29 November, 2013

Stop the killing

Stop the Killing of Cyclists
Spotted on the route of the CS3 today...

28 November, 2013

HTC One HDR Mode

(With HDR above, without HDR below)
Okay, so I've played around with the HDR mode on the HTC One a bit now (and eaten a nice Zizzi Pizza), and to be honest?  It isn't HDR as one would expect, it does indeed spend a bit longer taking the pictures and the results are *slightly* more colourful, but they don't look a huge amount different to me...slightly more vibrant colours, and almost all over/under exposed areas are filled in with more detail (admittedly), true blacks are certainly *slightly* blacker, but I'm sometimes hard pushed to remember which was which when I'm flicking through the images (true for the pizza shot (bar this illustration), but the combined exposure on the landscape below image basically saved it) for a well lit, semi-macro shot the exchange you are going to be most worried about is potential for fixed detail traded for very slightly worse focus/some blurring (making it hard to pick between them - as both have their own flaws) -
HTC One - HDR mode - London Skyline
(above is with HDR on, below is HDR off)-
HTC One - Normal mode - London Skyline
Landscape - Without HDR it's more moody, and truer to "reality", but the extra detail more than makes up for that (it's *clearly* a subjective thing though)...I think I'm going to put it on as my default shooting mode (as the final images are a bit richer - without looking silly) and see how I get on with the focus (as it could all fall to bits when I'm shooting something that moves around - unlike pizza and buildings)... ;)

Overall HDR mode seems (at this stage) to be slightly superior to "normal" shooting (imho), bracketing HDR and Normal each time seems a bit...well...*silly* though (or maybe that's just me)... ;)

Ethereal Shard

It just doesn't look quite *real*, it looks like a sympathetic digital rendering of London...very interesting light indeed... ;)

27 November, 2013

London Bridge Tube sign...

London Bridge Tube sign
Yeah, so the sign at the entrance to the tube at London Bridge could do with a *bit* of a wipe...it sort of looks like it's derelict!

26 November, 2013

HTC One Camera

So I had a bit of a chance to play with the camera on my new telephone this morning (after picking it up yesterday)...you can click them to zoom in...
Through the woods...
This one I took (and to the naked eye it was practically pitch black - if you need proof, just look below the street light and you can clearly see the pool of orange light it was shedding on the ground - *invisible* in daylight) very early in the morning on the walk up through the woods over the hill...it's a bit spotty and blurry, but frankly I'm blown away...this is the sort of picture I would have expected from my Canon 600D in these extreme low light conditions - not a telephone.
Earlswood - Platform 1
Again, still *really* dark to the naked eye (just a hint of the sunrise to come in the clouds on the horizon) the HTC one manages to find every single spot of light (and an incredible amount of detail) - this would have been a blurry mess on the Galaxy...
The Shard from London Bridge
London Bridge platform
In bright sunlight now, at serious risk of over exposure (especially with the light in the background), it seems to have managed to get *everything* in focus...really impressive and absolutely pin sharp.

Now, the "Zoe" feature...this is an interesting one, it takes a bit longer to take a picture (you watch a red thermometer bar for what feels like about 3 seconds) but the effect on the telephone is like something out of Harry Potter...suddenly browsing through the gallery, the pictures come alive!  Each one contains a few magical extra seconds of video on either side of the shutter (it's clearly pre-caching the "before" footage)...the effect (especially in the slideshow where it tinkles in some appropriate music) is like -well- magic!  Check out a demo video here to get a better idea, but here are a few where I managed to pull the video out and into flickr (not quite the same) -
London Bridge Barriers
- so this sort of shot would just magically jump into life like this -

- you'll have to manually do it here on the web, but I hope you get the idea, if not watch the demo, keep in mind that these are regular photos - just with about six seconds of video context around them to "bring them to life"...a completely new thing and astonishing to see in action...another example -
London Bridge concourse
Static pic in the middle...and surrounding HD video -

Now imagine these examples as romantic "Perfect Family Day Out" shots, where the kids spring to life being charming (no nose-picking, hitting each other, loud shouts of "NO DADDY!" or falling over), Mummy laughing and swishing her hair (minus "POPPY - DON'T EAT THAT - ITS POISON!" and "THOMAS THAT'S A MAIN ROAD - STOP RIGHT NOW!!!") and my goodness...you may have something like the marketing piece! ;)

Overall, it's got to be one of the best cameras I've ever had the pleasure of using, combine that with the 1080p display on the handset and...just - WOW!  Not even touched on the proper video mode, or the HDR capability!  More on that later! ;)

21 November, 2013

Wapping Graffiti...

