A new great Adventure

A while ago now (late 2006), I made the very conscious decision to not get involved with any more short films, with the exceptions of the occasional bit of helping out mates, I decided to avoid the whole "indie film industry", partly as I felt it's not really an industry.

Now I'm not saying there's not such thing as the Indie Film Industry, there clearly is, there's plenty of feature films being made without studio backing and being sold through a variety of distribution channels, from DVD distribution to Sundance and successful theatrical release, that, to me is the Indie Film Industry.

One of the definitions of Industry is "the organised action of making of goods and services for sale", the "for sale" bit, being my key point here. I seemed to be working with a lot of people who were under the impression that they were working in the "indie film industry" by making short films and maybe getting them screened in a pub somewhere. (Or even longer films in some cases), not seeing the film as a product, not having a realistic plan for it's distribution or getting any sort of return on, in some cases, quite a substantial investment. I myself spent out about £1000 on a short that didn't come out quite as I'd hoped and sat on an edit hard-drive for a couple of years, before getting archived on another hard-drive (still unfinished), but that's a slightly different post, although a realisation hit me at the end of the main part of production on that short.

That realisation about the "industry" I was involved in was that it clearly wasn't "the film industry", that it's more of an Amateur Film Maker's club.

That realisation was born of accepting to myself that, despite all the special features watched, the course at Brighton Film School, the books I'd read and all my enthusiasm, I really didn't know what I was doing. I had an idea about it sure, but going out and directing this reasonably ambitious short for a first timer (anything I'd shot before doesn't count at all), pulling together a crew and cast, making the whole thing work over a weekend, I was clearly an amateur, and so were the majority of people I'd worked with on this and other shorts/films.

There's a lot to be said for just going out and doing it, learning as you go. There's also a lot to be said for learning how to do it wrong.

At the time I was trying to change career, move entirely into a different industry, from retail into media/film, so my outlook was very career focussed and before my anti-shorts decision, I was all about getting involved with shorts, writing my own scripts, going to screenings, alongside the paid work I'd gained working in factual TV production. (The choice of going the Factual TV route was a circumstance/financial one really, but that's the route I chose at the time!)

Obviously, like many people out there i was hoping to, not only gain film-making experience, but also contacts, people in the industry who could then hopefully lead to more work. Unfortunately, most of the people in the "proper" film industry are not working on your average no-budget miniDV short film, thus the contacts being made only led to other no-budget miniDV short films, plus all of us were in the same boat on the skills front, sure there were people who'd been doing it longer, but pretty much all of us were just bumbling along figuring stuff out. Working on an "indie" film set is not the same as working on a professional film/tv set. Blind leading the blind and all that.

So I decided (after much faffing about with my own film) that I needed to learn a hell of a lot more and that doing these short films wasn't getting me to where I wanted to be. Time to focus all my energies on 'proper' work.

At the time, where I wanted to be was still up in the air. I'd already made the decision to go the factual production route (researching) for various reasons, so that's where my focus lay, eventually being allowed to shoot stuff, deciding that I really wasn't all that happy with being stuck in the office phone-bashing for 7 of my 8 weeks of contract, then getting to the point of using "real cameras" instead of just PD170s & Z1's (although I still get a LOT of Z1 work, plus I KNOW how to shoot on one!), then working with and alongside experienced professional cameramen to start learning "the craft" and that's essentially where I want to be now.

I am a cameraman, I moved on from factual production over a year ago, although still keep a hand in every now and again to keep skills up, but I'm developing myself as a cameraman. The route I've taken (via production) has kind of niched me to a degree, the same as other routes, such as the kit-room upwards route can do, but in different areas, but that's something I'm working on, at the end of the day I'm a cameraman, yes I'm multi-skilling, I can edit on FCP and (bit rusty on) Avid, I have a strong factual production background and years of management experience behind me, but at the end of it, I want to be the best camerman/camera operator I can be, learning "the craft" so that with any luck, down the line I can be a top end operator, perhaps be able to call myself a "lighting cameraman" or even a "DoP" (people giving themselves titles above their station/experience, again is another post). Getting to this point, which is still early days as far as I'm concerned, has come from focussing on that 'proper work' and ignoring the Amateur Film Club/Indie Film Industry stuff.

