I almost never photograph sunsets.. usual adjectives apply such as ‘uninteresting’, ‘clichéd’ etc etc but every so often one comes along that is worth remembering.. and hence worth a quick snap. I was in the waves with friends down at Sennen Cove on Friday evening after a day of thunderstorms.. and happened to have my well-worn old LX3 in my bag.. with a flat battery, just enough juice for one frame:
I don’t generally write about my work related stuff on this blog, that’s what I have my other blog for, this is really just for posts about riding, paddling and pictures (and the occasional rant about something..). Today is something of an exception however as it’s photography related.. pretty pictures to look at.. so here’s an abridged version of the full post on my development blog .. or you could just go straight to Alex’s site if you’re in a hurry.. http://www.alexcallister.com.
… a nice bit of surf photography eye-candy. Most of my time at the moment is taken up with rather more intensive applications – technically interesting for me but probably not that exciting to read about… a couple of months ago I was approached by an increasingly well-known surf photographer for a new portfolio site incorporating his portfolios, session shoots, and a shopping cart for his print and other merchandise sales. His previous portfolio was a standard template-based site that looked an awful lot like a very many other photographers sites and he was keen to get away from that and have something unique. That was great for me, I love these kind of jobs.. an opportunity to be “let off the leash” and play with my own ideas, develop some concepts and, in this case, take a few risks.. while bearing in mind that is still needed to fit within certain norms of expectation.. I went with a full screen look for the ‘cover photos’ as many of his photos work equally well with a crop so the inevitable crop as a result of differing screen/image aspect ratios when fitting images full screen was acceptable. Images within the portfolios and session galleries are full frame rather than full screen as it’s important for people to see the entire image when buying a print or digital file. When it comes to showcasing photography I like to put the image ‘front and center’ so to speak, in your face and memorable rather than little thumbnails buried amongst pages of text or empty space.
The site is built around the latest iteration of my own CMS with the emphasis as always on user-friendliness and making operations as intuitive as possible, with the code optimised for speed of response given the large amounts of image data being served.. it annoys me when I go to a site that’s so slow to load I could go away and make myself a brew while waiting… given the size and number of the images I’m pleased, it runs speedily most of the time – it is on a shared server here in the UK so if you’re viewing from the US in the middle of the business day it will slow a little as you’d expect. To clarify my CMS is not an ‘out of the box’ user-configurable product that tries to be everything to every man, rather it’s a ‘modular framework’ I’ve developed that I tailor to the precise needs of the project in question – it results in a much cleaner, easier to use and more efficient site (than certain well-known content management systems..)
Paddled out of Penzance this morning in a thick overcast and cold drizzle.. and now I’m home and tired and can’t be bothered to do much other than have a beer and share some pictures… so here we are. It was one of those days that puts a great big grin on your face. I think because the weather was not very nice to begin with the arrival of crystal clear skies and sunshine from the west while on the water felt so much more special than if it had been sunny to begin with. So.. a solid day of paddling from Penzance to the beach Porthcurno at for lunch before turning round and running the 12 miles or so back with wind and tide in our favour. The fresh westerly breeze was pleasantly bracing and the Atlantic felt nice and lively with 6 feet of swell rolling in to make for some nice play conditions around the rocks.. and a timing-critical landing in dumpy surf at Porthcurno.. happily all executed it perfectly in front of the interested onlookers standing on the beach, arms folded, just waiting for things to go wrong :-)
On the bike tomorrow I think.. there’s a bike travel flavoured post with some Latin American seasoning and a sprinkle of shiny things waiting in the wings so stay tuned for that. But in the meantime.. pictures!
We’ve had a chilly northerly airstream for the last couple of days. I like northerlies, they always bring clear air and a fantastic clarity of light to match the oceans around here. There’s never much swell to play with on a northerly but with a fresh one and decent fetch there’ll be some fun to be had on downwind stretches.. and that’s what happened yesterday. A fun cruise out of Portmellon with friends, of about 20 miles, heading north and east to Polkerris while hugging the coast around the bays and headlands to find shelter from the fresh north wind, before a fantastic 8 mile downwind straight crossing back to Portmellon. With the following wind and seas big enough to surf I covered the 8 miles in not much more than an hour.. a tidy speed for a sea kayak.. I must qualify that however by saying that time is discounting the bits where my conscience about being sociable overcame my desire to keep on just giving it some and I stopped and waited for the others to catch up :-)
a few snaps from a very mellow spring day messing about on the water around Lizard Point.. quite a strong cave flavour to the day..
just about to head out on my bike for the first time in what feels like forever after the flu knocked me sideways.. in reality just a couple of weeks.. Before I do that however just processed a couple of films with some stuff on from just wandering around down on the beach, here’s a couple of favourites with some nice lighting and stuff…..
Oh and while I’m at it I may as well include….
Should be back on the water this weekend too.. hurrah!
well so much for race fitness… no sooner was I back on my bike after that minor hiccup in my last post than I was knocked sideways by proper dose of flu. Ho hum. A minor setback I’m sure… as I write from inside my sleeping by a log fire dosed to the eyeballs with aspirins :-) So.. given the lack of activity on the home-front as good a time as any to mention Painted Roads for the first time in a little while as I’ve just made a few updates on the site.
Things are going really well though to be honest following Dave as he explores a new tour in Yunnan from this cold, and damp this evening, corner of Blighty doesn’t really do me much good at all ;-). Yunnan is a place I’ve wanted to cycle for a little while so given that I cannot help but think about next expedition it’s now somewhere very near the top of the list having seen the words and pictures over on the Painted Roads blog – go check it out (click here). The tour should be available to book on the website before too long if you’re interested.. I’ll keep you posted.
Speaking of which I have been thinking an awful lot about where to take my bike this year.. yet another visit to S America, in addition to the aforementioned Yunnan, is very appealing but I’m also quite keen on staying closer to home for a change.. shorter flights, less wedge.. so the Ukraine is on the list too.. as is possibly a third visit to Morocco – still lots of riding in and around the Atlas I’d be very happy to lose myself in.. decisions decisions.. stay tuned!