ve just been stumped for what I should call the process… (the process being me turning up at a shop and drawing on each screen that allows me to do so for ten minutes each piece, more often than not either of my two local PC Worlds where everyone’s always been very pleasant and polite and chatty).

Doodle bombing was a reference to Photo bombing – something which doesn’t have a negative connotation bar the playfulness and slight hi-jackery that it relies on. But the b word never really sat happily with me so it’s been on my mind to change away.

Thomas on Facebook suggested Doodle Bugging which, again, has a negative but less so? Am Hmmm at the moment but, I really hope, I might well be in a screen print room on Weds and I so much want to try that and aim to do a Doodle bug as the thing I do.

All of which leads me to… A couple of new Doodle bugs 🙂 Hope you like. As always click on the pic for a larger version.

The desktops are a lot of fun to draw on and the HP above is especially fab as it’s a 20″ tablet as well as a desktop machine. If I weren’t so nervous about setting off all of the alarms I’d more it around to a more comfortable angle but it’s one of the few machines I’ve returned to over and over when in the shop.

I:heart:ko, dragon skin and detailed notes.

Where to start?

I like technology (you may have noticed). I like using tech creatively and, every so often, not for the purpose it was intended.

I also like listening to podcasts, more often than not about technology, and some names make me happy to see on the list of show contributors. High up on the list, probably higher than anyone, is Andy Ihnatko, who has a melodious voice and a collection of stories that never seem to end but only in the best way. He has an easy and generous laugh and fequently seems to bring a healthy dose of joy to whatever subject he talks about. Which is all very good.

Today, for a change, I was photographing a (sadly) slain dragon using my iPhone 5S and Olloclip while listening to the Ihnatko Almanac podcast. Listening to Andy talk about cameras and tech and Ansel Adams and all sorts meant that, for a very lovely 20 minutes before work, all was right in the world. Except for the dragon, who had been slain.

Since you may not believe me about the dragon here are some pictures of its skin. I also had a marvelous morning teaching… Some days things just click and the students and I move forwards in a hugely exciting way. I really can’t wait to see the outcomes of this final project.

Following this I rounded the day off with the use of my trusty Adonit Jot Script to make detailed to-do notes in Penultimate app, while listening to Lady Gaga.

(penultimate app on iPad 3).

All in all, just your average Tuesday really… Barely worth the bloggage I suspect some would say.

(OK, ok. I confess. The pictures may have been macro shots of the sap from a fallen tree during the recent storms. But that’s only may. They MAY have been from a slain dragon and that’s the story I’m sticking to. They definitely are not from any sort of revolting food which has been suggested to me as an alternative. I may have, in the past, been known for taking photos of grill pans etc but in this case the truth is either sap from a tree or a slain dragon. Take your pick).

A bit of blather on mobile digital photography.

I’ve just swapped from a Samsung Galaxy S4 to an iPhone 5S and for one reason only. The camera.

(The Devils Giraffe, iPhone 4S + Autostitch. Blogged about here:

To be fair the GS4 is a great phone. The screen is very good, I appreciate the larger viewing size too, I loved the flip cover allowing me to see the time and certain information without accessing the main features of the device and so on. It rarely stuttered at the pictures I was drawing, even with Photoshop Touch which at times (hallo large size – semi transparent brush) is known to stop and think.

But the camera. No. Just no. Didn’t work for me. Slow, cumbersome, occasionally great shots but far more frequent missed or blurry ones. I was heartened at one point to find an app I love to bits – Autostitch – on Android and they saddened to see how clumsy it was in comparison to the Apple phones camera and ecosystem. Honestly – I’m not a fanboy for any company… My favourite tablet at the moment is a Surface Pro or a Tesco Hudl and my favourite phone would be a Samsung GS4 with an S Pen running something closer to iOS or Metro.

That said when Apple get it right – oh boy they do. The industrial design (can Sir Jony really only be knighted once?) is second to none (although again, the Surface is a very well designed tablet and arguably iOS 7 owes a good few nods to Metro) and the iOS app store ecosystem remains a league ahead.

Now I’m back on iOS devices I waddled through the mud to get to a place I’m fond of photographing: an electricity pylon slap bang in a field. That said anything geometrically repetitive makes me want to whip out the panorama apps (see the Eiffel Tower at the beginning of the blog post) but the pylon, so far, has been good to me*.

