Monday, 16 March 2009

My CFL light mod featured on

Just a quick note of thanks to Udi over at for featuring my Halogen to CFL site light modification on his website.

It's a website that I visit often to see what good ideas and tips I can find for making photography kit for a minimum outlay. I'd rather make something and work out whether I really need it or not before spending money on some "proper" kit that I may subsequently find I don't need/ want/ use.

Plus it's always fun to make something and use it to create a great photo although many of mine seem to follow the Edison ethic of discovering 999 ways not to make a lightbulb before the 1000th way becomes clear... no pun intended :)

DIY Halogen to CFL conversion

If you're not familiar with it's an inspirational Photography DIY website run by Udi Tirosh.

In his own words, DIY is:
So to answer the question, why is this site here ( This is my way of sharing the knowledge I have, and trying to help other photographers to make cheap affordable photography equipment.

I hope to provide a place for photographers to share, and learn from each other. To bring cheap studio equipment to those who can't really buy all the expensive stuff out there. And to bring back the joy of making something out of nothing.

and I can say it's made my week to have been mentioned :)

Thursday, 12 March 2009

What is Twitter and how does it work?


My first thoughts when I saw Twitter was "how does this work and why would anyone join?" I had a google and still couldn't work it out.

I understood even less how it was valued at roughly $250million based on it's business model - the idea of a business model based on an individuals status posted on a website using less than 140 characters seemed bizarre.

A few weeks later I think I have a better idea of how it works but only based on my limited observations and cynical thoughts. Twitter users seem to approximately fit four profiles:
  • Your average person.
  • As above but with a blog.
  • Someone who blogs often and has a revenue stream from their blogs/ web activities.
  • Spammers
I'm sure if I was writing a sociology essay I'd get a D+ for such sweeping generalizations but I'm sure you get the idea.

Anyway, I started as a Type I, Twittering the odd thing I'd done, read or planned to do. A stream of consciousness as and when the inclination took me.

I'm now Type II - I started a blog and sometimes posted tiny URLs to my blog in Twitter (dreams of huge revenue streams still on hold). Still haven't really got the hang of it but trying to make sense of it. This is probably why I only have a handful of followers and am neither bothered by this nor doing anything to increase it.

Type III is a big step up from Type II and uses Twitter to fully support their blogging and other web based activities, from magazines, photographers, brands, comedians, etc., creating a "stream" that provides snippets of information related to their profession and to their web activities. etc. I'm guessing this group gives the Twitter business model it's greatest value, both from the number of followers and regular Tweeting. I follow a few Type IIIs because of their niche and the content of their Tweets.

Type IV I categorise as a spammer and are best avoided unless you want 20 status updates a day. Their blogs and websites provide no real content other than "how to make money from blogging", "make money from Twitter", "be an Internet entrepreneur" and other dross. All their Tweets link to their infomercials and they probably use automated software to update their Twitter status with essential links to their crap.
I make sure I don't follow any Type IV Twits.

Please note this blog post isn't meant to be taken too seriously but is my ill-informed opinion based on what I've seen over the past month or so.

Feel free to leave a comment whether you agree or not. And my twitter is if you're interested :)

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Calm Like A Riot - Birmingham


Calm Like A Riot played a gig last Saturday at the Flapper pub in Birmingham with four other bands in a local heat for Surface Unsigned. The Flapper was a good venue- small, dark and intimate allowing the crowd to get up close and personal if they chose.

Some pre
-gig nerves seemed to fire Calm Like A Riot into giving possibly their best performance to date, putting on a tight display and John (vocals) almost fit to bust with enthusiasm and energy. The PA was good for such a small venue and allowed the band to shine, with plenty of interaction between the band and the audience who were down the front enjoying the Calm Like A Riot experience.

At the end of the evening the votes from the bewildering "voting system" (text, audience, the other bands and industry pundits) were added up and the four bands proceeding to the next round were given in no particular order.

When the third band announced were not Calm Like A Riot things were pretty tense in the band and in the partisan audience will all eyes on John, who was standing just in front of the compere...

Why did we worry? Calm Like A Riot easily qualified for the next round with the highest number of votes and the only band on the night to receive an industry vote.

The next gig is 7.30pm
17th May 2009 at The Rainbow Under the Arch, Birmingham B9 4EE

More details available here.