Macro Photography

I’ve just been playing with my macro lenses and some stuff lying about my house. No doubt the novelty of taking really close up images of things will wear off eventually, but for now it’s a nice diversion from mountains and grass.

I’ve made a new section in my Flickr photostream for these images. Going to have to sort out my own photo hosting, I’ve filled my webhost’s webspace again.

Panorama Test Two – Indoors

Here’s the results of letting the tools run riot with 20 photos of the inside of my office. Originally it was 56 photos, but it threw tons away claiming they weren’t part of the same image set – I have a slightly mental “panorama” of my doorway and another of a patch of carpet 😀 …

Enjoy the bendy walls, I don’t think panorama tools like the indoors, or things really close to the camera!

Computers are too clever for their own good sometimes

I have a 1gig microSD card that goes in my Nokia 800. It goes in an SD card converter, and because of the design it’s really easy to pull the card out of its converter, leaving that inside the SD slot. Today while removing the card to fill it with music I did just this.

This seems to do really bad things. Either my Nokia was still trying to unmount the card, or by pulling it out in this way the card got corrupted. Either way, after that the card just stopped working. I put it in my PC running Linux and it denied its existence – it even went and turned off the card reader, claiming it was malfunctioning. Putting it in to my Windows PC gave the old “this card is not formatted” message, a “Delayed write failure” message and then half of Windows locking up.

It wasn’t until I pushed the card into my digital camera that I got any sense out of it. My camera bleeped and said the card was unformatted, would I like to format it? Yes, I most definitely would! And it did, no hassle, no errors. It also then quite happily took two pictures.
Then it crashed. Yes, my digital camera crashed. It’s like the card was spreading some sort of card reader virus around. I took the card out the camera and poked it back into my PC. Evidently something good happened because my computer wanted to show me the photos on the memory card.

So you see, sometimes it’s good to have dumb devices that don’t really understand filesystems, FAT tables and other computer concepts.

I wonder how many of these “dead” memory cards and USB drives people own aren’t really dead, they’re just really really corrupt and need a load of zeroes writing across them to sort things out?

Always make backups

I have an external USB HDD for my laptop to backup the HDD in my laptop. Every half hour important data is copied from my laptop to the USB HDD. Some of this important data is all my photos I’ve ever taken – all five gig of them. As my laptop’s HDD is getting full I decided to permanently move the photos onto the external drive.

Today I turned my machine on to show someone some of the photos and… they’d all gone! Never mind they’ll be on my external HDD. Oh no they’re not there either. Err shit.

What I forgot is that the backup script runs this command:

rsync -az –delete /home/james/photos /mnt/brick/photos

Notice the ‘–delete’ part? That means “If the source file gets deleted, the destination file will too”. And guess what, if you move everything from ‘/home/james/photos’ into ‘/mnt/brick/photos’ by hand, they’re no longer there meaning the contents of ‘/mnt/brick/photos’ gets synchronised by having its contents deleted.


Not to worry, they’re all (except a few crap ones I don’t care about – got a new camera, test photos tend to be a bit wonky) safely on my computer at home, the other end of my ADSL connection and all I have to do is rsync – without the delete option! – them back here.

So always back up your data, and then make a backup of the backup – just in case the backup gets buggered by some idiot 😉


Just been to watch the fireworks display at our local pub. Took my camera along and had a play. After taking several pictures of blackness with little dots I learnt to anticipate the big displays and press the shutter button early. With the longer displays it’s just a case of pressing the button when the sky lights up – eventually something good looking gets captured.

Then you see the images created by someone’s very expensive digital camera that was sat on a tripod… quite. Maybe I should get a larger tripod.