About the blog

Paddy isn't a big fan of blogs and doesn't want to spend time spouting his opinions online, only to have nobody read them. He is, however, pleased with his photography, and has things to express in the form of words and pictures. So the photo blog was born and, failing to find any free software that did what he wanted, he decided to write a photoblog of his own.

It's been through a number of incarnations, with and without JavaScript, but always using PHP and MySQL. The current one was written at the end of 2007, with an improved search and a thumbnail-based interface.

About the artist

Most of the pictures are by Paddy, with some by Amanda, and a few by other people. Paddy first got interested in photography in about 1985, and has been shooting since then. He’s most keen on nature, architectural and product photography, in short, pictures of things rather than people. He got into digital photography and Photoshop in 2001 and has taken photographs for www.applausesw.org and at www.watershed.co.uk.

His current work involves being webmaster and programmer for www.BristolStories.org and www.eShed.net.

The equipment

Paddy’s first pictures were taken on a box brownie in the late 70s. He then began borrowing an old Russian camera from his parents, before splashing out on a Pentax P50 SLR with Vivitar 28-210 lens. He also dabbled in black and white processing on some borrowed equipment.

The cost of film and a rapidly filling shoebox of pictures he rarely looked at prompted him to switch to a succession of cheap (very cheap, like £3 cheap!) compact cameras, in the hope he’d carry them around and shoot more, and he found it annoying that some of his pictures on those turned out better than those on the SLR, and realised that good photos need good film and a free finger on the shutter button.

Digital came at just the right time. After shooting a few pictures on a borrowed Sony Mavica camera, he discovered that they could be improved with Photoshop, and also frequently seen, courtesy of a slide-show screen saver. No more the dusty box graveyard of photos!

He splashed out on a Pentax EI-2000 camera in 2001, then got a Canon D30 a few years later, and now shares his partner Amanda’s Canon 10D. He started out with a Sigma 18-50 lens, adding Canon 50mm F1.8, 75-300 and 28-135 IS lenses later.

He is very happy with the Canon, particularly with the 28-135 lens which he found to be a huge improvement on the Sigma one. He aims to stick with two good lenses, rather than a confused creativity-stifling collection of “glass”.