sh'/> The Blog from Kevin Leighton Photography: December 2010
You Are About To Be Redirected To The Blog Page At The Kevin Leighton Photography website

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

New Mobile Version Of Blog

I have just found out that Blogger have a mobile rendering of blogs now available for Smartphones (details here).

I have switched the feature on and if anybody has the opportunity to try it out could they please let me know how they get on.

The main link is  which should redirect to the mobile site.

The direct link to the mobile site is 

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Sweet Shot Tuesday 2812

This shot comes from the Tiffin Teahouse and Eatery in Clevedon, North Somerset.

To me the shot reflects the nature of the establishment. Warm and cosy, smart and relaxed.

From Thoughts And Things

Country Fog

What a change in temperature! After a 13c rise in temperature over the last 3 days the snow which has got in our way for the last few weeks has almost completely melted. It felt like a warm spring day out and about so it was time for a walk around the village.

There was a low lying fog over the fields and I captured these as I went:

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Sweet Shot Tuesday 21/12

With Christmas just a few days away I suppose that a few Christmassy images are going to find their way onto this board. After some somewhat disappointing Bokeh shots I took some images of decorations on the tree. I was somewhat taken with this one.

Camera: Panasonic
Model: DMC-FZ8
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/5 sec
Aperture: 2.8
Focal Length: 6mm
Flash Used: No

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Google Ad(non)sense

Wow - what a weekend that was. With the UK and Europe in the grip of winter I made my way to the local city of Bristol to be met by clear dry streets and a biting wind. A few cold people scurried from shop-to-stop trying to keep the Christmas spirit alive and the stall holders in the Christmas Market were trying to keep warm with free coffee from one of the Starbucks stores which had closed due to problems with the plumbing.

Our Christmas tree was finally erected having being bought last weekend, a little earlier then usual due to press reports that trees were going to be in short supply this year. It was true that when I arrived at the Garden Centre I was greeted with a "that's all that's left mate". That was fine with me. The choice was not difficult, there was little to choose from. A fine tree was chosen and is now standing adorned with the customary lights and ornaments.

It was during my shopping excursion today, when munching on a Burger King Angus Burger with Bacon & Cheese that I decided to kill off Google Adsense from the blog, at least for now. The astute amongst you who have visited before will have noticed the Google Adsense ads in two places. No more. The sense bit refers to how Google scans your blogs and displays ads based on the content of your entry.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Planning to blog but not blogging to plan

As this is a new blog I sat down in the week and drew up a plan. In the plan it said things like. Choose a direction to go in (technology, photography, etc). Write x number of articles a week. Make certain changes changes to the blog to make it more user friendly.

I sat down on the train and started to draft a blog entry and this isn't it. What I have already learned in my short blogging time is that things change. What I started to write then I don't want to publish now. You see I'm a technology person, a logical person, everything needs a plan. Not necessarily a project plan or an implementation plan but at least know your next steps. Right or wrong? Well I think both actually.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Snow Returns To The UK

Snow has returned to the UK overnight.

Here are a couple of images taken at Cardiff Bay this morning.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

That Was Nearly The Week That Was!

I had decided that Sunday last weekend was going to be THE day. There was a family lunch at a local golf club so I decided that the camera was coming out from under the dust and I was going to start shooting again. How wrong was I?

The plan was that I was going to turn up, fire off some impromptu shots and come out with some reasonable images. "I wouldn't bother about the quality too much" I told myself. I just want to get back into the swing of things.

Unfortunately just about everything was against me. I had planned to a) arrive a little early so I would be able to get some shots of family arriving against the backdrop of the fairways and b) get some good shots in the restaurant. I had not planned for the family chores which would make me arrive late. I dashed into the restaurant to find that I was the first, but only just. I made my way back to the front door to find the others on their way in.

The sub-zero temperatures and icy car park were not going to tempt anybody back outside so that ruled out the first part of my plan. I decided that maybe instead I would get some shots outside as people left.

I fared little better with my inside shots when I noticed the the bulk of the cravat clad clientèle were only to happy to point at the "No Mobile Phones" sign and made it quite clear that my camera fell into the same technological bracket.

My fall back plan of getting shots on leaving the restaurant was scuppered by the short British winter days and ever dropping temperatures which meant it was very dark and just not comfortable for anybody to hang around to smile sweetly at the camera.

I tossed the camera back into the car and went home. I sat at my computer and thought about the blog that should have been and started to scoot around some other blogs using "Moments Of Whimsy" as my starting point. From here my day, and the rest of the week started to improve as I enjoyed reading various articles before moving onto visit "Kevin And Amanda".

Here I found a simple but perfectly pitched tutorial about Aperture and Shutter priority and how they are a good springboard for moving onto using the camera in Manual mode. These are features I have used before but couldn't always remember quite why. It was great to get a simple reminder behind the reasons for these features.