Now you may be thinking that this is just a big snobby rant about short films and slagging off the people who make them, it's not (it's leading somewhere, honest). I know people who have and who currently are, making low/no-budget films, FEATURES even, with a view to distributing them and with any luck, pulling in some sort of revenue, they also work on shorts, some of them have also been doing work in the "proper" film industry, but that hasn't been garnered solely from doing no-budget dv shorts.. I've worked on odd shorts and other projects since my decision, for friends, as I've said. I've no problem with the many people who are out there making shorts, I've seen some absolutely cracking ones along with the plethora of dross, just to me, at the time, and to a degree, still now, feel that the "indie film industry" is not where I should be focussing my energies to achieve the goals that I want to reach.

So why is it then am I about to embark on producing, what is, for all intents and purposes a number of short films, shot for minimal budget, with minimal crew and generally as far removed as you can get from a "professional film set", what I've been purposely avoiding for the past few years??

It could just be put down to the "working with friends" exception rule, but it's not, I'm investing a lot more time, effort and cash into this. We're really starting to go against pretty much everything I've been saying now!!

Is it because we're calling them a "Podcast" or "Web Series" instead of "Short Films", does merely a change of title mean that makes it all okay, when everything else about the project fits the description of your usual no-budget DV faire? Well partly. I say partly because, we've got a definite distribution plan for the product (it IS a product after all), okay getting something up on the web isn't exactly rocket science any more, but getting that all important marketing and promotion down, that's still eluding a lot of people. Plus we're developing a series rather than a single short, which means it's more marketable and more open to viewer investment (of the repeat/return viewing kind rather than monetary), AND we are looking at ways to monetise it, it's certainly more feasible to make money back (on what ever scale) from a series than a single short or group of disparate shorts.

The fact remains tho, that we're not expecting to make any money from it and even the vague expectations we have at the moment, amount to covering production expenses. There are podcasts/web series out there who have "made it", ones who are pulling in high viewing numbers and reasonable revenue from varying sources, the same as there are filmmakers out there who have made a few shorts and gone on to "make it" in the film industry, but I'd say the numbers (in some form) are comparable.

So I am going back on everything I said earlier then? Again, partly. There's a whole lot of "speculate to accumulate" in this project, and no real guaranteed "accumulate", I've got to invest a fair bit of time and energy, as well as some cash (although trying to keep it as low as possible) into what is essentially an experiment into a field I've been interested in for a while, all the time, fitting it around my 'proper' work, to make sure I can still bring money in and further my career goals (along with the other people involved), with the hope that it will see some modicum of success. Much like many short film makers.

So apart from having some vague plan and a good level of belief in the project, what else? Enjoyment.

Adventure Men, as we call it, is carrying on from a thing I got involved in back in March (wow, that went by quick!!). A friend of mine, who for the purposes of this post we'll call Ross Lewis, who worked with me at Gadgetshop, got in touch and said that he and his good friend Simon Daneski were planning on doing something for Comic Relief and did I fancy coming along and filming it for them. It sounded like it could be fun, so this fell into the "working with mates" exception category.

Fun is not how to describe it. Having an absolute BLAST is slightly better. A total of six hours of filming time (an evening, a morning of climbing a hill, some lunch and a little bit after lunch) became the five episode behemoth comedy event that is Touching the Dyke, (that links to YouTube, you could also have the Touching the Dyke Vimeo Channel if ya fancy) which thus far has been pretty well received, over 3000 views, cumulative across all videos and sites (and raised over £400 for Comic Relief). So the viewing figures, ratings and people saying "That was actually pretty funny", all from very little planning and haphazard promotion efforts, combined with the enjoyment on the day (the edit schedule was ridiculous, t'will be more measured this time around), gave all three of us involved a full on robot chubby for doing some more.