Last year I photographed it on iPhone 4S:and yesterday I photographed it on iPhone 5S:The clarity and definition on the 5S is obviously exactly what I was hoping to see. The lack of colour is down to Global Weirding rather than the lens. I look forward to popping back and snapping away when it’s sunny.

Like a complete nitwit (I left the house in a bit of a hurry to get photographing) I forgot my Ollocip but this was Olloclip on 4S and I’ll post a comparison pic when able later:(update: Olloclip pic taken with 5S:I also photographed the pylon using Boinx’ lovely You Gotta See This app…


5S:Less of a noticeable difference, if any, but I suspect that the app drops the resolution down to a set amount in order to capture the pictures it does. I’d love to see an update to it to take into account the faster processing speed and better lens though.

*Obviously I’m cautious around electricity and metal and so on, and I certainly don’t advise anyone to do this. Generally I let people know where I’m going to be or go with a friend. Apart from standing near to the pylon I don’t do anything that silly or dangerous and hope that nobody sees this as something to copy in anything other than sensible ways, if at all.

Google Glass.

As a screen painter I’ve been interested in, but not to the extent of chasing relentlessly, Google Glass.Fairly obviously the screen, well, the upper right hand prism, isn’t something I could put a Nomad brush or Jot Script stylus to, hence the lack of trying to jump on any chance to try. But the idea and concept of wearable computers is enticing and, lets be honest, pretty inevitable. The history of computers is always that they have become smaller and closer to us. Eventually they’ll be inside us I dare say but between tablets and phones and nanobots comes wearable tech.

At BETT I was lucky enough to have a demo of Google Glass. I’m interested in it from a sideways angle: I want to draw a picture on a tablet or Interactive Whiteboard and see it from the point of view of me drawing it (but not at the time of me drawing it). I love seeing process animations of my pictures come to be, especially if the animation is from the point of view of the screen (with no me spoiling the shot).

I’d hoped with Glass that I could record, and forget I was recording, an image being drawn. The problem was that I was only able to draw on a tablet and my eyes and head moved in such small/subtle directions that the Glass only picked up a picture being drawn with no hint of where I’d been looking or how I’d been moving.

I’d very much love to have a go on Glass while drawing on an IWB in the future though, that presumably would show me more of how I move when I’m drawing but, I’ve no idea when such a lucky collision of tech will occur. One day I hope.

And the picture above? Well, wifey, who’s not even remotely interested in tech (but does fab craft stuff instead) assumed that this was what Google Glass looked like. I showed her a picture of me wearing Glass and, to be honest, that’s as much an airing as that pics going to get.

Camera Comparison. Sort of…

Through a process of slowness and inertia I found myself swapping from an iPhone 4S to a Samsung Galaxy S4 over Christmas.

For the most part it’s a very nice phone but, to be honest, a Samsung phone without an S Pen feels a little lacking to me. Also the Android app store, while full to bursting, doesn’t really have many of the apps I want (trying to find a podcast catcher app as good as Downcast is proving particularly painful).

So over Christmas I picked up a Nokia  Lumia 520, primarily to play with Fresh Paint.

But I’ve also been interested to see the camera comparison between the two (and an iPhone 3GS which I’m using now, see above Downcast rationale).

First up the Lumia, then the Samsung, then the iPhone 3GS:

Not really much to say, over and above that I still miss the 4S’ camera but that’s mainly for Autostitch and the ease of image to app and out again.


Daughter was in a panto as the White Rabbit over the past week following months of increasingly hectic and busy rehearsals.

She was a truly amazing thing, lighting up the stage but also managing to become invisible when needed so she could pop up for the ‘she’s behind you’ moments. Half of the time she needed to be stage left, stage right, then into the audience and then back on stage showing a marvellous talent for stretchiness.

Fantastic indeed.


Lovely, busy, creative, walky, talky day.

Back to work was as much fun as I thought it might be… So it was very lovely to have a meet up with some friends to eat, chat and go over which might be the best stylus for someone to use on a freshly bought iPad mini retina.

Interestingly half of the styli didn’t work at all with the screen seeming to have less sensitivity to some of the tips on offer (and to other competing tablets and the minis own bigger brother). That’s definitely going to be worth checking into later…

Anyhoo: the morning started with finishing off a Skribl image I’d been playing with off and on since downloading the app:

Then I started off a picture in DrawQuest which I’ve missed drawing in, (finishing it off when we returned home):

(and which you can see a process animation of the image come to be here).

Between starting and finishing it Wifey and I went to see a couple of friends for lunch and a walk. Lunch was lovely (no photos of that one) followed by a walk to a local church with a fabulous roof:

Organ pipes, Nokia Lumia 520.

