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  • POTD 2 Feb 2007: Box of paper tissues 2 February 2007


    Box of paper tissues

    I have a cold. A box of tissues was my constant companion today.

    Many years ago I was given the following advice… “When you have a cold you should drink a glass of red wine. Follow this by two glasses of white wine and a double whisky. Half an hour later have a large rum and two brandies. Optionally you can take several swigs of gin in between the drinks. It won’t cure the cold but… hey… by that stage… who cares!”

    Needless to say I’m not following that advice, I’ll stick with the Anadin Extra, a hot Ribena and plenty of tissues.

    PLEASE NOTE: This is not a source of free photographs.
    This photograph is (c) Ian M Butterfield. All rights are reserved. No use Is permitted (including non-commercial use) without prior permission. If you wish to use any of my photographs please ask first.

    Image Reference: EZ0202A-E00532

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  • POTD 2 Feb 2007: Dreaming 2 February 2007


    Boujaafar beach, Sousse, Tunisia

    Spent most of the day in bed with a cold.    At least I can dream about being somewhere warm!

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  • POTD 3 Feb 2007: Sponsored by Lucozade 3 February 2007


    Lucozade

    I feel as though today has been sponsored by Lucozade.  What energy I have had has come out of this orange bottle!

    Photo tip:  When photographing drinks in glasses always try to get the light to come from behind so that it shines through the liquid.  In this shot I used the under unit lights in our kitchen as the light source.

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  • POTD 4 Feb 2007: Shattered 4 February 2007


    Broken Image

    A few days ago the accouts package I use stopped working.  It started coming up with a rather unhelpful “Quickbooks has encountered an error and has to close” message every time I start it.

    I’ve lost count of the times I have removed it, reinstalled it and it still doesn’t work.  Though to be fair it no longer comes up with the error message…. it just opens the window and closes it again.

    The cold is getting better but after so much time trying to fix this I’m like QuickBooks shattered.

    PS.  For those who have been following the saga of the interference patterns on my monitors.  I think I may have solved it.  Yesterday I removed an old SCSI drive, and card from my system and since then no more interference patterns.

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  • POTD 5 Feb 2007: Graveyard 5 February 2007


    Woodford

    I won’t bore you with my bookkeeping software woes other than to ask if anyone has a recomendation for a good accounts package to please let me know!

    This evening I was back reheasing with the Woodford Players for their production of David Copperfield.  After the rehearsal at about 10:15 at night I took this photo of the graveyard in front of the church where we rehearse.  It was a 25sec exposure and most of what you see in the picture was not visible to the naked eye.  The orange light is overspil from the streetlights and it really doesn’t light up the the grave yard to the extent that it appears in this shot.  It is just the effect of a long exposure that gives that effect.

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  • POTD 6 Feb 2007: Chill Out! 6 February 2007


    Sam

    Over the last few days not only have I had a cold to contend with (now almost gone) but, if I am honest, I’ve been worried about the failure of the Accounts software on my PC.  I knew the problem would be resolved eventually but I what worried me was the amount of time it was going to take, especially if I had to learn a new software package and reenter a lot of data.  I spoke to the Quickbooks tech support people today and even though they don’t support the version I use, within minutes they were able to get the program working again.  I felt as though a weight had been lifted from me.

    A few minutes later I left the study to find Sam relaxing in the sun, and thought yeah… compared to how I had felt just half an hour before – this is how I feel now – totally chilled out.

    Thank you, God, for answered prayer!

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  • POTD 7 Feb 2007: Graveyard (Take 2) 7 February 2007


    Woodford Church Graveyard at night

    On Monday this week I posted a photo of a graveyard in Woodford.  I was pretty pleased with the photo except for the fact that I had lost the very top of the church.  As I was again reheasing at the same place tonight, so this time I took my tripod and had another go.

    This photo was taken at the back of the church.  The light on the gravestone is from the headlights of a car that was reversing out. 

