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Pax Vobis Memento Mori Qui Ludentis Pilla

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18th June 2007

11:10am: A picture! Nudity!Collapse )

From last week's shoot with Kelly.

Setting this up was fun -- I got the idea in my head for this a while back, and purchased about 70m of elastic fabric. I used the big metal backdrop stand as a frame and wound the fabric back and forth. About halfway through setting it up, the stands started to move -- even though it's huge and heavy, a few dozen loops of the elastic (not super tight , but enough to be taught) was starting to pull the legs of the stand closer together. I added sandbags to the stand bases just so Kelly wasn't crawling into a total deathtrap.

(9 photos | take a picture)

8th June 2007

1:41pm: I Live!
Yes, I am indeed still alive. Aside from some occasional insta-replies on Facebook the past few weeks, I've been a bad imaginary friend. I suck!

Life has been super busy, in a nutshell:
-Lizzie (who is super awesome, but keeps us very busy)
-My sister's wedding
-Crazy busy at work
-Playing Eve
-Birthday (thanks to all for the nice wishes!)
-Lots of shoots for Gemini
-Broken laptop
-Setting up new laptop

Anywho, I hope to be getting back to being a more responsible netizen soon. I've got two more weeks of until my three week vacation starts. I've still got a bit of an editing backlog to catch up on, but I'm going to try harder to update here. I apologise for sucking.

(1 photo | take a picture)

13th April 2007

2:12pm: Gah! Yes, I'm still alive.

Lizzie's first tooth came in. She was not the happiest camper about it it, but it sounds like it could have been much worse from the stories I've heard. She's trying really hard to sit up all the time, and she can almost roll over without any help. Oh, and she's figured out how to put her feet in her mouth :)

I can't wait for it to get warmer and nicer so we can go for walks with her.

Anywho, between Lizzie and playing EVE, I really haven't been doing much else. :)
I've got a big shoot tomorrow with a local modelling agency, just doing a mess of fun/creative stuff with group of different models.

(take a picture)

23rd March 2007

10:08am: Damn you, Brian.

He convinced me to sign up for EVE Online. Having much fun so far. Staying up until 3am was probably not the best move, though.

(1 photo | take a picture)

21st March 2007

9:50am: Did one of the big botnets die recently? I've seen a huge drop in spam since the weekend -- I've actually cranked down my SpamAssassin settings on the server since I'm only getting a few a day right now. I noticed a big drop after xmas, too, but then the spam came back hard and heavy.

When I rule the world, the spammers will be flayed and fed their own entrails.

That is all.

(take a picture)

12th March 2007

10:09am: I added in a "parenting" filter -- if you'd like to read about Lizzie and her bodily functions, just let me know.

Spent a good portion of the weekend working on the website gallery. It is *so* close, and looking much better now. Some minor layout tweaks to go, but I'm hoping I can unleash it on the world before the end of the week.

(11 photos | take a picture)

6th March 2007

11:14am: At some point (soon) I'm going to have to get serious about picking images for book #2, the motion-themed one. I think I keep putting it off since I'm afraid of how many images there are. For the first book, my starting set was around 400 images (which I then had to whittle down to 190). But for the next book, I had so many good shoots for dance stuff (especially multiple shoots with shanmonster and Imp), I wouldn't be surprised if I started with a thousand images right off the bat. Picking is going to be hard, and probably involve a bit more work since lots of those images I know I've flagged as good, but haven't done any (or minimal) editing yet.

This one is back from October's shoot with Imp, I was just looking at it again, and decided to give it a quick edit, and now I *love* it...
nude...Collapse )

I think my best bet will be to set aside an hour an evening for the next little while to work on book-specific.

In other news, I've actually been pretty hard at work on a new gallery system for ye olde website. I've been adding tons of code to zenphoto, and I think I'll be able to get it to do almost exactly what I want. I'm pretty excited about it, I think it'll be a different (and hopefully fun/interesting) way to showcase my images.

(4 photos | take a picture)

4th March 2007

12:29am: From today's (well, Saturday's) shoot with the beautiful (and deadly) Zoenka:



and a nude...Collapse )

(4 photos | take a picture)

26th February 2007

10:16am: I actually did pretty well on my to-do list -- only got through half the pictures, but I'm quite happy about them. Adobe Lightroom is really fantastic for editing shots from the studio setup, I'm a total convert -- but it does grind the old lappy when exporting (I went to bed around 3am, it probably had about an hour to go on the 100 pictures left to export).

More of the gorgeous syntheticdaisy from Saturday:

gotta have broo hair...Collapse )

I did delve into the web gallery thing a bit. I still haven't found anything that does what I want, but I found a couple options that are a bit lighter-weight than Gallery or Coppermine (both of which seem like massive overkill) that I may be able to customise. Gonna start with zenphoto and see if it goes anywhere.