Factoid: I initially insisted that TtD would be a single max 10 minute short. D'oh!
Factoid: I've initially insisted that the first installment Adventure Men (and subsequent installments) will span no more than two 7-9 minute episodes. This is being met with some doubt/resistance from within the AdMen camp. Only edit time will tell!!

So this time round, slightly more planning, some may say even collaborative workflow (!! more on that another time), a lot more ideas and struggling to come up with ideas to expand the thing. Trying to format it better, this is mostly down to me as I've got to cut the thing together, so I need to make sure I cover all my shots on the shoot day(s) whilst letting Ross & Simon keep to their flow. The reason for formatting is, we're going for a series, a series needs identity, more than characters and titles, although considering I'm no After Effects wiz, I'm pretty chuffed with what I came up with on the title front! A series needs structure, I'm basing that structure on existing programmes and adapting it accordingly, whether we can stick to that once we get into things, we'll have to wait and see.

It's still all very experimental though. All a bit "run-and-gun", there's no script, simply a number of beats we know we want to hit, and ideas we want to include, the rest is totally improvised by Ross & Simon, thus from a filming POV, especially as a single camera shoot, that's a challenge, need to get coverage and details in one take (thinking two camera shoot's a possible, if I can cover kit and find someone for next Tuesday! the 28th!!) although I think I'm gonna cover my technical concerns in another post as this one is MAHOOSIVE! (at least compared to what I normally post)

Anyway, My point, if there is one to this, is that I'm not totally going back on what I decided was my way forward back in 2006, I'm still not going to devote time to working on loads of other people's shorts, but this project is something I'm willing to devote to, something I'll work to fit in and make work, whether it does or not, we'll have to wait and see, it will hopefully evolve and improve, but it's still down to people watching it and liking it as to whether this particular "amateur" project will make it or not. I hope it does.

Adventure Men - Title Logo

Finally, apologies for any bad links, spelling mistakes and the glaring grammar issues throughout, but deal with it (in a nice way).

You can follow the progress of Adventure Men in a few ways...
On the Lookout Film & Digital blog (Adventure Men announcement)
Follow @AdventureMen on Twitter
and currently we've set up our YouTube account http://www.youtube.com/AdventureMenShow although we'll also be publishing to other hosting sites.
We're currently toying with a dedicated website, but nothing just yet.

I'll post certain personal thought son stuff here, and I'm sure Ross will do much the same on his blog.

A couple of links to people who I know and I feel are actually doing something vaguely sensible in the "indie film industry" ;)
Mike Peter Reed, his blog is here - Filmmaker Slog
Simon Drake and Dan Rickard working on Darkest Day

Helped out some friends of mine by cutting together some recent gig footage for them, taken from a couple of camcorders (one 16:9, one 4:3, yay, both auto-exposing, double yay), I synced and cut together the two angles, applying a little re-framing (or a lot on the 4:3 stuff), and the odd bit of motion, as well as a bit of a grade (within FCP) to take the edge off the DV footage and some of the blown out areas.

I've got the rest of the gig sat on the work drive as I work on building videos for each song for them, so they could well upload some more at some point.

For those of you in the Liverpool area, they're playing The Cavern, this weekend (23/24 May), check out their website for more details White Star Liners (www.whitestarliners.co.uk)

Touching the Dyke

Something I've been working on for this year's Red Nose Day...

You can follow their progress on blip.tv and YouTube. Enjoy and if you fancy you can donate here. Cheers!


What are your chances of getting a tapeworm?

Is that good? I'd rather be guaranteed not to get tapeworm.

HURRAH! the 50mm 1.8 Nikkor that I ordered off eBay has arrived! I ordered from Jesscollie Classic Cameras, who's now on my fave sellers list.

