Tidying up and Fireworks

Having found myself with a little free time I decided to do a little tidying up of this site. I am amazed at how much time I can actually spend trying things out and thinking about how to put things together to then find, at the end of the day, that I have changed very little but know at least ten new ways that the design won't work.

Having said this, I have managed to go even more minimalist. The sidebar has been reduced to search, latest posts and social icons. I was going to chop the latest posts but there is point where minimalism goes to far. A design is finished when no more can be taken out, and although they could be taken out I like having them. So they stay, for now... The social icons are in (shock horror) colour. That may also change, but having them in their native colours make them easily identifiable, however, whoever chose red for instagram needs their head examined. I also changed the WA logo from square to round, as I think it fits the aesthetic of the site better. 

I am also going to start using two columns for the writing of blog posts, I have seen this in a few sites and I quite like the look of it.

You can see that I have changed the March madness post into this structure.

For those reading this on a mobile device the only thing you'll really notice is the logo...so that's about 80% of you :-)

I have brought back some of my older galleries into the main menu under 'Archives' and have also added a new gallery of Fireworks from Edinburgh. I vaguely remember saying that I would post the shots from the iPhone X that I took at New Year and never got round to doing that. After finding the photographs today I was really surprised and happy with how well the vast majority were captured. Take a look at the gallery. These are all straight out of the iPhone X without any re-touching or post processing. The photographs that were in the sidebar that I occasionally updated can also be found in a new gallery in the 'Archives' menu.

I updated the 'About' page a little as well with some archive information of previous blog posts from 2014 till now and added a new about image of myself, which was taken by @alycoste, my official photographer ;-)

I'll finish this post with a couple of the fireworks images from New Year to try and entice you to the gallery of all the Fireworks images :-) Thanks for reading!

Consulting and Website Building

It's already the 7th of February and this is the first time i have had some real time to post anything this month. I am shocked that I haven't even taken a photograph since January, which may not seem that long to most people but it feels like a lifetime for me.

I have been spending all my time consulting for the Cairngorms National Park Authority, building a new website for Woodilee Consultancy Ltd and launching the Collar Bill website. These projects have been fun but I really must go somewhere this weekend with my camera!

Cairngorms National Park

For those that don't know, the Cairngorms National Park is a national park in the north-east of Scotland established in 2003 by the Scottish Parliament, the second national park of Scotland after the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park which was established in 2002. During my visit earlier in January it started snowing the day I arrived and kept snowing until after I had left.  It made for a very interesting drive home. Unfortunately I exhausted my photo supply of the area in an earlier post.

Collar Bill aim to offer stylish designer luxury looks at modest, affordable prices. They produce cosy collars and scarves that are all limited edition and completely unique. All are handmade in their small, creative studio in Scotland. The site is now up and running and Fiona is already hard at work creating new collars and scarves for the online shop!

Woodilee Consultancy Ltd is a small forestry consultancy from Glasgow. I had previously consulted for them in a GIS capacity and it has led on to building a new website for them. I was very happy to do this as the old site was looking a little tired and my studio is dedicated to making the internet a more beautiful place! I am hoping to finish off the new site in the next week, it will be located at Woodilee Consultancy.

Check the sites out sometime and let me know what you think :-)


CSS and the Forth (Rail) Bridge

Over the past couple of weeks I have been working on a former academic supervisor's pet project. It involves creating a new set of CSS code for his website to slowly drag it out of the dark ages (the late '90's when we still designed websites using tables). The first stage is to implement CSS rules and to discard the tables that currently hold the site together.

The task which at first seemed simple has turned out to be a giant monster that will seemingly never end. It took me roughly a week just get my head around how it worked. It's built around a database and perl code and is different from any other project I have worked on and it has been so: frustrating; fun; enlightening; educational; emotionally draining (depending on situation). Fortunately for me this is the kind of project I love working on :-)

Hand coding into a terminal window again reminds of how I built my first site on an Apple Mac I (yes, the 1984 one) at university in 1996. It was a amazing time with 56.6K modems and ytalk that allowed you to chat to other people on the network that was 'logged on'. I can't think of a word that is large enough to describe how much things have changed since then in technology. Anyway, back to this website that was built around that time... :-) I haven't put a link to the site because it would be nice to work on it until it has been totally overhauled and redesigned. 

So, last night I finally got out with my camera, and took a trip up to North Queensferry to try and get a moody shot of the Forth Bridge. Little did I realise that almost every route to North Queensferry would provide challenges. The route going through Kincardine was closed, and it wasn't possible to go back across the Kincardine Bridge, which I did not realise and ended up going around Kincardine twice. Eventually drove across the Clackmannanshire bridge along to the Forth Road Bridge missing my turn off on the Fife side due to the sat nav not recognising all the new roads built for the Queensferry Crossing. Thought I would be able to via Inverkeithing but alas the road was also closed here, for some reason that a local chap explained to me in an accent that was more alien than Scottish, of which I understood a couple of words.

Thankfully when I got there it was still a bit misty and heavy rain. All for this photograph. Soaked through to my skin the Albert Hotel then charged me £2.50 for the worst (instant) coffee that I have ever had.

Totally worth the hassle for this photograph though.





Entrance to Quad

Was super happy for a couple of reasons yesterday. The Instagram account @thehub_bnw reposted my photo from the University of Glasgow entitled Entrance to Quad.  It was taken on my last trip to Glasgow and it was nice to see it get some recognition and over 500 likes so far (on their account), not that I am counting them.

Entrance to the Quad.

The other thing that made me happy yesterday was finally opening my Web Design site, Adam Design Studio. So far April has been quite good :-)


North Coast 500

The weekend saw my passion for landscapes re-invogorated after diving around the majority of Scotland's North Coast 500 route. The route begins and ends at Inverness Castle and offers more than 500 miles of the best views in the North Highlands. The route way runs to and from Inverness, venturing round the capital of the Highlands, up the West Coast and back via the rugged north coast. It covers Inverness-shire, The Black Isle, Easter Ross, Caithness, Sutherland and Wester Ross.

Scotland in the sunshine is quite simply majestic. I have travelled these areas all my life but I think this was one of the best trips of my life. It eclipsed Route One in California (LA to San Fran). The views of Stac Pollaidh, Suilaven and Ben Loyal to name but a few were simply stunning. The road weaves, climbs and descents around the coast mostly in single track roads with passing places.

Quite simply, if the weather is good, it has to be done when visiting Scotland. I have added a few shots below that were taken on the iPhone as I haven't had time to process the DSLR shots yet. 

In other news, Phase two of Samhchair got underway this weekend and the StrathyCam is back up and running, check it out!