(6 photos | take a picture)

25th February 2007

5:38pm: Lizzie was up in the middle of the night -- while I was trying to fall back to sleep, I finally figured out (I think) what I want my online gallery to be like: Taxonomy/tagging like Flickr, but with additive or subtractive combinations of tags like del.icio.us, so every "gallery" would be dynamically built on tags. Each image will link to next and previous images in the "gallery" as you'd expect, but it could also provide links to related tag combinations. It works in my head :)

I don't think any existing image management systems do anything quite like that. If not, it might be work building or modding it.

Anywho, my to-do list for tonight:
-Fix my site's CSS for IE7. Fucking Microsoft. Just noticed it's kinda broken.
-Work on pictures from yesterday.
-Watch Heroes
-Recheck the image management systems. I think Gallery's tagging system is pretty new an limited. Not sure about Coppermine. If I can find something else that is close, that would be great, if not I might looking into modding Gallery. I don't think I want to start totally from scratch if I can help it.

(take a picture)

1:09am: Three's a charm! syntheticdaisy came to my rescue today, filling at the last minute after two cancellations. We had great fun, and I was really in the mode to shoot this weekend, so I'm glad I had someone to work with.

Robert had ordered a new ring-softbox for the studio, and it arrived, so I tried it out. I love it. It's an octagonal softbox with a hole in the middle that you can shoot the camera through, so you can get those wonderful round highlights right around the pupils of the eyes.

I didn't get a chance to filter through or work on them yet, but here's one... Over-exposed (on purpose, really), over-saturated, but looking pretty sweet...

(7 photos | take a picture)

24th February 2007

1:36pm: I can only take credit for the editing on this one, Tanya took this last week:

(1 photo | take a picture)

22nd February 2007

1:01am: I've been bad about posting Lizzie pictures, but here's one of my faves from last week:

(6 photos | take a picture)

20th February 2007

2:25pm: My interview with "thenudeinsider" got posted: linkie (very NSFW page) (scroll down a screen or two for the interview)

Studio news: They've been doing construction up on the third floor since December-ish, putting up framing for lots of new units in the big open space. That kinda sucked, since it was nice to have such convenient access to that area for those "urban decay" shots and that long wall of windows, but I was originally hopeful that new tenants would also mean the place would be a little cleaner. Adam (one of the guys I share the studio with) was talking to one of the builders, though, and apparently they are just doing the construction in order to meet fire code. It doesn't sound like they are really looking for new tenants, so the place may not end up much cleaner in the end. We'll see.

Geekery: My newest love is 4-fold webfu combo: del.icio.us + Firefox + Foxylicious + Launchy.
(actually, there's an optional fifth component, a del.icio.us extension for Firefox, but that's not required for the combo).

I really love this since I can bookmark stuff at home or work, and everything stays synced up.

(1 photo | take a picture)

16th February 2007

2:59pm: From the gallery:

my pictures...Collapse )

(3 photos | take a picture)

15th February 2007

1:13pm: I've got some pictures from the gallery on the camera, but haven't got them off yet. I'll have to try to get that done tonight.

I've been throwing around the idea of getting an Xbox 360, but considering I don't have enough time to do all the stuff I want to already these days, another time sink is probably a poor choice. New camera gear or a new lappy might be nice, but not really *needed* quite yet. Maybe I'll buy a new box or two for a MythTV setup. Hmmm.

(2 photos | take a picture)

11th February 2007

8:55pm: Reminder for London-area folks...
That Figures!

I'll be showing work at the That Figures! show in London. For those in the area (or can easily get there), it would be great to see you at the reception Monday night!

(1 photo | take a picture)

7th February 2007

10:45am: Yesterday was super geeky.

I wrote up a snazzy GreaseMonkey script to make DeviantArt suck less -- on DA, you can add people to your "DevWatch" list and see when they post new work. Sadly, unless you are a paid subscriber, you just get links in that list, and not preview images. I had been using an old extension in FireFox 1.5 that would load images in a sidebar, but it looks like DA changed the pages enough that it broke, so I finally upgrade my work machine to FF2. I wrote a new GM script that fires off an AJAX-esque request for each link, pulls back the page, searches for the embedded image URL (the page URL and image URL are unrelated, which is why this isn't simple), then loads the image in place of the link on the list page. It's pretty sweet, if I do say so myself, and was a fun exercise. Since the DA servers are slow, and a full page means firing off two hundred HTTP requests, it's not the speediest thing, but it works. I don't plan on widely releasing it, since if lots of people used it, DA would probably try changing the pages to break it -- but if any friends here who are on DA (and are FireFox/GreaseMonkey users) want it, just ask.

Last night I was also messing around in Photoshop, trying to automate some image contrast methods. I got some actions set up that essentially do some slick dodging/burning based on the the local brightness (and not just the absolute brightness of the pixel). The effect is similar to this, though I think my method leaves a little more room for fine control, since I split up the lightening and darkening layers (which can then be toned down or masked separately). I'll probably write up a tutorial on if for my website's blog.