Wapping street art
...well, what can one say?  This is about the best the area seems to have been able to manage (and I've walked around the place quite a bit)...it can't be that the local council are just good at cleaning up, because -this- has been here for *months*...

Summary - Could do better...

...(would love to be proven wrong, of course)... ;)

Funny Office Sign

Speed lane closed!
OMG! The "Speed lane" is out of order! How will I cope with the catastrophic delay of...urm....using the barrier right next door to it? ;)

Almost, but not quite, as bad as this one...(WOAH - that was almost 7 years ago)! 

20 November, 2013

London Bridge Sleepers

Unhealthy looking sleepers at London bridge
Spotted these the other day, while I was sat on a train awaiting a platform at London Bridge (you may want to zoom in by clicking to get a better look)...I don't know about you, but to me, those sleepers look just a little bit worse for wear...in fact, I would go so far as to say that they wouldn't look out of place sticking out of the sea as the weather beaten remains of a ruined pier (certainly when compared to the nice new ones next to them)...!

I'm sure they are perfectly safe though... 

19 November, 2013

Walking home from Earlswood station

Earlswood underpass
...on a dark, winter night...

Little lost mug!

I love my daddy mug
Had to happen eventually, didn't it...I forgot to lock my mug away early last week and it vanished into the free-for-all (by being cruelly scooped up by cleaners and shoved into one of the dish washers - I normally do it by hand myself - just in case)...I've been checking for it daily (through each of the cupboards in the kitchens on my floor)...finally managed to find it today (admittedly looking very clean and shiny, so I can't complain *too* much)...but I honestly thought I had lost it - it's been something like 8 days in the whirlwind! I wouldn't mind, but I've been using this mug every (working) day for about 4 years now!

13 November, 2013

LED Street Light Halo

LED light halo effect
You may or may not remember, but the little area where I live was the first part of the UK to get these LED lights (back at the start of 2011)...by now they must be creeping out across the land (although not in Wapping, that is still bathed in a scorching orange sodium haze after sun-down)...this is the first time I have noticed that they create quite an interesting halo (compared to more traditional light sources) and it was pretty easy to capture the effect on the cameraphone too... ;)

12 November, 2013

Just behind the façade...

...is a glimpse of a much older London, if you take some time to peep between the cracks... ;)

08 November, 2013

07 November, 2013

England Game?

England game
Rather impressive bit of (mis)spelling on display in Dock Street yesterday... ;)

06 November, 2013

Ornamental Canal, Wapping

Very peaceful, and just 3 minutes walk from the *chaos* of "The Highway".... ;)

05 November, 2013

Chalk Reflektor Meaning

These things - chalk REFLEKTOR logos, which I saw a couple of young students drawing all over Wapping (and a couple in Southwark) - months ago - turn out to be a lovely bit of viral marketing for this album (pictured below) by some Canadians -
- so there we go, mystery solved...and well done for drawing my attention... ;)

04 November, 2013

Christmas Railway Fun!

Replacement buses at Earlswood
Just got a *very* good bit of news - I only have to cover one day between Christmas and New Years (the 31st) *and* I can do that cover snuggled into my duvet with a laptop (instead of trying to get into London)...

The reason that this is *very* good news, instead of just ordinary good news is the fact that between the 25th of December and the 1st of Jan they are basically going to shut down the railway between Brighton and London (major building works at Gatwick airport, working on the wonky signals that fail all the time in town and *totally* ripping out the huge great rickety junction outside Purley station and making a shiny brand new one)...pretty much the only way into London Bridge from the South of England is going to be hopping on a replacement bus (and praying)...

This would be fine (and probably a nice adventure) apart from the fact that Flyingpops (at that stage) is going to be just a handful of weeks from the new baby being due and I *really* don't want to be stuck in London (if "The Call" comes) waiting around for a replacement bus service (not normally terribly new/reliable buses) to shudder into view and then wend it's merry way through central London/East Croydon/Purley and the Purley way (during the sales) finally to deposit me half an hour's walk away from the hospital (goodness only knows how many hours later)...

So that's one less (big) thing to worry about...now able to look forward to my (apart from that one day of cover) twelve days (off) of Christmas! :)