Things what I writ

I sometimes write nonsense about things to try and sound clever

away from my desk %n

11/365
11/365 by Tim Caynes

not for us right now the inconsequential away message that I couldn’t be bothered to edit don’t know how anyway lots away right now must be a public holiday but there is a nice collection of retorts in my buddy list not buddies of course but people I work with and have often never met suffice to say today we have ‘in the hot tub’ and ‘writing book’ as the pick of the crowd amongst the desks and computers that variously people are choosing to be away from nevertheless I shall of course attempt to take it to at least floor D by way of my occasionals and forthwith will not be able to respond to your salacious query regarding my availability other than to inform you that I’m tripping over a sponge.

you’ll need at least to get away for one of those days lest the creeping inertia drags you to the john bonham underworld where a 15 year old from Penge will mash your credentials into a handbag of doom and wrest the navigation from your grasp such that even match of the day on iplayer won’t rescue your miserable soul scraping as it is along the pavement of trolls where your knuckles should be. its not as if anyone is really there anyway. I, for one, am in a steam bath in harrogate getting my legs bent backwards by an inclement wisp of a boy while michael hestletine bewitches a whoop of struts with his never-ending stories of the curious other world outside your own. and I won’t even twit it. finishing with a rousing triple full stop belying some assumed continuation, I’m away with the project fairies for another dose of hours…

strike it lucky

beaulieu-sur-dordogne 3
beaulieu-sur-dordogne 3 by Tim Caynes

sometimes you do just strike it lucky. mostly on vacation I’m hawking around my little sony trying not to spend too much time composing perfectly or getting some marvellous depth of field while the rest of the family are walking round the next corner already tutting to themselves and telling me to just take it in rather than seeing everything through a lens. in actual fact, it’s almost impossible to compose perfectly or get any depth of field action with the little sony, especially on a nice sunny day when you can’t actually see anything on the LCD anyway and you’re largely guessing what might come out. for some inexplicable reason also, whatever the aperture the camera decides I should use (in semi-auto mode), the depth of field on landscapes always seems to be pretty much infinite. really, the little cameras are marvels. I’ve yet to recreate what they do with an SLR.

so when something does come out that’s really quite good, I take my hat off to the camera for doing all the work for me. mostly I might spend hours correcting stuff I don’t like or stylising in photoshop so that when I post it to flickr it doesn’t bear much comparison to what came off the memory stick, but occaionally I might just crop some annoying intrusion out, lift the colours, and that’s it. and that’s what happened with this shot of the chapel reflected on the river at beaulieu-sur-dordogne a couple of years ago. I took a little while to position myself precariously over the water in a comedy tourist style, of course, but other than that, it was just a hopeful snap. I didn’t even notice the clarity of the reflection at the time. it was only when I reviewed the hundreds of snaps a couple of weeks later that this one jumped out.

coincidentally, this is well inside the top ten of my all-time most interesting photos on flickr, but it’s not really about how nice or eye-catching it is. the main reason that it gets consistently high viewing figures is that it gets a huge number of referrals from google – over twice as many as from flickr directly. that’s all down to the rather dull title and tag scheme that I’ve used since I started using flickr over 4 years ago. I pretty much just tell it like it is with the titles, like ‘beaulieu-sur-dordorge 3’, which, unsurprisingly, is the third in a series which includes ‘beaulieu-sur-dordogne 1‘ and ‘beaulieu-sur-dordogne 2‘, but I also always include the place name in the photo tags, including town, region and country, and mostly always geotag everything. it’s that no-nonsense, repetitive labelling that seems to appeal to google, and so even though I could title this photo something like ‘refection on the water’ or ‘my holiday in france was rather nice thanks’ or ‘stillness is the sanctuary I seek from the trauma of existence’ or ‘not a kitten’ or something I’ll probably stick to my rather dull convention. because I rather like the traffic. shameless.

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