Farnborough Guide: Southwood woodland walk

Our local council have been setting up a number of local trails on land that had either been used by the Army or just not used at all for various reasons. I shall introduce you to some of these over time, as I am gathering photos of the local area for a combined web and mobile app project that I am developing. This project is called “Farnborough Guide” and I shall reveal more of it as time progresses. Anyway, let’s have a look at some photos I took first thing this morning whilst out doing some research.

I had taken walks here in the past but hadn’t noticed until today these fabulous signs and their stands. Local councils, love them or loathe them, do put the effort in when given the chance and gather together local talent who create masterpieces like this.

I also love the fact that it is educational, informative and eye catching all in one go. We are growing more and more concerned nowadays that people are disconnected from nature and the great outdoors or so the media would lead us to believe. I do agree that there is some element of truth in this, so anything like this is more than welcome in my book.

The last photo is of what they have named the “Stag beetle stumpery” and that brought a smile to my face. I know some people hate stag beetles, find them scary but they are as important to our ecology as any other creature on this earth. So helping them is a very important thing indeed! Once again it helps teach people about their plight and helps raise awareness of wildlife that is becoming scarce for a number of reasons.

So going back quickly to what I shall be using these photos for.

We are using a service called Cloudinary that you can use in conjunction with Amazon’s S3 servers and what they call “buckets”. So these images (taken on my iPhone) will be uploaded to these servers and Cloudinary allows you to create numerous different versions of your original images, caches them and delivers them across a fast CDN. I like this because I can generate thumbnails, cropped images, compressed versions (for speed) and use them across both the website and app we are developing.

New start: Out with the old, in with the new


I have been working for a company called Premium Credit for about 18 months as a contractor and with that now behind me, I start a new week in a different location and I am back in my very own office that I rent in North Camp, Farnborough. This means that I am no longer having to get up at 5am in the morning to commute out of Hampshire, across half of Surrey, stuck in traffic to start at just after 7am…… no more of that and instead, I now have the option of walking, cycling or driving no more than a mile from home!

So here is a little photo of my new working environment or rather I should say “rekindled” at least. I did have multiple monitors crammed on to this desk for my Windows laptop and Mac systems. I have split them up now and it is a lot less messy.

I have an interesting week ahead of me because it is very much a case of catching up on months worth of loose ends and catching up with our apprentice Dan who is just coming back from holiday today. We are a small digital consultancy with a broad range of interests, web, photography and social media amongst many others. We are planning to go out and say hello to local businesses to drum up project work across the area.

So the intention is to spend the next two months freelancing from this lovely local office and see where it leads us in early January. I shall also write about how I am going to attempt to work a 4 day week and offer some insights into how I approach freelancing in the web industry. I am also going to have time to catch up on presenting more of my photography here on the blog, I know some of you have been waiting on this! Will I post daily, I shall try to, as I am going to treat this more as a journal.


Albanian Sunrise


I decided to take a break from the computer whilst we were staying on Corfu, having had a busy time in the run-up to our trip, the priority was to relax, do nothing apart from explore and take the occasional photos. Luckily I did take quite a few but I never rush to publish my shots, I often prefer to leave them on the hard drive and return to them later. If I liked a photo when I took it and I still feel the same some weeks (even months or years) later, then I am happy. Simple as that.

The villa we rented was so well located and we could see a lot from our high vantage point. We were only 2 miles away from the coast of Albania and the land mass you can see in the photo above comprises of our “personal” mountain in the foreground, the Adriatic and then in the not-so-far-at-all distance, Albania! You could probably swim to it, if you were the sort not scared of very very deep water and able to dodge Cruise ships passing through the channel.

This shot was taken close to 6am in the morning, as I often wake up as early as that even when on holiday, but by jove! It was worth it!

So technically, for my technically minded friends out there, I used a Gorillapod and a ND grad filter for this shot. I mounted the camera on the glass panels that surrounded the pool terrace using the Gorillapod, as you can twist and contort it and affix your camera to all sorts of things. It came in very handy and I will take it on future travels. I always use Lee filters, they are just soooo good.