Stained glass on stone. Lumia 520.

Church roof. Lumia 520 + fisheye lens (not the best output all things considered on that one).

Church roof, Samsung Galaxy S4 plus fish eye lens and a smidge of Snapseed…

And since I’d played briefly with my fish eye lens on the phone camera I took a quick shot to show how the macro lens coped on the Lumia (seems to have coped well 🙂 ).

All in all; lovely day.

Closing out 2013.

So 2013 nearly done and dusted. Some bits I’ll look back on and smile, other parts I’ll be very glad to see gone and look forward to seeing what 2014 brings.

Loads of bits and bobs to do around the house today so only a quick splurge of blog.

The church nearest me has put OMG up in the windows for Christmas, made from fairy light strings, and fab it looks too 🙂 A very clever way of using the architecture of the building. And it’s upset a couple of people too, which is never good to do on purpose but not always bad to do by accident. Makes me smile anyhow.

My son collects rubber ducks and we decided to count them. True to form we only got part way through the beak count but we were up to 225 at the time and there was more to be done but it was fun to see them take over the living room floor.

I was given a couple of cheap and playful phone camera lenses for Christmas which I’ve not had a chance to play with too much but make me smile to know they’re in my pocket ready to be whipped out and stuck to the front of a camera:

Phones have been an oddity over Christmas with me moving on from my very well used iPhone 4S to… well, that’s the trick, I ummed and ahhed about it so much I didn’t get a phone and then, when I kind of had to as I was missing calls and messages and so on, I bought a pay as you go Nokia 520 as it was fairly cheap and also ran Fresh Paint, which I REALLY wanted to try on the mobile platform (although I thoroughly enjoy  it on the Surface tablet). Anyhow I miss a million apps on the iPhone which I’m sure I’ll get back to sometime in the future… Which leads me to…Family and I went on the London Eye at night which was as lovely and beautiful as we imagined it would be, despite son boy complaining of stomach pains on the tube on the way to it… Fortunately he managed to hold onto his lunch and we saw London clothed in an equal amount of light and darkness. I missed my iPhone as it’s the sort of thing that would Autostitch amazingly well

((for example:

-both taken last year on the 4S)).

…but it was probably a mercy to my family that they didn’t have to stand around while I took 20 or so pictures and waited for them to be stitched together. I did take the above pic on the Lumia which sums up the lights at least and, for a cheaper end camera, it took the photo very well I think.

I did take a couple of pictures on the Eye but tbh was more interested in seeing the view away from a screen for once.

(taken with a Galaxy S4).

(taken with a Lumia 520).

I also had, because Hey, London, an ice cream at Chin Chin Labs. Because that’s what’s Camden at its best, and the picture above was an insta-CCL classic: Beetroot, Goats Cheese, Truffle Crumble (with, I think, some thyme in there as well). Yum.

I had a couple of beers over the year. This is a quick doodle on Didlr app and Samsung Galaxy S4 of a Hogs Back Brewery beer. It wasn’t my favourite of the ones I’ve had this year (I prefer their AOT and OTT beers) but the HBB labels are a thing of wonder. My favourite beer this year? Hmmm. Probably Innis and Gunn rum finish, bottled (and also replete with a lovely label) and something I’d love to have on tap to see how it compares.

And, yes, this. Sometimes this year I’ve been pushing a mountain while climbing up a mountain, while the mountain was still growing. Occasionally it felt a bit futile but very often I’ve had lovely, marvellous and amazing friends and family around me helping me along and saying hi just when I’ve needed it. The best thing about 2013 has been the friends and family who I’ve shared the good and the bad with. Hopefully I’ll take both the good and the friends with me in the following year and hopefully the same for you and yours. There will still be bad somewhere along the line I’m sure, but hopefully it’ll all find a natural balance…

The owl and the robot…

Nuff said really.

… in as much as I don’t know how they ended up in the tree, but they did. Happy Boxing Day anyhow 🙂

On a slightly less positive note though; the second of the two pics is the only one I think I’ve liked to take on a Galaxy S4. No idea why but for the most part I find it a less than satisfying camera and it was only actively liking the above shot that made me realise how much I’ve not liked all of the other ones it’s dumped out from lens to storage. I do look forward to moving back to either an iPhone or possibly onto a Lumia to start off the new year. Not at all sure which one but as a camera the Galaxy just hasn’t got what I would like it to be.