(1 photo | take a picture)

4th February 2007

2:57pm: I just order a copy of The Last Unicorn (signed, no less) for my sister for her birthday... for any other fans of the movie (or to read about Beagle's woes):

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/02/04/get_a_signed_dvd_of_.html

Thank you for helping Peter S. Beagle by purchasing the new DVD of THE LAST UNICORN from
Conlan Press, instead of from somewhere else. More than half of what you just spent will 
go to support Peter and his projects — but if you had bought it somewhere else, Peter would 
have gotten nothing.

Here's the situation in a nutshell:

    * Granada Media International (the English company that owns the animated film of THE 
LAST UNICORN) has sold more than a million copies on DVD and videotape since 1999. By 
contract, they owe Peter hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties, but so far they 
have refused to pay him a cent.
    * Peter has fought for three years to get his due, so far without success.
    * He still isn't getting any royalties from the DVD you just bought, either (not as 
long as Granada keeps stonewalling).
    * However, the people at Lionsgate Entertainment (the film's American distributor) 
are great folks. To make it possible for American fans of THE LAST UNICORN to finally own 
a GOOD version, they are putting out this special digitally-remastered 25th Anniversary 
Widescreen DVD. And to help Peter, they have agreed to let us sell copies via the Conlan 
Press website. By purchasing here you have put money straight into Peter's pocket and 
helped him in his quest for justice.
    * Please spread the word. If you know anyone who wants to buy this DVD, tell them why 
they should buy it here.

Thank you very much! (And thanks to Lionsgate for caring.)

If you'd like to know more about the situation, and what you can do about it, go to 
www.conlanpress.com/youcanhelp.

(5 photos | take a picture)

3rd February 2007

7:56am: That Figures! in London
That Figures!

I'll be showing work at the That Figures! show in London. For those in the area, please come by, and it would be great to see you at the reception.

(take a picture)

23rd January 2007

12:39am: Phew... what a tiring evening... poor Lizzie didn't sleep much during the day apparently, and this evening got rather cranky (the "I'm really tired so I'll scream and get myself too worked up to sleep" cycle is a nasty one). She finally exhausted herself around 11:30, and is currently snoring away while in her car seat right beside me. We'll need to wake her up for a feed shortly, hopefully she'll go right back to sleep.

Picture from Sunday's shoot with Jo:


Despite poor Lizzie, I got a decent amount of "quick" editing done tonight -- I've been trying to play around a bit more with Adobe Lightroom, and I really do love it. The latest beta is smoother and faster than the last release, and wow, does is make mass simple processing easy and fast.

On my to-do list for this week is to come up with my image selection for the London "That Figures!" show in February at The Arts Project. I'm open to suggestions, so if you have a favourite image that you think I really should show, please let me know. The theme is figure, though, so that does limit selection, obviously. I've got a few ideas of my own, but haven't settled on anything yet. I was hoping to put together a few possible sets (I've got 8 feet of space) for feedback tonight, but hopefully I'll have time tomorrow. I'd also been hoping to get some more work done in the past few weeks on painting #2, as that might be a possibility, but that hasn't happened either.

(5 photos | take a picture)

22nd January 2007

4:27pm: Pointe
I *love* this one, it's from October's shoot with Imp...

NWS...Collapse )

(2 photos | take a picture)

20th January 2007

6:03am: "... is the new ...", in easy-to-read chart form :)

(2 photos | take a picture)

19th January 2007

11:36pm: Beware my technosavagery!

It looks like I may just have just managed to salvage all those old files off the old webserver.

I had formated the old SCSI drive with ext3, but when Taz's motherboard died, it must have been right when the drive was writing to the first superblock, as the drive was unmountable. But it was still recoverable:
-use dd to copy the contents of the whole of the SCSI device's contents to a file on another drive
-reformat the drive, note the location of the superblock copies when they are created
-use dd to copy the file back onto the device
-fsck it, giving it one of the alternate superblock locations, let it repair stuff
-tada!

Yeah, I'm a Linux n00b, but being able to do that is pretty cool (in the geek sense).

I'm backing up those old files now, then I should be able to merge them in with the current files. I think if I can replace Gir's CPU fan with something that spins at more than 8 RPM, it might just make it as the new webserver.

Maybe I'll learn my lesson and make backups of stuff more often. I'm probably due for another drive failure on one machine or another :)

(take a picture)

18th January 2007

2:45pm: Well, kinda got Gir working last night. Got Debian installed, and finally to the point where I could ssh in (so I could at least mess around from upstairs with the lappy while watching Lizzie).

The SCSI drive that I wanted to get the data off of is there, but complains when I try to mount it. Fsck complains when I try to repair it, so the contents may be pooched. I copied the device contents to file, at least, so I can mess around a bit to see if it's repairable before I totally wipe the drive down.

That said, I'm not sure the machine is stable -- my login from the lappy was disconnected this morning, and wouldn't reconnect (but I only had a minute to try before running out the door), so I'm not sure what's up with that. The machine was still on, so I'm not sure what happened. The CPU fan was barely turning, so if I want to turn Gir into the new web server, I'll probably have to replace that, at least. We'll see what happens -- I don't have oodles of time to spend on it, and it might just be easier to plunk down a hundred or two buck for some old off-lease machine that is way beefier.

(take a picture)

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