So what's next for this lens?? Well it should get some use in some upcoming photoshoots, at f1.8 it should be a nice portrait lens, and as with the other lenses, it'll hopefully get some use in the video world via a 35mm adapter later in the year.

Nikkor 50mm

Lens comparison set on Flickr

more lens comparison

I've just snapped off a few shots for lens comparison on my Nikkormat EL and Olympus Trip 35, I've still got frames to use up on the rolls in both cameras, so they'll be a while away yet, however after I did it I thought I may as well snap a shot off from my iPhone, after all it has a camera, I do take pictures with it, why not add it to the mix. So here it is.

Shot landscape, no adjustments.

The full set. More will be added as and when.

Lenses lenses everywhere

Well not quite everywhere, but still...

I've just recently added a couple of zoom lenses to my kit (2nd and 3rd from left), both by Tokina and both found in a charity shop in Horsham! (hopefully on it's way via eBay soon is also a Nikkor 50mm f:1.8 prime)

The main reason I snapped the lenses up is that they're Nikon AI-S F-mount lenses and thus compatible with my Nikon D80, the older lenses I have (3 on right) are Pre/Non-AI lenses which are fine with my well old Nikkormat EL, but not so good for the D80 without being modified first.

The idea of me building up my SLR kit, is partly bringing still photography into the work side of things, for stuff I work on and also projects I'm developing, but also to have a collection of lenses to use with 35mm adapters such as the Letus, which while doesn't quite give you the quality of a set of DigiPrimes or similar, does lend an interesting creative turn to video filming that I intend to explore.

One of the first thing's I've done so far is to compare viewing angles of the lenses, or at least the D80 compatible ones (3 on the left up there), I'm also going to run off a few shots on film with the EL and the same lenses (with the exception of the Nikkor DX), plus the 3 non-AI lenses.

Left to right (and with the samples below, top to bottom), they are:-
  • Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55mm f:3.5-5.6G VR (kit lens)
  • Tokina SZ-X 270 28-70mm f:3.5-4.5
  • Tokina SZ-X 210 70-210mm f:4.0-5.6
For each lens I took two snaps out of my window, one fully wide, one fully tele. (Mouse over for alt text)

Nikkor 18-55 @ 18Nikkor 18-55 at 55
Tokina 28-70 at 28Tokina 28-70 @ 70
Tokina 70-210 @ 70Tokina 70-210 @ 210

So there you have it, 3 lenses' focal lengths compared with dirty, no frills snapshots. Bet you're looking forward to the others now eh? ;)


Up and Running 6a

Page 2 of my iPhone and it's apps...

Again top to bottom, left to right.. All non standard apps on this page were free.

Clock:- I use the alarm feature quite regularly but that's about it, if I want to know the time a quick press of the home button while locked will tell me. No complaints tho.

Weather:- Another standard iPhone app, built from the Yahoo! widget, it's ok, but very very basic, I'm gonna look for a more detailed one, but then if I find one I won't be able to delete this one!!

MySpace:- I don't use MySpace a hell of a lot any more, but I still have an active profile, and I occasionally check it on the go and delete all the crappy spam adds that you get on MySpace, functionally, the app's not as good as Facebook (much like the site itself!) (iTunes)(Profile)

Digg:- Bookmark to the mobile version of Digg, which isn't the easiest to use, and thus doesn't get much use from me. (Link)

TubeStatus:- As I do a fair bit of work and commuting to/from and in London, this would seem like quite a handy app, which I suppose it would be if I actually checked it regularly before my journey, but at the same time, the Tube isn't that hard to navigate and if there's a major problem (becuase "minor or even major delays" generally don't matter if you're just getting the next train), you can easily figure out how to go around, and if you're checking the app now, it's already too late. If it was integrated into a map, that may be more useful. (iTunes)

Linkedin:- Another social network site, this one supposed to be more business orientated, so I've got a profile, have some connections and that's about it at the moment, but the mobile app comes in handy if I want to check on it.(iTunes)(Profile)

Photos:- The standard iPhone photo gallery app, once again, I've got no issues with this, I don't want to be doing any photo manipulation or editing on the go, it simply stores my phone cam photos and syncs with iPhoto. Cheers.