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  • POTD 8 Feb 2007: Woodford Church – Take II (2) 8 February 2007


    Woodford Church Graveyard at night

    I mentioned in yesterdays POTD, that I was back taking photos of the church and graveyard at Woodford because I wasn’t happy with the fact that I had ‘lost’ the top of the church in Monday’s photo.  This was photo was the re-done shot at the front of the church.  I’m much happier with the composition, but less happy with the colours as I’ve had to do a fair bit of tweaking on them, almost no tweaking was needed with Monday’s shot.

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  • POTD 9 Feb 2007: Stockport at Night 9 February 2007


    Stockport at Night

    Woodford is not the only place I’ve been taking night shots this week.  I was at Stockport Garrick this Tuesday and afterward I snatched a couple of shots of the bus station and viaduct.

    This is a bit of an experiment in colour correction.  The photo was taken under orange soduim lighting, but I’ve corrected the image to take out the orange colour cast.  I’m not sure it works but it was worth having a play with.

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  • POTD 10 Feb 2007: More Historical Updates 10 February 2007


    Deck chairs on Blackpool Prom

    I’ve uploaded two more historical updates.  Both are connected with my last days at EDS.  One of the photos like today’s POTD is an image from a very wet and windswept Blackpool.

    http://www.imb.biz/page.php?pg=diary&d=2003-05-15
    and
    http://www.imb.biz/page.php?pg=diary&d=2003-05-16

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  • POTD 11 Feb 2007: Us 11 February 2007


    Ian and Ann Butterfield

    I had a family portrait session this morning and while the studio was set up I took some portraits of Ann and I.  (Ann wants a picture of us to send to her parents).

    Also uploaded to POTD today:

    Saturday, 17 May 2003 : The Party
    and
    Sunday, 18 May 2003 : The Day After the Night Before

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  • POTD 12 Feb 2007: Ramblings about self-portraits 12 February 2007


    Finger Print

    Yesterday I posted a photo of Ann and myself.  It was a photo I had taken, and to be honest it isn’t really my best work – it definately isn’t very flattering of me (but then what photo is?). 

    I find self portraits very difficult to get right, take todays image for example it was created for a contract that didn’t happen in my very first week of being self-employed.  The image you can see here is actually made up of four diferent photos.  The background is a photo I had taken in Jordan, scanned and blurred in photoshop,  the picture of me was taken at home against a white background (also blurred in photoshop).  The hand was from a different photo from the same shoot and the figerprint was made using a little bit of poster paint, my finger, a piece of paper and a scanner. The problem is actually getting myself in shot and in focus – it took a lot of attempts to get images that I could use (that is why the hand is from a different shot to the rest of me).

    It was a similar problem yesterday – I was tiered after the earlier shoot and constantly getting up checking the camera setting it to self-timer and then sitting down in time for the shutter to click, has led to the unflattering image that I posted yesterday.

    For more about when today’s POTD was originally taken you might want to have a look at Monday, 19 May 2003 : The New Job Starts Here (which shows the shot the hand came from) and for a rather bizzare story about jelly babies you might want to read the other entry I’ve uploaded – Tuesday, 20 May 2003 : The Great Jelly Baby Hunt !

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  • POTD 13 Feb 2007: Liverpool 13 February 2007


    The Three Graces, Liverpool Waterfront

    Today’s photo is from a set of photos I took on my 40th Birthday – back in 2003 (I’m starting to feel old as I write this!).  It was a very dull and wet day as we took a cruise along the Manchester Ship canal but enjoyable all the same.  Because of the weather conditions I converted this particular image to sepia tone.

    As for what I’ve been doing today, I’ve been preparing a montage for a customer, and preparing for a photo shoot at Stockport Garrick tonight.  The produciton is called “Shut Up” and is being put on by the threatre’s youth group.  Because the production is by the youth group I cannot post the photos to my POTD – so if you want to see the photos… they will be on the wall of the Garrick when the show opens tomorrow… you’ll just have to go and watch the show!

