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Getting the supermoon out of proportion

I’ve enjoyed looking at the many news-website photo galleries of last week’s ‘supermoon’. Many of the shots purport to show how unusually large the moon looked last Saturday night, and some are quite remarkable. Here’s a photo shown prominently on Gizmodo, under the headline ‘The Supermoon really was super huge!’: That does indeed look impressive, but the commenters quickly realised there was a problem, because they knew the size difference was overhyped. The ‘supermoon’ was a rare-ish conjunction of a full moon and the moon’s closest approach to the earth. The latter happens every three years, and the conjunction about every 20. ... Read More »

Uganda Humanist Schools exhibition launch

Big day today – my Uganda schools exhibition opens at Conway Hall this evening. This post should go up just as it starts. I’m currently pretty nervous and excited – nobody’s really seen the room before today, so I’m really hoping it goes down well. Hopefully there’ll be 30 or so people coming, and I’m breaking out the jelly babies. Here’s one of the walls: More shots of the room are on the official exhibition site. My last exhibition was frustratingly difficult to put online due to release form issues, and I’m really happy there’s a proper permanent presence for ... Read More »

How does low-resolution colour affect a photograph?

For my dissertation I’ve been researching how the physical structure of our visual system affects the way we perceive paintings and photographs. I’m been particularly interested in how the cells in the retina make a difference, given that they’re obviously fundamental in how we see. There’s been a fair bit of research done in this area, and a few investigations relate to photography, which is obviously of interest to me. One in particular is causing me some trouble, as I think it’s quite dramatic, but sometimes I wonder whether there’s actually anything that needs an explanation. It relates to our perception ... Read More »

100 favourites

For the first time, one of my photos has reached 100 favourites on Flickr: By most metrics, this is by far the most popular photo I’ve ever taken. It regularly gets posted to blogs / adapted in mashups, and was also used on the cover of an Australian folk album. I took it on the day Stratford flooded, but I really really wanted to stay in and read the newly-released Harry Potter 7, and I honestly remember thinking “what are the odds I’ll take something any good anyway?”. Went out anyway, and saw this couple salsa-ing in the floodwaters. I ... Read More »

Fibonacci Christmas cards for sale

Just to say my Fibonacci Cones Christmas card is now for sale in the BHA shop. 10 A6 cards/envelopes for £10 + delivery (85p/pack). Blank inside. Small BHA logo on the back. They’re nice! Read More »

PtP March photos

Yesterday’s Protest the Pope march was completely, spectacularly brilliant. 20,000 people! I’m just rushing to the Lib Dem conference, but a quick edit of the photos is up on Facebook. Read More »

What happened when we gave cameras to the Ugandan kids

Just before heading out to Uganda I picked up a bulk load of digital cameras on eBay, with the aim of handing them out to the pupils and seeing what kind of pictures came back. I was originally going to use disposable film cameras, but these 20 little Vivitar 3-megapixel compacts came to £3 each – and I could re-use them – so I bit the seller’s hand off. When he heard my plans he sent along a few extra for free, which was very nice of him, and the night before leaving I spent an hour shoving titchy cameras ... Read More »

Uganda photos: finished

I finally finished processing the Uganda photos/videos this afternoon. Hooray! It is quite the relief, not least because now they’re in the cloud I can stop worrying about hard drive failures taking out my summer’s work. Much as I love Flickr, I have to admit it’s easier to browse the shots on Facebook. FB’s new album layout makes everything look pretty, and the refresh-less Next/Previous is very pleasant. Flickr has the edge in pretty much everything – quality, information, accessibility – but FB is hard to beat for quick browsing. The albums (of selected shots) are here if you’ve a ... Read More »

Upcoming events

Just to say I’m photographing at quite a few secular/skepticky events over the next month, in various cities. If anyone’s at / around any of these, it’d be cool to meet up. I’ll nag closer to the time, but I’m currently booked for: Protest the Pope debate on the topic of “The Papal Visit should not be a State Visit”. AC Grayling and Peter Tatchell vs. Austen Ivereigh and Christopher Jamison. Wednesday 1st September. London. Conway Hall. Come along to the Department of Health and become a registered practitioner of Old Wives’ Traditional Medicine. Sense about Science are highlighting the Department ... Read More »

How to look good on dating websites: ask a photographer

This is quite exciting: dating site OkCupid took half a million profile pictures, asked three million people to choose between two randomly chosen examples, and ran the stats on the resulting photos’ EXIF data. I know! No really. This is seriously interesting. Even taking into account my current state of mind. Because there’s lots of advice in photography, particularly when it comes to portraits, and it all seems valid and reasonable and important until you show a bunch of pictures to somebody and they immediately reach for the dodgy one. The one where you had no choice but to fire the ... Read More »

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