Around Llangollen

Joy and I did a lovely walk around Llangollen a couple of weeks ago. We started from the top of the Horseshoe Pass, and the deluxe and homely Ponderosa Cafe, a throwback to the 1950’s and very popular with bikers. The walk was lovely but I didn’t expect to take many pictures so here are just a handful.

iZettle again

I wrote about iZettle some time ago when I got myself an iZettle credit card reading device. I was delighted with it at the time but I had taken a chance because officially my phone wasn’t a supported device. This finally bit me, as the card reader became increasingly unreliable and finally just didn’t work. Fortunately, the customers were patient and I didn’t lose any sales but it couldn’t carry on.

So I checked with iZettle and I’ve spent £70 on a new, bluetooth-connected, iZettle reader.

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Old (left) vs. new

This worked first time out. Set-up was easy and in fact, compared to the previous model, this one is almost instantaneous in use. I no longer need to engage the customer in polite chit-chat while we wait for the swirly image on the phone to indicate “ready”.

In use, it’s basically the same as the old device except you don’t need to plug it into your phone. I’ll write again if I have any trouble with it but for now I’m going to be optimistic and assume it will work.

Wild Garlic

Today we went walking in the most garlicky place I’ve ever been – around the world heritage site of Pontcysyllte in the Llangollen valley, north Wales. Acres and acres of wild garlic in the wood and along the river banks, all in full flower. I took a few shots, here’s one of the better ones. Apologies for the recent dearth of posts, I was a little under the weather.

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By the way, this is an example of a picture that looks quite different on my laptop screen than it does on my calibrated/profiled external monitor. God knows what it’ll look like on your screen. Colour management – pah!

OMD EM10 RIP ?

My Olympus is broken. I’ve had it for about two and a half years from new, bought with the kit lens. It’s had a couple of breakages before this – the battery compartment cover didn’t last long at all and some time last year the manual focus ring just disintegrated.

This time, there are a variety of symptoms of misbehaviour – no image on screen or EVF, lens hunting through the zoom range without me asking it to, won’t focus, won’t take a shot, etc. All intermittent, but it just won’t work. I think it might be the lens. I’m going to go to a shop and try it with another lens. If so, that’s not a long life-span for a lens. It’s the M.Zuiko 14-42 pancake zoom. A very nice lens image-wise, and very small and light, and cheap as a kit lens (not cheap to buy on it’s own though). However, not the most solidly built piece of kit. I’ll see if I can get another on ebay, assuming that’s the cause. I hope so, because I’d be really disappointed if the body has given up after such a short time.

Remembering hard work

Phew! Since swapping full time office work for a new business as a full time landscape photographer I’ve forgotten what it’s like to work hard. Now I remember. I’ve just done three art markets in a row. Fill the car full of stock and display gear. Hump it from car to market, unpack, set up. Stand in the freezing cold for ten hours. Tear down, lift and carry, unpack. Make more stock for the next day. Repeat. I can’t complain though because the time actually at the market is such a lot of fun. Two more markets this week, thursday and friday with Makers Market at Spinningfields. Looking forward to it!

For Jennifer

A customer from today’s market at West Didsbury has asked to see a particular shot on-line that she saw at the market. I think it’s this one…

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Snowdon range from Llynnau Mymbyr

My on-line galleries don’t always have every picture I have on sale at the market. The reason is just that I (currently) organise the on-line galleries around themes and a particular look. This means that some pictures that don’t fit the theme don’t make it into the gallery, even though they’re great pictures that I’m proud to show at my markets. This shot happens to be one of those. It’s one I took many years ago while I was still using film, while stopped half-way on a trip to the Lleyn Peninsula. I still have several shots from that trip around the place, some of them still on sale at the markets.

Anyway, Jennifer, if you’re reading this – I hope this is the picture you meant.

New Galleries

I’ve added some new galleries to my main site, here . I’ve also reduced the resolution of the thumbnail images on the main galleries page, realising that I’d stupidly used full size high resolution images as the thumbnails. No wonder the page seemed to be empty when I tried to show people my site on my phone, it was just trying to download. Doh!

I hope you enjoy the new galleries.

Olympus OMD-EM10 battery replacement

A new battery for the Olympus OMD-EM10 costs at least £50 for a genuine Olympus part. This seems a little steep for me. I needed a spare because one battery doesn’t always last a full days shooting – say about 150 shots or so. Spending £50 seemed like too much of a luxury. So instead I opted for a non-Olympus part from a company called Expro (www.exprodirect.com), for the grand total of £10.

First test, does it fit and work. Yes. It looks externally identical to the Olympus part and has the same total energy rating of 1150 mAh. The camera works fine.

Second test, does it take as many shots as the original. Probably. I went out and used it yesterday and although I didn’t do a full day’s shoot I also didn’t see any low battery warnings. So roughly I’d say yes.

Third test, will it have the long term staying power? Take recharge after recharge for months and years? I don’t know yet. But for only ten pounds I’m not sure I care.