    Other POTD pages and photos uploaded today:
    Wednesday, 21 May 2003 : The Commercial Job
    Thursday, 22 May 2003 : The Big Four-O

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  • POTD 14 Feb 2007: Stockport at Night (2) 14 February 2007


    Stockport at Night

    For today’s POTD I’m returning to the photos I took last week in Stockport town centre.  As I said at the time these are experitmental shots.  The experiment was to do with removing the sodium colour cast.  One comment posted suggested that the colour cast should have been left it as that is what the view expects to see.

    I’ve processed this shot, leaving the orange cast.  I’m not sure this shot works but that’s not to do with the colour cast – there is a very distracting bit of light flare from a lamp that is just out of shot and secondly the power cable supports on the viaduct disappear in to the darkness.  I think this is one shot that would have been better taken at dusk where there would have been sufficient daylight to illuminate both the sky and the bits of the viaduct that are not floodlit.

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  • POTD 15 Feb 2007: Coal Merchant Huts 15 February 2007


    Coal Merchant Huts, Heaton Moor

    I had to go in to Heaton Moor today to collect some regular treatments for our cats from the vets.  I decided to take my camera to get a photograph of this building.  It is florist located in an old wooden coal merchant hut.

    I’ve been meaning to photograph the huts for quite some time now.  I should have done it a year or so back… when there was a line of five of them.  A few months ago the end one collapsed, and like dominos the next three went with it.  All that remains is this florist which now occupies the first two huts.

    I don’t know what all the huts used to be but there used to be a taxi office running out of one and an ironing service out of another.

    The huts can be found on the corner of Heaton Moor Road and Tatton Road South, next to Heaton Chapel station.  They are apparently about 150 years old.

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  • POTD 16 Feb 2007: Brand Awareness 16 February 2007


    Stockport Garrick: Season’s Greetings

    Occasionally people ask me why I run this photo of the day.  There are lots of reasons, including wanting to show off my work, and encouraging me to take new photos.  One of the most important reasons is of course to promote my work.  It is surprising the number of visitors who come to this site because words in my blog/POTD entry turn up on a search they are doing.  Oddly two of the most common search phrases that bring people to this site are “The Dutch Pancake House” and “Sam Troughton” !   Now, people who come to the site with those searches probably won’t think – wow, it’s a photographer’s website I’ll go book a portrait session, but if in the future they are looking for a photographer or are looking for stock images and come accross the name “Ian M Butterfield” they may think, oh yes, I’ve heard of him – I don’t  where from – but I know the name.  If you are faced with choosing between two suppliers and you’ve heard of one, there is a high probability that you will go with the one you’ve heard of.  In advertising, they call it “Brand Awareness”.

    In December, I photographed “Season’s Greetings” at Stockport Garrick.  One member of the cast was Steve Hester (that’s him in today’s photo).  Steve is a professional actor with a number of stage, and screen credits to his name.  Younger viewers may have spotted him on Saturday morning TV recently in a program called Prank Patrol.  Steve has some of my photos from Season’s Greetings on his website.  Those photos have a credit and link back to my website – again this is yet another way to create brand awareness, and the links back to this site increase my Google rating. 

    So to return the favour to Steve Hester (notice how I’ve written his name in full to increase brand awareness! <grin>) I’d like to draw your attention to his website: http://www.stevehester.co.uk and invite you to visit it. (Link to Steve’s web site that’ll improve his Google ranking).  So if you happen to be a casting director who has found this page because you were Googling for “Sam Troughton” can I recommend Steve Hester as a possible alternative…. and… oh yes…. of course you WILL need a photographer for your production too… won’t you?  So remember that other name: “Ian M Butterfield”

     

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  • POTD 17 Feb 2007: Ha'Penny Bridge Dublin 17 February 2007


    Ha’penny Bridge, Dublin

    Chosen as my photo of the day, for no other reason than the fact that I was doing some work on my Ireland photos yesterday.