UK Trains:- WebApp interface for the National Rail Timetable search, the interface isn't great, but it delivers the same results, and for a free webapp it's ok, does the job. (Link)

ShoZu:- This seemed like a bloody good app, I could post pictures to my various accounts from a single app, could blog on the go, all looked good. First time I tried posting a pic to TwitPic, it failed, nothing posted. I think I've had one test blog post from it and that's about it. There has been an update and I haven't tried it since, so maybe I should give it another go.  (iTunes)

IM+ Lite:- I keep this on as a just in case, it should handle multiple IM accounts and protocols, I very rarely use it. Don't know if the paid version's any better. (iTunes)

Remote:- AWESOME!!! Brilliant app from Apple to control iTunes. Unfortunately I rarely have cause to use it as I'm generally sat with or next to the computer that's playing the music, however when I eventually DO get a media centre set up, this WILL be used! (iTunes)

eBay:- The interface isn't great, but I have been using it recently to keep an eye on my watch list, and even placed a bid with it, so on that score I guess it does it's job. (iTunes)

AroundMe:- I really like this app in principal, I wish I could get more use out of it. It should link to the location services and tell you what's nearby in any given category, for instance Restaurants. Which it seems to, as long as their in whatever database it looks up (Google??), I've used it to find somewhere to eat, as well as confirm that there were no better options from what we'd already found. (iTunes)

AIM:- I get more use out of this than IM+ Lite, mainly as my girlfriend has a MacBook now I set up an iChat/AIM account for her and now if I'm out and about this can save on SMS Texts, as long as there's a decent connection. Hopefully it'll get the whole push server thing going on and then will run in the background, that would be handy. (iTunes)

MMS:- Okay, was told about this one recently whilst filming at Olympia. We had a chat with one of the guys on the O2 stand there at BETT, and he pointed us in the direction of this app. It's a simple app that gives you an interface to the O2 MMS web portal, so if you receive an MMS message you can use this app to read it rather than faffing about through Safari. This is definitly a much better way to do it. My only concern is with sending. Now, unlike the majority of the whinging iPhone community, I'm not that fussed about having MMS capabilities, true this app makes it easier for me to pick up any that are sent, but I could do that on the web anyway. If I want to send a picture I'll generally email it. However there's still a lot of people who haven't got decent mobile email and so are still using MMS, like my girlfriend for example who has a Nokia 5000, because that suits her mobile phone needs, and has MMS. So I can view MMS messages from her, and with the MMS app I can also, if I REALLY needed to send them. However you need to top-up MMS credit from within the app via PayPal, the rates seem about average, but are they on-top of my mobile tariff, is it a seperate thing? I haven't been able to clarify, thus I haven't given any money over. (iTunes)

Darkslide:- I added this yesterday, because I was specifically looking for a picture of something. Sat in the car, bought it (free) over 3G, used it to search Flickr. Couldn't find what I wanted, but that's not the app's fault. It seems pretty good, lot of functionality, I'm gonna keep it about for a bit. (iTunes)(Profile)

Starting to notice I have a lot of apps that get bugger all use.

Pownce it! Pownce it!

Up and Running 6

I've now been using my iPhone 3G for about 6 months, so here I'm going to cover the 'page 1' apps on my iPhone. Top to bottom, left to right. (pages 2-4 will follow)

Calendar:- Pretty straight forward this one, I use iCal on my MacBook as my main calendar, so it's synched to that. Unlike on my previous Nokia phones, I can add an item to any calendar category I like, rather than having to specify just one iSync or something. Only bugbears with it are that there's no week view and the calendar colours don't match the one's in iCal, the latter at least seems like a no brainer!!

