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Christmas Cards 2011

Today we have launched our range of Christmas cards for 2011, which focus on Bude and its surroundings. All cards are left blank for your own message. The cards include coastal shots, the Bude Canal, Efford Cottage and animals on Bodmin Moor. The images are currently available as A5 cards and are also licensable. Please click on an image for further details and purchase options.

The Cribbar, 30/10/11; Cornwall’s Legendary Big Wave

The Cribbar, Newquay, 30/10/11

On Sunday I had the good fortune to photograph surfers on Newquay’s ‘The Cribbar’, the UK’s largest inshore wave (legend speaks of an even bigger and rarer one, the Zorba reef, a mile or so offshore).

This wave only occurs under precise conditions of a huge swell, a very long swell period, a particular swell direction, and a southeast wind, meaning that it only appears 2 or 3 times a year. Even rarer is for surfers of the calibre required to ride it to be present and willing.

I’ve wanted to see and photograph it ever since moving to Cornwall 3 years ago so it was great to get the chance. A huge crowd was present and cheering the surfers on Towan Head, where I took these photos.

It is very difficult to catch a wave this big by paddling into it as surfers find it hard to match the speed of the wave using their arms alone, and on this occasion the surfers were towing into it with jet skis, which would collect them after their rides (it is a very dangerous spot).

The first surfer, in the blue wetsuit, is Ben Skinner (‘Skindog’), one of Newquay’s most famous locals and a former English champion. I am not sure who the surfer is in the last two photos.

*update* – Tom Brown, of the Isle of Thanet Gazette, has told me that the surfer in the last two shots is Dan Chapman.

Pixelpost is Dead

Nietzsche famously stated “God is Dead”, but the reality is, that in Northern Europe at least, he is dying and not completely dead yet. The same, unfortunately, can also be said for Pixelpost.

Pixelpost is no longer being developed.

This is quite a tragedy really. I have been using open source server side software for many years, from back when I was responsible for half a dozen Unix servers, and I can say that I have rarely encountered anything as stable as Pixelpost 1.7.3. It just works. It is easily themeable and its plugin architecture has allowed all manner of plugins to be written for it that add to its functionality. There is simply no finer or more functional photoblog software available, something testified to by the thousands of users who have chosen it to power their photoblogs. It is a testament to how well written it is that it has lasted so long without an update.

Anyway, the purpose of this post it not merely to extol the virtues of Pixelpost because I would not recommend that anybody now setting up a new photoblog use it. When I decided to start a new photoblog to showcase my travel images (nomadlens:travel)recently I went with Aminus3 because I know that one morning when I go on to my nomadlens photoblog I am going to be confronted with a page full of PHP errors instead of my photos of Cornwall and photos of Devon.

The problem is neither its stability nor its functionality, but its age. After such a period has elapsed it contains at least one unpatched security hole; it has compatibility problems with PHP 5.3; and with MySQL 5.5 (though a workaround is available here,).  Sooner or later it is simply going to break due to hosting providers upgrading their software versions. It will probably be possible for a fairly long time to find a hosting provider that will provide the right versions of PHP and MySQL to run Pixelpost but these are not hoops that most people want to jump through.

The state of play with Pixelpost has been summed up in this post on the Pixelpost Forum: What is up with Pixelpost…….. Pixelpost was in the process of being completely rewritten for version 2 but this appears to have stalled well prior to any possibility of an alpha release. As you can read here there have been a few offers of help but they don’t seem to have amounted to much.

A year has passed since this post, two years since 1.7.3 was released, and it is very hard to conclude anything other than that the project is going nowhere unless some OOP PHP guru urgently comes to the rescue.

It looks like I will have to switch nomadlens over to WordPress in the near future, but that will be the subject of another post.

The (in)famous first post

Hi. Welcome to the nomadphotographs blog.

All sorts of things may get posted here, for example, pictures, news, random musings and the like, but the main drift will tend towards matters of interest to the more technically minded photographer. I’m a techie hoping to become an artist, rather than the other way round. Nevertheless, things I post may be of interest to the more artistically minded photographer needing to improve their technical skills.

Things that I am likely to post are reviews of books and software, post processing techniques, news on plugin developments, getting the best out of your computer as a photographer (this will be mainly Mac based) and technical information for photographers wishing to display or sell their work online, produce photoblogs and the like.

I’ll try to post as regularly as possible, but we’ll see how it goes eh?!!