Tag Archives: Photography

Heron Tower

I like how this giant skyscraper – going to be taller than the adjacent Tower 42, and taller even than One Canada Square in Canary Wharf, is slowly inching its way skywards. I wonder whether people will only really notice it when it becomes higher than Tower 42?

Heron Tower

But it won’t be the tallest for long, there’s even taller buildings in central London on the way.

A Wise Man is Astonished By Everything

A few months ago I was cycling home along Smuggler’s Way near the Wandle Delta when I spotted some graffiti on the wall of a builder’s mechant. A few weeks later I stopped off to get some photos.

Photo of graffiti

Photo of graffiti

Not a Banksy, I don’t think, but cool none the less. Unfortunately it looks like the uber-efficient Wandsworth Borough Council anti-graffiti squad have removed all traces of it, which is a shame. I bear no grudge against the squad – who I must owe a bottle of wine to by now for the number of times they’ve responded to my pleas regarding graffit on our estate – but a part of me wishes they could make a distinction between art and vandalism.

On an entirely unrelated note, here’s a nice chirpy song for you – “Youkou Yeah Yeah !” from Vulsor’s The Project. Keen followers of my last.fm profile – which records for posterity what I listen to at home – would have noticed this getting a few plays since I found it in my collection. I’d recommend “Mushroom” from the same album, except I hate how it ends. When I get a chance (and err, learn how…), then I’ll remix it and give it a proper conclusion….

Fill the Gap!

Last weekend was the “Fill the Gap” mapping party in Kew and Richmond – the gap being between all of our stuff around Putney and the stuff further south-west coming up towards Kingston. Although I had volunteered to help organise it, there wasn’t much to be done after Etienne had found a venue. Having a pile of overhead imagery already printed out was worthwhile, since nobody brought their own!

Photos of Streetsigns

Photos of Streetsigns – sitting around in the pub working on the day’s mapping generally attracts curious onlookers – people can never work out what we’re up to!

Fill the Gap

This was after me, Dave and Mike had finished – hence the half-empty table!

On Saturday Mike made his first real foray into the world of OpenStreetMap, and he and Dave went mapping around Mortlake whilst I did the stuff further up the hill in Sheen. With the weather turning a bit miserable I volunteered to stay in the pub and mark up all the morning stuff (and lend a hand with other people), and when everyone was done we went for some pizza down at the river (courtesy of our sponsors; tastes twice as nice!). On Sunday morning Dave and I went round collecting a handful of missed bits from my Saturday zone, before I volunteered to have a quick blast around Richmond Park on my bike, hence saving Nick Whitelegg a few miles walk. Whilst I was there, I nipped out to fill in a couple more council estates that I’d got bored of doing on a previous expedition to darkest Roehampton.

One thing that surprised me in the pub – in amongst all the people with no idea what we were doing, one person remarked “Oh, OpenStreetMap? Yeah, I’ve heard of you guys”. Interesting, and I wonder where from.

All in all, another good mapping party, and now the third that I’ve been on. At this rate though, there’ll be not much left to map in a couple of years – and what will we all do then?

Eastern Grit

We went climbing over Easter, as I mentioned before, and spent four days climbing on gritstone in the Peak District. The climbing was really good – we had four days of good weather. I tried my hand at leading (well, I severely scraped my hand whilst leading) for one of the days, but I was feeling a bit under the weather for most of the time. We stayed at Ed’s gaff, and were very kindly catered for (fry-ups every morning are not to be sneezed at). Being a bank-holiday weekend made getting out of the national park…interesting, and at 7 quid for a burger the Wimpy at the service station was a rip off. But these are all ancillaries to a great weekend, and pretty much doubling my outdoor climbing experience after two previous trips to Wales.

I took loads of photos, and put them up on flickr a couple of weeks ago – attrating a few comments and favouritings, which is nice to see. Below are some of my favourites out of my Eastern Grit set on flickr. Enjoy!

Exposed

Impending DoomGreen ChimneyWhat's next?IMG_6203.JPGTaking it seriouslyIMG_6155.JPG

IMG_6099.JPGPonderingIMG_6083.JPGIMG_6102.JPGIMG_6098.JPGIMG_6190.JPG

Snowboarding

I really am trying to write more often; it’s just that I keep getting distracted by going out and doing things….

Red snow at night

Last weekend I got back from a week of learning to snowboard in Les Arcs 1800, in the French Alps. Really good fun, although pretty painful – the first few days were just warm enough for everything to go slushy during the day, and then freeze solid at night. It snowed heavily on the Wednesday and then stayed between -5°C and -18°C for the rest of the week – but by that time the damage was done, and I had to pull out of our final day’s expedition to La Plagne since I was in agony every time I sat down…

Everyone there (and people like Hickman who went elsewhere) can only talk about one thing – the growing problem of a lack of snow in Europe. It’s getting pretty noticeable, and there were grand plans in Les Arcs to vastly expand their artificial snow making capacity (including building a big reservoir) – it’s ironic, of course, how much power gets consumed trying to paper over the effects of climate change.

Apart from that, the resort was great, especially the Double Mountain burgers in the Tex Mex place we (eventually) found – I might have had them two or three times during the week. The instructors were cool too – François and especially Hervey, who pranced around on his board looking like a ballerina, distinguishable from kilometres away as he leaned back and forth with his arms outstretched (“I go to the pylon, I go to the chalet. I go to the pylon…”). Both were on that verge of making things look exasperatingly easy, but I was getting there by the end of the week and it was fun, even if I did suck a bit!

I haven’t got any photos of the group of us snowboarding, since I didn’t really fancy taking an SLR on the slopes – but Paul Stark had his camera, so you can see his photos instead. I especially like the group photo – now all we need is an album, and that can be the cover!

OSM on my GPS

OSM on my GPS!

The picture says it all, or rather says most of it at least. I’ve bought a microSD memory card for my GPS, and now it can take extra maps on it. And of course, what map would I want on it, other than OpenStreetMap? Dave and I have spent ages cycling round, doing our local area, and now I get to put the results on my GPS and make up for the terrible basemap that comes with it.

For the technical amongst you, I used JOSM to download and save a .osm of the local area, and then converted that into a Garmin .img file using mkgmap. I can then transfer it to the microSD card using a card reader (thereby avoiding the non-opensource cGPSMapper and sendmap, which doesn’t work on linux for my GPS anyway). It’s interesting that the area bounded by Richmond (W), Hammersmith (N), Clapham (E) and Wimbledon (S) takes up 35K, and my 1Gb card cost £25. There plenty of room for more where that came from.

Ant, can I interest you in the .img file?