June

I find it hard to believe that it is June already, it seems like only a few days ago that I was at Edinburgh Castle taking photographs of the New Year Fireworks. It occurred to me that it is almost three years since I moved back to Scotland and that my trips to the Netherlands have become less frequent, the gaps are increasing and it appears, or certainly feels like, I am settling into being in Scotland for the time being. 

Mid year is also a good time to take stock of what I have achieved so far and what I have planned for the rest of the year and whether I should re-plan. When I was a consultant for a large hydrocarbon based company each year would begin with a yearly plan for developement and of course there would be a mid-year review to see if you were meeting your targets. I was very good at using woolly terms that didn’t tie me into anything crazy “Will continue to develop my skills in x/y/z”. What does that even mean? Well basically nothing, you can’t really measure these types of targets. Of course the company didn’t really care that much as I was a consultant and they prefer to concentrate on the drones they were creating for the long term and not people they could dispose of with a months notice.

Wow, that sounded a little bitter. 

Of course my personal targets are usually much less woolly, so far this year, in no particular order:

  • Relocate back to The Netherlands
  • Travel outside europe (which soon may be achievable by getting out of bed, meh... Brexit)
  • Continue to develop Adam Design Studio (sounds woolly I know, basically get paid to design/implement/update websites)
  • Learn how to implement a PostGIS database and serve WFS/WMS maps from Geoserver
  • Learn how to load and serve Ordnance Survey data to users
  • Develop “Grateful” application for iOS
  • Attend conferences to network and gather new ideas

As alluded to at the start of this post I don’t see any King’s Day celebrations in my near future, I guess I’ll have to make do with more public holidays and no bridging days just now.  

I haven’t done as much travelling as I would have liked so far but I have visited the Philippines during March/April, which was fantastic and also showed me that being in 30 degrees heat isn’t the worst thing in the world. In actual fact I adapted to the heat better than I thought I would, which was just as well. It also taught me that I don’t tan well, I just kinda burn. 

I have built a few sites so far this year and have at least one in the pipeline and will start advertising for new clients this month. Each client I get teaches me something new about my skill level and skills that I need to learn to implement their ideas into their site. My real target for this is to always have a site to be working on, which up until now hasn’t been a problem, I think this will be more easily achieved once I start advertising.

In the last project I was involved in I should have developed an in depth understanding and skills to develop databases and serve them through Geoserver and how to load OS data. This unfortunately didn’t happen and basically led me to a new project wherein I read a lot about how to do it myself. My latest project is interesting as there is no one to ask, for the most part, so it leads to a certain amount of self-reliance and research. It pushes me to be better and develops my patience level to a point that I have never had before as described in a recent post “You do the math”.

I have had an idea for an iPhone application (Grateful) for a while now but haven’t got round to do more than the wireline sketches for it. I think that this will take a little longer to develop than I would like as it relies on me learning a lot more about programming but my feeling is that I need to block out a period of time every few days and sit down and work on it. 

Ah, conferences, how I love and hate them. I actually have two this month, GISUpdate at Edinburgh University and GeoDATA Scotland at the Glasgow Science Centre. Am looking forward to both conferences as I know that I will meet new interesting people as well as people that I have worked with before.  

So that’s it for 2018 so far, no further ahead, no further behind.

Forth Bridges

Another (mainly) unplanned trip on Wednesday night saw myself and @alycoste meeting up in South Queensferry. We took a walk along the coast to try and get some sunset shots but arrived ridiculously early for sunset! 

 Alayne checking her Instagram likes :-)

Alayne checking her Instagram likes :-)

After searching for shells with holes in them for the obligatory "I am at the beach" shot. We spent a good amount of time blinding ourselves by looking directly at the sun through several seashells. The sun eventually made its way down in the west and the golden hour was upon us.

I haven't been back to South Queensferry since January and it was nice to feel the sun instead of the biting cold on this trip.

Click on the thumbnails for the full image.

Still sculpture

It is well known that I am not the most spontaneous of people, but on Monday night I decided to take a drive to St Fillans, a small town in Perthshire at the eastern side of Loch Earn. It had been a clear cloudless day and I was hoping to get some photographs of the sculpture - Still, by Rob Mulholland. He is a sculptor and environmental artist based in the United Kingdom who exhibits throughout the U.K and world-wide.

From his website he describes Still:

The solitary figure stands at the head of a Loch Earn. The figure symbolises the physical and spiritual relationship between humans and the natural wilderness. The figure is in constant flux, the small panels that form the sculpture are being torn away with the prevailing wind, being re - shaped by the natural forces. It investigates the fundamental aspects of self awareness and our connection with our environment.
— Rob Mulholland

For a photographer it's an amazing thing to photograph as it looks very eerie standing on the loch. I spent at least two hours at the loch side taking photographs and meeting a fellow Instagrammer @davidmccr

The first two photographs were my favourite and these were "squared" and uploaded to my Instagram profile. These shots were featured in @icuscotland and @sunrise.sunset.scotland, which I was really happy about. It was nice to receive some positive feedback about them.

The next two I also liked, one wider shot than the other, the left one taken a little earlier than the right shot.

I was really happy with these photographs primarily because I think that I am starting to get a feel for taking more moody photographs, especially the darker shot in this series. Some of the ideas and techniques that I learned recently really paid off in this trip.

Dunkeld

Instead of having a lazy Sunday I decided to drive up to Dunkeld, I was really sure where I was actually going but Dunkeld felt like far enough! Dunkeld is a small town in Perth and Kinross, Scotland. It is about 15 miles north of Perth on the eastern side of what is now the A9 road into the Scottish Highlands. The road into the town passes over the River Tay where there is still the Old Toll Cottage, thankfully now you don't have to pay to cross.

I had a wander round the town for a couple of hours in the glorious sunshine and have posted some of the photo's below.

 

Falkirk Wheel

I have several pictures of the Falkirk Wheel through these pages, partly because I live so close to it and partly because I have never got a photograph that I have been really happy with.

I spent the magic hour taking shots there this evening, it was a lot colder than I thought it would be and was annoyed with myself when I realised that my down jacket was in my car!

I posted these two photographs, the first one a HDR shot from the west side and the second is a silhouette shot from the east side. I like the silhouette shot as the structure cuts between the sunset and the darkness. I am sure that if I had stayed longer I was have been able to get some stars in the photograph, perhaps I'll do that next time.

After a particularly challenging day it was good too spend a couple of hours recharging my Chi and watching the sun go down.