As previously stated:

This will probably be useful as it’s inevitable the next time an old photograph is found it will come my way.

My Grandfather died in April, and during the wake an old, damaged photographed of him in his busman uniform showed up, and it did indeed come my way.

When I returned to work, after a few days off, I got stuck into it. Half worried it would be “too soon” to have to stare at a picture of him for most of the day but I wanted to get it done and get a print for my Granny. Suprisingly it was somewhat theraputic i.e. it took my mind of things having to concentrate on one solitarty task and working on little details. 

Unlike the first attempt, I’d learnt to reduce the opacity. Overall it turned out alright but annoyingly I noticed a blemish after I ordered some prints! I reckon I could have spent a lot longer working on it but alas I wanted to get the prints quickly. I ordered a load for family members and they were happy with them. It even got published in the Irish News. So technically I’m a published photo editing person!

It’s a few months later, but it’s still tough. I’ll miss him.


First Attempt at Photo Retouching

My Granny found a load of old photos – including the one below, of my Grandad’s sister, my uncle and two aunties. It was small, quite damaged, somehow burnt and crumpled to shit. She wanted a bigger print and my mother volunteered me to do it, because of course she did! Maybe she knew I wouldn’t just print it as is and would try make some attempt to fix it. If so, she was right, it would annoy me otherwise. However, I know dick all about photo editing software (bar making CD artwork once, and the occasional Simpsons shit post). Anyway, she Whatsapp-ed me the above image and I had to wing it from there.

First thing I did, on my phone, was crop it. The sky was white so wasn’t losing anything important. I tried the Photoshop Express mobile app to see if I could get through this in a couple of minutes. The short answer was no. So I emailed it to myself and thought I’d try it on a PC.

The first software I tried to use Jasc PaintShop Pro but couldn’t find the clone brush and after a bit of googling found out apparently there wasn’t one (and since then I’ve found out apparently there is). Luckily, the guy behind me in work is quite handy with GIMP and was able to point me in the right direction.

I was making it up as I went along, but after a few hours of using GIMPs Clone Brush (apparently called Sample in Photoshop) I managed to get something decent. I got some prints ordered and my Granny seemed pleased. I stopped there as I knew I could lose many more hours trying to get it “perfect” but I was quite chuffed with my first attempt. After I tweeted an old school friend explained to me what the opacity was for. This will probably be useful as it’s inevitable the next time an old photograph is found it will come my way.

Cutting the cord…

After many, many years we’ve finally cancelled our TV subscription.

We’d been considering for a while but anytime we phoned they’d sweeten us with some deal or other (“upgrade to TIVO”/”Free movies for a month!”/”ooh! HD Channels” etc etc). The final decision was made because we have work in the house happening, leaving us without a living room for six weeks, so we thought we may as well cancel it!

Sadly, due to mistiming things, that also leaves us without broadband for the next while, delaying the original plan of relying On Demand services like iPlayer, Netflix etc. Plus the TV was moved upstairs while the work is going on, so we couldn’t hardwire into the aerial for Freeview! Thankfully I managed to borrow a portable aerial and it does the job nicely, I can even pick up RTÉ HD with it – so, despite being really busy lately, we can still catch The Bakeoff or whatever.

Still.. the TIVO box had it’s advantages, namely recording something and fast forwarding through the adverts. Also not relying on watching stuff live was also good.

Though a problem I had was recording stuff, not watching it, repeating the process until the box fills up (for example I recorded The Bridge on the River Kwai a couple of Christmases ago… never watched it. Same for Seven Samurai, Ben Hur etc etc). Or I’d waste time watching endless repeats of Friends on a Saturday or just watching shite! There is so much stuff I want to see, or things I need to do, but get distracted by… I dunno… Cake Boss! Fuck that!
So, I’m finally free now!

Sadly my media adventures in cord cutting has stalled due to lack of broadband. We’ve to wait another month until the line gets installed! And although we’ve been busy with house and life stuff, I’d still like to be able to see the new Stranger Things!

Ah well…

[GIFs Created using Frinkiac]

Plans, updates etc etc etc

A stream of babbling consciousness on a Wednesday afternoon…
I’ve been neglecting this lately. Mainly because I can’t be bothered I’ve been quite busy [1], but have had things I meant to post [2] but obviously didn’t get around to [see 1].

Even if I’m not doing much with this, the twenty quid  (or whatever it is) a year for the domain won’t kill me so I may as well hold on to it but use it for something useful.

I’ve been toying with the idea of turning this into some sort of professional portfolio type thing.. Obviously I don’t have much professional portfolio type stuff to stick on it but it might be useful for, I dunno, documenting things I do/learn in uni etc. Plus in the past random blog posts have helped me along with assignments and whatnot (e.g. This one was a life saver a few months ago when I was tying to learn Javascript on the fly (oh! i should write about that!)) so having more of those posts out there… isn’t a bad thing? Right? Anyway, I think I’ll have some assignments coming up where I’ll have to write learning logs or something and in two years I’ll have to do a final project, so it’s probably a sensible idea to get some experience of writing technical stuff now, when it doesn’t matter, rather than freaking out about when I have to do it.
Another thought is it would be useful to catalogue all the random crap I’ve done and skills or experience I’ve acquired over the years (a CV should only be two pages – it doesn’t have room for the CD cover I designed on the fly in Photoshop, or the band website I created, for example).
But I’d rather not just hit delete and start again, some of what’s here is okay, and keeping the world updated on my Christmas dinner intake is important, so redesigning the whole thing but continuing with a wee blog as a subsection, and hosting it somewhere else, will be the idea. It’ll be a while though [see 1 again]. . But I’ll get around to completing this… eventually… (that’s the end of my steam of consciousness) 

Some Footnotes:

[1] for example: full time job, part time degree, house renovation stuff etc etc

[2] Example inlcude