After another poke around under the covers I landed at the feet of Darcy at and settled into reading "31  Days To A Better Photo". A tutorial ideally read and practised over 31 days, I squeezed it into 90 minutes reading time. Promise to do the homework later miss. I immediately took away from the reading this the "obvious" that you should re-read your manual from time-to-time, and my promise to re-visit the White Balance settings. I now know that I have a "WB Flash" setting and also how to manually set my White Balance, what a difference that seems to make.

So had I gone out and taken some reasonable shots last weekend I may have felt satisfied for now with what I'd achieved but having  almost been forced into some reading about the theory of photography I now feel very much more prepared. I'll be spending some time practising some of the things I learned before setting myself loose on an unsuspecting event again.

In the meantime I'm going to be headed back to to work out what on earth "Sweet Shot Tuesdays" is all about.

Until then ...

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Free Donations To Charity

It's not often one gets the opportunity to make a donation to a worthwhile charity that doesn't actually cost you anything outside of your normal Internet shop but it can be done and it's easy.

Following an introduction to some projects supporting children in Jinja, Uganda; Chris and Anne Mitchell setup a charity called "GI Trust" to support the work going on there.

I wont go into the detail here as you can find out more on the "GI Trust" website.

The clever bit is how you can help out without directly giving them anything.

Next time you are going to do an Internet shop please visit the "GI Shop Online"
  • select the store you wish to shop at
  • click to go to the  store 
  • order - easy!
 The retailer will then make a contribution to the charity based on your click through or purchase.

Going through the GI Trust website rather than straight to the retailer has got to be the easiest and cheapest way to make a huge difference to the children of Jinja so please support this charity next time you shop.

Monday, 6 December 2010

An icy Cardiff Bay in the fog.

It's so unusual to see such a thick freezing fog here so I just had to take some shots as I passed.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

New Blog Site

This weekend I decided to migrate my Blog away from Opera to Googles' Blogger product. The reason being that I felt that Opera Blog was literally a straight list of blog entries (a blog roll).  There was no simple way of applying other attributes to the page such as links to other sites, photos, etc in a nicely formatted and controlled way.

Google Blogger provides much more flexibility for page setup and is allowing me to expand my content quite easily. I do however still have an uneasy feeling that I might still not have found my final blog home yet.

I feel at this point I should throw myself open to suggestion from others more experienced than I in the blog world and ask who others feel provides the best overall experience for those who don't want to script their own pages.

If anybody reading has their own opinions on who I should use then I'd be grateful if you'd leave me a comment with your ideas. I'll write more about the feedback and research later.

Until then ......

Saturday, 4 December 2010

The Shape Of Bread To Come

It should be easy. People have been doing it since knives were invented so let's face it people have had plenty of practice.

I can do it with fruit and cucumbers are no problem; I bore people to death with the accuracy of my carrots so why on earth can I rarely cut a straight slice off a loaf of bread?

My sandwiches today would not pass muster at your local store. I often end up with corners missing, or like the last two days slices which start as a doorstep at one end and becomes wafer thin at the other.

The most difficult slice to repair is the one where the bread bows inwards as you cut it so you end up with a hole in the middle. I usually end up spreading Peanut Butter on the bread and fold creatively so as not to lose the filling on the cling film.

The reason this is all the more disappointing is because I bake my own bread. It's nothing amazing and it's all courtesy of a bread-maker but it's mine and I would like my slices to be straight.

I guess this year I should be asking Santa for a domestic goddess to tutor me in the ways of wielding a bread knife but more likely is the purchase of an electric slicer, the one which looks a bit like the meat slicer you'd see at the butchery counter.

Of course if you have any tips for me then please post them here.

Four Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Power at Work

An excellent summary of actions to take to make yourself more successful. Or maybe it's more a case of "if you don't do this you might not be".

Well Here We Are Then!

So this is it then. I've thought about it, looked at different blogging sites, tried some and not really liked what I've done. I've looked at other blogs and sometimes wondered why people bother and found little in the way of inspiration.

The social networking bug has tried to get a grip me but hasn't really taken hold. I have a Facebook account but don't often use it. I've never used MySpace or worried too much about MSN. I chatted once or twice on Yahoo or something similar but couldn't quite work out why it was supposed to be easier or better then using the phone.

Twitter is my thing and I do enjoy short exchanges with users around he world or just being able to let off steam by posting my frustrations to no-one in particular.

So why am I here now? Firstly, after many years I have rediscovered the Opera browser and the slick experience that version 11 is bringing to the Internet, secondly I like the simple but effective blog and photo album capabilities of Blogger and I will be developing those soon.

But recently through Twitter I discovered the inspiration the is a blog called "Moments of Whimsy". Beautifully designed and with excellent photography I can only aspire to producing something that is homely, slick and professional all at the same time. It is well worth a visit and you can follow the link below to feast your eyes on its' sumptuous loveliness.

And as for me. I also am into my photography, some of which will appear here soon. I work with IT and have a pet hate of companies who offer poor service to their SOHO (Small Office Home Office) and private customers, or who continually provide poor value for money.

So check back here from time to time and I'll let you know what's been going on and no doubt have a rant about some company that's (IMHO) giving poor service. I'll also post up some images that I enjoy and hope you will too and link up to some other sites that may be of interest.