His Nibs

His Nibs wishes you a good morning, afternoon and/or evening. This photo captures him listening to a woodpecker’s drilling in the woods. Which is a little strange, as were more used to hearing them in spring.

Trees, a dog and a Pixel 3

Do you remember the time before mobile phones? Do you remember the time before smartphones had decent cameras? Me neither. The cameras on high end (and stupidly expensive) smartphones have become so good, so efficient that it’s difficult to take a “bad” photo. The software powering the camera leaves nothing to chance. Auto-focus, motion enabled, HDR and low light enhancement… They are all great leaps in photography. However, they have largely removed the requirement of craft or skill in the person taking the picture. I understand why many serious photographers sniff at smartphone images and disregard them as “proper” photography. Fair enough. But the smartphone does enable the enthusiastic amateur (me) to concentrate on the subject and composition. Which is a good thing, right? I simply wouldn’t be quite so much into photography without a smartphone. It’s been a major revelation for me in the last few years.

And so this is why I chose to buy yet another expensive smartphone instead of a “proper” camera, such as a Canon or Pentax DSLR (Don’t bother me with actual film, I’m digital all the way). For me, a smartphone is primarily a camera, with nifty sharing and online banking. It’s interesting (to me, and maybe to you if you’ve read this far) that I chose to get this Pixel 3 smartphone instead of a Canon for photographic reasons. But of course, it’s obvious. A smartphone is always in your pocket and you can whip it out and take photos on the fly, or the dog walk or whatever. And share them instantly ad nauseum.

Why the Pixel 3 and not, say a top of the range iPhone or Samsung? There are a few reasons. I really am not a fan of iPhones in general. I had one once and it took nice pictures but I disliked almost everything else about it. I think Apple charge crazy prices for average kit. I’ve been an Android user for a long time and prefer it over other platforms in almost every other way. Also, it’s familiar. I chose the Pixel 3 over other Android devices with great cameras (and there are quite a few to choose from) simply because of the reviews. It’s consistently described as the best smartphone for taking photos. So, simple really. Once I justified the cost of one to myself it turned up the next day. So far, so good. It takes really nice photoand does it with minimal lag. There are several very nice features and gizmos that it provides, and once I get a handle on them I may have more to say about them. I’m not going to give a full blown review. I just want you to look at the pictures I take of trees and my dog.

Slo-mo-dog-o

Here’s my dog doing what he likes 2nd best*: chasing and being chased. I’ve just treated myself to a Pixel 3 phone and of course, the first thing I did was to start checking out its camera. It’s… Marvelous!

* His best is a tie between sleeping and chewing stuff.

Duck Pond Sailors

DPS_Front_Cover_web
Image (c) 2018  Tim Frost & Duck Pond Sailors

It was a real pleasure to be asked to draw this cover for Duck Pond Sailors‘ forthcoming 7-inch single.  Here’s a bit more about them from their web site:

WE ARE A GROUP OF LADS THAT LEARN AND SING TRADITIONAL SEA SHANTIES AND THE ODD SUSSEX FOLK SONG.
WE OFTEN SING THEM WHILST DRINKING IN LOCAL ALE HOUSES AND HAVE NO AIM OTHER THAN SINGING WELL AND DRINKING BETTER.
WE ARE BASED ON THE SOUTH COAST OF ENGLAND WHERE THE SUN SHINES AND THE BEARDS HANG LOW.

Here are the sailor’s during a recording session:

It’s one of those drawings where I followed my nose. I went a bit craazy with the hatching as usual, but it feels so good to hatch! I did suggest they call the release “Straight Outta Littlehampton”. Fingers crossed they will. Keep an eye on this blog and on the boy’s site so you can buy a copy of the record when it’s out.