Posted by: digibirder | July 10, 2011

Why can’t things go to plan?

Quite a  few things have happened since my previous post, as you would expect, seeing as it’s over a month ago!!

I received my prize for the Hodsock Snowdrops competition, which was (surrprise, surprise) free entry to the gardens for next year’s snowdrop season. Perhaps I will enter again and see if I can get any higher than in the top ten. I have no idea what the first, second and third prizes are.

I did another craft fair a few weeks ago – again a failure regarding sales. I have another one in a couple of weeks, which is a two-day event and there is an arts festival in the town at the same time, so perhaps that will be better. I live in hope that one day I might sell something other than a few greetings cards.

I have been up to my eyes in computer-related matters this week. I decided to reformat my hard drive and reinstall Windows, in order to get rid of all the excess garbage and speed things up a bit. I also had some new photo-editing programmes (Lightroom 3 and Elements 9), purchased at the Focus on Imaging show back in March, but first wanted to get rid of the unofficial versions of Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4 I had installed. So, as my hard drive is partitioned, I backed up the partition containing the data (including thousands of images) and inserted the Windows XP disc to install on the system partition, formatting as it went. Here’s where I hit my first problem!

The installation failed part way through and I had to start again. Then something else went wrong and I had to start again. And so on… Eventually I managed to get XP installed, but the following day the computer wouldn’t boot, telling me it was unable to detect a hard drive. I changed the power connector and it worked, but I am a little worried about this drive, even though it’s not that old, as it now seems slower than before! Someone on a tech forum suggested that there could be a drive fault, as I’d had such trouble installing Windows. Now that I have (eventually) installed all the necessary software and restored the system settings and preferences I have backed up the drive in case of any issues arising in the future. If I do need a new hard drive it will be a simple matter of restoring the backup to the new drive, rather than installing again from scratch, which takes ages anyway, without having problems to add to the mix. I think we need to seriously look into upgrading both our computers, as both appear to be struggling with the simplest of tasks.

I do still need to calibrate my monitor, as things look a bit on the pale side. A chap from the camera club came and did it for me last year, but as I no longer go to the camera club I won’t be able to get him to come again. The calibration equipment is quite expensive, but there are other ways of doing it, which I am looking into. I will have to see how my images print out first. And I need to get my head around Elements, never having used it that much before. Version 9 is supposed to be a lot better than earlier versions, and it certainly appears to do many of the editing tasks that I did in the full Photoshop. I have a book to help me, so hopefully it won’t take long to get the hang of it.

On that note, we had to buy a new printer the other week. We had an A3 Epson printer, which we’ve had for about five years. Last year, when I was printing a lot of images for the craft fairs, I was using a lot of ink so I decided to get a refillable ink system, rather than use expensive Epson originals. All seemed OK, but recently the images have been looking very strange and smudges were appearing on some. I read something about the overflow ink chamber getting full, and this is where printers are reaching the end of their useful life. I don’t know whether the refillable ink system has had anything to do with this, but we couldn’t really carry on wasting paper and ink from ruined prints, so we ordered a new Canon PixmaPro 9000 mkII A3 printer, which conveniently had an offer of a £100 cashback deal.

I also have to update my business website, as the current subscription ends in a couple of weeks, so I really need to get some new images ready for uploading to the new site, hence my need to get the new programmes installed. Hopefully that won’t take as long to sort out as the computer.

Since my last post we’ve had another short break camping in Norfolk. Our friends joined us for a couple of nights, and then we just spent the remainder of the time relaxing. As the weather was a bit mixed the first few days, we decided to extend our stay by three nights, making eleven nights in total. I am ashamed to say I did not take many photos, partly due to the weather, but partly because we spent quite a bit of time on the campsite mainly sitting around reading. We did manage a couple of nice walks, though.

On one of the days we had a trip into Norwich, and paid a visit to the showroom of Warehouse Express, source of all good things photographic. I only wanted a lead to attach the flashgun to the camera for off-camera flash, but also ended up with a small reflector and a new camera bag. The bag was just what I was looking for, to carry my camera and a spare lens when I don’t need the whole backpack full of gear. I did have a bag made by someone I met at a craft fair, but it turned out to be too big and bulky so I got my money back (after a few disgruntled emails back and forth). I think she took the measurements all wrong and it was more like a weekend bag than a day-bag.

Anyway, here’s some images – the first are some I took in the fields around our village, where the field edges were filled with poppies and scented mayweed, and then a few images from our short holiday.

Trying a bit of an ‘arty’ shot here by tilting the camera while pressing the shutter!

Cromer Pier

A walk along West Runton beach before the storm arrived

Colourful market stall roofs in Norwich

Street entertainer

Beach huts in Sheringham

Interesting pattern of stones in holes in a boat slipway

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Responses

  1. Well your lives are never uneventful although sometimes I think you might wish they were 😉 Hope you get all your computer problems sorted out… fingers crossed.

    And when you’ve finished yours.. my PC could do with some TLC too 😀

    Like the poppies and the last stones in wood shot..

    best to both of you

    • Yes, sometimes uneventful would be good!

      I’ve finished with my PC now, meaning completely finished – a new one ordered!! This one is about to die, I fear.

  2. some nice pics. you do have an eye for composition. I must learn to crop harder either in PP or when taking

    • Thank you. It’s just a matter of thinking before pressing the shutter, which is what I am doing more of now than I was before. As long as you know the ‘rules’ of composition, that is.

  3. I love the third and fifth especially! The textures are wonderful! And I love the beach cottages too! Argghhhh is all I can say to your computer woes- I hate the darn things! The tech part anyway….


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