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  • POTD 18 Feb 2007: Scams 18 February 2007


    Shredding banks statements

    One of our favourite programmes on TV is “The Real Hustle”.  After watching the last series we decided we should invest in a shredder.  This evening I spent half an hour or so just feeding old bank statements into the shredder.  It occured to me that this would make a good stock photo so I set up this shot, which will eventually find it’s way on to Alamy.

    In case any one is wondering… I have digitally removed or modified any valuable information from the statement in the photo.  So don’t even bother trying to read the account number etc.  Besides which the last line on the statement says “account closed” (!).

    After shredding the statements we sat down to watch a brand new hour-long episode of the “Real Hustle”.  Those that watch the programme will know that most scams start by offering something great at the start but leave you often with second hand goods.  This was alegedly a new one hour special.  OK the first scam was a new one and two others toward the end were new ones… but the rest was stuff from previous shows… mainly from the Christmas special.  On this occasion the programme has scammed it’s viewers into thinking it was a full hour of new matterial when infact only about 10 minutes of it was new.  I’m sure there’s a moral to this story if only I can find it.

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  • POTD 19 Feb 2007: Rationalising the Office 19 February 2007


    3.5in floppy disks

    Last night Ann commented that it was about time that I “rationalised” the study.  By which she meant tidy up my junk.  Oddly enough I had planned to do just that today and I spent almost all of today throwing out junk and other no longer needed items which had been stored under my desk.

    One of the items I’ve decided to dispose of was the box of floppy disks, but before I did I thought I get a photo of them all.

    Anyone want to guess how many floppies were used to make this photo?  Use the add comment feature below to post your suggestion.

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  • POTD 20 Feb 2007: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 20 February 2007


    A traditional cart outside of Molly Gallivan’s cottage and tea room, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

    Adobe have finally released version 1.0 of Lightroom.  This is suposed to be the all-singing, all-dancing, raw processing, cataloging, printing, programing.

    I have to say I have VERY mixed feelings about this product.  I really hate the way they bought up pixmantec and took Raw Shooter Professional (RSP) off the market, claiming that it would be part of lightroom.  Lightroom (LR) couldn’t be further away from if they tried.  RSP was a single function program – it converted RAW files and it did it in a very slick, fast, easy to use method.  LR on the other hand is anything but intuative and is slow to use.

    Having said all that the level of control it gives over how an image is converted is great, there are many tasks that can be done in lightroom that are completely impossible in RSP.  Take todays image for example the black and white plus red was a doddle to do in LR.  The quality of the raw conversions is very, very good.  But and it is a big but… it is all the other things that get in the way… it enforces you to use LR as an image catelog.  This just gets in the way, so much so that I wonder if the great output quality is worth all the hassle that the image catalog creates.

    So the jurry is out… more testing required… including looking at the alternatives.

    PS.  The answer to yesterday’s puzzle…. 383 floppy disks were used to create yesterdays photo.

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  • POTD 21 Feb 2007: Windmill 21 February 2007


    Whitburn Windmill, South Tyneside, UK

    I’ve been cleaning up some photos today, and getting them ready for library submission.  Came across this shot of a windmill in Whitburn, South Tyneside that I’d taken about 18 months ago.  I pretty pleased with it, even if I do say so myself.

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  • POTD 22 Feb 2007: Manchester Library at Night 22 February 2007


    Manchester Central Library

    Another image I ‘discovered’ while preparing photos for submission.  This is Manchester Central Library, taken December 2005.  The photo looks a lot better than it really ought to.  It really was too dark for this dusk/night photography when I took it, but I played arround with the image enhancing it beyond what is normally considered acceptable to get something that works.

    As taken the sky was black and the library just disappeared in to it.  The enhancements have returned the sky to a deap blue colour but at the cost of some ‘banding’ and noise in the sky.