Maps:- Maps gets knocked by a fair few people, mainly for it's lack of "turn-by-turn" SatNav abilities, all I can say is that so far, it's got me everywhere I've needed to go. True every now and again there's a post code error and it takes me to the wrong street, but this isn't the application's fault as such, more the data it's using from Google Maps, or maybe even address having the wrong post code on it. 
Back to the "turn-by-turn" side of things, yes, this is is a tad fiddly in Maps, you have to tap through each waypoint and then re-engage GPS tracking each time, not the best thing to have to do while driving. Rumors still fly about the Tom-Tom software for iPhone and a guy from O2 told me there was another SatNav app coming out soon (same one as they have on XDA perhaps), but I've yet to see it, plus it'll be a subscription based model, not sure about that.

Contacts:- I don't have to delve into this that often, apart from via the phone book. It was dreadfully slow to begin with, updates have pretty much sorted that.

Camera:- For a bog standard phone camera, it's not terrible, yeah sure there's better phone cameras out there, but this is comparable to and better than some previous Nokias and Motorola's I've had. Does ok.

Twinkle:- I'm a Twitter addict. So until it goes bankrupt (revenue model yet anyone?) I'll keep going. There's a variety of Twitter apps out there, I've been happiest with the interface on this one, plus it's location aware. (iTunes)

Calculator:- It's a calculator...

Notes:- It does exactly the job I need it to do. If I need to make a note of something, this is where it goes.

NetNewsWire:- I got into the whole RSS thing a few months back, and I have both the mobile and desktop version of NNW, both pretty good, for collating the various sites I read. Still think the mobile one has syncing issues tho. (iTunes)

Facebook:- A pretty good interface for the site, they do keep improving it, there's more needed, but I'm sure they'll get there. I do get quite a bit of use from this. (iTunes)

Safari:- All in all, it does a pretty good job, can be a little fiddly with some sites if there's crowded text, you can easily tap a link when you wanted to zoom in, or tap an adjacent link to the one you want. Can be a tad slow at times and obviously doesn't cope well with pop-ups etc.

Evernote:- Thinking this may go soon. It's an interesting concept when combined with the broswer applet, you can clip to Evernote then it's accessible from pretty much anywhere. Thing is cell data isn't great and I rarely use it. Favouring emails, Notes and PDFs it seems. I want to like it tho. (iTunes)

Settings:- Cos there's no quick switch icon for Wi-Fi on/off

Air Sharing:- Brilliant, gives you wi-fi disk access to your phone, create folders, drag over docs, whatever really. I've got a store of useful docs on my phone and use this a fair bit. Be handy to have some integration to mail or something, to allow you to save docs to it tho. But that's probably more a restriction by Apple. Luckily I also got this when it was free, but well worth the £2.99 now! (iTunes)

Traffic:- WebApp, quick view list of traffic problems around the UK, listed by region, very useful (if I remember to check before I set off!), would be handy if it listed by Motorway, cos half the time I'm going somewhere of any distance, I lose track of which county I'm in!! (WebApp)

FireFone:- Recently discovered Fire Eagle, added it to my Twitter-style addictions and online explotation. Tried a couple of Fire Eagle apps out, this seemed to do the job the quickest. Apparently the recent update allows Location to Twitter posting, haven't tried that yet tho. (iTunes)

Quick bar.

Phone:- No complaints so far, sometimes the Visual Voicemail is a bit sketchy whether it will actually be visual or not, but that hasn't been a major issue so far.

Mail:- Again, this has been working okay, nothing has stopped me from working or anything like that, would like to be able to save documents tho, that did cause a minor delay in things the other day as I couldn't get the doc off the phone (no wifi to pickup email on my MacBook), but overall it's done well. My email accounts are all over the place, but I will be upgrading my server to Exchange which will hopefully solve all that (but not until Snow Leopard!)

SMS:- I'm pretty sure I text a hell of a lot more with this, the conversation format works well, only issues are me being too quick and accepting some of it's stupid spelling and word suggestions by mistake.

