Places

Photos from a wedding we attended

As I say in person to anyone who asks me and as I also state here, I do not like to photograph weddings or events. I do not even like to attend weddings. I find the whole experience contrived, farcical and drawn-out.

Bear that in mind as I also tell you that my wife and I are coming up on 15 years of marriage. I love being married to the right person. I just don’t like the over-the-top pomp, stress, sweat and ceremony of the actual wedding.

Nonetheless, we were invited to attend a friend’s wedding a number of years ago. Btw, if you’re part of our circle of family and friends, please don’t invite us to weddings. We won’t skimp on the gift, you’ll still get it, we just don’t want to go through the tortured day with you. We’ll come see you the day after, or after the honeymoon, but not on the wedding day. Don’t do that to us, please.

I brought my camera, because I always bring my camera. These are the photos I took. See if they bear any semblance to wedding photos you’ve seen so far. Inasmuch as a wedding event is largely a farce, the title of this post is also very much a farce.

Enjoy the photos!

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I’ve been meaning to do a video about cursive handwriting for a while, and I’ve also been asked by a few of my viewers on YouTube to do it.

Before you watch the video, I want you to know some of the benefits of handwriting:

  • It works the brain in ways that typing cannot achieve. Every little movement of the fingers and the pen as they form letters on the paper requires many neurons to fire, whereas typing requires much less effort once you learn where the keys are. This article explains it in more detail.
  • You put more emotion, more feeling into handwriting, and this can be seen in the strokes, the thickness of the lines, the size of the letters and so on. When you type, none of that can be seen, unless you say it with words.
  • All of this mental exercise that is required for regular handwriting helps to develop children’s brains and also staves off conditions such as dementia in the elderly.
  • Beautiful handwriting and calligraphy can be admired as art, and they can also be read. A page typed on the computer and printed out is just that: a printed page.
  • Studies suggest that taking notes by hand improves retention of the subject matter.
  • There is a feeling of charm that occurs when one handwrites. I can’t put into words the satisfaction that I get when I put a fountain pen to paper and form beautiful letters. It’s almost hypnotic.

Here’s the video. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope it’ll inspire you to write by hand more often!

My Watch Collection

A comparison of watch designs

Remember my video on watch bands? I intended to create a guide to watch designs and I got around to it last week. This video’s even longer than the last one; it’s almost 30 minutes! Get a cup of tea, sit down and get comfortable, because it’s going to take a bit of time to get through it!

Let me sum up my thoughts on watch design:

  • Elegant, classy
  • Simple, fulfilling its purpose as a watch, which is to tell the time and the date
  • Refined features that hint at the intricacies inside the case without flaunting them
  • Easy to use, easy to read: proper color contrast in the lettering and numbering
  • A joy to look at, makes you fall in love with it every time you see it
  • Sturdy, quality-built, lasts a long time (a lifetime even)

Watch the video for the rest of my thoughts and I hope you enjoy it and it’s of use to you!

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Thoughts

I love Morgan Cars

Did I ever profess my love for Morgan Cars publicly? It’s time I did. I love them!

For years, I decried the ugly design of modern cars and I wondered where old design went. I looked at cars made in the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s and wondered when cars were going to get beautiful again. About a year ago, I found out there’s a car company that never abandoned the old design principles and has been making gorgeous cars by hand in their factory in Malvern, in the UK, since 1909.

Skilled craftsmen bend the sheet metal laboriously into its iconic shapes and carpenters carefully assemble the wood frame of the car by hand. (Yes, you read that right, the frame is wooden.)

Not only are the cars made by hand and bespoke, but they’re also affordable. Would you believe prices start at £32,000 for a car made to your desires? That’s awesome.

I just plain love the design. I can’t explain why. It simply appeals to me. It feels like it’s meant to be, it fits in with my soul and it fits in with the environment. It’s so seldom that a machine, an artificial construct, feels natural in the middle of nature, but in the case of a Morgan, it’s a match made in heaven.

I’m planning a trip to their factory. I plan to test drive a few models and see which one Ligia and I like best and then… we’ll see! 🙂

Photos used courtesy of Morgan Motor Company

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How To

Fun with blur

There are all sorts of blurring effects you can create, either when you take photos (when they can be intentional or not — but hey, sometimes they’re happy accidents) or after the fact, in processing. When you press the shutter, you can create movement blur or zoom blur. Or you can take a perfectly normal photo and blur it in Photoshop, which can also make it look amazing. Here are a few examples.

This one’s rotational blur, done by slightly overexposing to get a longer shutter time and rotating the camera on the X axis (the line of the long corridor).

This one’s zoom blur, which is where you pull the zoom in or out really fast while pressing the shutter. Zoom blur is fun!

This one’s what I call directional blur (I don’t know the official name for it, if there is one). Move the camera forward while the shutter button is pressed.

And finally, this blur is done in Photoshop. It’s a movement blur to make it seem as if the wall shadows are growing.

Have fun!

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Thoughts

What can you do with corners?

Say you’re stuck inside but you’d love to use your camera and take some creative photos. What can you do? How about a play on lines and colors? You can use your very own walls and corners, and then you can manipulate the photos in editing to make them even more interesting. It’s a wonderful exercise in creativity. Here are some photos I took at home one evening, where I did this very thing.

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Thoughts

Mel Blanc: the man of a thousand voices

I found and watched a documentary about Mel Blanc today, entitled “Mel Blanc, Man of a Thousand Voices“, and I wanted to share it with you as well. This one man has given me and countless other people so much joy over the years, that I can’t thank him enough. He’s gone, but knowing the kind of person he was, I’m sure he would have appreciated my thanks and would have been glad to say hi to me, if we’d have met, just as he did with all his fans.

Photos used courtesy of Mel Blanc and Warner Brothers. 

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