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Bike Art Trail Cardiff 2012

As part of Cardiff Cycling Festival there is a Bike Art Trail exhibition going on and I have had some photos accepted as part of the exhibition. The photos had to be cycling themed and the ones that I have put into the exhibition are all from Nofitstate’s show Parklife from 2009/2010. Parklife included the use of bicycles and Unicycles as part of the show and so was an obvious choice for suitable images for this exhibition for me.

My Photos will be up in the Milkwood Gallery from Saturday 23rd June until the end of June. Please go and check them out along with the rest of the art trail and let me know what you think.  For more information about the Bike Art Trail please check out the following websites, art.spoke.soul. and RoathCardiff.net

Network Access Storage

Ok so I had nearly filled up another external hard drive and had to get another one or look at other options. I did some research and it was clear that a NAS made sense but which one was not so clear or the size that I should go for. A  NAS would allow me to access the storage from both my laptop and my PC which would be useful. Plus certain types would also allow me to do other things like  making the photos available over the web.  So NAS I believed was the way to go, brand and size is now the question. More research and reading of reviews led me to think that for me QNAP or Synology were the brands to go for.  Size wise the bigger the better as this would give me more longevity, I also want 3 or more hard drives so that I could use a higher level of Raid without losing to much hard drive capacity. This meant it was expensive and at the time of this research I just didn’t have the money. That said the one I liked the look of the most was a 5 bay Synology NAS. More umming and ahhhing ensued.

In January I got to the point where I really had to make a decision I either had to get another external hard drive or go for it and get a NAS. I had also decided to gets some lights which I had seen on Amazon with some christmas money I had been given. I couldn’t find a better deal anywhere else so was on Amazon getting these lights and some other bits and pieces when I saw the Amazon credit card which would give me 0% interest for a year. Brief umming and ahhing occurred and then I ended up getting the lights, bits and pieces, and the synology NAS with 3 2gb hard drives.

The NAS has now been up and running for several months and is fantastic. I haven’t quite finished moving everything over to it and sorting it all out, but I am using it in earnest and it really was a good decision. I now have loads of space and capacity to expand that really easily. It is set up with Raid 5 so I have built in redundancy, and I can access photos from pretty much anywhere.

Set up publicity Shots

I got a phone call last week “Please can I come down and takes some pictures that they can use for publicity for the new show”. At first look this doesn’t sound to much of a problem until you find out the show hasn’t been created yet, it is more than just an idea but it is in no way a worked out show yet. There is no set or lighting and we had just over an hour in the training space, where they have been playing with ideas as part of the creation process, to get the photos.

On top of this, this type of photography where you can set things up and tell people what to do is not something I have done very much of and currently feel quite uncomfortable with, especially when you are having to try and create somebody else’s imagined image at short notice (e.g. the director’s and the producer’s). I definitely need to do more of this type of photography, so that I can improve my skills in this area, as it is clearly something I need to be able to do.

To over come a messy cluttered background I made use of a scaff tower and took a series of shots from above, using the dance floor as the background. The one to the left is one of the first ones, where everyone was still getting into place.

In the end we did another set of photos on the Saturday, with just one of the cast that was still around. This came about because one of the performers saw some images that were then sent to the producer and spurred the request for some more that were based more on the theme of these images. I found these easier because they were outside and we had a clear image/style to try and achieve. Them being outside also meant that I could select an appropriate background, which was much harder inside because of the nature of the space and the equipment we were using. In addition to these things it was with only one performer so again this simplified things.

Anyway as I have previously said I think I need to practise doing this a lot more so that I can get my head around it and improve in this area. That said I think I managed to get some alright shots, still don’t know which one will get used though. You can see a few more of these photos here under Barricade Publicity Shots.

First Blog Post

Ok so after much pondering, investigation, dilberation and procrastination I have decided how to set up my website. I am going to use wordpress with the autofocus pro theme as the main site. This gives me the photography portfolio style that I am after on the site, as this is the main point of the site, but with the ability to have other pages if I want them including a standard blog style page for example. It gives me very close to what I want without having to create it all myself, plus given time I should be able to adjust bits if I decide I want to.

I am also using Gallery 3.0 to provide a gallery beyond the portfolio. So the portfolio can have a very restricted number of images, but I can still make great numbers of images available for those interested.  The main reason for having a Gallery 3.0 site as well is to have a place where I can  make photos I have done for people available for them to download in a controlled and restricted way.

It is going to take me a while to get this all put together how I want it and populated with the photos, but I have now started. The aim is to get a fairly reasonable amount of content into the site by the middle of  March. Once I have achieved this I will start letting people know about it and trying to promote it a bit. Of course beyond this the aim will be to keep maintaining it and to keep it as upto date as possible. Hopefully by the end of this year I will have a great site and will be on top of getting the photos I take processed and out there. Well there is a target, we will have to see if I achieve it.