    All things concidered… well I’m reasonably happy with it.  I might even submit it to Alamy!

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  • POTD 23 Feb 2007: Port el Kantaoui 23 February 2007


    White apartment blocks, Port el Kantaoui, Tunisia

    24 February 2007: Ooops! I forgot to post this last night. 

    This is a photo of holiday appartments in Port El Kantaoui in Tunisia.  Like the last few POTD entries this is a photo I was working on yesterday, preparing for library submission.

    I’m enjoying the work on the photos and I’ve been learning one or two new tricks in the process. 

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  • POTD 24 Feb 2007: Port el Kantaoui (2) 24 February 2007


    Harbour boardwalk, Port el Kantaoui, Tunisia

    A comment posted to yesterday’s POTD requested more Tunisa/Port el Kantaoui photos because Hillary, who left the comment, is going to be visiting there later this year.  Well, I’m happy to oblige, especially as I will be working on Tunisia photos for the next few days or so.  (I have several hundred that I need to remove dust spots from… ho hum!)

    Today’s photo is, again, from Port el Kantaoui and shows the walkway and boats at the back of the harbour area.

    For those who want to see more Tunisia photo you can see all the photos that are currently uploaded in my Tunisia travel gallery: http://www.imb.biz/page.php?pg=album&al=22

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  • POTD 25 Feb 2007: Blue Skies over Dougga 25 February 2007


    Capitoline Temple. Roman City of Dougga, The Tell, Tunisia

    Continuing the Tunisian theme.  This is the remains of the Roman city of Dougga in the north of the country.  I photographed loads while I was there… this means I’ve got loads of them to clean up!

    In this shot I was struck by the blueness of the sky and the little whisps of cloud, so much so that even the grand Capitoline Temple has to “play second fiddle” to it.

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  • POTD 26 Feb 2007: Droplets 26 February 2007


    Droplets

    Tonight was the C3 Photography group meeting.  This group is part of the C3 Church that Ann and I are becoming involved with.

    The meeting was at our house, and the theme was photographing water droplets.  Including coloured water (ok, ribena) as in this photo.

    For the record this ISN’T a crop of a larger photo.  The image is cropped slightly but only to remove a little bit of the white space from the top and sides of the image.

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  • POTD 27 Feb 2007: Sousse Archeological Museum 27 February 2007


    Mosaic of Dionysus (or Bacchus) in a chariot pulled by tigers. The Archaeological Museum, Sousse

    Returning to the Tunisian photos – Today I’ve been cleaning up images of mosaics that I photographed in the Sousse Archeological Museum.

    This is one of the many impressive mosaics on display there.  The Bardo in Tunis is the big (and famous) museum in Tunisia, but I actually preferred the Sousse museum, it wasn’t a big, it wasn’t as crowded, and the lighing inside, I thought was better (all important that when you are photographing the exhibits!)

    Anyone visiting in Sousse or any of the nearby resorts – it is well worth going to see the musuem.  Especially if you like art or history.

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  • POTD 28 Feb 2007: Tunis 28 February 2007


    Fountains in front of Bab El Bahar, an ancient city gate. Place de la Victoire, Tunis, Tunisia

    I spend most of today in bed with a migraine, as a result I haven’t cleaned-up many photos today.  The few I have done are of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. 

    For today’s POTD I’ve selected this image of the fountains in front of Bab El Bahar, an ancient city gate.  The square is marked on the map as “Place de la Victoire”.  However we discovered that when we asked taxi drivers to take us to “Place de la Victoire” they didn’t appear to know of it… or at least they claimed not to have heard of it.  It was only some time later that it occured to us, one possible reason for this.  “Place de la Victoire” is French for something like:  “Victory Square”.   Perhaps, quite rightly, the Tunisians don’t want to be reminded of their defeat at the hands of the French.  We never did find out what name the locals know the square as.

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