Checklist:- I tried various ToDo list apps, this one enabled me to add tasks the quickest, so it stuck. (iTunes)

Okay, so there's page 1, I'll cover pages 2, 3 and 4 when I can/feel like it/am bored/etc. Always interested to hear about useful and interesting apps, especially paid apps that are actually worth the money!

Pownce it! Pownce it!

BETT 2009

Today was the first day of BETT 2009 @ Olympia, and as I've done for the past couple of years, I was part of the team covering it for Teachers TV. It's been a long day and I have a blister on the ball of my left foot.

If you're hoping for an insightful post on the current state of technology in the education marketplace, this is not going to be the one. This is about what freebies we snagged on the way round, mainly as despite being rather tired, I'm not quite ready to go to bed yet, so you get this!

The haul is not as good as previous years :( no bags, no mugs, no drinks bottles. I'm pretty sure we could've found all three of those (bags at the very least), but for some reason, the freebies were hard to find, the stands were more reluctant to give them away and we seemed to have a much tighter schedule (or at least it became tighter!) this time round, which meant less time to browse on our way between I/V locations!

But what did I come back with.

A Pencil with TWO rubbers on it!
A Rubiks...sorry...Logo-Branded-Generic-Puzzle Cube (which one bit pinged off while I was smugly boasting about it to the presenter)
A rather snazzy flower shaped highlighter (may give that to my g/f, on the other hand, may not)
A few sweets, including a sherbert lolly!!
A Stress LightBulb
A Stress Phone
2 'credit-card' sized packs of mints
3 USB Memory Sticks! (not sure on the sizes yet, won't be huge, although my sound guy got given a 2GB one and he didn't even ask!!!!!)

Also got recommended a couple of iPhone apps by the guys on the O2 stand, I'll cover at least some of them in a post tomorrow (yeah right, believe that when I see it!!... I Will honest!)

Anyway, it was a great show and we saw (and filmed) some interesting stuff, should be a good programme!! BETT Report 2009 goes out on Teachers TV 20:15 Thursday 15th (Today now!!) and should be available online shortly after at http://www.teachers.tv/video/30904

Pownce it! Pownce it!


Well it had to happen I suppose... as it does every year, one finished and another arrived, this time, something a little different, Two Thousand and NINE, yes NINE of all numbers!!

OK it's late, 20 past 1 in the AM Jan 2nd 09 and after pretty much 3 months, I NOW decide I want to post some random shite up here. Deal.

So, was pretty damn busy at the end of last year, mix of stuff and, by the time it came around, I was really glad for a bit of a break over xmas! :/

How did '08 go?? Not bad, first 8 months of being freelance done and dusted, all going ok so far, sure there's a way to go, but for a start, I'm pretty pleased. 4 months left of my first year, and then a proper assessment I think.

Been trying to work out my 1 year and 5 year plans, not going great, still needs a lot of work, and preferably some sort of writing down, once I do figure out what they're going to be. Still interested in creating some sort of online content, still toying with various ideas, still not moving forward with anything... that'll be on the plan.

Spent too much money over xmas... mainly on myself, post xmas. I'm not a bastard, I bought good presents, just buckled afterwards and bought myself one..

What you see there is my spanking new Nikon D80 sat next to what can now probably be described as my vintage Nikkormat EL, which used to be my Dad's. The Lens on the D80 is an 18-55 'G' lens, which isn't great, but it's a start. I want to get a decent zoom for it as the Nikkor 80-200 I picked up recently for the EL is of too old a type to mount on the D80. Damn.

Apparently I can get the lens modified to fit, which I may need to do anyway, as I bought it not only for the EL but also for use with lens adapters on video and I think there's a similar mounting issue there.

Anyway, Happy New Year.

Mood is quizzical and ever so slightly apprehensive
Currently (still) listening to White Star Liners - Dimmer Then Explode

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